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Friendship IRL

Alex Alexander



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What is Loneliness?

• 37 min

What is loneliness? It’s a feeling a lot of people are having nowadays. And if we can get to the heart of this question, we can come up with some strategies to minimize it for ourselves. Cigna conducted a study in 2022 and revealed that 58% (!) of people say they always or sometimes feel like people don’t know them well. So today I want to talk about loneliness. I want to talk about its definition, the 3 types that researchers have found, and why I think having an understanding of the concept of loneliness can help us combat it. Loneliness does not have to be an elusive mystery. There are things we can do to redirect our energy and slowly chip away at this feeling so we can all feel a little less lonely. In this episode you’ll hear about: The definition of loneliness, and how it differs from social isolation. Isolation is a risk factor for loneliness, but it is not loneliness3 dimensions of loneliness: intimate or emotional loneliness, relational or social loneliness, and collective lonelinessWhy some of our loneliness can be blamed on our expectations that come from societal messages, pop culture, mass media, social media, or even expectations we’re holding on to about a certain friendshipHow to recalibrate our expectations by ignoring the the shiny, unrealistic highlight reels of someone else’s life in favor of celebrating the quiet moments we have with friends that may not be that interesting from the outside looking inThe incredible value of pouring into our “weak ties” and building a broader support system, rather than focusing on one or two relationshipsResources & Links Learn more about loneliness at Campaign to End Loneliness and read their facts and statistics about loneliness here. Check out the book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy. Like what you hear? Visit my website, leave me a voicemail, and follow me on Instagram!  Want to take this conversation a step further? Send this episode to a friend. Tell them you found it interesting and use what we just talked about as a conversation starter the next time you and your friend hang out!

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