Loneliness is both sad and a major health risk. More and more people are professing loneliness in their lives, and more and more evidence is piling up that loneliness, like dissatisfaction in life, is a killer.
Here are some personal observations:
- Why do many people have so few friends as they age? Maintaining long-term friendships takes a lot of work and investment of time. Don’t let your career stand in the way. Don’t wait for someone to befriend you; reach out.
- Some people have invested their time and energy solely in a spouse, who may predecease them by 25 years, or in children who fly the nest in time.
- Many people have invested much in work-related friendships, which, while genuine at the time, can wilt almost immediately when they retire.
- In friendships, one has to give more than he or she takes.
- Make yourself likable. Who wants to spend time with someone who complains all the time? People like that are often avoided by people around them.
- Be a good listener.
- If you’re lonely, try joining something…a church, a book club, a hiking club, anything.
In the end, a true measure of wealth is the number of lifelong friends we have. Having lifelong friends is a joy and a great cure for loneliness.
Coauthor of Cracking Health Costs, available on Amazon.
Watch for Tom’s latest book, coming to Amazon soon: An Illustrated Guide to Managing Your Health—HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH IN 40 COMMON SENSE STEPS.