In looking at the impact of social capital, sociologists have turned to a number of indicators that demonstrate a deeper connection with people. Of course, one area looks at activity patterns, frequency of attendance, and with whom you engage at these activities. When we participate with friends in various community venues these relationships become stronger.
Another indicator, however, that may even be deeper than outside activities, relates to folks homes that you have visited. That is, when we enter someone’s home we move into space that is intimate to them. It is space that they have set up that is specific to them and their lifestyles. Having you join them is a more trusted gesture, one that is more intimate.
Beyond this is when you invite people into your home, for whatever reason. This, in a way, is a vulnerable act that opens you up to their assessment of you and your lifestyle. There is a trust in this effort that signals a deeper connection with this person.
So think now about those friends (or neighbors) homes you have been in, or those friends who you have had in your home. Recognize that these people hold a deeper place in your social capital network and play a more important role in your life. These relationships reap more benefits and meaning to us and are ones we should work to nurture and grow.