Overcoming Loneliness 101
..the scientific formula for overcoming loneliness. Yes, that’s right. I’ve discovered a formula for it.
Want to know what it is? Well, here you go:
C = L x R1 x R2 x N
Pretty straight forward, isn’t it? Oh, you want me to explain it? Oh… Ok.
First of all, we need to cover the basics.
I’m going to go quickly to get to the juicy part.
If you’re feeling lonely, how do you want to feel? What are you looking for? If you feel isolated, alone, and disconnected, what feeling are you looking to replace that with?
I don’t know about you but for me, it’s connectedness. If I’m feeling disconnected, the feeling that I’m looking for is a feeling of connectedness. Makes sense, right?
The opposite of feeling lonely is feeling connected. The way to overcome loneliness is to feel connected. The way you feel connected is to connect with people.
Yes, I’m very clever. Thanks.
We all have a certain level of connection that we desire. Yours may be different to mine which may be different to Steven’s, but we all have a level of connection that we’re looking for.
To make it easier to account for everyone’s different desires in this equation, I’ve represented the feeling of being completely connected, the opposite of lonely, with a simple ‘C’.
You can call this 100% connected if you want of whatever, I’ve just left it at ‘C’.
Now, if you’re reading this because you’ve been through or a currently feeling lonely, then you’re probably wondering what the rest of the formula means.
‘L’ represents the level that you’re using to feel connected. There’s a few different ways which I’ll outline in a minute.
‘R1′ represents how real you’re being with the person you’re trying connect with. This is written as a percentage.
‘R2′ represents how real the other people you’re trying to connect with is being with you. This is also written as a percentage.
‘N’ represents the number of connections you have.
So, to expand it out, the formula to work out how to overcome loneliness and fulfill your desire to connect with people, is:
- The level you’re connecting with people,
- Times how real you’re being,
- Times how real they’re being with you,
- Times how many of those connections you have,
Equals how much of the connection you’re looking for that you’re going to experience.
C = L x R1 x R2 x N
If ‘C’ comes out less than 100% then you’re going to feel less connected than you want to. And depending on how much less than 100% it is, you may or may not experience loneliness but it’s definitely not going to be rewarding.
If you want to stop feeling lonely, you need to get your score up over 100%.
It’s as simple as that.
Before you start having a look at your life to see just where you could increase your feeling of connectedness and stop being lonely, there’s a couple more things I need to explain.
There are three different levels that people connect on and each one has a different impact on how connected you feel.
The three levels are feelings, commonalities, and information. For the sake of making the formula work, I’ve assigned each one of these a ‘connection percentage’.
I’ve listed ‘feelings’ first in the list for a very good reason. Connecting on a feeling level is the core of experiencing incredible connections.
In any moment of your life, all you ever really know is what you’re feeling. You can have ideas and information about what’s going on around you but they’re all projections based off past experience and information. The only thing that’s actually real is what you experience.
It’s your ‘truth’.
If you want to feel incredible connections with people, where you let down your barriers experience total connectedness, it has to be on feelings. Everything else is guess work and thoughts.
Connecting on a commonality level is finding people who like the same things as you or have done the same things as you. This is the level that most ‘mates’ connect on.
They like the same stuff and have done it together a few times so they ‘have a connection’.
For the sake of the formula, I’ve assigned this level of connection with a 25% value because whilst it’s a form of connection, it’s partially based on feelings but it’s mostly based on facts and information (we did this, we went here, etc…)
Connecting on information is finding someone that agrees with you.
This is the level that a lot of very logical people connect on – “I have a view of the world and you have the same one so therefore we have a connection”. For the sake of the formula, I’ve assigned this level of connection with a 10% value because it barely contains any of your feelings at all.
In fact, it should probably be less than 10% but it just makes it easy to use this.
The other thing I have to qualify is what I mean by ‘realness’.
Being ‘real’ (in my definition) isn’t about sharing every piece of information or every part of the commonality. Rather, it’s about expressing yourself fully in that moment.
What I mean by that is letting out how you feel whilst you’re sharing whatever thoughts are coming to you. If you’re experiencing sadness whilst you’re sharing then being real is about letting yourself be sad whilst you’re doing it.
If you’re experiencing joy whilst you’re sharing then being real is about letting yourself be joyful whilst you’re sharing. It’s about not hiding how you feel in any moment and allowing the world to see every single part of you.
So, this whole formula thing might seem a little abstract right now so I’ll do a few examples to show you what I’m talking about.
Say I have a conversation with a group of people where we share information. Maybe it’s a work meeting.
We talk about facts, figures, and budget forecasts.
