Your support system are the network of people, friends and family that you can turn to for emotional, practical and even financial support.
When we first learn the idea of having a support system, we sometimes want to automatically assign this position to a person, thereby, being disappointed over and over again. Sometimes we place the whole burden on our romantic partner which at the end of the day, results into exhaustion.
It is easy to say, don’t have expectations to avoid disappointments but as human beings, we’d always have a level of expectation. We can only just get matured about how we choose to manage our disappointments when it comes up…because it will.
Just like so many others, my personal mistake was that I expected to get all my support from one or two people. But after a while I realized that it’s really a network of people. Some can be your support system in a particular area of your life without necessarily being your friend.
The best way to build and understand the people in your life is to group them according to their area of strength. First is to be convinced that this person or group of people have got your best interest at heart and are willing to be there for you. Then recognise their weaknesses, strength and also understand that they are human beings going through different things in their own lives as well.
Know who to reach out to when you are emotionally down. Know who to talk to when you are mentally exhausted. Know who to reach out to when you need professional/business contributions. And if it’s financial assistance, know your support system in that area.
Please note that this is not about using people, it’s just about knowing your team members and their area of strength. This will help you understand and not be worried or disappointed when they don’t come through. It will also help you be responsible for how you treat them, understand where and when to be there for them and what to expect from them.
It doesn’t mean you or they won’t fall short sometimes, it only means that you are making an effort to understand your loved ones or support system and you are not going to pour all your burden on any of them. That will be very insensitive of you.
It’s been said that there are benefits in having a network of supportive relationships: “those with robust social support networks have better health, longer lives, and report higher well-being.” Friends and loved ones can make you more resilient in times of stress, setback, or loss and they can also make the good times even better.