Friendships are about sharing stories, learning more about yourself and the world around you and it is also a way to help you cope in difficult situations. Your social network is the best way to help you cope when life becomes stressful. Your social network can provide advice or direct you to an appropriate resource. They can even help you remember about a resource that was sitting in your preconscious.
Whenever you get into a social network it is most likely because you want to achieve a goal. During the relationship, whether it is an acquaintance or friendship, it is managed by each person maintaining the desired goal and required stimulation. A stimulation can include a phone call, meetings, or through social networking. Stimulation will satisfy the emotional, physical and emotional self but it is best achieved through physical contact.
Physical contact allows each individual to read faces and other non verbal cues. Furthermore, when people communicate physically they can effectively work with the sensory data. The sensory information is housed in the central nervous system. For example if I noticed that my friend looked at me sideways with the corner of his mouth turned sideways then I would notice that he was hostile towards what I had said. To manage the conversation I would take a few slow breaths to manage the information that is passed through my thalamus so when it reaches the amygdala it won't go in over drive. It will also allow the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system that is in the vagus system to work in harmony. In summary, because I have managed my own stress I can then manage the other persons stress, before they start making their own assumptions that will become processed into the cerebral cortex and become a perception.
In conclusion, physical contact can help you manage the emotions, thoughts, stress and fears of the other person so the exchange you both create will have meaning and allow the goals to be reached.
jb Consulting and Psychology
Counselling, consulting and eduction to improve child, adolescent & youth mental health, and parenting skills.