Discover the Antidote to Loneliness — right here, right now
A good way to see the true impact we can have on others is to surprise someone in a positive fashion. Be spontaneous about it, and try to do it live and in-person. Take someone to lunch to their favorite restaurant. Buy them a small, unexpected gift. Best: take someone to a live music show with you and buy their ticket weeks in advance. This act gifts them two things: the weeks of anticipation leading up to the show, knowing that they’re going and can brag to their friends about it. And seeing the show. The anticipation of a live show happening in the future is a keen factor in the satisfaction of the show itself. If you surprise someone like this in a positive fashion they will love you for it. Imagine doing this to a customer. Or, a prospect.
It is hard to gauge the positive emotional impact of a surprise, a well-targeted gift like this to others. Great gift giving is hard. Most people know this, so when you’re able to nail it, they really appreciate it.
Further, they think about it for months thereafter. One of the reasons why I like to gift concert tickets is the memories they create in the minds of the audience. It is hard to beat the emotional responses evoked out of us at live music shows. We almost always look back upon them fondly, like they’re our creations. Well, they are our creations: we created deep emotional experiences and memories with the musicians that night. I cannot think of one live music show I’ve attended and then regretted. Not one.
When you create positive memories with people, they cannot help but have their emotional bonds strengthened with you. Like attraction, they never had a choice. They are blown away that someone took the time to get to know them better, to share time with them, to give to them without expectation of recompense, to connect with them, to come together and create with them.
It is not hard to create a great date: go see a live music show together. It’s a positive, upbeat, energetic environment. You’re creating together. You’re showing the other person what’s possible, that a great date night experience can actually happen and not be awkward. You show the other person that you’re conscientious enough to know they would likely like that genre of music. And you took the lead to make it happen. You just did something that few would think to do on a date. Good for you.
An entrepreneur friend of mine goes to as many live music shows as he possibly can, dozens and dozens per year. He often flies to other cities to attend them. He tells me it is the best investment in his emotions and happiness his money can buy. The results prove that it is working because he is one of the happiest, most positive people in my entrepreneurial circle of friends. We can all take a page out of my concert friend’s Book of Happiness and leave the building and go and see more live music.
We can choose to invest in others.
In the book, Happy Money, its authors discuss the seven tenets of how money actually can buy happiness. Its 7th tenet is to Invest in Others. Take your money, grab a friend or two and buy them dinner. This is an emotional investment in your relationship with them.
Don’t be stingy. You pay. Even if it stings — and it will like an inoculation — you still pay. Feel it. Breathe through it. You’ll be OK.
The $100 you just invested in dinner with friends is wonderful. It is a gift to them, for them, and for you. Especially if you do not get to see them too often, like a few times per year. You are creating memories with them over food and drink. It is a powerful thing, these emotions, these experiences, these collective creations. You’re connecting live, and in-person, not on social media, not over email, not on text, not on Snap. You’re defeating feelings of loneliness.
In our strange, lonely world, we’ve forgotten how to connect with others emotionally. Here’s an idea: leave the building and go meet up with friends for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, late night food, drinks or coffee.
Congratulations — You’ve just discovered the antidote to loneliness.
People love to complain that they’re lonely, that no one gets them or understands them, and yet they do nothing positive to combat these negative emotions. The antidote to loneliness is emotional connection. So, get out there and connect with people live, in-person, face-to-face, toe-to-toe. Share your stories with them. Be inquisitive. Ask them questions about them. And stop telling them about you. What’s going on in their lives? Let them tell you the drama, give you the Scoop.
People are fascinating if you give them the chance to be fascinating. Gift them that opportunity.