Loneliness destroys a person over time. Being social is essential to living a better life. Having friends that you can trust and count on, having people you associate with, having a wide professional network, all of that is your social capital in life. That’s your feeling that you belong. That’s your feeling that you matter. That’s your security.
How to be social?
In all truthfulness, the one and only way to be social is to talk to everyone. Talk to people at work, school, strangers at the park, people in the gym or just neighbors. The more you talk to people the better your social skills become that are necessary to build relationships, expand your social capital and never be lonely.
How to start meaningful conversations?
When we talk to people, we have to KNOW and CARE to know. Us being curious about the person we are talking to is what sparks the desire in them to tell us something more than just small talk topics. It makes them feel like you care and want to listen to them. Consider the opposite, imagine if somebody strikes a conversation with you, just because, but shows a disinterest in what you are saying, where will that go?
Ask more about feelings than logistics. Instead of asking when did they start meditating or where do they do it, ask why did they start. Ask how do they feel afterwards, how does that help them. Focus on them not you. Be curious.