How to Kick Loneliness to the Curb in 2024

How to Kick Loneliness. Loneliness is like that unwelcome guest that just won’t leave. According to a 2023 Meta-Gallup survey, almost 1 in 4 adults worldwide admitted feeling pretty darn lonely. It’s not just a bummer; it can mess with your mental and physical health, says US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. But hey, the good news is that strong relationships are like superhero capes against loneliness. So, let’s break down five chill steps to make 2024 the year you kick loneliness to the curb.

1. Keep it Simple, Start Small 

Feeling overwhelmed about expanding your social circle? No worries, take it easy. According to workplace belonging expert Adam Smiley Poswolsky, you can dip your toes by sending a text to check in with someone every week. Or how about meeting just one new person a month? Heck, you can even plan a low-key hangout. Poswolsky suggests making a list of five people you care about and giving one of them a ring. Tiny moments of connection often bloom into remarkable friendships. And here’s a fun fact: it takes around 90 hours of bonding to call someone a friend and over 200 hours to label them a close bud with an emotional connection.

2. Draw Some Lines – Boundaries, That Is 

Setting boundaries is like telling the universe, “Here’s the line, don’t cross it.” Kami Orange says it’s not just about keeping the bad vibes out but also about preserving the relationships you cherish. Clear and concise boundaries are key. Therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab advises steering clear of vague complaints and getting straight to the point. Instead of saying, “You always pick on my kids,” throw out an invite for future plans. Boundaries are your way of shouting, “This is what I need, folks!”

3. Get to Know Yourself – Attachment Styles 101 

Ever wondered how you attach to others? Or how your crew attaches to you? Psychoanalyst John Bowlby was onto something back in the ’50s when he cooked up attachment styles. It’s all about how you function in relationships – the closeness, the intimacy, and dealing with potential threats. Learning about these styles is like unlocking the secret codes to stronger connections.

4. Embrace the (Healthy) Drama – Learn to Fight Right 

Guess what? Fights happen, but they can be a good thing. According to social psychologist David W. Johnson, there are five types of conflict warriors: turtles, sharks, teddy bears, foxes, and owls. Turtles withdraw, sharks defend their goals fiercely, teddy bears sacrifice for peace, foxes compromise, and owls see conflict as a puzzle to solve. Knowing your style helps you navigate fights with your squad. And here’s a nugget of wisdom – your approach can be tweaked for a healthier outcome.

So there you have it – your guide to a less lonely 2024. Keep it simple, set some boundaries, understand yourself, and embrace the healthy drama. Time to turn loneliness into a thing of the past!