Moved away shortly after turning 26, stopped answering almost all calls and had little social interaction for about 6 mos. Then I got a dog and started meeting people again but slowly and in a completely different context. That was probably the most cathartic period in my life.
And of course a lot of use feel like it is easier to meet someone when we don't have our walls up. But most connections made at a club are superficial at best like you said.
While it produced some of the most exciting moments in my life and most of us acted like we really cared about each other, it just felt forced. Personal bounds were loose. Rumors/talking smack was common. It was caustic and emotionally draining. I didn't realize it much while it was happening because it felt awesome to have this big group of cool friends, but after some time you just realize you feel like total crap - basically you're surrounded by all these people yet you have no one to talk to because whatever you say can be used against you.
You'll run into someone interested in you soon enough.
That's just my solution though I haven't met mine.
Learn the truth about women. Start reading:
The best dating advice is concentrated on men who are players or aspire to be. But the skills to seduce a fling and a future wife are very similar.
If you want to catch a great woman, you must have the skills to catch any woman.
On a more serious note, people who treat others (be it men or women) as objects/puppets are themselves devoid of any deeper intelligence. I will go so far to generalize and say that they are pretty shallow morally, and a lot of times, intellectually (not quite, but I don't know a better word).
Stick to fishing... it's not 1973 anymore!
Ages ago, when I was at university, I spent a semester in a Soviet bloc country. There were no clubs other than the Party-run ones; few movies to go see, little to buy in stores, no TVs, no Internet, no cell phones. The isolation could have been profound. But for many people, what this meant was that human relationships became very, very intense and valuable. Friendships with my fellow students became so, as did friendships with other locals I met and got to know.
Upon returning to my home university in the US, I was very happy to see my friends, and quickly joined them on my first day back at one of our usual hangouts, a bar. I was appalled to realize that all the conversations I had had with them for all the nights we'd been going out were utterly superficial and meaningless compared with the relationships and conversations I'd experienced overseas. I gradually withdrew from my friends, trying to stick more to non-party/bar settings so we could have what I considered to be more real, deeper conversations; but I had changed, and they had not. It was very isolating.
I gradually discovered that a few of these friends also were craving deeper interaction (cue jokes, okay, okay) and those friends became not only the people I hung out with more, but the ones whose friendships with me lasted decades until today. But there was a seriously lonely stretch until I discovered that, and it was all about social intimacy -- not physical, not being among people, but sharing our true selves in conversation and companionship.
<edit: fixed a minor typo.>
Believe it or not, this is actually a key insight in meditative/contemplative practices.
From experience I definitely agree that having very little/no social interaction is not synonymous with loneliness.
I'm curious whether the social interaction/suicide relation is correlation or causation.
This kind of loneliness has as much to do with rejecting oneself as it is being rejected by other people.
Each of us have emotional wounds inside that are sensitive. We typically wrap layers and layers of personality, activities, and rationalizations to protect it. And if it gets through that, it triggers some protective emotional outbursts or behaviors. Or we shut down, like the woman in catatonia.
It is usually painful enough that the mind does not want to be aware of it, and when hitting upon that, will naturally veer away from it.
You can be fundamentally lonely in a crowd of millions. You can be the meditating sage in some isolated cave for years, because you know at the core you are not alone.
If you are a "public" figure of some sort, the public is invested in you in a way that makes them feel entitled to an opinion and entitled to an explanation and entitled to butt in, but they do not genuinely care about you. It only compounds any problems you have.
edit: this might sound judicial, which is not what i intend. What I want to say is: you do continue to be in the public - what is your motivation to do so?
Could you clarify a) why you are asking and b) where this remark is really coming from since it does not sound to me like it is about just the specific statement I made above.
It's a bit more nuanced than that: there is a type of person who knows so many people that they really don't know any of them. Thus, it can be desperately lonely to be so well-connected, too: a lot of depression-suicide cases are from people who were major event organizers or well-known micro-celebrities who had completely failed to actually make friends.
> I guess my question is, what constitutes interaction? Does the brief conversations with my coworkers count? What about a phone call to my mother? Does all of this interaction being analysed have to in person and in depth?
