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Here's something you can do if you're lonely

January 29, 2023

This is based on new research from a single study and has not been adopted anywhere as an actual treatment for loneliness. But seeing how big of a problem the loneliness epidemic is, and how easy it is to try this, I figured that I would share it.

The idea is to just talk to strangers. About anything. And for no particular reason. It could be as small as saying something about the weather to a cashier in the checkout line.

While this might sound stupid or simple, there's a little more to it than you might think.

The goal has nothing to do with making new friends or learning how to socialize or anything like that. While that certainly could happen, the theory (or hypothesis) is more along the lines of activating neural circuitry that your brain uses when interacting with people. By activating those parts of the brain, regardless of who it's with, it works as a treatment in and of itself for some of the symptoms of loneliness.

Here's some info about the research if you're interested:

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Post Information
Title Here's something you can do if you're lonely
Author Oncefa2
Upvotes 26
Comments 4
Date January 29, 2023 12:43 AM UTC (10 months ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
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Original Link
Top posts by Oncefa2

[–]BonsaiSoul 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

That article is about overcoming social anxiety due to fear of rejection.

That's only one out of a hundred factors behind the loneliness problem.

[–]Oncefa2[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

That's the criteria they used to test the idea.

It's early research at this point with known limitations, so that might technically be what this study found.

But the authors have an idea that it could be a broadly useful intervention strategy for loneliness and not just social anxiety.

[–]SonCloud 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I tried this for a while. It felt really unnatural somehow, which makes sense I guess. When you have no experience in a topic, you will struggle, fail and look stupid doing it.

I tried to talk to everyone, doesn't matter their age, gender and look, but it felt so forced, because sometimes, you have no things in common. I guess what I took from that, is to talk to people in the same demographics then you're like, school, work, university, gym or sports club. That way you will have it much easier to talk about something you have in common. Strangers on the streets are much harder.

[–]a-man-from-earth 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

you have no things in common

I find that hard to believe. You can always talk about the weather, what's in the news, what do they like to watch on TV, what they like to do in their free time, if they like traveling where do they go, what do they like to eat, who they follow on social media, etc. You just need to show some interest and become a better "interviewer". It gets better with experience.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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