Monday

Bored and Lonely? What to Do

Yesterday I met a friend of a friend. Jane is an intelligent, interesting woman with her own business and an adventurous nature. She travels a lot, has a positive outlook on life and enjoys learning and growing.

Imagine my surprise when she said: "I get very bored and lonely!" As a divorced middle aged woman Jane is active, busy and proactive yet she feels like that. How could that be?

She explained that where she lives in Boulder, Colorado, many close friends have left and moved to other states over the years. And Jane doesn't get out to socialise that much. Over time she has lost many good friends and not met new people to spend time with.

Busy And Frustrated

Of course Jane is not the only one. For so many of us a busy life can leave us unfulfilled and unhappy unless we have great people to spend time with. The day to day interactions at work and in our community keep us in touch with people but these conversations often lack depth and meaning.

Having someone who cares enough to listen when you have a bad day, the joy of sharing your success with good friends and the security that comes from knowing you have people you can count on - all of these factors give you the confidence to keep on going.

On the other hand success at home and at work can be shallow and lonely if we do not have people we can connect with. Do you have good friends who really listen to you? Do you have special people who call you just because they want to hear your voice?

Boredom and loneliness can cloud your day and make life a real drag if you cannot make new friends and develop deeper friendships with those people you already spend time with.

What Stops You?

Even intelligent, interesting people like Jane get to a point where they give up. They lose hope and stop trying. They get used to living a life that is empty so they stay busy and ignore the problem. This solves nothing.

In fact the situation may even get worse. Over time your confidence dealing with people can fade until it even affects the few friendships you count on for a social life. You get so used to infrequent quality time with your closest friends that staying bored and lonely seems normal.

What Can You Do?

1. Make It A Priority To Meet New People

Get involved in activities that interest you and give you enjoyment. Do if for the fun and laughs you will have and to meet new people along the way. This could mean putting time into a sport, a charity or some other activity in your community that will involve meeting a lot of people.

I have even heard of someone getting a bar job when he moved to a new city to quickly meet a lot of people. You get the point - do something you will enjoy, to meet like minded people with that common interest. This takes care of knowing what to talk about and what to do. No awkward moments wondering what these new people are all about.

Once you get used to meeting new people in new situations it gets easier and easier. You get better at reading people, you feel more comfortable and it even becomes a lot of fun. Practice, practice, practice... and what was once a lot of effort will become a high point of the week.

2. Change Your Socialising Habits

We all tend to get into a routine that is helpful when it comes to doing all that needs to be done each day however that can really limit our chances of meeting interesting new people if we never go to new places or try new activities.

Make a decision to do new things each week. Find out what is going on in your town and schedule attending a concert, signing up for a class or joining a club. Take a friend and get used to being in new places and meeting even a few new people each week.

At first it can be uncomfortable moving out of your comfort zone but as long as you are choosing to only get involved in activities you are genuinely interested in then you´re likely to enjoy yourself. Even if you only meet one interesting person to chat with its worth it. Meeting one new person with similar interests is fun, much more fun than trying to make conversation with a hundred people who do not share your interests.

Boredom and loneliness can affect anyone especially busy people because all that running around leaves little space for quality time doing what you really want to do and even less time to spend lost in conversation with people you enjoy talking to.

The solution is simple. Try new activities that interest you and meet new people on your wavelength. Make that a part of every week and you'll have much more fun and the joy of connecting with wonderful people who enjoy your company just as much as you enjoy talking to them.

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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