It doesn't have to be in person, but it does have to have depth or at least remind you of depth. If you and your mother are close, a phone call probably suffices. (Unless you're the type of person who thrives on physical contact, as I am.) If you never got along and the conversations are always tired retreads of "yes, I'm doing fine", then probably not.
But not having been in a relationship for many years, or rather, not ever having been in one that could be called serious has started to occupy a lot of my thinking time. It's something I'm reminded of everyday, like it was a disease.
It is often said that one has to be happy alone to be happy together. But might it be that even someone who is creating happiness for himself loses it because loneliness is its antagonist?
I smile when I walk trough the rain, I laugh when I hear a joke, I cry when I watch a touching movie. Isn't that a sign of happiness? Why does it feel so worthless if I'm not able to share it with someone I love?
Oh man, the answer to that is mysterious and beautiful.
Let's separate two things: romance and love. We think we want romance but we really want love.
We think we need another person to love, but the truth is, Love Is. It's present wherever you are, whatever moment. It's just, we usually have our heads stuck up our asses and so we don't feel it. Then we wander blindly around the world looking for our lost love. Which then gets distorted by notions of romance.
Or put it in another way
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.
When you and your couple "become one" you're just like drops of water running together. Love is the good feeling of like rejoining with like.
When you are in a couple, you still can be "couple lonely" -- you seek out other "couple friends" ... maybe have kids? You want more love, you want to continue joining together with other pieces of the universe.
It's presence of mind. Awareness.
I've seen this happen a lot with ... non-pathological loneliness. I mean that, generally everyone is lonely in the way Fromm-Reichmann is saying, but because it at a socially-acceptable level, then it looks normal.
For example, I've been at parties and places where friends "hang out". No one really talks about much. No one is really engaging in anything. The jokes people are saying are not there to connect with someone, and more to fill the air with something to say.
This is in contrast with, say, you go to this party, and on an off chance, you start talking with someone. And it feels like a very different experience, like you are fully connecting. You're no longer waiting for the other person to shut up so you can say something. The conversation flows, but the content doesn't really matter. It could be a deep discussion about math or philosophy; it could be sharing some life stories; it could be swapping some of your wild, youthful adventures.
You're not going to be able to measure presence of mind. But you know when you are present vs. when you are not.
I'd say depth matters more. It's not sufficient to just be seen. People want to be understood, or seen fundamentally.
Related, the Principle of Psychological Visibility from Nathaniel Branden (fyi, I am not an Objectivist): http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=...
Generally speaking, the vast majority of people are actually insane. We're just insane in socially-acceptable, normalized ways.
Looking into yourself is hard. It is the hardest thing you will ever do.
Ideally suburbia should become a thing of the past (and it might, with rising energy prices). But for now I'd say the best thing you could do is move back to the (inner) city (or back to uni for a post-grad).
It may be a hassle but being unhappy is a drain as well.
I can also highly recommend most European/UK cities, as their cores are where people actually live and thrive, rather than that odd mix of blitz corporate office guests and sniffling economic outcasts.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the math is wrong. Assume prior for being lonely is 50/50. Now, if 100% of twins reported that they are also lonely, this would be proof that loneliness is genetic. If it was 0%, it would imply some sadistic inverse relationship, but one that'd still be genetic. If it's 50%, the same as the prior, it means no relationship. 48% is pretty close.
The study in question: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17564516
Eric Turkheimer has recently been president of the Behavior Genetics Association, and he has the very kind habit of posting most of his peer-reviewed journal articles on his faculty website.
Lars Penke is another, younger researcher who posts most of his publications on his personal website.
I have the pleasure of meeting many other researchers in human genetics just about weekly during the school year at the University of Minnesota "journal club" Psychology 8935: Readings in Behavioral Genetics and Individual Differences Psychology. From those sources and other sources, I have learned about current review articles on human behavior genetics that help dispel misconceptions that are even commonplace among medically or scientifically trained persons who aren't keeping up with current research.
An interesting review article,
Turkheimer, E. (2008, Spring). A better way to use twins for developmental research. LIFE Newsletter, 2, 1-5
admits the disappointment of behavior genetics researchers.
