If you have been following Sixty and Me for a while, you know that one of my big ambitions is to help solve the problem of loneliness among Baby Boomers. This is one of the reasons that I launched Boomerly, a new site to help Boomers make friends who share their interests.
When I first started talking about loneliness, some people asked me whether I was adding to the problem by “labeling” people. They asked whether being alone is necessarily a “bad” thing.
These women would probably agree with Delta Burke, who said “I don’t like to be labeled as lonely just because I am alone.”
I think that this is an important point to discuss, so, I wanted to say a few words – then, I’d love to get your opinion on this.
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with “being alone.” As I described in a previous video, for introverts, this is an essential part of recharging our batteries. But, being lonely is a different matter altogether. Being lonely is something that happens when we feel trapped in our isolation. Loneliness is the feeling that you get when you want meaningful social contact and can’t find it.
Just because you are feeling lonely, doesn’t meant that there is anything wrong with you. But, at the same time, you shouldn’t have to accept loneliness as a “normal” part of aging either. All of us deserve to have friends and we can do more to help people who are suffering from loneliness around the world.
I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Please answer the questions below and “like” and share this article to keep the conversation going.
What advice would you give to a friend who is feeling a little lonely? Do you agree that there is a big difference between “being alone” and “feeling lonely?” Why or why not? What do you think we can do as a society to address the issue of loneliness among older adults?