If your friends have good relationships with each other, the feeling of support will be overwhelming and overwhelming when you are going through the most difficult circumstances.
This is what was discovered by a new scientific study on the support of friends, which explored the impact of the interlocking relationships of friends and the effect of this on his sense of safety and moral support.
The study was published in a journal Social Psychology Quarterly, I explored the effect of the feeling of support from friends on the actual behavior of those who actually need help.
In turn, explains social psychologist Jonathan Stahl, from Ohio State University: “You can have two friends who support you a lot, but if they are friends with each other, you will feel more supported.”
Friendships promote mental health
Forming and maintaining strong friendships, whether with peers, colleagues or family members, is one of the most important things that a person can do for his mental health, according to what the site has published Sciencealert.
Feeling lonely is harmful in the long term. An analysis published in 2015 that included more than 3.4 million people across 70 studies found that the absence of social contact carries the same health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
This applies to people of all ages.
On the other hand, stronger relationships have been linked to longer lifespan, and even exercise competition in healthy behaviors and longevity.
But which type of relationship delivers the most value?
Psychologists are still trying to solve this problem, and recent research indicates that a more connected social group gives a person a greater sense of support.
Supporting friends is better in tight groups
To explore further, psychologists have conducted two studies online.
The first was a controlled survey, which asked 339 people to include 8 individuals in their lives that they could see and head to for support.
Participants were then asked how much support they would expect to receive from each friend or family member, on a scale of 1 to 7, and how close their choices were to each other, on a “don’t know each other” or “very close” scale.
By calculating the density of these social networks, the researchers found that those with narrow social groups expect to receive more support from their friends.
The result of this study is in line with a previous study, but it also shows that the size of a network is not necessarily as important as the way it is structured itself.
“We found that our support networks are more than just a group of friends,” says social cognition specialist at Ohio State University Joseph Bayer.
“People who feel they have more social support in their lives may focus more on the collective support they feel than being part of a strong, cohesive group. It’s having a real crew, rather than just a group of friends,” he added.
Overlapping friendship of friends is a safety net
To dig deeper, the authors designed a second online study, in which 240 participants were asked to list 4 friends who were not close to each other and 4 close friends with each other.
Then half of the participants were asked to imagine going to a close-knit group for help, and the other half to going to the least connected group of friends for help.
In the end, the participants believed that they would receive the most support from the close-knit group.
University of Buffalo social psychologist David Lee said, “The more cohesive the group, the more solid it is, and the more you feel dependent on it for support.”
“So it is important that your friends depend on each other, just as you depend on them,” he said.
Realizing this support changes behavior
Of course, this proves the feeling of actual support that someone might receive in real trouble, but the strange thing he discovered is that a person’s perception of support can sometimes be a stronger indicator of their well-being and mental state.
Rather than more mutually supportive networks being more supportive because of their structure, the study authors view the result as a “psychological” phenomenon: the more connected and collaborative networks constitute the greatest support.
While the effect of this perception on a person’s actual behavior is unclear, psychologists believe that this sense of “support” can be an important factor when a person needs help, searches for it, and finally requests it without hesitation.