Conquering Isolation and Loneliness in Beverly Hills, MI—Coaches and Counselors
A few decades ago, average people would have never thought that they would one day use a phone to see and chat with people anywhere in the world. People may be more connected to one another than they have ever been in any other period of time. With an app on their phone or tablet, people have access to their loved one’s Twitter feed, Facebook status, and Instagram photos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With so much access to their loved ones, it might be easy to think that loneliness has died along with the touch-tone phone. However, researchers are finding that the opposite is true. While people have unprecedented access to their loved ones through social media and through their electronic devices, they are experiencing greater levels of loneliness and isolation.
Much like people can be in a crowded room and still feel alone, people can have a social network without having a support network. Being around people and connecting with them are different activities. Sharing a status update and sharing oneself are also different activities. Feelings of loneliness arise when people feel disconnected, unknown, and unloved. As Mother Teresa explains,
“The most terrible poverty is loneliness,
and the feeling of being unloved.”
In many ways, modern social makes deep connection difficult, but loneliness and isolation are not inevitable fates. Many people are discovering how to cultivate deep community, both in-person and online. They may be fighting the flow of modern life, but their efforts are worth it. These people are finding the community and support they need. In the process, they are experiencing less isolation. In order to achieve these goals, many people are also working with a coach or a counselor for guidance.
Thriveworks Beverly Hills has helped many clients who want to cultivate meaningful community and deep friendships. These clients have often found a way to connect in a disconnected world.
Fighting Loneliness: A Few Tips
People are learning how to build to community, and these relational skills can be learned and improved upon—much like any other skill. Certain people are naturally good with establishing and maintaining relationships, but most people have to work at their skills. Working with a therapist or mental health professional can help, but here are a few tips on improving your relationships:
Tip #1: Shut off the TV.
Think about the most popular TV shows of all time—the ones that have faithful followings and fan bases. MASH, Parks and Rec, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Cheers, Gilmore Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Scrubs, Frasier, Sex and the City, Lost, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Seinfeld…to name a few.
Despite their diverse plots, settings, and characters, these shows resonated with people because they have a very important theme in common: community. Friends are supporting each other through life’s personal and professional challenges. Families are close-knit, understanding, and supportive. Unfortunately, these sitcoms are also scripted and often completely unrealistic.
Instead, of watching TV friends have brunch, and invite a real-life friend to brunch. Meeting with a loved one for coffee will not be as smooth as it is depicted upon TV, but it the key to forming a community—being with people in real life.
Most people never miss their shows once they turn the TV off and spend that time with loved ones instead. They may be missing the latest plot twist, but they are gaining so much more—stronger friendships, healthier family relationships, and more.
Tip #2: Form Inner-Circle Friendships.
Everyone needs at least one inner-circle friend—someone who knows and accepts them. Inner-circle friends are the ones people call to share good news or commiserate over bad news. They are people who know one another well and care for one another well. Inner-circle friendships have at least three characteristics:
- They interact beyond the context where they first met each other. Acquaintance relationships are built upon convenience. Inner-circle friendships survive a context change. For example, people might meet a friend at work, but that friend is not an inner-circle friend until they go out for a drink together and do not talk about work.
- They do not need an activity in order to get together. Of course, inner-circle friends go out to the movies or have a poker night, but they also ditch their plans when necessary. They can simply be together without a problem.
- They trust each other with the details of their lives. When one inner-circle friend gets a raise, the other knows about it. When one inner-circle friend is going through a divorce, the other knows. The friendship is a safe place to share and be known.
Building Inner-Circle Relationships—Appointments at Thriveworks Beverly Hills for Loneliness
If you are ready to build an inner-circle but are not sure what steps to take, consider working with a counselor or coach. Mental health professionals can often help people who are ready to form deeper connections. They understand the social skills it takes to connect in a meaningful way. Thriveworks Beverly Hills has appointments available for conquering isolation and loneliness.
When you contact our office, know that a person will answer your call. We do not have a voicemail or automated response system. We also do not have a waitlist. Instead, many new clients have their first appointment within 24 hours of their call. We also accept most forms of insurance.
Let’s start building. Contact Thriveworks Beverly Hills today.