Loneliness

Loneliness

It isn’t defined by the number of people in your life; instead, it’s the distance between what you want out of your relationships and what you’re getting.

So it’s absolutely possible to be lonely in a room full of people — even people you know — if you’re not getting the kind of interaction you crave.

@frankiem

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Self Improvement

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Make small talk

Have quick, non-threatening conversations throughout the day: make small talk with your barista, the cashier at the grocery store, anyone you encounter who seems receptive.

Think of them as stretching a muscle: not the same as a full workout, but beneficial nonetheless. When you’re lonely, you go inward, and just stretching that little bit can kick-start a process that helps you feel better.

Find a state of flow

Do something you find totally engaging, to the point you lose track of time.

That activity doesn’t have to be mentally engaging or intellectually rigorous. Maybe it’s reading, running, or cleaning. If you’re truly immersed in what you’re doing, no matter what it is, you won’t have the mental space to be consumed by loneliness.

Take a critical eye to your relationships, individually and as a whole, to determine what may be missing, as well as which bonds could be strengthened.

If there are people on your list who you rarely see but you genuinely value and feel connected to, prioritize them more. And if there are people that don't add up value to your life, trim them out of your life.

Refine your social media use

Social media isn't inherently isolating; it’s a tool, and its effects depend on how it’s wielded. We can use it in pro-social ways, or in antisocial ways.

Is the amount of time you’re spending on social media each helping you feel more connected to the people in your life? Or is it detracting from the close, one-on-one personal interactions you can only find off-line? 

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RELATED IDEAS

Work on connecting in meaningful ways with other people and connecting with the lonely part inside of you.
  • The outside world. If you like sports, join a local sports team. If you like writing, join a writing group.
  • Internal work. Get curious about the meaning of loneliness for you. Try to understand why you feel lonely.

8

IDEAS

1. You Spend Significant Time Together

Outside of normal working hours and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there usually isn’t much time left over to spare.

The fact that you and your significant other regularly choose to make time for each other is a good sign that you’re both committed.

7. You Talk About Bodily Functions

Those conversations are usually reserved for medical appointments and the occasional funny story.

If you can speak with your lover about intimate bodily functions, you’re probably more than casual friends; especially if you find that typically private and personal conversations become commonplace between the two of you.

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