Some people consider relationships optional, but studies into good mental health suggest otherwise. Humanity has always been a social species, and this is for good reason. Keeping healthy relationships contributes toward a balanced, sustainable lifestyle in the sense that good relationships enhance our emotional lives as well as make our lives more functional.
Having relationships for personal reasons has everything to do with happiness. Because humanity evolved to be a very social species, it is innate within us to crave the companionship of others. This does not mean that extroversion is healthy and introversion is not. There is a huge difference between introversion and anti-social tendencies. Introversion is healthy in that it still craves certain types of relationships. Anti-social behavior is a mental disorder in which avoidance of other people becomes an obsession. It is normal and healthy to desire community and a social system – things that people tend to find through work, school, church or any number of shared activities.
Human relationships are not simply a feel-good measure, however. Our social evolution was largely functional as well as emotional. Humanity sprung from tribes and small groups of people with numbers no bigger than the average workplace in the modern world. This taught us to work, cooperate, live and thrive in a social manner, which is carried on to today. We have systems in place such as neighborhood watch, community functions and social services. Our friends and family check up on us to make sure we are safe and healthy. Our society is also set up in a way that rewards those with better relationship skills. Landing a good job often depends on who you know, social networking is a large key to worldly success and having many friendships tends to get you advantages in life. The ability to make and keep relationships is an essential part of every person’s sustainable lifestyle.