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Today, people are connected in more ways than ever.
The internet is responsible for connecting us on a global level. So, by nature we should have no reason to be lonely, right?
Well, the opposite is actually true.
You see, we’re all social animals. It doesn’t matter whether we were born in the age of the internet or not or, how much we think we should’ve evolved past the need for close human relations.
The propagation of our species calls for close human contact, in fact, we’re hardwired to seek acceptance from a tribe. When we don’t get it, we go into panic mode and mental faculties are affected causing depression and worry.
So, why do we feel disconnected more than ever with the advent of technology like Facebook and our Smart phones?
According to some research it’s because some may feel left out of what’s going on. For example, if someone moves to another state for a career and they look at their friends at home having a blast, that may cause a deep sense of being left out. Another issue is that many will craft an image of their lives, showing only the good stuff that will conjure feelings of inadequacy in others.
There are solutions to this issue. Start with unplugging for a while and picking up a phone to talk to the person you miss. Hearing a voice on the other end of the line is a very special experience. Try planning a short trip to meet up in person and ask your friends to do this once a month to start. If you’re out of town, try to do this quarterly. They can plan to come and visit you too. This fosters the give and take as well as the investment in real connection.
Five techniques to help you feel less lonely right now.
One of the best ways to combat loneliness is to nip it in the bud as soon as the feeling washes over us. The first thing we have to mention here before we begin is that these techniques are for loneliness. They’re not for those who are suffering from depression. Depression may stem from loneliness and if it disappears once you’ve begun practicing the steps then you’re fine. If you still seem depressed and it worsens, you may need to seek professional help. Now, onward to the solution. Below are five ways to nip loneliness in the bud today.
No Facebook use one day per week
To start, take yourself off of Facebook at least one day per week. Start to plan in advance what you’ll do and where you’ll go on that day. As soon as loneliness shows up, call a friend, family member or acquaintance and plan something simple. It doesn’t have to take up the entire day and it doesn’t have to be with only one person. People are busy and this new behavior may take a few tries with a few people to begin working so don’t get discouraged.
Join a group or take a class that’s NOT online
You’ll notice, sites like com make you agree that you’ll create a group that is face to face and not only online. If you don’t see a meetup in your area that has what you’re interested in then create one yourself. This is also a great way to get people to come to you and you’re in control of who you meet, what you’ll be doing and where. If you don’t really have a hobby, that’s OK. Think outside the box, there may be those that like doing what you engage in on your spare time too. Yes, you can create a group around your favorite TV shows or movies!
Research your condition
Believe it or not, most authors of books on loneliness have experienced loneliness and have used the art of writing to educate others. Researching the condition will bring you to a better understanding of why you may be having the experience. By research, we mean reading more than just scientific facts. Reading stories about how others conquered loneliness and really participated in the self-discovery process will help tremendously.
This one has been mentioned a lot. But, we want you to look at volunteer work differently. It’s typically convenient and offers the hours you have time for. You’ll meet people that are of the selfless type who are prime candidates for meaningful friendships.
Be a trailblazer
Go to Vistaprint or MOO, some discount business card maker. Dare to be different. Print personal cards with your first name only, for safety purposes, phone number and email. DO NOT include Facebook or any social media accounts. Don’t wait until someone asks you for your number. If you vibe with someone on the level of friendship than before you leave the conversation, hand them a card and say “You seem like a lot of fun, here’s my card, call me!” They may think you just handed them a business card. They may just be so taken by your uniqueness that they can’t help but call you. If they tell you, that they only do Facebook, feel free to tell them that you’re looking for face to face people right now and let them walk on by.
Don’t be ruled by convention. Put yourself out there. The right people will be drawn to you if you remain laser clear to the universe what you want!