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What To Do When You Have No Family Or Friends

by Harley Miller

As the holiday season approaches, you may find yourself searching for activities to fill your last-quarter calendar. Many of us, myself included, unfortunately, do not have the strong family bonds I once had, and as for friends, forget it!

Making friends as an adult is challenging, and with more people covering the topic, it's comforting to know that this is not an isolated issue. Sure, apps like Bumble BFF exist; however, based on my experience, the people on those apps are just looking to pass the time. So, how do you navigate the troubled waters of loneliness and isolation this year?

Certified Psychology Expert and Life Coach, Bayu Prihandito, says, "The first thing I recommend is embracing what I would call 'solitude as self-care.' It's about seeing your situation through a different lens. Instead of viewing loneliness as a void, see it as an opportunity to connect with yourself. Activities like mindful journaling, learning something you've always wanted to try, or even just cooking a meal for yourself can be very therapeutic. The idea is to form a relationship with yourself first."

According to sources interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, cooking can help improve your emotional wellbeing. This is a great time to find recipes that pique your interest, and places like TikTok do not disappoint. Although the app will be looking to roll out its paid feature to those who abhor ads, it's still a great destination for finding quick and efficient step-by-step instructions to create some delectable dishes.

Since its release, TikTok has no doubt brought the world closer together, but there are drawbacks. "One might think that the void would be less palpable in a world so digitally connected, but often it's the contrary," says Dr. Ryan Sultan. "Engaging in community activities or volunteering can also be therapeutic for those feeling isolated. Such interactions provide a sense of purpose and pave the way for potential friendships."

While checking out some of the comments under the news of TikTok rolling out their paid plan, many users joked about now having to go outside, read a book, and hang out with friends, and it was quite concerning.

So, perhaps, you can ask yourself, how much time have you been investing indoors on an app that garners millions, if not billions of dollars just from your casual scrolling daily? While you’re deprived of outside interaction, you’re making corporations a lot of money, who otherwise will spend time with their friends and family. Some of them do not even allow their children to utilize the very thing they’ve created.

Of course, what we deem worthy of our attention and entertainment is considered subjective, but the real concern is social media apps and media outlets such as Forbes highlighting the benefits of isolation if it means earning a lucrative income and landing on the Forbes Top Creators 2023 list.

Granted, these men and women no doubt worked hard, but can you imagine the number of hours they’ve devoted to apps and their content to make it to where they are now, in comparison to the time they’ve spent with their friends and family? Whether you’re a guy or gal from a small city in Oklahoma or a city girl residing in the hustling and bustling streets of New York, it’s hard to feel confident when you think you’re the common denominator for your lack of close loved ones.

During this time, you want to extend yourself grace because while social media apps can feel like a community coming together, the truth is, those people are not in your circle of friends and family. You have to find your people outside of the phone, but it’s no surprise that you can start there. Look for local or online groups, clubs, or classes that align with your interests.

Engaging in activities you are passionate about can naturally lead to meeting like-minded individuals, and Facebook is a great place to start. But, be careful and be sure not to meet up with anyone alone. As an adult, you already have what I like to call a 'vibe list.' This means you should know by now the types of friends and family members you want to associate yourself with based on their character and whether or not your vibes align. Plus, trust plays a huge role as well.

Oftentimes, we think that because the person we get along with makes them trustworthy. However, sadly, this is sometimes not the case. Do not let your need for companionship—whether platonic or romantic—rush you into developing a relationship with that person. On the other hand, practice self-awareness to ensure that you do not have trust issues as you venture out to cultivate these new relationships or resuscitate old ones.

Trust issues in platonic relationships often stem from past experiences or traumas. To overcome them, it’s vital to start by addressing the root causes. This can involve seeking therapy or counseling. Indiana-based Life Coach, Ryan Mullins, advises.

Related articles: Can a Soulmate Be A Friend?

Laurel Steinberg, Ph.D., also suggests Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. “CBT teaches people to examine the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that they experience. CBT helps people change their thoughts and behaviors so that they can better work towards their goals to feel the feelings of their dreams.”

Whether you’re isolated from friends and family due to technology taking over your life or you’re in a relationship where you’ve prioritized your partner over yourself, take this moment to recalibrate. And now, with the holidays on their way, this is the perfect time to reconnect with like-minded people.

It’s easy to get so consumed with your relationship that you inadvertently begin to isolate yourself from those closest to you, but while this is understandable, it’s not something you should continue to practice. Choosing your partner over your family and friends can have its downsides, leading you to wonder what will happen if things were to ever end. Single or not, this is the time for you to ask yourself what matters most to you and how you can make the most of your life.

Confidence is key; exude it in all that you do—whether it's making friends via a Facebook group, meeting people from the Bumble BFF app, reconnecting with past family members, or even dating, you have to go out into the world confident in your ability to choose what is best for you. If you’re single and looking, “Assume that a lot of men are shy and that you simply haven’t met Mr. Right yet! Believe in abundance and find comfort in the fact that you only need one good one!” Laurel concludes.


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