I read the above quote the other day and had to read it again. Those eight simple words formed a powerful statement demanding more thought and reflection. And soon resulted in a profound reality check that I wasn’t seeking nor was I prepared to fully acknowledge.
The statement made me think about how often I am surrounded by people, conversations and laughter, yet I feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness in the middle of it all. It’s as if I am having an out of body experience. I see myself physically joining in on the fun with the rest of them. But emotionally I am disconnected and thousands of miles away. It’s not because I don’t like the people I am with, or that I am not interested in the conversations we have, but maybe it’s simply because there isn’t a deeper connection.
We are in a society where we often depend on strangers to fill the void of our loneliness. And whether we want to admit it or not it’s a sad truth. We prefer quantity over quality and equate followers to friends and likes to acceptance. Yet there is still a hollow emptiness in almost all of us.
This is not a matter of introversion versus extroversion. Rather, we are a generation of people who despite being able to a talk to and see one another with a click of a button, we are the loneliest generations of them all.
The Pandemic of 2020 has done its job by putting a blinding spotlight on our loneliness. From self-isolation and quarantine to physical distancing and limiting the number of people you can surround yourself with. So not only are we unable to hug those closest to us, but a genuine smile is now hidden by a mask. Developing deep connections with others is more important now than ever before and it’s a good thing.
I am challenging myself and I challenge you to seek deeper connections and re-evaluate your inner circle. I am not saying we should haphazardly delete people from our lives, but I am suggesting we change the narrative. Let’s foster deep ‘connectionships’ and dare to dig deeper and have conversations that leave us feeling fulfilled. Let’s surround ourselves with individuals who will pour into us and help us transform into a better version of ourselves while we do the same for them.
It’s not until this happens that we will no longer feel lonely in a crowded room.