Humans Are Social by Nature. We Need to Interact With Others
Humans are social creatures and we need to interact with others in order to survive. From chatting with your local barista in the morning to grabbing lunch with your coworkers to sharing a moment with a stranger on your commute home, the average person has many face-to-face interactions every single day – although they have been greatly limited since the arrival of Covid-19. Luckily, thanks to the prevalence of tech and social media in our lives, these interactions are also happening in the digital realm too – without us ever having to leave our homes. Interacting with others can truly help us to feel fulfilled with our lives, which is why it is one of the six elements that make up our overall well-being.
So why is it, then, that some introverted people are convinced that they don’t need to interact with others like extroverted people do?
Why do some interactions have a bigger impact on us than others?
Why do some people think that they could only have digital interactions?
EVERYONE NEEDS TO INTERACT The truth is, introverts and extroverts don’t need to interact with others in the same way. None of us do. We are all different and the types and number of interactions we need depends on factors such as our personalities, interests and lifestyles. The most important thing is that we are interacting with others in some shape or form. Even if you are introverted, you are likely having more interactions throughout your day than you think – and the Covid-19 pandemic (and its periods of confinement) might have helped to highlight this reality.
Interactions can happen in a multitude of ways. You can have intimate interactions with loved ones, social interactions with friends, community interactions such as volunteering, and even interactions with strangers. All of these interactions can help us feel like we are part of a society, community or network.
SIX HOURS PER DAY It is generally recommended that we have a total of six hours of interactions each day can to increase your overall well-being. And while six hours may seem like a long time for some of you, those six hours of interaction should occur gradually throughout the day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. When you break out the calculator, that number actually makes up less than half your day, depending on how long you typically stay awake.
Of course, some people have jobs that allow them to interact with more people throughout the day than others. However, that does not necessarily mean that they’re automatically doing better in this element than everyone else. Having a network of people in your life (face-to-face or online) that you can turn to for different reasons, good or bad, is integral to your overall well-being. Feeling like your part of a community is what truly matters.
THE RIGHT NETWORK TO SUPPORT YOU An easy way to assess how you’re doing in this well-being element is to take an honest look at your interactions with others. Ask yourself: do you feel like you have people in your life that you can reach out to when you need to, from saying hello to getting that missing egg to an ear for letting off some accumulated frustration? It’s important to work to build up a social network to improve on the types of interactions you’re having.
And now that you know how much of an impact these daily social interactions have on your well-being, you can be more conscious about the type of interactions you have with others as you go through your day. Remember, even an interaction with a stranger can have an impact – especially the positive ones. It is impossible to do well in this component of well-being if all of your interactions are negative ones.
ONE OF SIX ELEMENTS
People often think about wellness in terms of physical health – nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc. – but it’s so much more than just that. Well-being is made up of positive, meaningful and happy outcomes that lead to happiness, health, satisfaction and prosperity. It is how one feels regarding their life as a whole, which is why overall well-being consists of six different elements.
You might personally feel like you’re doing great with your interactions and that there’s nothing for you to improve on. This is a great sign because it means that you likely are doing well in this particular element. But just because you are at 100% in the interaction with others element, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at 100% in the other five well-being elements.
We strongly suggest taking an honest look at all six elements every few months to ensure that you are doing well in all areas of your life. It’s time to take charge of your well-being and stop leaving it up to chance. To help you do that, the Strengths Performance Centre developed a well-being self-assessment program that can be used to measure all six of the elements that make up our overall well-being: work and career, loved ones, emotional and mental, interaction with others, physical, and financial.
We’ve also added a section for you to lean into your natural talents, your Strengths, in order for you to be at your ultimate best.
Reach out to us today by phone (613-421-4722 ext. 7) or email (well-being@StrengthsPerformance.com) to learn more about how this self-assessment tool can help you, your loved ones and your organization develop healthy well-being habits that will lead to happiness, health, satisfaction and prosperity.
Best of all, it can help lead you in the right direction so that you can feel truly connected to your community.
Co-authored by Antoine Carrière & Julia Borsellino