Tips about social isolation
People who are socially isolated:
- Have learned to live with little or no contact from real friends but may have acquaintances at work.
- May be quite successful at work.
- Are often not sure how this isolation happened and may have social anxiety.
- Are lonely and often depressed.
- Want to change their lives and have friends but often do not know how to get started.
Changing the patterns which lead to social isolation: tips
Changing social isolation often involves two very important steps:
1) Learning to stop avoiding social situations
2) Inviting and bringing new people into your life who care about you.
Having the help of a psychologist who specializes in this area can speed up the process and provide the support and coaching you need:
- A good start is just having lunch at work with acquaintances to start breaking the social isolation pattern.
- The next step is going to social outings like meetups or joining non-work groups like a book club or a volleyball group.
- The harder more challenging part is just learning to talk to new people. Saying hello and a few personal but positive things about yourself is a good start.
- Sometimes just introducing yourself and asking a few questions may lead to a deeper conversation. The focus needs to stay on personal interests, ideas, feelings or opinions and very little about work. Try to stay away from political or religious issues.
- Finding people who you enjoyed conversing with is the next step and talking to them each time you attend the social event.
- After a few times when it is going well you can ask for their email address so you can contact them or send them a Facebook request.
- Connect with new people over email and/or Facebook but do not stop there. After a few weeks ask these new people to get together with you for lunch or some activity.
- Do not take “no” personally. Handling rejection is hard but the feelings do go away. Try doing some favorite activities until you feel better but do not delay for more than a week.
- Try to find three or four people to consider for potential friendships because usually only one or two will become your friends.
- One of the ways to learn to develop closeness is with coaching or counseling help from a psychologist.
- Friendship involves taking personal risks and revealing yourself to others even the parts of yourself you do not like.
There are many people just like you who want to get closer and have real meaningful friendships. You can conquer your fears and have friends and social gatherings to go to and people to talk with when you want contact. Don’t give up you can work on this and change your life.
With the right help you can learn to overcome social isolation. This can lead to greater friendships, participation in social gatherings, and a sense of ease when talking to new people. These new skills will help you have a more satisfying life.