What Is Prosocial Behavior And Why Is It Important?
Prosocial behavior describes taking actions that help another individual or a group of other people. For example, volunteering, helping your neighbor take her groceries inside, and participating in therapy groups are all prosocial behaviors. Prosocial behavior fosters a better sense of self-esteem for the person who does it and a sense of community. Healthy communities are built on prosocial behavior that helps protect the health, safety, and happiness of their residents.
Addiction is an isolating disease. People have trouble connecting with others when chasing a drug, especially when drug use drives them to antisocial behavior. People who use street drugs break social rules by using illegal narcotics. On top of that, they will give up normal social interactions to isolate themselves and use their drugs. They may even participate in antisocial behavior like stealing, driving under the influence, or forging checks to get drug money.
Learning to be social again, and practice prosocial behavior, is an exciting part of recovery that everyone contributes to.
Why Is Prosocial Behavior Important In Recovery?
Prosocial behavior is an important part of recovery. After all, we do not all exist in a bubble. Interacting with other people and developing healthy relationships is vital to healthy living. Unfortunately, addiction cuts you off from the world and makes it harder to relate to others. It builds a wall around you and numbs your emotions. Getting sober means getting back to reality and learning to live the best life possible.
Prosocial behavior helps build trust and community. It makes people feel like they belong and are invested in the best outcome for everybody. It also makes people in recovery feel like they “belong” and have made a social commitment.
Examples of Prosocial Behavior
Getting sober and getting healthy means building a life of meaning. Healthy human relationships are part of this life. We are all stronger together! Helping other people is a part of living.
Participating in therapy, helping set up at 12-step meetings, and offering to do other tasks will also help you grow. Just asking somebody how they or doing or holding the door open is prosocial behavior. Writing thank-you notes, helping clean up after an event, and
Empathy, the ability to understand how other people feel, is a skill you’ll grow as you get sober and begin to process your emotions. It will help you also avoid behavior that hurts others.
Care For Others AND Yourself
Caring about others, and doing things that can help them, is important. But also note putting others before yourself can sometimes become a slippery slope. Stay away from triggering people, places and things. Don’t put aside your recovery commitments so that you can try to “fix” somebody else. You can’t even fix yourself without help!
It’s great to help others but don’t stop doing things that help yourself. Go to your therapy, talk about your own issues, and work on your steps with a 12-step sponsor or therapist.
Getting Help With Addiction
If you or somebody you love is caught in the cycle of addiction, there’s a way out. Recovery is possible, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. Asking for help is the first step to getting sober. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 for more information on our programs.