Abdullah Sulaiman is a general engineering senior and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
Social support has a high potential for positive effects. Do we take it for granted? Or are people just unaware of their potent influence on others?
I believe insecurities stem from a lack of social support and experience. If this is true, the cure is simple: give someone support. However, this support must be sincere to genuinely help an individual.
Social support, as I define it, is support received from individuals through intentional and unintentional actions. When one receives social support, it helps them feel more confident in themselves to go out and gain experiences. If you turn this into a cycle, regardless of whether the experience is positive or negative, one will gain acceptance through positive social support and look past their insecurities and, consequently, have a higher self-worth.
The simple solution is to give each other support so that we can all learn that the problems we face are universal.
Even a simple hello and a smile to a person can go a long way, so go out and do the best you can to appreciate the world and other people. We are all riddled with problems and insecurities, but the second we realize this and learn to accept the insecurities we have, we break free from these shackles. In the end, wouldn’t it be better if we were all able to accept ourselves, the imperfections included, and grow?
In order to combat insecurity at an emotional level, there needs to be emotional support. This is done by addressing someone’s self-esteem, which is “enhanced by communicating to persons that they are valued for their own worth and experiences and are accepted despite any difficulties or personal faults,” according to Sheldon Cohen and Thomas Wills. Because self-esteem is affected by enhancing communication, we can see the connection between having support from friends and family and psychological wellbeing.
At Cal Poly, we have resources for emotional support and community-building. The Health Center offers free counseling service to all students, and there are also many cultural and academic clubs where one can find support in a community of people with similar interests.
When born into this world, we are all insecure — insecure because we haven’t experienced life and have no idea what will be thrown at us, the good and bad.
However, if one has a well-built system of support like family or a close-knit friend group, they have the ability to take on what is thrown at them and grow from every experience. With this insight and perspective, one will have a more objective view of life, and accept that the insecurities they have, or the stressors that lead to such, no longer pose a high enough threat for one to change who they are and what they do. This is the point where we all hope to be at. However, not every person’s circumstances are the same, and people are left feeling stranded and alone with a lack of support.
The simple solution is to give each other support so that we can all learn that the problems we face are universal. There is an undeniable conclusion: social support that you may give somebody has a colossal effect on an individual and their psychological well-being. With this in mind, do not take the power you have to help somebody for granted.