A Solution for Our Loneliness
I recently read a thought-provoking article in the Boston Globe that said the biggest threat facing men as they age isn’t obesity, smoking, etc.; it’s loneliness. The article went on to say loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease1. Similarly, an article on a widely read website geared toward women reported that 30% of millennial women report feeling lonely always or often.2 With so many more ways to connect with people nearby or around the globe through texting, email, and a multitude of social media apps, why are widespread reports of deep loneliness on such a rapid rise? Even though we may be spending more time communicating with each other than ever before, perhaps the culprit is the pattern in the way we’re interacting with each other in our relationships that contributes to a sense of isolation and disconnectedness. One such pattern that contributes to our loneliness is something I call “Relational Disengagement.” I’ll define it by giving examples of two types: passive relational disengagement and uninhibited relational disengagement.