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Do you ever feel so disconnected in such a connected world?
We’re swiping 24/7, liking posts and commenting heart emojis, but we feel so alone and unsocialised.
Early humans were pack hunters and that need to be together hasn’t left us.
So, how can we make new friends in this modern age where people don’t lift their heads out of their phone or say hi to strangers anymore?
The loneliness epidemic
The Covid pandemic has brought the loneliness epidemic into sharp focus. It’s always been there, it just sped things up.
Reports show almost 1 in 14 people ages 16 or over in the UK say they are lonely; this is up 40% from Spring 2020.
Some shocking facts show that loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 26%, it is worse for you than obesity and loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
What can we do about this then?
6 ways to make new friends
1 Join a club / Start a hobby
Combatting loneliness, starts when you stop being lazy.
You need to consciously make the effort to meet new people from different walks of life that maybe you wouldn’t usually gravitate towards.
2 Go networking
You don’t have to run your own business to go networking, this could be a great opportunity at work to impress your boss by taking the initiative to book onto some networking events where you’ll meet like-minded individuals all trying to grow.
I’ve met a handful of great people at networking events that I continue to stay friends with.
We all have some spare time, whether it’s on a weekend, weekday or evening. Rather than using that time to scroll on TikTok or watch Netflix, help your local community, and meet some wonderful people along the way.
4 Say hi to strangers
Have you ever said hello to someone, and it’s broken out into a full-blown conversation?
Maybe you haven’t but saying hi to a stranger can fill you with an abundance of the feel-good hormone, Dopamine. You never know, it may also be the highlight of someone’s day.
5 Reconnect with old friends
Is there anyone in your past that you used to love hanging out with, but you just grew up and lost touch? Making the effort to reconnect with old friends and arrange to go for a coffee can re-spark that great friendship you had.
6 Say yes to more things
Do you pass up on family gatherings? Or maybe you’re always saying no to going out with your work colleagues?
When you get yourself into a rut like this, it can feel difficult to get yourself out of it.
But if you start saying yes more and taking up different opportunities, you don’t know who you could meet at that family gathering or what friend your co-worker may bring to drinks.
Loneliness doesn’t have to be inevitable for you.
It simply requires effort on your part and for you to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I know it’s easy to talk to people online, but I promise you, when you put your screen down, the quality of relationships you build will last a lifetime.