What to Do When You Feel Lonely in a Crowd
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.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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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.
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.
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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The elderly are lonely. Teens are lonely. People in cities and rural areas are lonely to such an extent that it is considered a public health issue.
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Talk to people you encounter throughout your day. When you enter a coffee shop, make a simple comment about the weather to make impersonal interactions a bit more friendly.
If you practice this small talk in a variety of situations, it's easier to start a conversation with people you want to get to know better.
Many people desire any company because they don't like the discomfort when they are alone.
Learn to enjoy your own company. Start by reading, watching TED Talks that will make you think, or start a gratitude journal.
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We don’t usually choose to spend several uninterrupted days or weeks of a vacation with people we don’t like a lot. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime.
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.
In a committed relationship, however, it matters what the other person wants to do and where they see themselves in the future. So if you and your partner are making plans together, there’s a good likelihood that your relationship is in for the long haul.
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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.
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Such acts of thoughtfulness may go from small and seemingly insignificant to as extravagant as buying matching jewelry. Keeping each other in mind to the point where you’re considering them in your regular purchases, you’re probably in a committed relationship.
It’s a big demonstration of trust if one or both of you have keys to the other’s house.
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