The aspect of nature versus nurture has been long under debate, but one thing no developmental psychologist can refute, with all of the research that science and technology have provided. Ample proof and evidence that the surroundings of an individual, the company he keeps, and various other aspects contribute towards his persona, his outlook of life, and his overall well-being. There have been multiple studies that have examined the element of intimacy vs isolation in specific as well. For instance, there is enough academic research now to prove that the bonding a child and a mother go through after childbirth is a process that is steeped in biology, and not an outcome of any social construct. Therefore, to understand psychology, or to gain a more stable state of mind, one can quickly assess various aspects relating to the role that the environment plays in the life of an individual.
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Why should I think about intimacy versus isolation, and what do they have to do with my mental health?
Undoubtedly, who feels safer? Is it the person who is from a loving family, with a sound support system – or the individual with no support, having to fend for themselves? Almost everyone will reply that the first individual has a better chance of a peaceful and healthy life, and is less likely to suffer from various mental health struggles. However, why is this the case? Why is intimacy versus isolation such a huge factor?
The first and the most apparent response comes from the biological and social features of the human being himself. Unlike other animals (which also is not entirely accurate given that many animals cooperate and work in colonies), man is designed to be social. He places far more importance on interpersonal reactions than any other animal on earth, and the approval of his group is of extreme importance to him. That’s why many crimes and punishments have the aspect of shame attached to it – apart from depriving the wronging member of his liberties by punishing him. The penalty also indicates to the individual that he has lost the favour of society.
One of the aspects that people who grow up in isolation struggle with is understanding the subtle clues that make up inter-personal reactions. However, it has been demonstrating that such cues are tremendously important, not just for aspects such as clear communication. Still, they are also significant in reducing stressors in the environment and ensure that there is peaceful conflict resolution.
The ideal option for anyone to be able to handle their isolation is to take the help of a family member or a loved one – the reassurance, the advice, and the inputs that they provide can be invaluable. Furthermore, this will signify to the person in need that there is someone out there watching out for them and that they do not have to worry unnecessarily. However, if the matter is such that they are not able to communicate with a loved one, or in the unfortunate situation where no such person may exist, an ideal choice may be to consider therapy.