Community//

What do you do? Well-being.

Becoming a true friend to ourselves and reaching out from that stability and authenticity.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

When you feel lonely or sad, what are you most likely to do?

a) Call a friend, ask for a hug, reach out to a person for support 
b) Eat, smoke a joint, have a drink, shop online
c) Curl up on the couch with your dog to binge watch Netflix

We learn from our experiences in life. A lot of our evidence and early programming happens in childhood. People with relational trauma are less likely to reach out to a person for support and are more likely to choose option b) or c). It doesn’t occur to us to ask and if it does, we’re not confident we’ll be met and not let down. Again.

People who had reliable attachment in childhood are more likely to trust others to help when they’re feeling down. We rely on our nervous system and primitive brain to help us assess threat. Children who learn to rely on and trust others to have their back develop into adults who feel safe with others. It is an uphill climb for children who learned the hard way to not trust people.

The evidence (your experiences) that you unconsciously use as you move through life might have been extreme or more subtle. Safety at home and bullying at school; ridicule at home and safe with your pack of friends; or some variant. You might have had social anxiety since you were a young child, been burned by a bad experience with peers, or had circumstances that led to disconnection — like a parent dying, divorce, or other experience of abandonment.

“We need both an absence of danger and a sense of connection to feel safe.” Stephen Porges

What is your childhood conditioning? What are your beliefs about relationships? What does your relationship status reflect back about you?

Children have little power and few choices — we trade authenticity for connection to make it through to being an adult. Those patterns stay with us until we see and heal them. How necessary is that trade now?

Looking at romantic relationships, friendships, family and work, where do you trade authenticity for fitting in? How can you more accurately access who is safe to share with? How can you widen your window of tolerance and be free to be more true to yourself? How does Covid-19 and social distancing affect your conscious decisions and unconscious perception of threat?

The path to emotional maturity and trust in relationship is as simple as a hug and as nuanced as identifying and over-writing the associations we have with safety and threat.

It involves becoming a true friend to ourselves and reaching out from that stability and authenticity.

It takes time. It takes clarity. It takes intention. And it is possible.

5 minute full body relaxation
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

By rudall30/Shutterstock
Well-Being//

How to Spot — And Heal From — Gaslighting

by Reina Gattuso
Well-Being//

If Your Relationship Feels Stressful, There Could Be a Psychological Reason Behind It

by Talkspace
Community//

Trust Issues

by Ruth Kao Barr

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.