Information » People in Your Life » Communication and When Things Go Wrong » Socialising
Socialising and having a social life with individuals or groups of friends is an important part of life. It's about being connected to other people and being part of society or a community, how friendships are built and developed and how you meet new people.
It doesn't matter how many friends you have, socialising is about sharing interests and activities that you enjoy with people and doing things that make you feel good about yourself. That's not to say that having time to yourself isn't also important too, to rest, relax and do things that you enjoy. Some people prefer time by themselves or to socialise with one or two friends rather than large groups. With close friendships, quality is better than quantity.
Socialising doesn't have to cost money either, its about sharing your company with other people whether by chatting by text or phone, online, at home or out and about. For many young people, meeting up with friends is something that happens in their local area, hanging out together as a group.
Whatever type of socialising you prefer, staying safe is important not only for your wellbeing but also so you enjoy whatever you're doing.
- If you're going out with friends, let someone know where you'll be and what time you'll be back. Your parents will have peace of mind and you'll be able to relax and enjoy yourself without contact phonecalls from them!
- Make sure your phone is charged if you have one in case you need to be contacted or have an emergency. If you witness an incident or are in danger, most mobile phones will dial 999 or 112 for emergency services whether you have credit or even a SIM inserted.
- Always plan how you'll get home from wherever you're going and give yourself enough time if you plan to catch a bus, train, walking etc. If you have to catch a taxi home, make sure you have enough money.
- Ideally always travel home with a friend, stay in streets and roads that are well-lit where you will be safer. If you feel that you are in danger and see a policeman on the street you have the right to ask them to accompany you home or to a safe place.
- Never accept a lift from someone you don't know, even if they are around your age and seem friendly, its better to know you're safe than put yourself at risk. Keep your belongings with you at all times, keys, phone, bag etc.
- If you are old enough to drink alcohol, don't accept drinks from other people - that way you'll always know exactly what and how much you're drinking and know that nothing has been put into your drink.
- If you have been drinking then your defences will be lowered and your judgement might be impaired making you an easy target. Strangers might seem friendlier but don't put yourself in any unnecessarily risky situations where you might be taken advantage of.
Sometimes incidents occur that could've been avoided because risks were taken with personal safety - its better to be overly cautious than to find yourself in a situation you can't handle or in danger.