In that meeting – because of the office environment – I’m quite restrained with my expression and so is everyone else. There’s 10 people in the room. The formula for how connected I would feel from that would look like this:
10% (Level of information) x 10% (My realness) x 10% (Their realness) x 10 (Number of people) = 0.01
If this was the scenario, would experience 1% of the connection I was looking for in my life from that meeting. Sound good?
Lets say I leave the meeting and head outside to the kitchen to grab a coffee. In there, I meet a mate and we chat about our weekend.
We talk about things we did and how much fun we had. It’s still in the office so we can’t be too expressive but we have fun. The formula would look like this:
25% (Level of commonalities) x 40% (My realness) x 40% (His realness) x 1 (Number of people) = 0.04
Wow, 4%… Great! But then lets say the boss walks in and joins the conversation. Because we can’t be too outrageous, we tone down our expression and realness so we don’t give off a bad image. The formula would look like this:
25% x 20% x 20% x 2 = 0.02
Great. 2%. That’s a party! Ok, I think you get the picture here, but I’ll just keep going a little bit so you can see what’s really going on.
The work day finishes and I head to the squash court with a mate to play. We run around for about an hour and during that time, we yell at each other, laugh, swear and scream and just let out whatever’s coming up for us.
We’re so engrossed in the game that we don’t care what anyone else thinks. The formula would look like this:
25% x 100% x 100% x 1 = 0.25
25%. I don’t really feel anywhere near as lonely any more. But it’s still not everything I’m looking for.
We finish there and head out to grab some dinner. As we chat, I share with him a few issues I’m having with my girlfriend. I let out what’s really going on and how I’m really feeling.
He, in return, shares how he feels about some issues that are going on for him. We don’t fully express as we’re in a public place but we go deep. The formula would look like this:
100% (Level of feelings) x 70% x 70% x 1 = 0.49
Then, I head home and share the issues that I’m experiencing with my girlfriend. We yell and cry a bit but we stay committed to the conversation and resolve the issues. The formula looks like this:
100% x 100% x 100% x 1 = 1
I’ve included all these examples because I want you to get a sense of what’s really going on and why you might be feeling lonely and isolated.
What level are you connecting with people on? How real and expressive are you being when you’re with them?
And how real are they being in return?
And before you jump in a say ‘I’m fully expressive and I still feel lonely. Your formula is wrong’, I want you to think of the most expressive person you’ve ever seen in your entire life.
Someone who was just larger than life, letting out who they were and how they felt with every breath, every movement, and then compare yourself to them. Really, how expressive and real are you?
Just as a guide, in my experience, most people only let out about 10% – 20% of how they really feel in every moment.
Now, I’m going to throw observations your way here. You may or may not agree with them but just keep them in mind when you’re wondering why you feel lonely and you’re trying to find a way out.
If you’re feeling really lonely then I would suggest your formula is going something along the lines of:
10% x 20% x 20% x 5 = 0.02
Or if you’re just feeling a bit lonely, maybe it’s something like:
25% x 30% x 30% x 5 = 0.1125
Because if you anything like:
100% x 70% x 70% x 3 = 1.47
Or even just:
100% x 50% x 50% x 3 = 0.75
Then you wouldn’t be feeling lonely at all.
A lot of guys tend to externalise loneliness and blame it on not having enough open friends they can share with. But before you do, consider this:
100% x 70% x 20% x 3 = 0.42
So it’s not them. It’s you.
For most people, the pathway they take to overcome their loneliness is to change:
10% x 20% x 20% x 5 = 0.02
10% x 20% x 20% x 50 = 0.2
And then wonder why they don’t get there. They think that the number of people they have in their life is inadequate and in order to feel less lonely, they need to just increase the amount of people they have around them.
As you can clearly see..
..it’s never going to work.
Overcoming loneliness isn’t about changing the number of people you’re connecting with; rather it’s about changing the level you’re connecting with them on and how real you’re being whilst you’re doing it.
So, if you’re feeling lonely and you don’t want to any more, keep this in your mind: the strongest connections between two points exist where there’s the least barriers.
So, to connect with another person, to feel connected, to overcome your loneliness, you need to drop your barriers and be real with them.
When you drop your barriers and you’re real with someone, just sharing how you feel and what’s going on for you, then you will form the connections you’re looking for.
The most interesting thing is that your loneliness is your key out of being lonely. Find someone you can trust or that you have some kind of connection with and share your loneliness with them.
Share how isolated and alone you feel sometimes.
Let down your barriers and find what you’re looking for.
If you don’t have people in your life that you feel comfortable opening up to, then there’s a whole community of guys who’re waiting to help you through this.
Join up to our forum, share your story, share your feelings, and see just how many other people out there are going through the exact same thing.