The Support Network Psychology


As young children we are encouraged to create friendships with our peers so that we have a support network available to us when our parents pass on. Is this really the case as we get older? Is our self created support network really a support at all? If not what does that tell us about ourselves and our ability to successfully choose the right friends for the right reasons?


Friend 1: don’t tell anyone but i`m sitting my driving test tomorrow

Friend 2: good luck i know you can do it. just don’t do what Dave did, he got Mr Thomas as his examiner, must’ve argued with his wife before work as he sacrificed a lamb on the dashboard because Dave hit a kerb, cut a finger off Dave every time he stalled etc etc etc


Friend 1:- so excited just found out i`m pregnant

Friend 2:- great news, hope its better for you than Mary.

Friend 1:- Mary? what happened?

Friend 2:- i`ve said too much, lets just say the midwife has dropped the prosecution and the nurse has had her ear sewn back on and should regain partial sight in her left eye etc etc etc


Friend 1: i`ve just got engaged

Friend 2: cool you two should work out better than John and Jenny, they got divorced two hours after the wedding when she found out about him the nun and the alsation thanks to the best mans speech, as for Pete and Petulia they got married in a yurt without getting permission off the Mongolian government ended up being extradited and are facing the death penalty etc etc etc

This is a series of scenario`s we all must recognise in some shape or form. Do they really constitute support? Does friend 2 genuinely believe they are helping? The problem really is that we predominately remember the worst things, sadly they are more interesting, the devil does have all the best lines. Maybe this is why we have a sods law and not a comparative principle. Lets be honest we can all remember the times we made a fool of ourselves after a few drinks but can we really recall the times we help an old lady cross the road or help a pregnant lady off a bus. Probably not, maybe we have a built in negativity recall so we can learn from our mistakes, experience is the best tutor. This in turn leads us into a “there’s always somebody worse” off outlook which we reiterate without truly considering the implications whilst we desperately try to show we are concerned and therefore a true friend

Does this make our actions selfish as ultimately its about how we are perceived by others? Is it support if we reduce our friends to gibbering wrecks by trying to warn them? or is it better to support them by smiling falsely and letting their imaginations fill in the blanks? I don’t have the answers though i believe we are all inherently self centred so its probably a bit of trying to maintain appearances whilst a bit of subconscious jealousy thrown in if we don’t have the things that friend 1 has in the scenarios. There i go with that negativity again!


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