No [hu]man is an island” the poet John Donne reminded us, because, quite simply, we are all “involved with [hu]mankind”.
Yes, we’re all individuals, but we can’t escape the inextricable truth that we’re social beings too. The relationships and connections we create and maintain with those around us are intimately bound to who we are, who we become and, importantly, how we see ourselves.
The link between social relationships and our physical and psychological health is well-documented, and continues to see a growing evidence base. Feelings of loneliness and experiencing social isolation can have detrimental effects on our health - for example, they have been linked to defective immune functioning, higher blood pressure and obesity.
While the presence of partners and family members can be a powerful part of our social lives, the (all too often ignored) impact of wider social relationships with friends and neighbours are vital, underserved contributors to our health and wellbeing.
So just how important are our social relationships today, and do they tell us anything new? Relate and Relationships Scotland‘s latest research report published today, You’re not alone: The quality of the UK’s social relationships, looks at our social relationships and presents findings from our landmark The Way We Are Now survey of over 5,000 people in the UK.