There are no two opinions about the correlation between social relationships and an individual’s mental and physical health. The more you surround yourself with supportive and healthy people, the less stressed and more peaceful you will be.

Simply put, having a supportive circle of friends around you is critical to your mental health and professional stability.

First, let’s get the misconceptions out of the way.

There is no truth in the claim that the people in your early years are the most supportive and honest bunch you’ll ever meet. Human disposition is ever-changing and while you might want to keep the old acorns in your basket, never say no to meeting new people and experiencing unique social attachments.

Here are a few tips for building a supportive social circle no matter where you are in life:

1. Find Your Crowd:

Most of us had to move away from our houses after high school, leaving behind friends we’ve known our whole lives. While some make promises to stay in touch, things never go back to how they were growing up.

Hence, as an adult, it’s wise to make friends who share similar interests, if not goals, as you. If you are an ambitious person getting cozy with someone complacent, they are bound to hold you back.

Don’t go above and beyond in search of a friend; talk to the people around you, and see if any of them is worth keeping.

2. Invest Time:

Most people working full-time and studying find investing time in their relationships difficult. Canceling plans and not showing up for birthdays and celebration parties is a common practice for an average working adult.

While there may be an understanding between close friends, making this habit can lead to a rift in your friendship. Your friends can stop inviting you over because you never show up, thinking that you don’t have time for them.

So, show your friends you care by showing up at their life milestones.

3. Be Present:

If you think one of your friends is having a hard time at work, or struggling in life, be the shoulder you can rely on. Sometimes people only need a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. You don’t have to have sound opinions or therapeutic advice, but a kind heart and empathy to let your friends know you care.

Ask your friends how they feel when they are in one of their venting moods. Don’t try to be relatable and talk about your experiences; listen, understand and reflect.

4. Learn to Let Go:

No matter what anyone says, relationships are strictly based on a give-and-take rule. The more present and supportive you are to your friends, the higher the chances of them returning the same energy. Of course, successful self-made millionaires and entrepreneurs struggle to maintain their work-life balance, and that’s where the “pick and choose” tactic comes into play.

Let it go if you think a relationship isn’t working for either party involved!

Justin Howard talks about relationships, ambition, and the price of success in his autobiography, “Small Town, Big Ambitions: A Journey of Personal Transformation.” Get your copy if you are interested in knowing how self-made millionaires find their supportive social circle.

Bottom Line:

Your social circle is everything you need to keep yourself grounded. Chasing your dreams doesn’t necessarily mean you have to deny yourself the basic necessities of survival.