Updated: Feb 27
Lately I have been reading a lot about how people have less friends than ever, and how loneliness is at an epidemic level right now. This was a growing problem even before the pandemic, but it has only been made worse with all of the time that we were in isolation.
According to the New York Post,
Per the shocking study, nearly half of all Americans — 49% — reported having fewer than three close friends. This marks a nearly twofold increase from 1990, when less than one-third (27%) of Americans had three or fewer close friends.
There are more and more people these days who have no close friends at all.
The New York Post Continues,
If that wasn’t bad enough, a mind-boggling 12% of interviewees claimed to have zero friends today, four times as many as 30 years ago, per the survey.
So, if you are feeling alone right now - you are not alone.
People feel more alone than ever before, and if you are feeling lonely, it is perfectly understandable. It is difficult not having any close friends to share your life and experiences with. This means, you don't have anyone to talk to about your problems, your joys or your sorrows.
We all are experiencing this on some level, a lack of connection with each other.
In a post-pandemic world, where we are allowed to go outside again, we have lost our way and forgotten how to build community out of a sense of fear and isolation. We have forgotten how to come together as human beings and make space for each other. We have lost friendships.
So, what can we do?
We can pick up the phone and call a friend. Even if it has been a while. Or send a text message. Try to catch up with old friends from before the pandemic that you haven't seen or talked to.
Schedule a lunch of coffee date with one of your friends. Or, you could even have a group outing with some old friends if you can get it together. I bet people who have drifted would love hearing you reaching out!
If you were struggling even before the pandemic, you can join a group where there is a structured activity. You could join a book club, bowling league, whatever is your thing.
There are tons of sites like Meetup.com where you can find groups of like-minded people meeting in your area.
You could go see a band, go to a poetry reading, but get yourself out there! When you do, don't be shy! Say hi to the person next to you and try to strike up a conversation.
This can help you feel less lonely, and likely help the other person as well, since we are all struggling with loneliness right now!