Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Social Connections
Social connections are the relationships you have with the people around you. They may be close, like family, friends, and coworkers, or more distant, like people you know casually. They can be as close as next door or so far away that you only connect with them by telephone or through the Internet.
Your network of relationships may be big or small. One or two close family members or friends may be all you need to feel supported and valued. Whether your circle is big or small, the important thing is that you are there for each other.
Resilience, the ability to bounce back after stressful situations, is strengthened when you give and receive support. Building positive relationships with people can make a difference in how resilient you are. Try to connect with people who have a positive outlook and can make you laugh and help you. The more positive your relationships are, the better you'll be able to face life's challenges.
The support you get from your social connections can add to your feelings of meaning and purpose in life. These, in turn, add to your resilience. Happy, resilient people tend to be more connected to the people around them. Resilient people know that they can depend on the strength of their family and friends when the going gets tough.
Remember that giving support is just as important as getting support. You count on your social connections for support, but they also count on you. Ask others about their families, jobs, and interests, and help them when you can. Don't always focus on your challenges or talk about yourself. Know when it's time to listen or just enjoy your friends' company. Giving support to others builds the social bonds that help make you resilient.
There are many ways you can start building positive relationships:
You can also connect with people through social media on the Internet. Many people interact more freely with people they can't see face-to-face. Online forums about specific interests can be a good choice for people who cannot leave their homes or are shy or self-conscious.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as ofAugust 11, 2016
Current as of:
August 11, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.