How To Cope With Adult Loneliness
More and more young people are struggling with adult loneliness. When Mark started university, his social life changed drastically. Being an introvert with a busy work and school schedule, he struggled to make new friends. He asks a Minister of the Gospel how he can cope with loneliness and create meaningful relationships now that he is an adult.Show/Hide Transcript
Brother Donald Pinnock: Today, we’re talking to Mark. He’s a young man from Toronto, Canada who’s having his own fair share of challenges when it comes to making new friends and establishing meaningful relationships now that he is a young adult. Making new friends as an adult, can be extremely challenging. One may have difficulty when it comes to connecting with people. And a lot of people struggle with loneliness as a result.
[On-screen text graphics – source: psychologytoday.com]
College students report that they may be surrounded by peers, but they don’t have time to make the kind of one-on-one deep connections.
[On-screen text graphics – source: psychologytoday.com]
College students report that they may be surrounded by peers, but they don’t have time to make the kind of one-on-one deep connections that are key to feeding our social hunger.
Brother Donald: So we are going to sit down and talk about them all. Join us in our conversation. And let’s look for the Solution together.
Brother Donald: So Mark, welcome to the program. Glad that you’re here. Why don’t you tell the viewers a little about yourself?
Mark: I’m a third-year university student. And I study Neuroscience and Biology. As a university student, all you’re doing is study, study, study.
Brother Donald: Not much of a social life for you, huh?
Mark: It’s difficult. Very difficult.
Brother Donald: You were mentioning to me before that you have a challenge when it comes to making friends—
Mark: Now that I’m starting university, it’s become increasingly difficult to make friends. I go home straight away as soon as class is done. Then, in the mornings when I do have school I just go to class, and there’s not much else. From that I feel lonely.
Brother Donald: It’s natural for a person to want to interact with others, since man is a social creature. So, for a person to go through feelings of loneliness, this can be stressful in ways. Allow me to read Psalm 69, and the verse is 20:
I’m broken by their taunts, Flat on my face, reduced to a nothing. I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one. I couldn’t find one shoulder to cry on.
[Psalm 69:20 The Message]
Brother Donald: Note this, that even this servant of God; that he went through these feelings of loneliness. In fact, it was so hurtful, he could not find a shoulder to cry on, not literally per say, but somebody to confide in when it comes to their problems.
Mark: Most days of the week I feel that. I don’t really have anyone that I look forward to seeing at school. We have different schedules, different programs. And for those high school friends that went to the same university that I did, they’re not around. It was something that I was hoping to see when I did go to university.
Brother Donald: Mark, if you had somebody that you could talk to—what is it that you’d like to talk to them about?
Mark: I think the school stresses. Somebody that I could empathize with and empathize with me as well— as well as talking a bit about life, what they do outside of school; extra circulars; something that they’re interested in, because it’s not a one way street, I’d also like to hear about them.
Brother Donald: Do you think it’s perhaps the kind of person that you are?
Mark: I do. Sometimes I do think it’s me. Maybe I’m not interesting. Sometimes I find that I don’t have anything to say, or if someone says something to me I don’t know how to respond to them. So it makes it really difficult to make a connection.
Brother Donald: Let’s consult the Bible, let’s read here in the book of Proverbs 18, and the verse is 24:
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
[Proverbs 18:24 New King James Version]
Brother Donald: So perhaps we need to be more approachable. We need to be more inviting, when it comes to the people around us. How do you find to relate when it comes to your fellow students?
Mark: Whenever I get the opportunity to speak to a classmate, it’s usually about assignments. So I look at them as classmates. Maybe that’s part of the problem why I’m having trouble developing friendships. My goal isn’t to create a friendship on the first basis, it’s more like to discuss assignments, lectures.
Brother Donald: It’s almost like in a professional manner or a professional level. I remember when I was younger, I was really a very introverted [person]. I’d spend a lot of time by myself. However, it came to a time when I understood that there are people around me—I may feel unique when it comes to the situations that others are going through; the feelings that I had. But I began to realize when it comes to those around me, in this world, they also have to go through periods of difficulties, hardships, they experience bitter experiences. So I started to open up. More especially, when I entered the Ministry of the Church.
Do something like that. Consider what we can offer when it comes to a relationship or a friendship with others. However, Mark, when it comes to our pursuit to create new friendships with the people around us, we have to be careful, because not all friendships may be for our betterment or for our good. In fact, the Bible teaches in I Corinthians, chapter is 15, and the verse is 33:
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
[I Corinthians 15:33 New International Version]
Brother Donald: So yes, you’d like to establish new friendships, you’d like to know more people; but at the same time, we have to be wise when it comes to choosing our friends. Not just for those who’ll help us when it comes to our studies, but even with those who you can have a reasonable, valuable conversation with. But you know Mark, there is someone whom we should consider as our best friend. Let’s read in Micah, the chapter is 6, and the verse is 8:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
[Micah 6:8 New King James Version]
Brother Donald: This is what, we, the members of the Church Of Christ should strive to do. But the very best friend, without a doubt whatsoever, is our Father in Heaven. When it comes to those whom you know, even when it comes to family we have to admit there are times that they could be limited—when it comes to giving us the help, the assistance, the advice that we need. But when it comes to God, He is unlimited when it comes to his capacity. When we seek to make friends with the people around us, all the more we should make sure we have a solid friendship with our Father in Heaven.
Mark: I feel like, despite not having a person to talk to, at least I have someone whom I can speak to anywhere I go. When I have a problem, I can always turn to God.
Brother Donald: So continue to establish and enhance your relationship with our Father in Heaven. Continue to pray to him fervently.
Mark: I feel this was very enlightening. I thought the advice was very helpful. Somethings that I’d take away from this, our discussion, being more approachable. As well as, realizing my goals when making friendships, it’s that I shouldn’t always be gaining from someone, but I should also be helping them. That’s a two-way communication or street. And no matter what happens, I’m always reminded that God is always my best friend.
Brother Donald: Mark, it’s been a pleasure talking with you today. And I’m very sure that you’ll have no problem whatsoever in the future, when it comes to creating meaningful relationships with people around you.