What to do when you have no support system (7 things)

What to do when you have no support system (7 things)

In this writeup, we will look into the question, “What to do when you have no support system”, types of support, ways to build a support system, explore the benefits of having social support, overcoming lack of social support and some FAQs concerning the topic.

To get rid of the lack of a support system, one can follow the following strategies:

  • Expanding support network
  • Sharpening and developing one’s coping skill
  • Analyze the reasons for not getting support
  • Sometimes not getting support can be one’s flaw and mistake.
  • Keep it simple
  • Listen to what others say
  • Asking oneself about the goals set
  • Changing your behaviour and approach to life

Support System

Support System is a network of people including one’s family, friends and peer group to whom one can rely on what in need of emotional, moral and practical support. They can be personalized, community, agencies or a support group. 

What to do when you have no support system (7 things)

Features of the support system

The support system of a person is known for various reason and they are the one to whom one can rely on in every circumstance.

Some of the features of the support system are:

  • They are always around the corner despite the distance and tragedy.
  • They are non-judgemental and thus accept you are.
  • They don’t blame on your flaws and mistake for wrong-doings.
  • Such people always leave a positive impact on personal goals
  • The support they offer is genuine and not self-serving
  • They always leave a positive impact on one’s life.
  • You can talk to them occasionally or frequently 

These are the feature of support system who are always there and present for you despite the timing, distance and incident. 

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Types of Social Support

There are various ways through which one can offer support to the individual in need. And depending on the situation and the circumstances, people offer different support mechanism. 

The different types can be:

Physical Support.

Physical support can be interims of offering direct help to the needful such as assistance to the work, offering transportation help, or helping them caretake, etc.

Resources or Information sharing support

It offers support in terms of financial aid, information sharing, community resources and providing some grants and aid. Information provided can be in terms of life experience, knowledge regarding something or others.

Emotional and Physiological Assistance.

The support is provided by proving moral support, emotional care and then encouraging the person in need. It is based solely on one’s emotional and moral assistance which can be soothing for the person who needs it. Standing by the person to listen and then encourage especially when the person is dealing with bereavement or traumatic life events. 

Attitude Transmission

The support offered for the individual is in terms of standing by the person to share laughter or to cherish some positivity. It pushes them to change their attitude. 

Building a support system

There are different ways and one can follow those to build a firm and stable social system to deal effectively with stress, negativity and traumas. 

Some of the strategies are:

  • Volunteering

Spending time at voluntary services is a good way to meet people and get to know each other. It is a reliable source of catching up with new people as well as gives a sense of gratification and satisfaction. 

  • Taking up physical exercise and joining the gym

It is for improvement of both physical and psychological health, one needs to find a source of opportunity to build a reliable friendship. The gym is also a space for meeting new people and staring a new friendship bond.

  • Starting book club

Inviting strangers and acquaintances for a book discussion is a great beginning for a new friendship and sharing ideas. 

It is indeed a wonderful way of meeting new people. 

  • Joining a professional organisation

To build a future career and to extend a social network to encompass new learning can be a good source to meet up and face new people. Having friends sharing some idea and interest can be a reliable source of support and network. 

  • Using an online platform

Online platforms like social media or other networking sites can be a source of building a new friendship bond and interacting with people from world-class. These people can be of help in meeting the needs during stressful circumstances and aids in managing the trauma together.

  • Approach people and start conversation

Rather than sticking by ownself and secluding from others, it is always best to approach others and chat. A brief chit-chat can pave a long way to a firm social support and friendship bond in general. 

  • Organising social events

Taking the initiative for social gathering and events is a meeting point for many. It bridges people from different countries together. There can be a social ball effect as well. One known can bring their friend and this tend to broaden the network and build a large social group.

  • Being open and frank with others

Secluding oneself from others and staying reserved does nothing to build friendship between people, it rather makes people avoid you and not interact. Thus, starting up a conversation and talking with others builds the bond.

Benefits of having a Support System

Researches have shown that there are multiple benefits for an individual if they have a firm and constant social support. It acts more like a source of motivation and encouragement for the individual.

Some of the benefits or advantages of having social supports are

  • Better health, both physical and mental.
  • Higher well being and positive energy
  • Make the person more resilient 
  • Buffer stress and tackle with it 
  • Assist and stand by in times of uncertainty
  • Enhance the feeling of security.
  • Boost emotional health when down
  • Decrease physical health 
  • Improve the ability to cope with stress
  • Alleviate the effect of emotional stress.

So, these are the advantages of having a social system essentially to deal with the negativity and creating a positive environment around.

Things to do when there is a lack of support system

Not everyone has a rich and big social network, there are people with the limited social network and at times it is difficult and painful for them to bear the loss, sadness, stressful events all alone. Not having firm support can be devastating. 

Some of the strategies one can follow to build social support and overcome this absence are as follows:

  • Expanding support network

Even with the limited and small circle, one can always reach out to other belonging to the same race, group and class. Doing that help the individual to gain more friends ad expand their circle. Strictly limiting to a few friends are sometimes not useful and helpful.

