Written by Evi Idoghor
Human beings were created to interact with one another. As a result, distancing yourself from others is unnatural. (Have you ever heard the expression "no man is an island?") Our world is filled with ups and downs, detours, and heartbreaks. We can't bear the burden on our own. That is why it is critical for us to cultivate meaningful relationships and have a strong support system to assist us in navigating life.
According to Merriam Webster, a support system is a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support. These people can be found in the workplace, at home, at church, and so on. You may be wondering, “What are some characteristics of an excellent support system?” Not to worry, the qualities listed below make up a solid support unit that can help you live a better life.
1. A support system is there to catch you when you fall: We all make mistakes and fall short of others' expectations. What some people fail to realize is that when such errors occur, you spend time beating yourself up about it. As a result, no one requires the extra—I warned you! A strong support system should be there to hold your hand as you navigate the difficult stages of your life and guide you in the right direction.
2. A support system pushes you towards your dreams: A great support system learns about your goals and encourages you to pursue them. A few weeks ago, one of my cousins gave me so much grief that I threatened to block her. Why? Because she requested that I send her the steps I needed to take over the next few months in order to achieve a specific goal I had set for myself. If you know her, you know she'll be on your tail until you accomplish what you've set out to do. That is what a great support system should be able to do for you. They should be there to give you the extra push you need to improve.
3. A support system loves you no matter what: Unconditional love is something that humans thrive on. If you can show someone, that you love them no matter what, they would want to be the best that they can be, because of the love they receive from you. In a situation, where there is no love, it can drive people to depression, to do obscene things, and to make irrational decisions. But once an environment is full of love, and a person knows that they can always come back to you, because they are safe with you, then there is no limit to what the person being supported can achieve.
4. A support system is there in good and in bad times: I recall having to have surgery that required me to be in the hospital for five days. My family and friends came in droves, day and night, to get me whatever I needed. It was crazy! I just wanted to sleep at times, but they kept coming. Then I realized how fortunate I was. There are people in hospitals who do not have anyone to visit them. Some people find themselves in difficult situations with no one to turn to for assistance. A good support system would be present not only when things are going well, but also when things are going badly.
5. A support system checks up on you: A great support system checks in on you from time to time. They are concerned about your well-being. They want to know if you're okay, and if not, how they can step in and help.
It is beneficial for us to spend time building relationships rather than tearing them down. If you see someone who has the potential to add significant value to your life, pursue them. We were not designed to go through life alone. We were created for relationships and communities, which is why we have families, churches, coworkers, friends, and are members of various organizations.
"As iron sharpens iron, so does one person, sharpen another."
While it is critical that you build a good network of people in your life, you should also check yourself to see if you have those key characteristics ingrained in you. Can people rely on you? Can they contact you if they are in trouble? Can they confide in you about their darkest secrets without feeling judged? Could you point them in the right direction? Are you adding value to people's lives, or are you detracting from them? These are important questions to ask yourself. Life is not about you and what you can gain from others. There is value in being there for others, just as it is important for them to be there for you.
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