"But back to the question: What does heritability mean? Almost everyone who has ever thought about heritability has reached a commonsense intuition about it: One way or another, heritability has to be some kind of index of how genetic a trait is. That intuition explains why so many thousands of heritability coefficients have been calculated over the years. Once the twin registries have been assembled, it's easy and fun, like having a genoscope you can point at one trait after another to take a reading of how genetic things are. Height? Very genetic. Intelligence? Pretty genetic. Schizophrenia? That looks pretty genetic too. Personality? Yep, that too. And over multiple studies and traits the heritabilities go up and down, providing the basis for nearly infinite Talmudic revisions of the grand theories of the heritability of things, perfect grist for the wheels of social science.
"Unfortunately, that fundamental intuition is wrong. Heritability isnӴ an index of how genetic a trait is. A great deal of time has been wasted in the effort of measuring the heritability of traits in the false expectation that somehow the genetic nature of psychological phenomena would be revealed. There are many reasons for making this strong statement, but the most important of them harkens back to the description of heritability as an effect size. An effect size of the R2 family is a standardized estimate of the proportion of the variance in one variable that is reduced when another variable is held constant statistically. In this case it is an estimate of how much the variance of a trait would be reduced if everyone were genetically identical. With a moment's thought you can see that the answer to the question of how much variance would be reduced if everyone was genetically identical depends crucially on how genetically different everyone was in the first place."
Johnson, Wendy; Turkheimer, Eric; Gottesman, Irving I.; Bouchard Jr., Thomas (2009). Beyond Heritability: Twin Studies in Behavioral Research. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 4, 217-220
is another interesting review article that includes the statement "Moreover, even highly heritable traits can be strongly manipulated by the environment, so heritability has little if anything to do with controllability. For example, height is on the order of 90% heritable, yet North and South Koreans, who come from the same genetic background, presently differ in average height by a full 6 inches (Pak, 2004; Schwekendiek, 2008)."
The review article "The neuroscience of human intelligence differences" by Deary and Johnson and Penke (2010) relates specifically to human intelligence:
"At this point, it seems unlikely that single genetic loci have major effects on normal-range intelligence. For example, a modestly sized genome-wide study of the general intelligence factor derived from ten separate test scores in the cAnTAB cognitive test battery did not find any important genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms or copy number variants, and did not replicate genetic variants that had previously been associated with cognitive ability[note 48]."
(The same would be expected of characteristics like loneliness.)
Johnson, W., Penke, L., & Spinath, F. M. (2011). Understanding Heritability: What it is and What it is Not. European Journal of Personality, 25(4), 287-294. DOI: 10.1002/per.835
responds to psychologists' comments about their earlier review article on heritability. "Our target article was intended to provide background knowledge to psychologists and other social scientists on the subject of heritability. This statistic, in many ways so basic, is both extremely powerful in revealing the presence of genetic inﬂuence and very weak in providing much information beyond this. Many forms of measurement error, statistical artefact, violation of underlying assumptions, gene–environment interplay, epigenetic mechanisms and no doubt processes we have not yet even identiﬁed can contribute to the magnitudes of heritability estimates. If psychologists and other social scientists want to understand genetic involvement in behavioural traits, we believe that it is going to be necessary to distinguish among these possibilities to at least some degree. Heritability estimates alone are not going to help us do this."
Turkheimer, E. (2011). Genetics and human agency (Commentary on Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2011). Psychological Bulletin, 137, 825-828. DOI: 10.1037/a0024306
reemphasizes the point that a heritability calculation tells us nothing about subject to environmental influences a human trait is. "That heritability depends on the population in which it is measured is one of the most frequently repeated caveats in the social sciences, but it is nevertheless often forgotten in the breach. (For example, it is nearly meaningless for Dar-Nimrod and Heine to note that 'heritability [of intelligence is] typically estimated to range from .50 to .85' [p. 805]. The heritability of intelligence isn’t anything, and even placing it in a range is misleading. Making a numerical point estimate of the heritability of intelligence is akin to saying, 'Social psychologists usually estimate the F ratio for the fundamental attribution error to be between 2.0 and 4.0.') The observation that genotypic variation accounts for 90% of the variation in height in the modern world depends on the variability of genotype and environment relevant to height. Among cloned animals with widely varying diets, body size is perfectly environmental with heritability of 0; in genetically variable animals raised in identical environments heritability is 1.0. This is no mere statistical fine point: it means that the entire project of assessing how essentially genetic traits are in terms of measured heritability coefficients is a fool’s errand."
