We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Loneliness is a tough problem. We live in a world full of all sorts of people, but connecting beyond a superficial level takes a special and complex combination of factors, circumstances, serendipity, and opportunity. Another problem is that we aren't necessarily all that appealing to many people, but we can hope we are appealing to a few people who appeal to us. We all reach out to people who we enjoy, and sometimes it works.
As the article points out, loneliness can spiral into excess neediness, or avoidance, distrust, and isolation. That's not a happy life.
Early in my career, an elderly psychologist told me "If it wasn't for sex, I don't think men and women would have much to do with each other." He was exaggerating, certainly, but it was a point worth making.
Beer night, twice a month with guys at the church, and it has been nicely multigenerational. We didn't get the group I expected.
Assistant Village Idiot
That article on loneliness is making me head straight for the Bath Golf Club...
Part of what strikes me is that our idealized model of friendship has become based on the image of an extroverted 'popular girl' having long conversations with her BFF(s) which I think is why the go-to cure is supposed to be increased interaction and/or social skills. At least for men, as AVI implied above, the model for friendship is more likely to be activity-based which is the suggested course of action in both articles. Getting out and doing something, not just attempting to 'be more sociable', is a far better strategy for men, and likely for women as well.
Avoiding loneliness isn't about being in the presence of a lot of people, it's about making genuine contact. So many of us are determined to avoid the risk of real contact; we'll always be lonely as long as we keep that up. When we're disassociated from our own hearts, it's not likely we'll find satisfying intimacy with any friends.