According to Psychology Today, in 2010, roughly 40% of Americans reported feeling lonely on a regular basis compared to 20% in the 80s
I’m not American, nor do I know what the figures for 2018 and the rest of the world are, but I’m guessing they’re not good. Before we dive into it, let’s just go ahead and blame the Internet and Social Media at large for making addicts and hermits of us all. One could argue we’d be better off addicted to crack.
“We are social beings evolved in an anti-social world seeking social validation from an anti-social platform.” Say that 10 times fast! The Internet and Social Media are here to stay, and I’m not going to be the one to start a mainstream crack movement, so let’s move it along.
According to the Internet’s most reliable source, Wikipedia “Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connection or communication with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people.” Basically, loneliness sucks ass. I don’t know about you, but I hate seeing people who are noticeably sad, lonely, and maybe too shy to do anything about it because society has scared the shit out of them to the point they’re living in absolute terror.
What is the worst punishment a prisoner can be given? Solitary. The reason for this? It causes them to lose their mind. Unfortunately, these days you can experience that sort of isolation in your mind without having to step foot in a prison.
“Maybe you’re shy and suffer from social anxiety so when you walk into a place buzzing with people you think to yourself, “f*ck, I can’t talk to them. bullshit you can’t.”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that pervasive loneliness is linked to all sorts of horrible shit from depression, anxiety, heart disease, and even suicide. It’s a complex subject matter I know, but if a lack of connection is at the root of the cause, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone to hear that being part of a community (OFFLINE) can have a major impact on happiness and health. If loneliness is something you struggle with, fear not my friend, because the number of those experiencing loneliness is steadily on the rise.
And should you celebrate that? I’m glad you asked. Supply and demand. You get a rare surplus of both. Economics never aroused me, but I think what I’m trying to communicate is that you can find good quality friends without having to pay a hefty price — metaphorically speaking. If a large portion of society are seeking connection, it makes your job of connecting with them a hell of a lot easier. The bad news is that you actually have to make an effort. I know, I know — you want it all and you want it now. Proper relationships take time to develop. Having said that, here’s a pro tip to help expedite the process: Ask questions and listen. Most people feel they have to sell themselves which gives rise to anxiety.
When everybody is trying to sell themselves — be the one who listens
There’s a massive demand for that with very little supply. Social economics 101. Be more interested in hearing their story than you are in telling yours. Do that and you’ll have way more friends than you want — so do it scarcely.
And if they turn out to be a self-absorbed a-hole — swipe left and move on. Make a game out of it and audition people without them knowing. It’s your world you’re creating, so why not call the shots and have some fun in the process?
What Makes You Happiest in Life?
Connection and belonging. Forget your likes, forget being an online influencer or a public figure, forget being rich, forget being extraordinary, forget having to fix every inadequacy you have because you’ve been conditioned by society to believe you’re inadequate—and a useless b**tard you’ll remain until you fix it all. Forget it all. It’s crap. The role of most governments, corporations, and industries is to make you feel inadequate so you buy into their system, or purchase their products for that little hit of happiness.“Welcome to modern day living where fear is what starves us and happiness what fuels us.”
Maybe you’re trying to build your own empire, and instead of turning to others for support when battered by emotion, you hide and suffer in silence? Maybe you idolize Gary Vee and have decided to not take your head out your ass for the next 5 years and just man the f*ck up through the turbulence?
Maybe you’re shy and suffer from social anxiety so when you walk into a place buzzing with people you think to yourself, “f*ck, I can’t talk to them. What would I even say?” Bullshit you can’t. You just have to go about it in a non-threatening way that works for you instead of pretending to be someone you’re not. You’ve got to be strategic and committed to doing something about it because it’s your responsibility. None of this is complicated. It’s just made out to be. More often than not, you’re just dealing with bad habits.