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Is someone you love lonely?
11 July 2024

Is someone you love lonely?





On the whole, other people are not very interested in what you do. Yet naturally humans are tribal. They feel happier and safer living in groups, be it family or a community.

Are you or any of your loved ones lonely?

With population movement becoming common for career opportunities and to find affordable housing, family groups are becoming scattered.

People are becoming more dependent on community or good neighbours.

It takes time and effort for a community to form and grow. Community is not only your local area but can embrace groups of likeminded people such as an interest in yoga, football, history and many other interests.

Since the pandemic volunteering has dropped by 7%.

Volunteers are often the backbone of charities and not-for-profit organisations. Yet volunteering is also beneficial to the volunteers who feel more life satisfaction. It is also an opportunity to connect with other people and feel you are making a contribution. There is no upper age limit to volunteering.

An epidemic of loneliness has generated the misguided idea that romantic is the only solution to loneliness.

Loneliness is generated by insufficient social contact and there are many other solutions than a romantic partner. Yet I know how painful loneliness can be. Unexpectedly widowed in my 40s, I fell out of the married club. Dinner parties and outings with three can be awkward and often don’t work. As a widow, I had to find myself again and seek out communities that I could comfortably find a place in.

Smart people struggle with loneliness like all of us.

In my experience, I have seen smart young people throw so much of their energy and time into their careers that there is little left for their social life. The individual finds the invites to gatherings fall away leaving them isolated.

Of course, many of us have made mistakes in managing our own well-being and ensuring sufficient human contact each day. Recognising it is the first step to fixing it.

Loneliness can hit us at any age.

Loneliness often happens when change occurs in our lives. This can include a change in school, going to university, leaving home for the first time, new job, becoming a stay at home parent, move of home, retirement and old age.

None of us are immune to loneliness

Each of us needs to take ownership of ensuring we have friends, neighbours, community members or family to chat to.

Each of us can also consciously help someone who is lonely to feel less alone. A chat with a stranger in the street might be the only conversation they have that day. It is amazing what a smile and a friendly comment can do to break the ice. It is surprisingly powerful.

Becoming a great listener is an amazing contribution to the wellbeing of humanity


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