Loneliness: Widening Your Social Circle

Transformation has many components, not the least of which is revamping your social network.  If you are ending a relationship, you are losing one of your major life supports. As if this weren’t hard enough, other friendships, even long-lasting ones, may dissolve.  What’s a solo to do? Connect, of course!

Luckily, there are seven billion people in the world, so the numbers are in your favor.  With one third of all American adults living alone, hundreds of thousands are looking to make friends, platonic or romantic. Dating sites abound, including free ones, like plentyoffish.com.  (If you go this route, please be sensible about meeting people in public, well-lit places. Don’t give out your phone number or any other personal information; and, you might want to google your new acquaintance’s name.)

There are two prerequisites to successfully expanding your social circle: open-heartedness and paying attention.  Every time you are out in the world, whether it’s the grocery store, the library, or a coffee house, focus on positive thoughts (see Affirmations) and smile.  There’s nothing more appealing than good karma. If you exude it people will be drawn to you. Hiding your light under a bushel is a sure-fire way to feel separate and alone.  Practicing openness (see Open Your Heart ) and smiling have the added benefit of increasing your joy, whether you meet your soul mate, or not.  Paying attention means if someone smiles back you notice and add an extra second of eye contact.  There are so many opportunities to connect, but you have to be aware of your effect on others. Then, smile a little more.

Notice how people react to your new habit.  You may not want to grin ear to ear, as that’s more than most people can assimilate without thinking you’re two shrimp short of a stir-fry, but you can practice a gentle, content smile.  Of course, if you’re feeling miserable don’t paste an artificial smile on your face, as that sends a very confusing and dissonant message. But, if you are in a neutral or positive state of mind, just let yourself have fun with this, and watch what happens.  It’s chaos theory: one thing changes and there’s a ripple effect across the universe.

No beauty potion, diet, or plastic surgery is as potent as the combination of authenticity, openness, and a genuine smile.  It’s free, easy, and even changes your brain chemistry.  Yes, when you smile, certain facial muscles get activated and they send a message to your brain to create more joy.

All the above notwithstanding, the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself.  Period. So, treat your sweet self with as much loving kindness, gentleness, and patience you can muster.  It will not only redound to your benefit a thousand times over, but it will make you a people magnet.

Click on the following symbol to see a poetic and inspirational video on how to be alone:

Text Copyright Nicole S. Urdang

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Nicole Urdang

Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM is a Holistic Psychotherapist in Buffalo, NY. She holds a New York state license in mental health counseling and a doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the British Institute of Homeopathy.