By Terri Griffith, LPC, Behavioral Health Consultant at Fordland Clinic
Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt lonely? Many of us think that just because we are with people, we have met that need for connection. This is not true. There is a difference between really connecting and being in the company of other people. Maybe you have been talking to people all weekend and are still feeling alone. Did you know that it is even possible to feel lonely when we are with our friends or families?
A Psychology Today article on feeling connected, posted March 23, 2020, contains a quote from Brene’ Brown. She is quoted as saying, “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We can break, fall apart, become numb, sometime ache or hurt others.”
Below are a couple of ideas found on HelpGuide.org that may help us really connect with others. This article gives 3 ways to have more than just that surface connection.
- Move beyond small talk. To really establish a connection that will ease your loneliness and depression, you need to take a risk and open up. Sticking to small talk and limiting yourself to a surface connection with others can actually make you feel even lonelier.
- Share about yourself. Open up about what you’re going through, the feelings you’re experiencing. It won’t make you a burden to the other person. Rather, your friend or loved one will most likely be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only deepen the bond between you.
- Nothing needs to get “fixed”. Depression relief comes from making a connection and being heard by someone. The person you talk to doesn’t need to come up with solutions, they just need to listen to you without judging or criticizing. And the same is true when you’re listening to them.