People Who Need People Are the Healthiest People In the World
08.27.10 · Carol Farrow
Still pumped after the recent 6th Annual Working Well Conference. I was especially inspired by Dr. Will Miller’s keynote presentation on social relationships. He discussed the weakening of close personal relationships in America and its impact on our health. Miller believes that modern culture is luring us into a lifestyle of isolation and separation. We’re losing the strong social support systems that are fundamental to our well-being. We’re moving away from our families and communities. We’re distracted by television, the Internet and other activities that pull us away from deep, personal human connections.
When It Comes to Relationships, More Is Better
And, he says, we rely on too few relationships. One person can’t be the “emotional load of you.” You need a full array of close intimate relationships. The kind with “refrigerator rights.” People you trust and would welcome in your home. Those with whom you’ve shared experiences over time. Those who will hold you accountable. Those who keep you centered. Those who mentor you. “These are the relationships that help chisel you, smoothing out your rough edges.”
His words hit a cord with me. Wellness isn’t just about our own physical fitness and nutrition. Deep personal relationships require us to look outside of ourselves. They strengthen us, motivate us, connect us and grow us in ways we wouldn’t grow alone. They give us more than we can give ourselves.