Feeling Lonely -- Here's How to Make Friends and Build Meaningful Connections in Real Life

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Learn our practical strategies to beat loneliness and build lasting friendships. Prioritize meaningful interactions, join clubs with repeated exposure, and take initiative in building connections. Ditch negative thoughts and embrace the power to create a fulfilling social life for enhanced well-being.

You may have heard there is a loneliness epidemic in the US and potentially even worldwide. Now, it comes as no surprise that there are a lot of factors that potentially have created this sense of loneliness for so many of us. And I really encourage you to think about what you're doing during the day.

Audit your time, audit, where it's being spent, even your brain power. Where is your brain power going? Is it being consumed by thoughts that you have? Surrounding something that you engaged with on social media? Is it something about social comparison? Either upward social comparison or downward social comparison that is consuming your every thought?

How are you spending your time? If you find yourself on social media and you're starting to get feelings that are. Great feelings and you're feeling overwhelmed and you're starting to feel a sense of comparison with people on there. I really encourage you to take a social media break, get off social media, and start engaging with people in real life.

Now, in real life also means you can engage with them virtually in a Zoom call or a phone call or some other. Pseudo face-to-face kind of communication. But if you find that you are not around people or it's really hard for you to make friends, or you are feeling like it's difficult, you're not alone.

There it is. , it can be difficult to make friends, particularly if you're in a transition stage. Maybe you've just moved to a place, maybe you've just changed jobs. Maybe you're in a transition state out of a job into a new one. Maybe you have just graduated from college or university, or you're. In a different sort of life transition, and maybe you have moved away from all of your friends and you need to make new ones.

Well, that's all possible, but you need to put yourself out there. This idea of just easy peasy letting friends come to you. not realistic. It will probably not happen that way. And the reality of it is that you really do need to put yourself out there just like you need to choose to be happy. You need to choose to invest in friendships, and one really great way, Of putting yourself out there is by joining some type of club or community where you have repeated exposure.

To the same people. So let me put that in context for you. Let's say you have a choice to attend a one-off networking event versus to join a book club. Which one has the repeated exposure? The book club. Because week after week, month after month, you're seeing the same set of people and you are forging connections.

You're creating rapport. And over time, that turns into a real friendship. But that's not to say that you can just show up and let repeated exposure work its magic. You also have to work your own magic by. Engaging, taking steps, showing interest, inviting someone somewhere for coffee, having a nice little chit chat after book club or before book club.

Really taking initiatives with friendship because again, it doesn't just come more often than not. It doesn't just come or appear. You have to work for it and towards it. So I want you to ditch this notion that, oh, I'm lonely. Oh, I don't have any friends. Oh, it's so hard to make friends. Just eliminate those negative thoughts because you can change that.

You have the power to seek out opportunities for making friends, for joining communities and clubs that allow you. To have that repeated exposure with people. And then you can take initiative with talking to people, getting on their calendar, creating opportunities for more interactions. And over time you'll see your friend group not just grow.

Because that's one aspect of it, but it's not often a deal breaker if it's just a few friends or if there's just one or two that are really close to you. It doesn't have to be a whole friend group. That could be, if that's what you're seeking, but don't underestimate the power of just. A few people in your inner circle as people that you can call your friend.

And again, this is all in your power. So I really hope that you take this to heart, that you put your phone down if you're just finding like you're going down a rabbit hole of self comparison and is greener doomsday because. You need to recognize that it starts with you. You have the power to go out there and make friends, and you are as likable as you need to be.

Showing interest in people is going to get you there as well. Genuine interest and being an engaged participant in life. So really put yourself out there and you got this. I really wish you the best of luck and I know that you can do it and this is something. Everyone has to work on, it's not just gonna happen overnight, but putting yourself out there knowing that there are gonna be times where you feel uncomfortable doing so, embrace those difficulties and those sort of insecurities and the potential of rejection because of, it's all part of the process, but don't let it deter you from putting yourself out there and trying to connect with people.

In a meaningful and deep way. Try those out. Let me know how they go and start with one or two strategies. Start by getting off of social media, especially if you need that respite. There are definitely times where we just need to go cold Turkey and just. Put the phone down unless we're doing something other than social media because it really does take so much brain power.

And then when you bring in the schadenfreude and the social comparison, then it's a little bit game over in that moment. So I really encourage you to put the phone down, get out there, do what you need to do to find people to make friends with, because life's gonna be better that way.