The importance of “counting for others”

In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline’s slogan is “You count(“You are important”), the expression Black lives matter draws attention to racism by reaffirming the idea that “Black Lives Matter”. No wonder then Francina Russo he was interested in this idea of ​​”counting for others” for Scientific American magazine.

Since psychology and sociology theorize this concept of “counting for others”, a consensus is established: “There are no other constructs that help understand people’s need to feel valued and valued by others.“, Explains Gordon Flett, author of a book on the subject. Counting can be intersected with self-esteem, social support, a sense of belonging, but it remains different.

Since the 1980s, sociologists and psychologists have tried create stairs of measurement and agree on three crucial key points:

  • Consciousness: Do others pay attention to you or do they pass you by?
  • Importance: Do others really care about your well-being?
  • Trust: Do people come to you for help or advice?

For Gordon Flett it is a feeling that can be re-evaluated in therapy: “people can learn to relate to others in a way that cultivates counting.

Moreover, according to the psychologist, this feeling is part of childhood and it is also for this reason that in part “having negligent parents is so destructive“In 2009, a study found this out teenagers who felt less in their family engaged in more antisocial, aggressive, or self-destructive behaviors. It is easily controlled on the forums internet where teenagers who evoke suicidal thoughts invoke once in two not to count for others.

To the base

This feeling of counting comes both from the personal relationships one has with each other but also from one’s professional situation and place within a community. And this can have important consequences. In a national survey among American nurses, those who claimed a high sense of counting towards others were less likely to burn out. They evoked this feeling with their patients as well as their place with their colleagues.

We also learn in the Scientific American article that there are gender differences in the appreciation of this sentiment. Women testifya higher level the impression of counting for others than for men. The latter would rather tend to feel important on the basis of their social and professional status and women on the basis of their relationship with others, their role as mother or friend.

A strong link has been established between caring for others and suicidal and even homicidal thoughts. Several studies have shown that people who commit mass shooting in a school are present a significant deficit of this feeling.

This concept is therefore at the heart of the suicide prevention hotline programs in the United States: listeners are informed so as to direct callers towards an improvement in this sentiment. Sometimes, we can read in Scientific American, “for an abused or neglected child, a caring adult – a loved one, teacher, or sports coach – can make a big change. Once he thinks he is important to someone, he can no longer say that he does not matter to anyone.

If you have suicidal thoughts, call Suicide Listening on 01 45 39 40 00 or check their website, Suicide Listening.

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