Do you feel lonely sometimes? An occasional sense of loneliness isn’t anything to be too concerned about, but what if you quite often feel sad and lonely?
Many of my clients have talked with me about their loneliness. It can be challenging to meet new people, and everyone they know seems so busy all the time. They’ve given up on trying to get together with their friends, because they can never get their schedules to match. Many people are just stretched too thin already, trying to juggle too many responsibilities. Others may not be prioritizing their friendships enough to make the time to get together.
Social media and texting have also brought many changes to relationships. We’re all in touch with more people than we ever have been before, but what about the quality and depth of those contacts? Creating posts, and making comments on other posts, on Facebook isn’t the same as sitting down with a good friend over lunch or dinner, and really talking. Sending texts back and forth to someone isn’t the same as going for a walk and sharing thoughts and feelings.
Do you have some ideas on how to start turning things around? Have you tried some things that have helped you connect more with others? I would love to get feedback on this!
I’ve talked with clients about the benefit of leaving their comfort zone in order to meet new people. That might mean trying new activities, or doing some kind of volunteer work, or joining new groups, or taking classes, etc.
They might, also, benefit from having some honest communication with the friends they already have. If they aren’t receptive, it might be time to re-evaluate those friendships.
Another thought is that we all need to occasionally look at how good a friend we are to others. Are we good listeners? Are we there for our friends when they need us? Are we willing to be flexible? Do we keep confidences? These are just some of the important qualities in being a good friend to someone.
I hope my thoughts on how to bring more connection into your life starts you thinking. We all need a sense of belonging. Feeling alone in our world, does not feel good.
I’ve started a women’s group recently as one way to create a sense of connection for the members. If you’re in the general Santa Barbara area, and this sounds like something you might be interested in, please give me a call at 805-569-0264 or email: email@example.com for more information.
Until next time,
For me, when I had a period of loneliness and being friendless [geographically speaking, friends lived far away], I looked at what kind of friend I am, and also looked at the role(s) I took in friendships. Very enlightening. Joining some organizations and putting myself out there helped. Honestly speaking, I remember feeling pathetic at times. Now I have friends, not just acquaintances, I see regularly in addition to the longstanding friends who live far away.
Thank you, Amy, for echoing my thoughts. It’s always so helpful to look at where we have power. In your case, you looked within to see how you functioned as a friend, and then took action to get yourself out and about, to meet new people, and form new friendships. You seized the power you had to turn things around. Good for you!
Linda – great that you are writing about this stuff and have group meetings. I know many women (and men) that feel lonely. I am married and sometimes wonder how I would feel if I was in their shoes. One never knows what life will ‘do’…. what turns it will take and how we will be affected by sudden change or circumstances. The work you do is very needed in the world. People want to know that they’re not alone – that they’re not the only ones that are lonely. So glad we are ALL in this thing called “LIFE”, together. If you get a chance, I have a friend that is blogging: http://www.whispersofwisdom.com/blog. I think you might like her writing. She is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whispsofwisdom. Best, Cindy
Thank you, Cindy! Loneliness is a really widespread problem for many, many people. Anything that we might be facing feels so much more difficult when we’re dealing with it alone. Even in the best circumstances, I think people crave being connected. It can make life so much more joyous to have someone to share that joy. I love the work that I do. It’s such an honor to be able to join people in their journey toward more happiness and peace of mind. Thank you for letting me know about your friend. I’ll check out her website and Facebook page.
Take good care,
I hear you loud and clear about the value of in person contact vs social media. Thanks for this post and especially this reminder.
You’re so welcome, Calla! Both are important in different ways, for different reasons, but online contact can never replace in-person contact for depth of connection. I’m glad it was a good reminder for you.
Social media can be great for finding lost friends and staying in touch with acquaintances but you are so right when you say it does not replace in-person contact. I recently read somewhere that social media can also heighten that since of loneliness when it looks like your friends have far better lives than you do.
Thanks for your comment, Linda. I love social media for being able to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away, and for reaching more people through posting my blogs, etc. It doesn’t give us the in-depth connection that talking in-person does, though. I’ve read the same type of articles that you did about people feeling unhappy with their lives, when comparing them with others after seeing pictures of exciting vacations, and other things of that nature. I think there’s a time and place for social media, but I don’t think it should replace more close contact…
Keeping up changes is the hard part, thank you for your advice on how to make it easier. Your post are always so helpful!
I agree, Linda! It’s too easy to revert back to old habits, and we need a plan for how to keep ourselves moving forward. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad that my posts having meaning to you!
Linda, I really love this post. Many people don’t realize that being lonely may result in just not prioritizing person to person connections as much as you should. It’s not easy to maintain your work life and personal life, along with the millions of other things we have to do each day. I like to encourage people to join groups on meetup.com to find other people who like to do the same things as them, if it’s as simple as having coffee or more active like hiking. And I still am 100% in support of your women’s group, so if there is anything I can do, let me know.
Thank you, Lisa! I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I’m glad you mentioned meetup.com. I tell clients about that all the time. It’s a good way to meet people who are interested in the same things you are. Thank you for being supportive of the women’s group! I appreciate that.