If you struggle with social situations, you might experience some unwanted trouble in the future, with a strong impact on both your mental and your physical health. A new research has revealed that people with poor social skills are more prone to severe stress and loneliness, which affects them both mentally and physically.
Researchers were aware that people with poor social skills often suffer from mental conditions, such as depression or anxiety. However, this is the first time when they also identify a correlation between being less social and physical ailments.
They discovered that they can predict a person’s physical condition by looking at how social that person is. The main factors here are stress and loneliness, which can have a huge impact on one’s health. Also, their levels appear to be bigger among those who spend less time surrounded by other people.
In a study published in the journal Health Communication, researchers made the first scientific connection between poor social skills and poor physical health. To get their results, they conducted a survey among 775 participants aged from 18 to 91 years. The questions assessed these people’s social habits, levels of stress and loneliness, as well as their overall health condition, both physically and mentally.
Poor social skills increased the level of stress and loneliness experienced by a person
In terms of social skills, the researchers were interested to see if people could properly interact with others, express empathy and supports others when they need it, or share their negative experiences and expect to receive help. Also, they wanted to see how at ease they felt to introduce themselves to new people and to build new relationships.
Those who had trouble with these tasks or, in other words, had poor social skills, were more likely to be overstressed and lonely. These factors can have a huge negative impact on one’s physical condition. The lead researcher, Chris Segrin, admitted that such factors might even reduce one’s life expectancy.
“We started realizing about 15 years ago that loneliness is actually a pretty serious risk for health problems. It is as serious of a risk as smoking, obesity or eating a high-fat diet with lack of exercise.”
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