Brett.Ullman

A Cure for Disconnection

Great thoughts on Loneliness here. Well worth the read.

This is why traditional efforts to reach out to the lonely—by, say, visiting a nursing home—are often unsuccessful: They fail to foster deep, meaningful engagement. The encounter is pleasant but fleeting, and the effects don’t last. “If I talk to someone for an hour and then leave, they’re still lonely,” says Dutch sociologist Jenny Gierveld, who has spent 50 years studying loneliness. “The basis of a meaningful bond is reciprocity. A lonely person can’t just answer a lot of questions for an hour and feel connected. He or she has to do something.”


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The Cure for Loneliness

Really great article here with solutions to the problem of Loneliness.

Improving social skills. Some researchers argue that loneliness is primarily the result of lacking of the interpersonal skills required to create and maintain relationships. Typically, these interventions involve teaching people how to be less socially awkward – to engage in conversation, speak on the phone, give and take compliments, grow comfortable with periods of silence, and communicate in positive ways non-verbally.

Enhancing social support. Many lonely people are victims of changing circumstances. These approaches offer professional help and counseling for the bereaved, elderly people who have been relocated, and children of divorce.

Increasing opportunities for social interaction. With this approach, the logic is simple: If people are lonely, give them opportunities to meet other people. This type of intervention, therefore, focuses on creating such opportunities through organized group activities.

Changing maladaptive thinking. This approach might seem surprising, and its rationale less obvious than the other approaches. But recent research reveals that over time, chronic loneliness makes us increasingly sensitive to, and on the lookout for, rejection and hostility. In ambiguous social situations, lonely people immediately think the worst. For instance, if coworker Bob seems more quiet and distant than usual lately, a lonely person is likely to assume that he’s done something to offend Bob, or that Bob is intentionally giving him the cold shoulder.


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Parenting:Book Suggestion | Joseph A. Califano Jr. – How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid

As I was writing a chapter for my new book on drugs and alcohol I came across this amazing book from Joseph Califano. It is called How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid. Well worth the read for all parents looking to address this conversation in your own family.

Description from Amazon-

The highly acclaimed comprehensive guide to getting your child through the formative pre-teen, teen, and college years drug-free—now completely revised and updated.

Nearly every child will be offered drugs or alcohol before graduating high school, and excessive drinking is common at most colleges. But the good news is that a child who gets to age twenty-one without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol or prescription drugs is virtually certain never to do so.

Drawing on more than two decades of research at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia), founder Joseph A. Califano, Jr., presents a clear, common-sense guide to helping kids stay drug-free. All parents dream of a healthy, productive, and fulfilling future for their children; Califano shows which specific actions work and what parents can do to teach, protect, and empower their children to have the greatest chance of making that future come true. Teenagers who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are twice as likely never to try them, and this book provides the tools parents need to prepare their children for those crucial decision-making moments.

In this revised and updated edition, Califano tackles some of the newest obstacles standing between our kids and a drug-free life—from social media sites and cell phone apps to the explosion in prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse and the increased dangers and addictive power of marijuana. He reveals what teens can’t or won’t tell their parents about their thoughts on drugs and alcohol, and combines the latest research with his discussions with thousands of parents and teens about the challenges that widespread access to drugs and alcohol present, and how parents can instill in their teens the will and skills to choose not to use. Califano’s insightful and lively guide is as readable as it is informative.

The Loneliness Epidemic

Another great article to add more conversation on loneliness. This article on on Today’s Christian Woman’s website. You mighty need to get an account to read it for free.

Although loneliness is something the vast majority of people wrestle with, hardly anyone wants to openly address it, says John Ortberg, a Christian author, and pastor of the multi-site Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in the San Francisco Bay Area. “People will readily acknowledge being too busy because that makes them sound important,” he says. “But to say ‘I’m lonely’ is kind of like saying ‘I’m a loser,’ and nobody’s going to like a loser.”

Ortberg himself admits to having struggled with a deep, secret loneliness in his earlier years as a pastor. “It’s easy to hide and project an image, and pastoral ministry can sometimes actually reinforce that tendency and reward it if it’s done well,” he says. “What that leaves starved is the desire inside the soul to be fully known. And I can only be fully loved if somebody fully knows me. The degree to which I’ve felt unknown and unloved is the degree to which I have felt lonely.”

The holidays in particular can increase this sense of shame, Kinder says. “There’s so much stress and pressure about what we think Christmas should look like. Whether we’re part of the perfect Hallmark family, or have lots of gifts under the tree, or take the perfect vacation. We believe we’re not okay if we’re not having the experiences everyone else seems to be having.”

Ortberg believes one of the most effective cures for the drain that comes from a hurried, frantic pace in this technological age is to set aside regular periods of time to spend in solitude—an idea that, at first blush, people struggling with loneliness might fear will exacerbate their feeling of isolation.
“Ironically, one of the things you discover in solitude is that you’re not alone,” Ortberg asserts. “A big difference between Jesus and most folks in our day is Jesus was often alone but never lonely. We are often lonely but hardly ever truly alone.

“A lot of people wonder what they’re supposed to do in a period of solitude,” he continues. “The main point isn’t what to do, but what not to do. We don’t hurry or try to produce. Our bodies and minds realize we still have worth as human beings when we’re not doing anything, and we realize that God and the world get along okay without our striving. We begin to realize how much of our ‘to-do’ list is about our ego more than anything else. Eventually, our souls begin to rest, and we discover we’d rather live this way. Instead of obligation, solitude becomes a lifeline.”

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10 reasons people are lonely? It’s more complicated than that

I am going to be posting a number of articles on Loneliness. So much great conversation here.

The problem I think is that we’re all a bit scared of loneliness – of being alone. Of being left. Of not being loved. Or needed. Or cared about. “Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us even if we don’t acknowledge it. So a year ago, I set out to find people who were brave enough to admit and talk about how lonely they were. But I wanted to find people whose stories offered hope – either because they’d found a way of dealing with loneliness or because they had something in their lives that, even in a small way, alleviated their loneliness.

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