You’re in charge of including yourself. 5 ways to escape isolation

We all feel left out at times. Whether it’s a conversation, a social gathering, or even an Instagram post. But what if we told you that it’s our own job to make ourselves feel included?

Karen Eddington shares how we can stop living in isolation and reclaim our own involvement in life.

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How to Pull Yourself Out of Isolation

See the Benefit, Not the Risk

Maybe it sounds a little selfish, but you need to see what people can do for you. In our heads, we tend to think letting people in is a risk. We don’t let people in because we’re scared. We see all the ways it’s going to be harmful to let someone in, or, we think we aren’t strong if we do. We need to start seeing it as a benefit. We want to have everything together in our lives, but we need other people to help us through.

Make the Invitation

You might see a picture of a social gathering and think, “well they didn’t invite me.” You need to make the invitation yourself. It’s not up to your friend, or your boss, or your neighbor to make sure you’re feeling connected. It’s up to you. It helps to ask the right questions. Get specific. Instead of saying, “let me know when we can get together,” you might say, “are you free on Wednesday for lunch?” You have to represent yourself for what you need.

Redefine Stranger Etiquette

Our culture has a stranger etiquette. It’s typically just, ignoring each other. When we’re in public, we look at our phones. At the pool, we ignore other families. Redefining this etiquette can change things. Instead of honoring each others space, what if we actually talked to strangers. We just need to have a little bit of courage to say hi. Take those conversations in the grocery store, ask a couple more questions, and you’ll feel more connected with a stranger.

Spark Understanding

One of the most isolating experiences is when people don’t understand. You really need to ask yourself, though, “what have I done to help them understand?” Oftentimes, we point fingers at others for not knowing how we feel. But we need to take it upon ourselves to help them understand. It starts with recognizing things ourselves. When we understand others, it’s easier to get outside of our comfort zones.

Take Responsibility for Your Support Network

Getting out of isolation isn’t up to anyone else. It’s less about being isolated and more about fears, confidence, and understanding what we need. The best solution is to develop a support network. People you can go to when you’re having a hard time. If you’re struggling, the best thing you can do is reach out to someone.

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