Making 2024 Less Lonely: 5 Simple Steps

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Making 2024 Less Lonely. Feeling a bit lonely? You’re not alone. A whopping 1 in 4 adults worldwide reported feeling pretty darn lonely, according to a 2023 Meta-Gallup survey. US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy isn’t shy about it either, saying loneliness has been lurking in the shadows for too long, wreaking havoc on our mental and physical well-being.

But fear not! Strong relationships are like the superhero solution to this problem. Positive social vibes not only keep stress levels at bay but also do wonders for your physical health. So, let’s kick loneliness to the curb with these five down-to-earth steps.

1. Start Small, Stay Real

Don’t let the idea of expanding your social circle overwhelm you. Whether you’re trying to make new friends, strengthen existing bonds, or dip your toes into the dating pool, start small. Adam Smiley suggests simple moves, like shooting a text once a week, meeting one new person monthly, or planning regular hangouts. According to workplace belonging expert Poswolsky, even a tiny phone call to someone you care about can spark remarkable friendships.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Research shows it takes about 90 hours of quality time to call someone a friend and a whopping 200+ hours to label them a close bud. So, put those friendship dates on the calendar and commit to regular catch-ups.

2. Boundaries Are Your Besties

Believe it or not, getting closer to people might require setting some solid boundaries. It’s not just about keeping the bad vibes out; it’s also about keeping the good ones in. Kami Orange spills the tea on how boundaries are like your personal communication GPS. They let others know your needs, wants, and expectations.

According to therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab, a good boundary is like a clear signpost. Instead of going on about problems, get straight to what you need. So, if your partner’s habits are driving you up the wall, instead of complaining, throw an invite for a future plan. Keep it clear, keep it concise.

3. Get to Know You, Boo

How do you attach to others? Do you even know? Understanding your attachment style and those of your loved ones is like having a secret weapon for relationship strengthening. This psychoanalyst-approved technique from the 1950s, courtesy of John Bowlby, helps you navigate closeness, intimacy, and potential threats.

4. Bring on the Healthy Fights

Guess what? Fights happen, and that’s okay. According to some wisdom, healthy fights can actually bring you closer. Social psychologist David W. Johnson even categorized five ways people handle conflict: turtles, sharks, teddy bears, foxes, and owls.

Turtles withdraw, sharks defend forcefully, teddy bears sacrifice for peace, foxes compromise, and owls see conflict as a puzzle to solve. Knowing your style and your loved ones’ styles can be a game-changer. It’s like having a roadmap for resolving conflicts and getting closer in the process.

So there you have it – five steps to crush loneliness in 2024. Remember, it’s not about being the life of the party every day. It’s about those tiny moments of connection that make life a little less lonely. Go on, give someone a call, set those boundaries, understand yourself, and let the healthy fights roll. Cheers to a less lonely 2024!

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