Earlier this month, I joined a shared office space in Santa Monica. I go there to do my writing, record stuff early in the morning, catch up on email.
This shared office space has a cool name and is all about creating a community vibe. They try really hard – have beer on tap, networking events, a big jar of banana chips.
But I haven’t talked to a single person since I started working there.
It would feel awkward to go over, tap someone on the shoulder, and say, “Hey, I’m David. Some people call me Yeah Dave. Wanna get a latte?”
Finally, fi-na-lly, last week I struck up conversation with a woman.
She told me how she needed to find a place to be around other people because she spent too much time alone on her computer.
So she joined this shared office space only to find that she is working alone next to other people on their computers.
And then she said the word that I’ve been feeling more and more of lately.
Most people think of this word in the context of not being in a relationship, or spending lots of time alone while a loved one travels.
But in 2016, there’s a different loneliness that is a kind of modern day grown-up bullying.
This loneliness has a voice and it whispers things like,
“You don’t have time to talk to people. Get back to your computer you lazy-ass!”
“I know it’s a beautiful day to have lunch with a friend but that’s what the weekend is for!”
“Down time with a loved one? Dude, you got bills to pay!”
It’s mean-spirited, very demanding, and toxic.
According to a recent study by the University of Cambridge, sustained loneliness is twice as dangerous as obesity. And the increased mortality risk of loneliness is equal to that of smoking.
Ok, so if you are still with me, you might be saying that you are not lonely so this doesn’t apply to you. This only applies to those people who spend all night surfing the web or watching QVC.
But can you say the same for your partner or your kids or your best friend?
This is something we can fix…like…NOW! Here’s how…
Most of us bleed from the need.
The inner dialogue is “I need friends, I need new clothes, I need new clients, I need to work out, I need to increase my sales…”
“Needing to” is a desperate, lonely act. Always was. Always will be.
Why bleed from the need when you can live to give!
There’s always something you have to share. You might not be the smartest person in the room, nor the fittest, nor the one with the best this or that, but you can always be the most giving, the most loving, the one with the best energy.
When you give the world your best, that is always enough.
So now that I’ve talked myself through my loneliness…
Tomorrow I will return to my shared office space. And while I may not invite anyone for a latte or strike up a conversation over the jar of banana chips, I will be a force for love.
And with that, the bully will have NO CHANCE.