A good job and financial security rate fairly high on most people’s lists, but what always rates higher is the value of good friends and family. In a world where we’ve constantly got our faces buried in our phones, and emoji just became the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year, we need to remember the influence of actual people and how they positively impact us, especially considering that we’re hard-wired to socialize with others.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones….” Words can and do hurt. Our good friends and family are the ones who help us get past the bullies in our lives, from the schoolyard to the workplace. No matter our age, it helps to have a friend who will remind us that we deserve better treatment. Life’s full of ups and downs and, as social animals, we don’t have to always go it alone.
The best part is that you get to choose who you have in your life. Even if toxic family members are part of the picture, you do not have to spend time around them or let them taint your life with their negativity. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself…and sometimes that includes those who care about you enough to give you a kick in the pants when you’re acting ridiculous. Those with strong support systems tend to do better in life because they know they have friends or family to lean on in hard times – and celebrate with in good times!
While apps such as Facebook connect us with hundreds of “friends” (it does feel good to get all of those birthday wishes), all we truly need is a small circle of trusted family and friends who will make us feel good and valued. That feeling of altruism is generally returned and spread around. Caring about friends and family allows us to empathize with and do good deeds for those around us. Positive leads to positive.
So next time you want to celebrate a small or large victory, or you need a shoulder to lean on after a hard day, contact that positive person in your life. Remember to take time to thank them for being there.