The full text of the articles at the links, which in some cases focus on IQ and in other cases are more general, will give you more background in the methods and reasoning used by researchers on the topic of human behavioral genetics.
Commenting on the article, I would not call loneliness lethal. Everybody gets lonely sometimes. I would call not having skills to handle loneliness lethal.
My starting point for combating loneliness is to start by looking inward -- What skills can I develop, how am I holding myself back -- before looking outward, like what resources are out there. Family, hobbies, travel, sites to connect with others... they all help only if I know how to interact. If I don't, they may make me feel more lonely. By contrast, if I know how to interact and attract people to me, those external resources work without intentional effort.
I wrote up my social skills exercises -- http://joshuaspodek.com/communication-skills-exercises-6 -- as a resource for other geeky people to use because I think they'll help others like they helped me. They won't completely transform ones life, but they create internal resources no one can take away.
I also posted about how I believe social skills are among the most important skills to develop http://joshuaspodek.com/model-direction-leadership-personal.
"We try things. Occasionally they even work." - Parson Gotti, http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F109.jpg
Note that only team sports get the press coverage, which I pretty much can't stomach, but the world is full of non-team sports group activities. Plenty of "we're hiking this nature/park trail as a group" and please join us in training for the 2/5/26 mile run next month, etc etc.
There are too many meetup groups (locally) that revolve around drinking booze and/or eating donuts and not enough that revolve around taking a 2 mile nature hike together to a picnic or whatever.
Also there's a huge difference socially between "I'm taking calc 223 because its an engineering prereq" all serious and often completely non-social especially if grading on a curve, and "We're all here to learn intro to Japanese because we love Japan and Anime just like you and ... " Another good one is cooking class, really pretty much any non-credit vo-tech classes. Do you know how to TIG weld from the local vo-tec yet? If not, why not? Welding is pretty cool and one way or another I'm going to learn how. I have no interest in doing it 40 hours a week for someone else, but I would be up for a couple hours a month for myself.
With respect to finding intimacy, I can't be much help. I've never had much luck when I've searched it out. The more meaningful relationships of my life outside of family have been ones I've serendipitously stumbled into.
Meetup is not that - you drink a beer, then just leave after an hour or two. If you work on a project together, though, even on github, you will probably become good friends
Volunteer, get a job you believe in, work on an open source project with someone.
It just doesn't happen at all often. Perhaps there's a way to adjust that kind of site design to make them more successful at that kind of connection?
I tend to find echoes of myself, so perhaps no good if you're looking for a life-of-the-party person.
The time investment to return ratio is abysmal, but the good connections happen. This week I had a 3-4 hour conversation (text) with someone. That affects my mood for a day or two afterwards; it's the kind of social interaction I ought to get in real life, but actually don't.
Three simple hiking rules:
1) Never wear new boots on a trail. Sittin in the office, sure. Walking around the grocery store, sure. Walk around the block at home, sure. A day of yard work, sure. But never wear new boots on a trail. Many groups will kick you out and send you home if your boots aren't looking old and scruffy enough, nothing personal they just don't want to have to do wilderness rescue on you.
2) Bring more water than you think you'll need. Newbies always guess low. If you're feeling thirsty you've already failed. If you don't end the hike with water leftover you've failed.
3) It's considered very poor form to have to ask someone else for first aid stuff, although its considered even worse form not to help someone who needs it, and the cheapest lightest smallest kit is probably about right. Doesn't have to be some giant backpack a little pocket sized thing is fine.
Everything else you can learn from the group. Leave No Trace philosophy and orienteering and all that stuff. Which is an excellent conversation starter, where did you learn to read topo maps, what kind of plant is that, etc.
