ALONE IN THE CROWD?
Research reveals loneliness is one of our biggest fears – and it is on the rise.
A recent survey has found that loneliness is the biggest fear for nearly a quarter of adults. It is the third biggest fear after illness (39%) and finances (35%) with more people fearing feeling lonely (23%) than being unhappy (18%), not finding a partner (4.2%) or even death (18%). Alarmingly loneliness appears to be on the rise according to a report by The Mental Health Foundation**. It believes our current social environment, with a decline in community and a growing focus on work, coupled with the rising number of single person households and our growing dependence on the internet is to blame.
Self help author Márianna Csóti shares some tips to help combat loneliness:
- Be proactive. Grab at opportunities to meet new people by accepting all social invitations. Put yourself in situations where you will have to meet new people. Good places to connect are skills or exercise classes, activity and support groups and charitable and political organizations.
- Display positive social skills. Take care that you exude friendliness so that people are not wary of approaching you. Be a rewarding companion who listens and shows interest in other people without overstepping the line of nosiness. Be prepared to reciprocate by divulging similar information about yourself.
- Expect people to like you. Show yourself in a positive light and others will look upon you more favorably. Market yourself to let your good points shine, they validate you and show that you are a worthy person to know. Dazzle people with your confident smile, demonstrate your sense of humour and show empathy.
- Observe basic friendship rules such as keeping confidences and avoiding gossiping behind the person’s back. With the right person, you will get the same back, in abundance. Remember that good friendships take time to build as does trust.
- Put past mistakes behind you as these can be a block to forging new and meaningful relationships and changing yourself for the better. Become the friend you would like for yourself to attract new friendships and deepen existing relationships.
If you need a little helping hand try, Bach Original Flower Remedies:
- If you prefer your own company but sometimes feel lonely, try Water Violet to help you to open up and connect with others.
- If you feel your low self esteem is stopping you making friends, Larch could help you restore your self confidence.
- If your loneliness causes you to be overly talkative and open up to everyone, even complete strangers, which pushes them away, try Heather to help you become a better listener.
From the makers of Rescue Remedy®, Bach Original Flower Remedies are a system of 38 remedies which can help us rediscover the positive side of ourselves and lead emotionally healthy lives. They are produced according to Dr Bach’s traditional methods, which date back over 75 years, and many of the plants used originate from the Bach Centre garden. Bach Original Flower Remedies are made from natural flower essences and are suitable for all the family.
Márianna Csóti is author of three adult self help books focusing on social interaction including ‘Overcoming Loneliness and making friends’, Sheldon Press, £7.99. www.mariannacsoti.co.uk
* Research conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Bach Original Flower Remedies Nov/Dec 2011. 2048 UK adults.
** The Mental Health Foundation. The Lonely Society? Report. Jo Griffin. 2010