If you wish more people reached out to you and asked you to hang out with them, reach out to others and ask them to hang out with you.
“My values, our values, aren’t about pointing fingers. They are about offering a helping hand.” – Kathleen Blanco
Be the thing you wish you had, and watch how quickly your life transforms.
A word of caution: our ego doesn’t want to do this at all. It will resist this message like the plague.
“But I want the energy… I already give so much to others (or whatever the story in your mind sounds like). I want to receive!”
Well, too bad. This is an insurmountable impasse that needs to be honored.
The way through this resistance is to give what you most want to get… and then get the feedback and the results you’ve been after.
The world is full of lonely people who are afraid to make the first move. So make the first move.
3. Organize a weekly dinner for friends and acquaintances that you want to see more of
Remember how I said loneliness is an epidemic? And that a crazy-high percentage of people also feel lonely? Well then, it’s safe to assume that it isn’t just you. This isn’t a ‘you problem’… it’s a society-wide problem.
Which… drum roll, please… means that there are other people who are just as hungry for deep connection as you are, and they’re waiting for an opportunity to hang out with people just like you!
They’re so… so hungry.
But here’s the thing…
Everyone wants to connect, but few people want to initiate it.
But wait! That gives you a competitive advantage.
If everyone is coming home from work and just twiddling their thumbs (or scrolling their thumbs over their social media feed) then that must mean that they’re all waiting for something awesome to do.
“Good times and crazy friends make the best memories.”
Be that instigator of awesome by bringing together a weekly group of friends and acquaintances. Be the hub of the social circle.
If you currently have absolutely zero friends, then start there. Start by inviting two or three people from work who you kind of like or is interested in knowing more. Invite your cousin. Invite that person you met via an online dating app but it didn’t really go anywhere. Invite whoever… as long as you’re genuinely curious about them, and/or might want to invest in your relationship with them.
If you want to go low-cost, you can have the group be a book club. If you want to really ball out, you can host a full-on dinner where you provide all of the food, drinks, and Jenga blocks (because is it really a party without a rousing game of Jenga? – unrelated side note: Jenga, please sponsor my blog I love your game so much you basically raised me, k thanks).
Again, everyone is always looking for cool, unique experiences to have, but people are inherently lazy and don’t want to be the firestarter who makes it happen. Be that fire-starter. Organize the dinner. As a one-off thing, or ideally, as an ongoing, weekly event.
One of the most commonly prescribed (non-medicinal) pieces of advice that people suffering from chronic depression get is to volunteer.
When we’re struggling, drowning in our own minds, and painfully aware of our loneliness, we are simply too close to our own problems.
Rumination is one of the fastest ways to spiral into our own minds and experience pain. Do you think it’s a coincidence that extended solitary confinement is one of the highest forms of punishment in prison?
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Find a way to get out into your community and volunteer in a way that utilizes a gift that you have to give.
You can ladle out soup at a soup kitchen. Or you could volunteer as a Big Brother to young men. Or give your time and attention to a rape relief shelter, animal shelter, or an old folks home. Whatever you do, make sure that it means something to you personally. And give it your all when you are there.
Don’t be surprised if you leave your volunteer shifts with a huge, beaming smile plastered across your beautiful face.