At Meetup, we’re working to end the loneliness epidemic. While it’s common to have bouts of loneliness at different times in one’s life, chronic loneliness is detrimental to mental and physical health. During this Meetup Live event, we brought in a friendship coach to walk us through time-tested strategies for connecting with others.
If you struggle with feelings of disconnection and isolation, this event is for you. Friendship educator Danielle Bayard Jackson joins Meetup to explain the three kinds of loneliness along with strategies for mitigating each. After this hour-long session, you’ll leave with a greater understanding of how to deepen the connections you already have and find a community to feel a greater sense of belonging.
- Three types of loneliness:
- Intimate- lack of intimacy; need to be known
- Relational- lack of friends; need to know others
- Collective- lack of shared identity; need to belong to something greater
- How to mitigate these types of loneliness
- Collective- reducing the sense of collective loneliness is to have some direction for where to get connected. Collective loneliness is about having a sense of belonging and a shared identity, we have to first look at the fragments of our identity.
- Relational- 1: Go with who you know already. I know that’s not revolutionary, but there’s research that shows that a lot of times we’re meeting friends who double as another role in our lives. Think of who you already know and who you like well enough to be friends, but dismiss them as potential friends for whatever reason.
- 2: Become a regular somewhere. If you work from home, maybe every Friday to work two hours outside of my house at this one particular spot. Why? Because we’re creatures of habit. The people who are there the first Friday you go are probably the same people who are going to be there next Friday morning, and the Friday after that, and when I allow myself to show up regularly, I begin to see the same faces. It then becomes a little bit easier to say “hello” or asked to borrow something or to give a compliment.
- 3: Make your desire known. How can you get your private need of wanting to have friends met if you’re keeping it to yourself? Here are two ways to make it known. The first is to text a super-connector. These are the people who like to bring other people together. Text them with the script saying “Hey, I’m looking to get more plugged in and I thought of you because you’re always out and about and involved in something exciting. I wanted to ask if there is anything around town worth checking out”? They’re going to give you an answer which is great or they might go the extra mile and invite you to come with them. But people cannot help you if you’re privately holding what your need is. The second is, to talk to strangers.
Top Q&A Questions & Resources:
- How do I transition from small talk to a deeper conversation?
- There’s research from the University of Kansas that shows that it takes about 55 hours to feel like someone’s acquaintance, 90 hours to feel like they’re a friend, and 200 hours to feel like they’re a best friend. It’s going to take time. A lot of people get discouraged because they expect a fast friendship. They want to feel a connection during the first hangout and when they don’t get that they give up. Yes, it’s going to be awkward. That’s not a signal to stop, that’s a signal to keep going until it doesn’t feel awkward anymore.
- I tend to be awkward when meeting new people and makes me feel insecure. How can I deal with that?
- It is about your mindset. A lot of times when we are socially awkward or socially anxious, it’s because we have the spotlight on ourselves. So as you’re talking to people, you’re overanalyzing everything you say and do. I know this is easier said than done but you have to turn that spotlight to the other person and get curious about them. It takes a focus off of you, and it allows you to relax instead of being so hyper-aware of what you say, what you do, and how you look.
Last modified on August 29, 2022