Aside from street encounters there's a whole "dog subculture" of agility training, which my dog was completely hopeless at although its fun to watch and try and get cheered on.
Depending where you live, "dog parks" where weird as it sounds dog owners go to hang out at and meet other dog owners. Most city parks ban dogs other than at the official dog parks.
Then there's dog shows which are a whole nother almost separate subculture.
Now that I think about it coworkers who were dog people hung out with us socially too, simply because we all had dogs. Very much like how the sports fans hang out.
Most people treat their dogs exactly like they treat their children, interpret that as you may, for better or worse.
Up until they became a favorite in a bad scene, they were known as nanny dogs. If you get them young and from a non-abusive context and train them well, they're absolutely adoring.
2 chicks at the same time, man. ;)
My belief is being social is a skill and I have to learn to get better at that skill in order to attract more normal people. I've been trying the following recently, although I haven't had enough time with any of it to know how well it will work, but just to give you some ideas:
lang-8.com - this site allows you to correct English of people trying to learn it. You can post a journal as well in another language you're trying to learn. My hope is that speaking another language might change the way I interact with people in my native language. But also, people there are very friendly, since you're helping them.
mmo games - trying to get into eve online. Maybe learn to establish relationships that way.
teamspeak - this has an online chat I've been using to practice smalltalk.
I tried a psychologist as well, but his philosophy of life and the way he related to me seemed so goofy that I quit. Also, it was quite expensive for what I got out of it.
Try a different psychologist, maybe you got the wrong one. But be a little more open to different philosophies of life and goofiness.
EVE takes effort to play "the right way". Make sure you get in a nice corp.
Based on heuristic evidence, I've seen some happy families emerge for guys who may not otherwise have done so well if left to their own communication/social skills. I think there's actual statistical evidence which points to longer lasting marriage thru the somewhat more traditional method of desi matchmaking.
Now I'm curious as to how you arrived at that assumption.
With regard to the latter, it's one of the fundamental insights of human life to, at some point, realize that you've always been and you always will be alone on this planet. There's only one you that is unique and nobody, I say nobody at all, will somehow match you perfectly, or make you fullfilled, or complement you essentially somehow. The only thing you can rely on is to always have your own company so it's better to learn to be friends with yourself.
But being lonely is another thing. Human beings aren't meant to be lonely. Heck, even most animals aren't meant to be that way. The worst kind of loneliness is the one that you experience among a group of people you call your friends. The loneliness may not be obvious until you find the first person who really becomes your friend.
As for "combatting loneliness", I suggest don't. In the worst case you're not only lonely but you're lonely and failing your social goals. Learn to live with loneliness, if not for anything else but for the sake of if you ever must. When you're content, perhaps not entirely happy, but content with loneliness then it's much easier to approach people and make social contacts. That is because you have nothing to lose and you know you'll be just fine even if it doesn't work out. Starting from this context prevents you, out of desperation, from selling your soul for the company of people who don't make you feel good.
This mobile app sounds like something that would be really easy to write.
This is a problem that can't solved by tech, mobile app etc (tech can only help a bit). I'm not sure simply "talking with store clerk" will help loneliness. If that is the case, talking to our bosses and other colleagues (who really don't care too much about anyone other than themselves - in many cases) should help, but we know it doesn't.
Also, we don't need a mobile app for this - just setting up a reminder on the calendar we use, should be more than enough.
As one grows older, making friends (and genuine connections) becomes more and more difficult. That is a problem worth solving.
I have made some quite close friends of the people who I interact with daily -- coworkers, baristas, cashiers etc. In my experience the depth of intimacy available to you depends on how much you're willing to risk. If you reveal yourself first, other people feel more comfortable following your lead.
What you wrote about how relations with others can be expected to be shallow is, IMO, what the article talks about when the researcher says that you have to suspend the beliefs and assumptions you make when approaching other people.
All I am trying to say is - talking to a person just to tick a box on an app, won't help (either of the parties). Being genuinely interested will. And this is not a problem that can be solved by tech. If anything, tech makes it easier to disconnect, rather than connect. It is much easier to spend 6 hours watching 3 movies on netflix on a sunday, back to back, than going out and actually talking to someone.
