Do we really need friends?
Those two toddlers sure do communicate their love for one another loud and clear.
I remember being 8 yo and meeting a kid at a campground. We realized we both liked pop and that was enough for us to be best friends while we were both there.
As we get older, we tend to be more restrained in our expressions of emotions. We get picky and guarded about who we invest in.
There are many reasons we tend to avoid or isolate more with age. One of them is that we get hurt by others, feel betrayed, ignored, or not picked by people we care about. The older we are, the more likely we are to have hurtful experiences. This leads to a natural desire to protect ourselves. Not to invest. Not to put ourselves out there as much. Not to care too deeply, in case it doesn't work out.
That IS pretty adaptive when you think about it...at least in the short term. It turns out we are a very social species though. We actually NEED one another in order to be healthy. And not only a little bit.
A study done by Holt-Lunstad, Smith & Layton, in 2010 demonstrated that being lonely carries a greater risk for an early death, at 45%, than being obese (20%) or an alcoholic (30%). In the long term, isolating is actually DANGEROUS!
So the moral of this story is... it is worth getting up one more time than we got knocked down. In order to be well, we DO need friends. It is worth the effort to keep looking for our people, even if it takes a lifetime!
If you need some extra motivation, in those defeated moments, just imagine what your life would be like if you were surrounded by the support and affection shown by these two toddlers! It is no wonder social connection is one of the most powerful predictors of resilience.
If you are looking for social opportunities in Halifax, NS, check out Games Night at Dynamic Wellness on Monday September 16, 2019. 7-8.30 pm. It is a FREE, low stress way to meet new people and play! Click here for details.