A key part to improving and getting better while dealing with a mental illness is having a support system. That’s why at SOVA and WiseSOVA we are trying to start and build an online community that supports each other. However, a support system can also include friends and family. But when it comes to supporting your adolescent, how do you know what makes someone (or something) a good support? Psychology today wrote a great article about what makes someone a good, supportive friend. Being a good friend is broken down into 3 major components: integrity, caring, and congeniality.
Trustworthiness – knowing you can share your thoughts and feelings with this person and they won’t talk behind your back or tell others without cause
Dependability – You can count on them to be there for you when you need them, and will support and believe in you even when you can’t believe in yourself.
Being able to trust – You feel comfortable being vulnerable with this person
Empathy – Have the ability to understand what is going on with you or/and recognize your feeling and react accordingly
Non-judgmental – Friends are to uplift you, not accept you as you are-even if it is different them.
Listening Skills – close communication where you can both share intimate thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Fun to be around – you have to genuinely enjoying being around this person.
These are just are just a few traits to look for when your adolescent is building their support system. The people your adolescent surrounds themselves with can impact how they see the world. Knowing that they have supportive, caring, and trustworthy people in their corner to help them through the good and bad times is something everyone should be looking for. Reaching out for help can be difficult to do at times, but if your adolescent has a group of people surrounding them, whether in person or through an online community, that are non-judgmental, attentive, and trustworthy with information can make life and its challenges slightly easier.
What are some good traits you look for in your adolescent’s support system?