When you "talk to a store clerk", you are talking to the role of a store clerk. The uniform. The representative of a corporate transaction machine. When you use an app and "check the box", generally, people do that as mindlessly as possible.
Technology does not solve this. An individual person's mindfulness extends this.
This leads to a lot of interesting insights. For example, there is a relationship between being "intimate" and "naked", and not necessarily in the physical sense.
We all have inner selves that we protect by layers of masks, rationalizations, and buffers. This is the vulnerable part of ourselves. And to connect with someone else is to bare that open.
Who really wants to open themselves up like that? That's quite a leap of courage and faith. It is also the supreme act of generosity and compassion.
So. You want to solve this? That's great! First solve it for yourself: be fully present. Learn to be mindful. Get in touch with the wounded part of yourself, and in doing so, learn to extend compassion to others around you.
This is not solvable with technology.
Why oh why does this site needs to pop up a "share" widget when selecting text?
Websites are really popping these "share" things all over the place lately.
> the closeted man must police every piece of information known about him, live in constant terror of exposure or blackmail, and impose sharp limits on intimacy, or at least friendship
This phrase "police every piece of information known about him" would seem to apply to everyone who wishes to retain even a baseline level of online privacy in spite of the mega-entities seeking to acquire aggregate every possible scrap of online information.
Among a lot of material, she saw a lot of videos of monkey experiments, like Harlow's (mentioned in the article) and I saw some too :) . It's quite striking:
from the article
"Harlow subjected newborn rhesus macaques to appalling isolation—months spent in cages in the company only of “surrogate mothers” made of wire with cartoonish monkey heads and bottles attached. Luckier monkeys had that and cloth-covered versions of the same thing to cuddle. (It is remarkable what a soft cloth can do to calm an anxious baby monkey down.) In the most extreme cases, the babies languished alone at the bottom of a V-shaped steel container. Cruel as these experiments were, Harlow proved that the absence of mothering destroyed the monkeys’ ability to mingle with other monkeys, though the “cloth mother” could mitigate the worst effects of isolation."
the article goes on to show how there are different gene expressions amongst the differently-raised monkeys, and even posits that medication could help with the physical expressions of loneliness:
"Cole can imagine giving people medications to treat loneliness, particularly when it exacerbates chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. These could be betablockers, which reduce the physical effects of stress; anti-inflammatory medicine; or even Tylenol—since physical and emotional pain overlap, it turns out that Tylenol can reduce the pain of heartbreak."
The ending statement is:
"One message I take away from this is, ‘Hey, it’s not just early life that counts,’ ” he says. “We have to choose our life well.” "
Babies died simply because they were not held enough.
It seems like medicine needs to be less short-sighted and integrate loneliness and nutrition and other non-medicinal factors into diagnoses and treatment.
it's clearly linked to the problems of loneliness - if patients form a bond with their nurse and know that someone cares, they're more likely to follow through with treatment.
For lay people, however, living alone in the world goes against the grain; hard not to feel like an odd ball.
Something the article does not touch on is accepting the reality of alone-ness: we're all alone together (quote from an old friend).
Hermits, monks, nuns, sages, sadhus, ascetics, cultivators, shamans, mind travellers from all around the world of different wisdom traditions typically have essentially the same practice. Each is looking into themselves to gain insights about the world. This insight is at the core of everything:
We live in an *illusion* that we are separate from each other.
When you know this, it does not matter whether you are physically isolated or not.
This isn't something that special people called monks or nuns can do. This is a capacity in each of us. That capacity is something we call love. Not "romance". Love. Love that a child has for his parent, love that a mother and father have for their child. Love among lovers and friends. Love for the people in your community. Love for the strangers you don't know.
So of course, "living alone in the world goes against the grain." The grain is to be connected. Anyone, lay or not, who separates themselves find themselves alone.
Separation comes in many forms. It isn't just physical. Being proud or ashamed is separation. Being proud makes you "above" or "better" than someone. That's separation. Being ashamed makes you want to hide away. That's separation. Being so angry and hateful of someone that you want to destroy their standing, status, credibility, resources, life -- yeah, that's a form of separation.
