7 & Ways to End Isolation and Loneliness: Part 2

Connection

Today I want to close the post I began on Wednesday on how to end isolation and loneliness. If you did not get the chance to read the first part of this two-part blog post then feel free to read the post before reading the tips below. In my earlier post I mentioned that I believe connecting with others is important. This is because when we know how to connect with others we can also share Christ with those we love and meet. Learning how to connect with others also helps us diminish our loneliness and isolation, which can result in great sadness. Therefore, with these outcomes possible I want to give you my last tips.

5. Continue to Ask Questions

In my last post, I mentioned an interpersonal relationship skill I learned from my Father-in-law. Another tactic I believe he uses is that he asks questions about the others. For years, I have noticed that he attempts to connect with people by showing a genuine interest in them. As a result, when people know he cares they open up and have long conversations with him. They even love answering questions about themselves and when they do my Father-in-law is able to connect with them in multiple ways because he knows more about them. The more he knows the better he is able to connect with them because he is continually learning about them. Over time, he impresses me with how many people love to approach him simply because he connected with them by showing interest in them.

6. You Will Not Always Connect

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Batman Begins when Thomas Wayne tells his son Bruce Wayne, “Why do we learn to fall? So that we can pick ourselves back up.” Face it, you and I are going to fail and its alright. No one is perfect in anything and connecting with people is no different. So, go ahead and admit that you will fail at times, but rejoice when you do succeed. In fact, the only way you are going to get better at connecting with others for the future, is to practice in the present. Remember when we fail its a great opportunity to learn from out mistakes so we can better succeed in the future. You are going to fail and it is all right.

7. Connecting Improves Our Faith

Practically, my advice is to help you reduce any loneliness you may face. Spiritually, this post can also help you become a better evangelist. Often Christians will tell me they don’t know whom they can share Christ with and my response is “THE WORLD!” Christ tells us in Matthew 28:19 that each person who claims Him as Lord and Savior is to

“Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”

His command is not optional, but I believe Christians often fail to share Christ with anyone because we do not know how to connect with strangers, or even loved ones. Connecting with people is not difficult and I think we make it tougher than needed. Therefore, let me urge you to use these tips to improve your social skills and any loneliness you may feel. Also, use these tips to connect with people so that you can share Christ with anyone you meet. Should you not know how to share your faith then inform your pastor that you want to know how to share Christ and I am sure they will train you.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, loneliness is a real issue, but we do not have to remain isolated from the world. We can remedy our loneliness and isolation by applying some simple tips in our lives. The tips may seem scary at first, even if you are an introvert, but over time they will become easier. You will become more successful. Let me urge you to start applying just one tip and grow from there. Remember, the goal is to become connected and sometimes people are waiting on you just as much as you are waiting on them. This is because connection with others has spiritual connections as we share Christ with people. As you share your faith you will feel like you have made a difference in another’s life by making a difference in your own life. Therefore let us embrace these tips so we can feel connected, so we can share our faith, and bless others.

 

7 & Ways to End Isolation and Loneliness: Part 1

Connection

There are times when we can feel really isolated and lonely. We can feel like that no one cares or listens. This could be because we may not know how to connect with others. Life should not be this way because we were not meant to spend our lives alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (HCSB) tells us,

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Connection with others is important, so by knowing how to connect with others we can share Christ with those we love and meet. Therefore, I want to share with you some simple ways to connect with others. Since there are seven points in this blog I have split this post into a two-part entry, which I will end on Friday.

1. Be Observant

You must know the opportunities available to you. Awareness can begin by watching the behavior of other people and seeing how you might fit in. It could also mean doing some research on community events that you might be interested in. You cannot connect with other people if you do not know what is available. So start by being observant and by paying attention.

2. Introduce Yourself

I have learned a lot from my Father-in-law about interpersonal communication. One of the first tips he intentionally shared with me was that when he meets someone whose name he does not remember, he simply introduces himself to each person. He believes this breaks down barriers and allows him to connect with others. I have used this technique and it is a very effective icebreaker, but this is not my only conversation starter.

3. Find Some Common Ground

Another icebreaker is to find something you have in common with others. This can work for strangers and those you are close with. For example, the other day I was in a gas station and noticed a gentleman with a “K” on his gym shorts. Promptly, I asked him if the “K” represented Kentucky or Kansas. He replied by saying it stood for Kentucky. This allowed me to mention how I was from Kentucky and we drummed up a lengthy conversation. It turned out we had both lived in the same town, we both enjoyed the same local restaurants, and it was a joyous connection between two strangers who shared a lot in common. All I needed was to ask him about something I observed to create our common ground.

4. Know Yourself

So what if the gentleman would have said his shorts stood for Kansas, what would I had done? I simply would have mentioned how I go to school in Kansas City. From there we would have let the conversation progress about Kansas. By being self-aware I was ready to answer Kansas over Kentucky. In other words, I kept in mind aspects of my life related to both places, which prepared me to connect with him. So be aware of whom you are, your background, and your interests because it will help you be able to think on your feet as you try to connect with others.

I will finish this blog post on Friday, but in the meantime I urge you to try these tips today. They have worked with for me and I pray they will benefit you.