Why Socializing Is Important Now More Than Ever

Being connected with other human beings at a social level is of utmost importance for our happiness, health, and even longevity. Observation and studies have gone on to prove that absence or even paucity of social contacts can bring on a feeling of isolation and loneliness.

We will call her Sophia. She moved from Brighton to Prague and one of the prime reasons was that she grew up in a difficult environment, didn’t have the confidence to relate to people, and was mainly friendless. The other reason was that she received an excellent job offer.

It’s saddening but just so that you get a little insight, she grew up watching her parents quarrel most of the time with complete disregard to their two little daughters. Both parents were exceptionally good-looking and had dozens and dozens of their photos on display in their hallway, living room, and everywhere else.

Both the daughters are now in their mid-40s and have succeeded in their respective careers. Sophia, exceptionally so due to sheer luck. She earns a particularly high income. But even at work colleagues avoid her, and her assistants are just borderline civil. The two sisters can barely stand each other and since they live in different countries they anyhow don’t meet often.

There is a reason for that. Sophia displays many of the characteristics that she learned by the example of her parents. She has a tendency to hold her own opinions above everyone else’s, lacks conscience, has no empathy, is unbearably arrogant, and often abuses her authority. You will never find her remorseful. However, when she needs someone, in the short term she can manipulate by being extraordinarily charming and by buying expensive gifts.

This is an extreme example but there are an unnaturally high number of lonely people, most especially in urban areas.

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fizkes/shutterstock.com

Importance of Socializing And How It Has Changed

Being connected with other human beings at a social level is of utmost importance for our happiness, health, and even longevity. Observation and studies have gone on to prove that absence or even paucity of social contacts can bring on a feeling of isolation and loneliness.

For some of us, the adverse repercussions of isolation can begin within a couple of days of not socializing. Semi-isolation can also bring on unimaginable damage such as losing touch with reality, physical and mental ailments of a number of kinds, and even dementia.

Since we no longer live in open communities as we were born to be living and a fair percentage of us are confined to closed apartments the need for interaction with family, relatives, and friends, especially those with whom we share similar values has gathered even more importance.

Studies have also gone on to show that something as elementary as exchanging a few words with someone we do not have much in common with, can be beneficial to mental and physical health. It also contributes to better self-control and helps manage our emotions better.

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G-Stock Studio/shutterstock.com

As Humans, We Are All Hardwired to Be Hyper-Social

An act as ordinary as sharing a drink with someone adds to our feeling more confidence, creates a sense of purpose, and reduces stress. That does not mean many of us don’t enjoy “alone” time. The same alone time becomes satisfying when we have a good social life. We even get to know ourselves better and develop our personalities the more we socialize.

Just the thought of being able to reach out to acquaintances, friends, and family creates calmness within ourselves.

Over the decades, fragmentation of the family system, urbanization, changes in the cultural environment have created a feeling of isolation among many. Hostility within nuclear families, estrangement with the families that we were born in has also become commonplace. Although the trend varies from country to country the divorce rate has been increasing consistently. Presently it’s the highest in the Maldives, Belarus, the U.S., and Cuba.

Sociability also varies depending on the country and on the sociability scale. For example, Norway, Denmark, and Finland score the highest, though in these countries the rate of divorce is quite high as well.

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RoBird/shutterstock.com

Loneliness in The Age of Social Media

Another reason for loneliness is social media. The leanings towards chatting with strangers on one of the many sites results in reduced personal interactions and people do not have the intimate conversations which are essential for our well-being.

Those who spend too much time alone have a much greater tendency to question the meaning of life.

It’s entirely unlikely, given the “civilization” as we have made it, that open community living will ever come back, though it is known to exist among tribes and certain  “lesser advanced” societies.

The situation with socialization and isolation is becoming ridiculous with each passing decade.  It may seem amusing that the U.K. and Japan have appointed ministers of loneliness who try to organize that people reach out to each other via several different kinds of forums. Reportedly, there is even a do-nothing-man-for-hire in Japan who has met several thousand clients only to accompany them for lunches, etc. His task is actually to do nothing but to listen. He does not initiate conversations. There is any number of ladies who hire themselves out for hugs and cuddling and get paid around $100 an hour.

For those who lack adequate social contacts, it’s imperative that they make that effort of going out and getting to know people and hone up on their social skills by being good listeners, respecting the opinions of others, asking open-ended questions during social gatherings, showing genuine interest in what others have to say, being considerate, unselfishly giving honest compliments while not overdoing it and trying not to talk too much about themselves.

Being social is mainly about having good manners.


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