Being disgusted and averting your eyes from the homeless in the street is separation. Being disturbed and fearful of the mentally ill -- that too is separation. Being repulsed by the ugly and deformed, by the lepers and unclean, yeah, that is separation.
Being special: heh, yeah, that's the very essence of separation.
We're not "alone together". In wanting to be special, to be unique, to have our brand of personality, we want to carve out this little corner of "me". And in the very doing so, we create distance.
So get in touch with yourself; get in touch with your family and friends. Start with some affection, that's pretty easy :-)
Can I talk to you sometime via email? I'm interested in your thoughts about how to bring people together and be less lonely.
BTW why can't I follow you on quora?
I don't know why you can't follow me on Quora.
That's an interesting assumption. Perhaps there's another form of separation: playing the role of teacher ;-)
The all alone together expression is a koan, presumably you "get" it.
I don't think this is the same thing. Some people are demonstrably more alone than others, such as closeted men during the AIDS epidemic.
Even connected people, with friends, family, and lovers by their side...exit stage left alone.
Loneliness is a layer thrown on top of fundamental alone-ness. Obviously life is more enjoyable when feeling connected, belonging and so on, but for many that's simply not in the cards.
If everyone felt accepted and loved, would it be life? Sounds more like heaven.
Sounds like a challenge.
Despite all of my legal problems, I'm still holding down the same job, but I feel at my age I've really done myself in. Obviously booze is a problem of which I've completely eradicated from my life over the past 2 months. The really sad part is I'm well adjusted otherwise and I graduated from a top CS program. I've wanted to work abroad but I feel I'm trapped now by my past and I'm really out of options to socialize on any meaningful level. I don't really know what to do at this point. This article spelled out a life of doom for me.
For what its worth I'm 28 and have 2 duis and a public intox charge.
2. At the same time your situation is objectively good - you have a good profession and a good job, you're not complaining about health problems other than alcohol dependency, and you kicked the alcohol for two months now. Even if you went to jail you're out free now. The whole life is in front of you.
Given the obvious contradiction here, I suggest that you should not trust your own judgement, and instead defer to someone else until your judgement is repaired. This sort of discrepancy is indicative of anxiety-type disorder, the kind that impairs your ability to evaluate your situation and makes everything looks worse than it is. The best you can do is seek help from a professional psychotherapist, and do exactly as they instruct you. Do not deviate, do not "optimize", do not skip steps. Suspend all judgement and do exactly as you're told. Use your logical side to overrule your emotional side and just follow the program, because it's the right thing to do.
Well, perhaps by international law (probably depends on the area) but make sure you're not looking for a geographic escape whenever you find yourself ready, your problems don't end in the US, obviously.
Still, 28 is fairly young to consider yourself "doomed".
What's stopping you from socializing?
I'd really like to see a study on the effect online social networks have on our collective mental health. My gut feel is that social networks are a positive thing. I'm just happy that I will be able to maintain a certain level of intimacy with friends when I'm older and less mobile.
>In operations performed to relieve chronic pain, doctors have lesioned, or disabled, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. After the surgery, the patients report that they can still sense where the trouble comes from, but, they add, it just doesn’t bother them anymore.
So there is a surgical procedure that removes the negative feelings of pain, without removing the actual feeling? What are the downsides to this procedure? I'm sure I must be missing something, but as described it sounds like something some, or even a lot of adults without chronic pain would want to get voluntarily. It seems perfect for people that need intense physical therapy in order to walk. Also for people like elite military operatives that may have to undergo extreme circumstances like torture. Would this surgery just make people not care about torture? Also for athletes, who could now push themselves to the physical limit due to now being able to endure great pain without being bothered.
Voluntary loneliness, on the contrary, is beneficial, at least, to some yogis and Himalayan saints.)
These are both the same thing though. Essentially we're herd animals, and as such we're designed to die if we aren't contributing to the herd. Probably so that if we can't pass on our own genes we can at least increase the chances that someone with similar genes can pass theirs along, by virtue of not wasting resources.