  • Sharpening and developing one’s coping skill

Despite the need for social support network in dealing and tackling with events and traumas, one doesn’t necessarily need to rely on others for help and supports. If certain things are manageable on their own, it is always better to start with it by themselve. 

Some of the coping skills are medication, relaxations, walking, physical exercise, deep cleaning, etc.

  • Keeping a thought journal

If there isn’t anyone to whom you can rely on when needed, one ideal way to manage this isolation and loneliness is to journal the thoughts in books and keeping it safe with you. it‘s not always necessary for a person to hunt for people to share their sorrows and pain. One can simply keep a thought journal and scribble their daily thoughts. It is a great venting out process.

  • Analyze the reasons for not getting support

Sometimes not getting support can be one’s flaw and mistake. Thus, it is a productive experience to dimply reflect onto oneself and evaluate the wrongdoings which might be the reason for not getting enough support like others. It gives an individual space and time to introspect and modify their behaviour in case of any flaws and mistake.

  • Keep it simple

Sometimes rather than overthinking and musing over things that are done and of past, it is better to simply move on and prepare for the future. Keeping it simple and light I the best way to combat the loneliness of not getting support and not having a good amount of social support when in need.

  • Listen to what others tell

When people share your flaws and mistake, it is always respectful and good to listen to it and take note of it. There are times when things that go wrong from your side result in a lack of support and people not showing up when needed. Thus, to be open to criticism and respect the constructive criticism helps in overcoming the loneliness.

  • Asking oneself about the goals set

It is better to switch one’s goal for better and realistic one than constantly push hard to achieve an unrealistic goal. And in case of not getting enough support, people are trying to let you know that the goals are unrealistic, thus to simply change the perspective and strive for realistic goals are a better way.

  • Changing your behaviour and approach to life

One can change their own goals, behaviour and approach to receive enough support and to appreciate it. People don’t offer their support when they don’t like and appreciate what others are doing, thus, to change one’s perspective and approach helps them to regain support and attract more people.

Strengthening and Sustaining Social Support

There are ways to strengthen the existing support network and maintain it for the long term. The following strategies can be used to make sure that the support network is alive and strong.

  • Showing your appreciation

Letting your friends, family and people in your support network that you appreciate their presence in life and their support is an important way to strengthen the support network.

  • Staying in touch and connected

By phone call, text messages and video calling, one can stay connected and in touch with people in your support network. 

  • Be available to them when they need help

True friends are the one who stands by you when needed and thus, it is also important for the person to stand by them when they need help.

  • Support success

When people in your social network does good things or succeed, it is always better and ideal to support their success

  • Respect needs and limits

When things exceed the limits or cross boundaries, conflicts and misunderstanding arise. Thus, to keep the support system constant, alive and for the long term, it is best to stick to the limit and stay by the boundary. 

  • Embrace your interest

To draw a common line with your interest and those of people in the support network as a good way to sustaining the network for a longer period. And sometimes, finding a compromise is a worthy action.

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FAQs: what to do when you have no support system

What to do when you have no help?

Some of the things that can be done when you lack support and help are expanding the network, building your coping skills, keeping a thought journal, listening to oneself and others and setting realistic goals.

Why do we need a support system?

We need a support system for various reason such as for the higher level of functioning, better coping skills, sound mental health and to reduce the chances of mental illnesses.

How do you help someone who doesn’t want to to be helped?

Just to simply be there for the person and informed them about your availability are a good way to make sure you are there for the person.

How do I get a support system?

It simply starts with a conversation, stepping out from comfort zone, volunteering and meeting people that one can build a support system. 

What are the four types of social support?

The four types of social support are instrumental, emotional, informational and appraisal.

Conclusion

In this writeup, we looked into the question, “What to do when you have no support system”, types of support, ways to build a support system, explored the benefits of having social support, overcomingTalkspace lack of social support and some FAQs.

More details

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-things-you-can-you-feel-lack-support.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/unsupportive-friends-and-family-1067469

Bibliography

Camins, S. (2020). How to Build A Support System. Road to growth counselling. https://roadtogrowthcounseling.com/how-to-build-a-support-system/

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2020). Social Support Systems. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/community_health/johns-hopkins-bayview/services/called_to_care/social_support_systems.html#:~:text=The%20persons%2C%20agencies%20and%20organizations,%2C%20transportation%2C%20assistance%20with%20chores)

Wayne, J. S. (2020). 10 Things You Can Do If You Feel Lack Of Support. Lifehack. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-things-you-can-you-feel-lack-support.html

Wiebe, J. (2019). 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Support System. The talkspace voice. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/how-to-strengthen-your-support-system/

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Tenzin Bhuti is a final year Clinical Psychology student. She enjoys travelling, exploring, cooking and art. She is a Buddhist thus, has a huge interest in studying Buddhist Psychology and a comparative study with Western Psychology. Apart from that, she is a mental health advocate, passionate about raising awareness as well as talking about it.