"Alone, deep in thought at Ocean Beach."
Photo by Henry Lee (fotoeins)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why Are We So Lonely?

The reasons are vast and can vary from divorce to growing older to society being more transient. I have moved from the Midwest to the West coast to pursue my dreams, ended up moving back to the Midwest and relocated to the East Coast to start anew again.  I have lost contact with my West coast friends and kept in touch with a few friends I made back in my home town.The friends I made in the city where I live on the East Coast have all moved away. The cost of living was too high for them here. The only reason why I am still here is because I have affordable housing.

 Brian Kim wrote on his blog - We Are So Many People Lonely These Days

"Life was very simple back in the day. You grew up and stayed in the same town, held the same job for many years, everyone was your neighbor, and everybody knew everybody else and helped one another out whenever they needed it. Loneliness wasn’t really an issue in rural towns because everybody was so close with one another because they were all that they had. Venturing outside of town was very rare."

We are not connected to our families like our parents were. We moved far away from our families to different cities, states, and countries for school, work, and love. Many of us marry and start families; often breaking that bind that held friendships togetherWe also work longer hours and our commutes are even longer..  Weekends can be spent running errands, grocery shopping, and doing laundry. Maybe have brunch or coffee with someone. I often planned to go out on a Saturday night, but by the time I got home, I often ended up sitting at home alone on a Saturday night watching a movie instead. 

" Even though you were surrounded by so many people, you still felt lonely in the sense that you didn’t have many people you could truly confide in. For most people, the only person they could truly confide in was their spouse.

The funny thing here is that everybody assumes and has the impression that everyone else has a huge number of great friends that they go out and party with every weekend, but that’s not really the case for the most part. Most people are very lonely. They are socially isolated despite the huge number of people that surround them. They crave true friendships"  Brian Kim

I have had difficulty making new friends, since the ones I had moved away. People seldom make eye contact any more; they are plugged into their head or cell phones, or texting someone, or in a rush to get to wherever they are going. The few times I have extended an invite to meet for a drink or meal, I was often disappointed. Now, I am reluctant to put myself out there.

Nevertheless, Kim suggests: Take the time to build and cultivate great friendships. Be a friend. Give them a hand when they need it. Take them out when they’re feeling down. Listen to them when they need someone to confide in. There’s nothing like having a true friend that you can count on. It’s one of the best things in life. Humans are social creatures. We were not meant to be isolated from one another. It’s bad for us, both mentally and physically if we are. Up to a certain point, you can blame the advancement of society and the media in general for the increase in social isolation. Up to a certain point you can blame technology for the increase in social isolation as well.

But it’s always up to you to do something about it. It’s always up to you to do something about your loneliness. It’s just a matter of realizing that a lot of people, and I mean a lot, are in your exact same position. They feel lonely and socially isolated and crave to make true friends and you have to realize that everybody could use new friends, even though it may seem like they don’t.  It’s just few are willing to make the effort, to break the ice, and to initiate things in order to solidify the friendship. Craft the life you want to live FIRST. Treat everyone you meet as you would a friend. Take the initiative. Be a true friend. And you’ll never find yourself lonely ever again.


 Video: The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren't Talking About | Lissa Rankin | TEDxFargo

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