A support system is described as a network of individuals who provide feedback, support, and respect you. Many times, family members are included in our support system. Unfortunately, sometimes family members aren’t the most supportive, which can cause our support system to lessen. Having a strong, healthy support system is important. These are the people in your corner, who you go to for help, to talk, or just a hug. What do you do when the people you rely on aren’t dependable anymore? Your first priority, like always, should be making sure you are okay and stable. Then, you can work to realize why those people are acting that way, try to come to an understanding, or if all else fails, find other individuals to build your support system.
Whether you have many people that make up your support group, or just a few, you should be your own greatest supporter. By keeping self talk positive, being kind to yourself, and rooting for yourself, you can be your number one supporter. Losing someone who once was someone you relied on can be extremely difficult, but remembering that you will never lose yourself can make it easier.
There are many realizations you may have to come to when dealing with someone who’s unsupportive. Most importantly, understand that whatever feelings you are dealing with, they are valid. Many times, unsupportive people will use myths to try to dismiss whatever you may be going through. An example of this could be if you explain that you’re feeling depressed and they tell you that depression is “just someone being lazy”. This is a completely untrue statement, as depression is a medical illness caused by not having the correct amount of certain chemical hormones in the brain. It is important to understand that although these myths are certainly hurtful, they are not true.
Next, you must look at the person in question and realize that maybe they haven’t ever been in your shoes, or haven’t ever been educated about mental health. Neither are justifiable excuses, but may make it easier for you to understand their side and that their actions have nothing to do with you personally. They may even be dealing with something themselves that could be making it more difficult for them to support you. Whatever their reasoning may be, it is important to accept their actions, and work through any anger or resentment toward them for it. If you cannot seem to let out your anger, many physical activities can help.
People make mistakes, that’s just part of being human. Therefore, it’s important for both parties to understand how to communicate effectively so that they can work through the mistake and move on with their relationship. Being direct when asking for help with something is just one way you can communicate more effectively. Unfortunately, some people simply don’t have our best interests in mind, and ending negative relationships before they can cause more damage is vital. Signs of an unhealthy relationship are not having respect for each other, not trusting, and not being able to work through challenges and misunderstandings.
There are many ways to build your support system. The most important rule in doing so is to make sure any new relationships you build are healthy. Having a few dependable people to go to for support is better than many people who may not have your best interests in mind. Meeting people at church, the gym, or other special interest groups is one way to find new friends. You can also try out in-person or online support groups, like Fresh Hope. Don’t forget to include your counselor in your support group, either. A counselor will always be a great supporter.
Not everyone will be dependable, but that’s okay, because there are plenty of people to have reliable, healthy relationships with. Remember, whether you have two individuals in your support group or ten, you will always have your number one supporter; yourself.