People with many friends sometimes yearn for a closer family, and people with close family sometimes yearn for more friends. The key to continued satisfaction with life is not in replicating what someone else has. Instead, build a support system that you draw from and give to, regardless of whether it is made up primarily of friends or family.
This is a great tip, but sometimes very hard to put into play. I think most specifically of the many children and teens in foster care. They have been removed from their birth families and often have been passed from one foster family to another. This makes building any kind of relationships, ‘family’ or friends challenging. What’s more, they often have such fragile self images that reaching out in any way is nearly impossible. Caring for or about someone can be treacherous.
In our work with these kids, they often find it easier to bond and trust their horse than to form these relationships with humans, at least at first. As they begin to see themselves as capable and their confidence grows, they are more willing to put themselves out there with others. Additionally, they have something interesting to share with others. Even though we are a ranching state, getting to ride horses is still a pretty special experience. Working with horses may be the first tiny step towards having a happier, healthier life.
If you know someone who is feeling disconnected or having a hard time building and maintaining relationships call or email us to schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce you to our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we might be able to help.
In research on over 8,000 adults, researchers considered over 100 factors that contribute to happiness. Among the factors that had a major negative effect was the use of comparisons that implied personal failures in relationships, which reduced happiness by 26 percent. Li, Young, Wei, Zhang, Zheng, Xiao, Wang, and Chen 1998