Four individuals were magically summoned into a parallel universe to be the Four Cardinal Heroes who would save the world.
Unfortunately, Naofumi Iwatani drew the short straw and was assigned the role of the Shield Hero. He received a tiny shield while the others were equipped with impressive attack weapons. Despite not being equipped with a typical weapon, Naofumi Iwatani is undeterred, eventually teaming up with some allies and coming out on top.
Sometimes the odds are stacked against us and this can feel overwhelming. We may face challenging assignments at school or at work, and feel as if we can’t succeed with what we have. This is where it’s important to find trusted allies who can help us. Asking for help is not weakness; our journey of resilience and growth doesn’t have to be a solitary one. Even though Naofumi didn’t have an attacking weapon, he had Raphtalia and Filo to help. They took the offensive, attacking the monsters while Naofumi protected them with his shield. This helped the party level up and get stronger together.
Robert Waldinger found in his study of longitudinal friendships that having support from trusted individuals is a key factor in building resilience. Naofumi’s strong bonds with Raphtalia and Filo gave him the reassurance that they had his back and he was not alone in the unfamiliar world.
Here are three ways you can build your support network:
- Create new connections
When you enter a new environment, such as a school or university that your existing friends don’t go to, you may have to build some new connections. Some good ways to do this are to join interest groups or volunteer. Meeting people who share the same interests or passions as you tends to help build stronger relationships.
- Strengthen existing connections
The best way to strengthen your friendships is to spend more time together. This can be over a cup of coffee, thrift shopping together or even playing games online together. The purpose of this is to create memories with the person which you are present in. The more of these there are, the closer you may become.
- When stressed, reach out
Know that your friends are just a text away. A simple “hey, I need some support/to vent/cheering up etc, are you free to talk?” text works well as opposed to calling immediately. Pre-empting them gives respect to their time and capacity to help you. If they are unavailable or swamped themselves, know that they still care for you and will get back to you when they can.
Check out these Shadee.Care articles to better understand how you can build your support network: