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HOT! Are 20-40 Years Old More Lonely Than Ever?

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doster.zach

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I'd say that's not part of maturing but part of the script. There's no sensible reason to be so busy you can't spend a few hours a week with your friends.

I agree, what's the point of working so hard that you don't see your friends?

It's hard to stake out time for non-essential things, but if I ever hear myself say

"I don't have enough time"

I replace that with

"It's not a big enough of a priority"

That helps reground myself to what I should be prioritizing.
 
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Soulrize

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I wouldn't say that life is loneliness. It's more like life is loneliness if you prioritize status (empty likes) over human connection. Older people IMO rarely have this problem.



I used to take tennis classes a few years ago but realized that I sucked at it and the community was way too uptight for my standards (I hate stuff like dress code).



Good summary, I agree with that.



I think it may be also cultural. In countries where people are content just chilling out (vs always doing something), friendships are probably easier to maintain.



Yeah quite common for productive and driven people to feel that, particularly at this age. I had a similar experience when I was your age because I was never interested in parties, drinking, etc.



I'd say that's not part of maturing but part of the script. There's no sensible reason to be so busy you can't spend a few hours a week with your friends.
Haha thats true, i actually joined a blue collar club by chance. Bring your own beer and I wear cut of shirts every dam day that I play lol. In the more expensive clubs yes theres a dress code, and i recently went to a nice club and members were appalled at my cut-off shirt lmao. I knew a little better so I wore a wife-beater under ! They didn't appreciate my humor haha but i got by with it. My argument is why ladies get to wear cut offs tho!????
 

NewManRising

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I can relate to your experiences. One of my biggest challenges is that the friends I did have weren't really great friends to begin with. I have since struggled to make new friends my whole life. All my original friends and family haven't really done much or changed much in life I am the only one who has gone off and done anything. So we have nothing in common.

I do long for close friends but I am not as lonely as I used to be. I've spent my entire adult life alone and I have just learned to repress loneliness (I guess as a survival technique).

I feel like I am at a crossroads that I have struggled with for a long time. On one side is the old friends, family, and bad habits trying to pull me down. On the other side is me trying to go off into a new life with new friends.

The problem with old friends, family, and acquaintances is they are all scripted and are very much content with a bullshit mediocre life. However, they also dislike this lifestyle but are not willing to do anything to change it.

I feel like I am ready to move on as I have outgrown my old friends, family, and habits. But I don't know where to start. I don't really have much success to speak of or any prospects right now. I don't know where my new entry point is in terms of social circles.

I do know that geography plays a big role in things. Obviously, being in a larger city helps out as opposed to being out in the sticks or a small town.

You have to take into consideration technology that keeps people distracted and addicted to a digital life than one in person. I know so many people that prefer texting to speaking over the phone and chatting online than in-person interaction. You also now have Covid making it even harder for in-person interaction and activities.

My goals moving forward is to just seek out in-person meetups and activities that interest me and align with my values. In the past I let fear and negative self-talk prevent me from taking risks. But on the other hand, I have gone out alone and taken chances before and had a good time. You just need to be consistent.
 

Dangerous Donna

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Mar 26, 2019
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The focus of 2021 for me was to build community. I was deeply longing for it, and felt incredibly lonely.

Focusing on relationships has produced the greatest amount of joy in my life.

Nowadays, it's not unusual for me to have activities with friends from Wednesday all the way to Sunday.

I think that yes, people are generally being more flaky and more isolated, but many are having the same exact thoughts as you and I.

So it does take energy, time and resources to build a community, but once it gets going, it's life-changing.

EDIT:

Just for a few ideas, I'm currently running a men's group, have monthly dinners at my house for neighbors, and I'm building a community of entrepreneurs.
 

Dangerous Donna

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My advice is to find groups that do things you like to do. Not to try and convert your current friends.
Exactly, what I thought the other day. I cannot get anyone to even show up to watch a sport game,,, then I thought well heck most of them don’t live my active lifestyle. I’m barking up the wrong tree !
 

Johnny boy

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I've met great people from this forum. I spent 2 weeks in India with one of them.

I try to meet high quality ambitious people as much as I can. I used to want to make friends with a lot of people until it hit me that they had zero utility and were only good for having parties. Now I only want to be around people who are doing something interesting with life, or I could bring them along for cool things like climbing mountains, or starting a joint venture.

Imagine if someone who was interesting, intelligent, ambitious and cool walked up to you and you chatted for a bit and they invited you to go do something fun. If that happened daily imagine how many cool friends you'd have. If you continue to be the person waiting for someone to come up to them, it might happen once every 3 years or something. If YOU are the person who initiates...you CAN have that happen daily. It's just that you're the one that has to say something first.

"Yeah but I'm introverted"
"It's hard for me to talk to people"
etc.

The emotion follows the action, not the other way around. You don't feel like going to the gym but once you're there, it was a great idea. Same goes for meeting people. Every time there's a social thing coming up, a big part of me wants to cancel and do nothing. And then I go and end up having a fantastic time. I don't know why my brain wants to sabotage me like that. Falling for the whole "I'm introverted" shit has caused millions of people to give up on being social. I don't buy into that bullshit one bit, and I spend a LOT of time not socializing. I have to make an effort to change and talk to people when a big part of me just wants to be quiet. Don't justify it or victimize yourself, go out and initiate.

Have something to do with the people you meet. Have a place to invite them to or a hobby to do with them. I go to MMA, I shoot guns, I ski, I go to a russian sauna once a week, etc. My go-to is to invite people over to the lakehouse for some steak and a couple beers.

If your own life is in order, it's easier to make friends. Be the one giving value. Clean up your appearance. Have hobbies and interests. If you have a knack for business it's even easier because you can help people everywhere you go. I love striking up a conversation and hearing that someone has their own small business. I ask a couple questions and if I see an opportunity to pass on something I always take it. "Have you tried doing x with your ads? I tried and it cut my CPC in half". If you can deliver value without sounding like an a**hole, people will really appreciate it.

Get a reputation for the thing you want to be associated with. Anyone who knows me knows I'm 'a business guy'. That's on purpose.

If you want friendships to progress you need to invite them to more personal things outside of one activity. A bonfire, a small party at your house, etc. I like to go to the russian sauna (Banya) because it's 1. a unique experience people aren't used to 2. It's a great place to talk and 3. The intense heat and cold changes your emotional state and you're full of positivity and energy.

The main takeaways are that you need to have your own life in order to expect high quality people to be around you, you need to go do fun stuff with them and initiate interactions, and you should maintain and progress those friendships by inviting them to other parts of your life and other activities. And then all it takes is maintenance.
 

nicotini

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I relate quite much with Steve's situation. Most of the time, I struggle to find the actual time to meet everyone of my friends.

I'm still hanging out with my kindergarten/primary school friends from my hometown (we're all 30). Some of them are married, some are getting there, I'm still finishing med school (slacked off too much in the past, sadly) but will soon (months from now) graduate and move out.

Beside that, I play poker with some of them, plus with some other friend who joined in the years, through me or other people.

Then there's my gf, and there are her friends, with which we go on hikes most weekends, or get dinner together.

Then there are my ex's friends, whom she basically stood up when she moved to another city, treating them like shit basically, and they ended up liking me better so we still hang out after 4 years.

Then there's my uncle, we go running together and dining and I think you got the point :D

I'm very grateful to be honest, though sometimes I feel guilty for just wanting to take some time for myself lol. Guess this is what you call luck and a blessing. Not many online friends though!

Cheers everyone, and happy to see many of you finding creative ways to meet new people. Solutions, solutions, solutions! ;)
 

WJK

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I know a lot of people in my community. A lot of people say hi when I'm out in the world. Many times I'm not sure who they are, but they know me.
BUT, I have a very small inner circle. Sometimes I too feel lonely. I'm older and almost all of my family are gone now. I'm very careful who I let into my little world.
Why do I keep my inner circle small? I'm a big frog in a small pond here. Very few of the people around me think as I think. They think that being successful is simply being lucky. They don't see all the work -- both mental and physical. I can't change their minds. But, I must protect mine. They can't run with me, so I must go it alone a lot of days.
 
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john3583

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Yes. We need more real adventure these days. Friendships develop as we go out into the world, so there's the truth. That's what MTF is saying too(meeting people on travels etc.)

Sadly, most people are stuck in their home city with time-consuming work repeating the same day over and over. They might live in their own bubble and develop a very close-minded mindset and perspective. I think that's why it's hard to break into them.

For example, I have a friend who I often invite to do new things with. But he would say no. No, that's not right. No, probably not fun. No. Always no to new things.
That's why it's important to take initiative as leaders and have even more energy to break them, and call them to adventure.
You seem to have that energy which is incredible.

Also, when men and women get married, for most in our society, the hero's journey seems to end, and life is dedicated to the familiy's journey. This also might need reformation.
Oh so true. The hero’s journey ends as the family duties take over. You become limited in your time and space. No extended travel, no disposable income. That was your choice, probably because you fell in love and got emotionally tied way before the ring ceremony.
We all have that choice to make. But hearts get mended, and the girl gets what she wants eventually.
Yes, we need more adventures. Be single and spend money traveling and interacting with a good life. Find a woman to take with you and hopefully measure her desires and needs, and to honer your appreciation for adventure. After a few travels, you’ll know the relationship better than kicking around the hometown, dreaming of a life. Hey, she might not really want you. But you’re the guy she gave herself to, so she has locked on to that security. Keep on your game, not hers. Be the man. Be your own hero. Love yourself first.
 

NewManRising

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Clean up your appearance.
It is actually a confidence booster to put some attention to your appearance. Yesterday I was visiting my cousin's house for Thanksgiving and there were going to be about 18 people total. There were some second cousins I have never met and a few other people.

Normally I dress like I don't really give a shit (jeans and a shirt, sweat pants and hoodie, etc). But this time I told myself to dress the best I can. Then I wondered why can't I dress like this every day? There's actually no reason for me not to other than laziness or the belief that no one really cares.

Then I remembered how important your appearance and style are in dating and business and that is what prompted me to decide that each day I will dress the best I can. Even if you're a bigger guy you can still find clothes that fit well and complement your look.
 

wtgexodus

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I've been noticing this problem more and more often recently: people in their late twenties/early thirties are lonely and have very few friends. Perhaps it's only limited to me, my girlfriend, and some people I know so I wanted to post this thread and figure this out. Here are a few thoughts to offer more detail:
  • In my hometown, I have 0 friends with whom I meet up regularly. I had one friend until last year when his son was born. He had been telling me all the time that nothing would change when he would become a father (I never believed him) but now we talk only online. I think I saw him last time over six months ago. Before, we used to meet at least 2-3 times a week. My other friends who live in the same city have gone in a different direction in life and we don't really mesh that well anymore. We sometimes meet but usually I'm okay with just one meeting per 3 months or so.
  • My other friends are almost exclusively virtual. We talk online but we rarely meet (1-2 times a year) or never. It's still good to be able to talk online but it's not the same as doing fun stuff together regularly and being spontaneous (impossible since they all live between 2-5 hours by car from where I live).
  • Almost all our friends/people we know lack initiative. If I organize something, they will join but by themselves they almost never set up anything. This makes me feel that they don't really care much about the relationship. So in return, I don't put in that much effort anymore.
  • In the case of my girlfriend, her friends have so little time that their lives are limited to work, home (with their partner), and their dogs. And we're talking about young people who supposedly should enjoy their youth.
  • As sad as it is, unless I'm traveling or learning something new with a coach, this forum is usually the main way I interact with strangers. I do enjoy this but like I said above, I'd like to have some deep friendships with people I trust that share my values and are available to do fun stuff together. As it is now, whatever new things I do, I just hire a coach and sometimes he or she becomes my sort of friend.
  • Speaking of traveling, I've found that it's usually way easier to find like-minded people when visiting places that interest us and match our values. But these relationships have the same problem: they're almost exclusively virtual. So in the end it's nice when you're there but it sort of dies when you're not there (which is kind of understandable if it's a new relationship).
  • Curiously, we often see people way older than we are who enjoy rich social lives. Heck, I think that my parents may actually have more friends and a richer social life than I do even though they live in the countryside and rarely leave their homes lol.
What are your thoughts, experiences, suggestions, whatever else is on your mind?
It is probably a good thing. To have few friends. Solitude helps us get important works done.
Many of the people I hang out with depends on the kind of work I am doing. Whether I am in a warehouse or in a studio the people who I earn a pay check with are the ones I hang out with.
Either that or the ones I am in school with or training with if I work or something like that.

I do not think being a lone is something bad though. That time alone is most important
 
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wtgexodus

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Sep 18, 2019
22
11
14
I've been noticing this problem more and more often recently: people in their late twenties/early thirties are lonely and have very few friends. Perhaps it's only limited to me, my girlfriend, and some people I know so I wanted to post this thread and figure this out. Here are a few thoughts to offer more detail:
  • In my hometown, I have 0 friends with whom I meet up regularly. I had one friend until last year when his son was born. He had been telling me all the time that nothing would change when he would become a father (I never believed him) but now we talk only online. I think I saw him last time over six months ago. Before, we used to meet at least 2-3 times a week. My other friends who live in the same city have gone in a different direction in life and we don't really mesh that well anymore. We sometimes meet but usually I'm okay with just one meeting per 3 months or so.
  • My other friends are almost exclusively virtual. We talk online but we rarely meet (1-2 times a year) or never. It's still good to be able to talk online but it's not the same as doing fun stuff together regularly and being spontaneous (impossible since they all live between 2-5 hours by car from where I live).
  • Almost all our friends/people we know lack initiative. If I organize something, they will join but by themselves they almost never set up anything. This makes me feel that they don't really care much about the relationship. So in return, I don't put in that much effort anymore.
  • In the case of my girlfriend, her friends have so little time that their lives are limited to work, home (with their partner), and their dogs. And we're talking about young people who supposedly should enjoy their youth.
  • As sad as it is, unless I'm traveling or learning something new with a coach, this forum is usually the main way I interact with strangers. I do enjoy this but like I said above, I'd like to have some deep friendships with people I trust that share my values and are available to do fun stuff together. As it is now, whatever new things I do, I just hire a coach and sometimes he or she becomes my sort of friend.
  • Speaking of traveling, I've found that it's usually way easier to find like-minded people when visiting places that interest us and match our values. But these relationships have the same problem: they're almost exclusively virtual. So in the end it's nice when you're there but it sort of dies when you're not there (which is kind of understandable if it's a new relationship).
  • Curiously, we often see people way older than we are who enjoy rich social lives. Heck, I think that my parents may actually have more friends and a richer social life than I do even though they live in the countryside and rarely leave their homes lol.
What are your thoughts, experiences, suggestions, whatever else is on your mind?
It is probably a good thing. To have few friends. Solitude helps us get important works done.
Many of the people I hang out with depends on the kind of work I am doing. Whether I am in a warehouse or in a studio the people who I earn a pay check with are the ones I hang out with.
Either that or the ones I am in school with or training with if I work or something like that.

I do not think being a lone is something bad though. That time alone is most important

rejoice
Moses
 

Prince33

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Time time time time.
Everyone and their dog(figuratively) doesn't have enough time to so anything. From America to Japan.
I think people's choices in life cause this. Paired with the current paradigm in society which is live to work.
You don't *have* to work 40+hours a week, then spend 2 hours commuting. Then spend an hour tallying up your bills to make sure your credit cards, mortgage and car are paid off.
We choose to live in Seattle, Vegas or London where the traffic is nuts. Then we choose debt. Then we choose to live in a city where you need a car. Then you chose to take out a loan for that house 'cause society or your parents or your GF said you should have one at age XX.

But yes, the way things are set up makes it tough in general. This was a tough year for me socially and miss all the social things I did with my clubs I participated in pre covid. Podcast interviews on the streets and more...

Just hit my mid-late 20s and I feel 37. In the sense that im burnt out of society and starting to lose hope on having a normal, happy life wit ha riveting social life.

But then I remind myself of my trips to Denver, San Diego, Mexico... The hostel adventures, the nights out with friends. Some of that was even done homeless. And I was actually happier than now.

It's tougher to have a poppin' social life. As in setting yourself up takes more time, effort and planning. That's it. I'd argue once you set yourself up it's actually easier now because people WANT to be social more than ever. Hell, I saw it in 2019 in Seattle. When Id approach a stranger wit ha microphone for my podcast and their face would light up simply because a human being acknowledged them and they did something else besides the work commute.
 

Lex DeVille

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I was thinking about how to solve a different, but related problem. I think it is close enough to not warrant another thread. Since 2017 I've felt disconnected due to leading a different lifestyle from everyone around me. This has spiraled in and out of experiences of loneliness and depression.

I thought it was caused by a lack of close friends in real life, but now I think it is the lack of societal support systems in general. Here are the elements I think are missing that cause a lot of frustration for a lot of people.

1. Masculinity
Where have the *men* gone? I mean, what happened to the values of men? Somehow, it seems like the priorities of men have changed. Tiny buns, weiners tucked between legs, and avoiding offending people seem to take precedence over things like conquering, winning, strength, courage, fatherhood, camaraderie, follow-through, keeping your word, honesty, influence, etc.

Men used to be THE warfighters, laborers, authority figures, and breadwinners, and if you weren't those things, then you were not a "man." I certainly don't fit the mold when it comes to traditional masculinity, but I am the primary breadwinner. I did serve in the military. I do put foot to a$$ for my family, and I am constantly in pursuit of improving our lot in life while trying to embody the values I want to bestow upon my child.

Maybe what is lacking is the value of leadership in society. I do not consider myself a great leader, but I step up when the time calls for it, and I don't see that from others around me, so I have to figure out how to bring those people near me OR become someone who teaches a new generation how to be the leaders we lack right now.

2. Family
An extension of the masculinity issue is a lack of family values. As the narrative shifted, especially over the past several years, the focus on traditional family support systems has crumbled under the idea that everyone gets to have their cake and eat it too.

I underestimated the importance of putting family first until not doing so became a horse that kicked me in the face. Now, I see that family is everything, and I am doing what I can to lead our family forward in a new direction, while viciously slashing out the cancer culture that tries to make its way in.

The challenge is that this isn't limited to my own family. Many families are barely holding together because of ideas that are cute in theory but fail in practice over time. Ideas like polyamory which were once frowned upon, but now are promoted as mainstream even though the concept isn't a good idea for most people most of the time because most people do not have the mental fortitude or clarity of communication to manage systems like that without destroying everything they've built (which is often nothing anyway).

3. Tribes
An extension of the family issue is a lack of local tribes, not necessarily of like-minded people, but small group tribes in general. Friendship is lacking. People don't want to know each other, especially not their neighbors.

Without tribal systems, I don't know how a real sense of community can develop. Sure, we've got local Facebook groups, but those are a cesspool of nasty comments, scams, and people complaining about the cost of things.

Without tribes, who do you turn to when your world falls to pieces? Without friends, who do you talk to? Without community, who watches over the neighborhood? Who helps you pull the tree from the roof of your house after a storm? Who comforts you when your mom dies? Who supports you when your house burns down?

I think society has turned toward a "lone wolf" approach and is trying to make it work at the expense of local communities - the world is trying to shift toward online communities or toward altered family-based tribes, but it isn't panning out well because those systems aren't built around traditional values that tend to move societies forward.

The Solution?
I'm not sure. I'm considering church. I'm not religious, and I'm probably the last person someone would think would attend church. But reflecting on the earlier parts of my life, I realize that church (at least as it exists where I am) is one of the last remnants of the values above.

Church groups are typically small tribes built around values of community, family, masculinity. Not only that, but intelligent people can easily become leaders within a church, and then gain enormous influence to affect the congregation.

Church groups also tend to have sub-tribal events to support their community - men's night, kids events, senior retreats, women's night etc. Lastly, church groups position you to meet people, network, and grow your local sphere of influence beyond the church.

In other words, churches tend to embrace the values above. They have leadership as a central element and a focus on God which translates back into these values in different ways whether you believe in God or not.

Becoming the Solution
This is the only answer that makes any sense to me.

Church is not *the solution* because the problems of the changing world make their way through the Church's doors as well. I think Church is a good starting point for a local social support system base, but it is the individuals within those walls that either build up or break down that community.

So I guess leadership is ultimately the solution.

You have to decide what your values are, and then you have to figure out how to build up a social system around you that supports those values, whether they are the values above, or are something else. This is, in my opinion, how you can create a deep sense of community, family, and friendship, even when the people around you aren't necessarily like you.

It's frustrating. It's hard. It's on your shoulders, and that part sucks, but if not you... then who?
 
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MattR82

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I'm 39. Have to arrange at least 4 weeks in advance to catch up with most of my old friends., except for one or two.

Living in an expat community overseas was the most social time of my life, so I'll be going back to that eventually.
 

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Andy Black

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I was thinking about how to solve a different, but related problem. I think it is close enough to not warrant another thread. Since 2017 I've felt disconnected due to leading a different lifestyle from everyone around me. This has spiraled in and out of experiences of loneliness and depression.

I thought it was caused by a lack of close friends in real life, but now I think it is the lack of societal support systems in general. Here are the elements I think are missing that cause a lot of frustration for a lot of people.

1. Masculinity
Where have the *men* gone? I mean, what happened to the values of men? Somehow, it seems like the priorities of men have changed. Tiny buns, weiners tucked between legs, and avoiding offending people seem to take precedence over things like conquering, winning, strength, courage, fatherhood, camaraderie, follow-through, keeping your word, honesty, influence, etc.

Men used to be THE warfighters, laborers, authority figures, and breadwinners, and if you weren't those things, then you were not a "man." I certainly don't fit the mold when it comes to traditional masculinity, but I am the primary breadwinner. I did serve in the military. I do put foot to a$$ for my family, and I am constantly in pursuit of improving our lot in life while trying to embody the values I want to bestow upon my child.

Maybe what is lacking is the value of leadership in society. I do not consider myself a great leader, but I step up when the time calls for it, and I don't see that from others around me, so I have to figure out how to bring those people near me OR become someone who teaches a new generation how to be the leaders we lack right now.

2. Family
An extension of the masculinity issue is a lack of family values. As the narrative shifted, especially over the past several years, the focus on traditional family support systems has crumbled under the idea that everyone gets to have their cake and eat it too.

I underestimated the importance of putting family first until not doing so became a horse that kicked me in the face. Now, I see that family is everything, and I am doing what I can to lead our family forward in a new direction, while viciously slashing out the cancer culture that tries to make its way in.

The challenge is that this isn't limited to my own family. Many families are barely holding together because of ideas that are cute in theory but fail in practice over time. Ideas like polyamory which were once frowned upon, but now are promoted as mainstream even though the concept isn't a good idea for most people most of the time because most people do not have the mental fortitude or clarity of communication to manage systems like that without destroying everything they've built (which is often nothing anyway).

3. Tribes
An extension of the family issue is a lack of local tribes, not necessarily of like-minded people, but small group tribes in general. Friendship is lacking. People don't want to know each other, especially not their neighbors.

Without tribal systems, I don't know how a real sense of community can develop. Sure, we've got local Facebook groups, but those are a cesspool of nasty comments, scams, and people complaining about the cost of things.

Without tribes, who do you turn to when your world falls to pieces? Without friends, who do you talk to? Without community, who watches over the neighborhood? Who helps you pull the tree from the roof of your house after a storm? Who comforts you when your mom dies? Who supports you when your house burns down?

I think society has turned toward a "lone wolf" approach and is trying to make it work at the expense of local communities - the world is trying to shift toward online communities or toward altered family-based tribes, but it isn't panning out well because those systems aren't built around traditional values that tend to move societies forward.

The Solution?
I'm not sure. I'm considering church. I'm not religious, and I'm probably the last person someone would think would attend church. But reflecting on the earlier parts of my life, I realize that church (at least as it exists where I am) is one of the last remnants of the values above.

Church groups are typically small tribes built around values of community, family, masculinity. Not only that, but intelligent people can easily become leaders within a church, and then gain enormous influence to affect the congregation.

Church groups also tend to have sub-tribal events to support their community - men's night, kids events, senior retreats, women's night etc. Lastly, church groups position you to meet people, network, and grow your local sphere of influence beyond the church.

In other words, churches tend to embrace the values above. They have leadership as a central element and a focus on God which translates back into these values in different ways whether you believe in God or not.

Becoming the Solution
This is the only answer that makes any sense to me.

Church is not *the solution* because the problems of the changing world make their way through the Church's doors as well. I think Church is a good starting point for a local social support system base, but it is the individuals within those walls that either build up or break down that community.

So I guess leadership is ultimately the solution.

You have to decide what your values are, and then you have to figure out how to build up a social system around you that supports those values, whether they are the values above, or are something else. This is, in my opinion, how you can create a deep sense of community, family, and friendship, even when the people around you aren't necessarily like you.

It's frustrating. It's hard. It's on your shoulders, and that part sucks, but if not you... then who?
I’ve totally not being following this thread, mostly because I’m not in the age group. Ha.

I love this post by @Lex DeVille (although I had to Google “polyamory”).

I also think leadership is what’s lacking and is what would help a lot of people.

I hadn’t thought of church. I personally wouldn’t go that route but I see your point.

For a few years now I’ve helped local youngsters with their Maths study. It’s always troubled me that that’s the only time I get in front of them with a flipchart and pen.

I feel I can help a lot of the local youngsters with mindset, learning, career, life and business advice.

When I teach I often tell stories. I know from my own schooling that stories stick, and can have a large impact on people’s lives .

If money was no object I’d help local youngsters do the digital marketing for local businesses.

What kind of local business would help your local community in such a way that you could also achieve those other goals?

Could it be education related?

I even feel this is becoming a “mission” for me.
 

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I was thinking about how to solve a different, but related problem. I think it is close enough to not warrant another thread. Since 2017 I've felt disconnected due to leading a different lifestyle from everyone around me. This has spiraled in and out of experiences of loneliness and depression.

I thought it was caused by a lack of close friends in real life, but now I think it is the lack of societal support systems in general. Here are the elements I think are missing that cause a lot of frustration for a lot of people.

1. Masculinity
Where have the *men* gone? I mean, what happened to the values of men? Somehow, it seems like the priorities of men have changed. Tiny buns, weiners tucked between legs, and avoiding offending people seem to take precedence over things like conquering, winning, strength, courage, fatherhood, camaraderie, follow-through, keeping your word, honesty, influence, etc.

Men used to be THE warfighters, laborers, authority figures, and breadwinners, and if you weren't those things, then you were not a "man." I certainly don't fit the mold when it comes to traditional masculinity, but I am the primary breadwinner. I did serve in the military. I do put foot to a$$ for my family, and I am constantly in pursuit of improving our lot in life while trying to embody the values I want to bestow upon my child.

Maybe what is lacking is the value of leadership in society. I do not consider myself a great leader, but I step up when the time calls for it, and I don't see that from others around me, so I have to figure out how to bring those people near me OR become someone who teaches a new generation how to be the leaders we lack right now.

2. Family
An extension of the masculinity issue is a lack of family values. As the narrative shifted, especially over the past several years, the focus on traditional family support systems has crumbled under the idea that everyone gets to have their cake and eat it too.

I underestimated the importance of putting family first until not doing so became a horse that kicked me in the face. Now, I see that family is everything, and I am doing what I can to lead our family forward in a new direction, while viciously slashing out the cancer culture that tries to make its way in.

The challenge is that this isn't limited to my own family. Many families are barely holding together because of ideas that are cute in theory but fail in practice over time. Ideas like polyamory which were once frowned upon, but now are promoted as mainstream even though the concept isn't a good idea for most people most of the time because most people do not have the mental fortitude or clarity of communication to manage systems like that without destroying everything they've built (which is often nothing anyway).

3. Tribes
An extension of the family issue is a lack of local tribes, not necessarily of like-minded people, but small group tribes in general. Friendship is lacking. People don't want to know each other, especially not their neighbors.

Without tribal systems, I don't know how a real sense of community can develop. Sure, we've got local Facebook groups, but those are a cesspool of nasty comments, scams, and people complaining about the cost of things.

Without tribes, who do you turn to when your world falls to pieces? Without friends, who do you talk to? Without community, who watches over the neighborhood? Who helps you pull the tree from the roof of your house after a storm? Who comforts you when your mom dies? Who supports you when your house burns down?

I think society has turned toward a "lone wolf" approach and is trying to make it work at the expense of local communities - the world is trying to shift toward online communities or toward altered family-based tribes, but it isn't panning out well because those systems aren't built around traditional values that tend to move societies forward.

The Solution?
I'm not sure. I'm considering church. I'm not religious, and I'm probably the last person someone would think would attend church. But reflecting on the earlier parts of my life, I realize that church (at least as it exists where I am) is one of the last remnants of the values above.

Church groups are typically small tribes built around values of community, family, masculinity. Not only that, but intelligent people can easily become leaders within a church, and then gain enormous influence to affect the congregation.

Church groups also tend to have sub-tribal events to support their community - men's night, kids events, senior retreats, women's night etc. Lastly, church groups position you to meet people, network, and grow your local sphere of influence beyond the church.

In other words, churches tend to embrace the values above. They have leadership as a central element and a focus on God which translates back into these values in different ways whether you believe in God or not.

Becoming the Solution
This is the only answer that makes any sense to me.

Church is not *the solution* because the problems of the changing world make their way through the Church's doors as well. I think Church is a good starting point for a local social support system base, but it is the individuals within those walls that either build up or break down that community.

So I guess leadership is ultimately the solution.

You have to decide what your values are, and then you have to figure out how to build up a social system around you that supports those values, whether they are the values above, or are something else. This is, in my opinion, how you can create a deep sense of community, family, and friendship, even when the people around you aren't necessarily like you.

It's frustrating. It's hard. It's on your shoulders, and that part sucks, but if not you... then who?
I did not expect this from you Lex. Not in a bad way. But this is amazing!!

I think you are really on to something. Personally, I know I need to go to church for all the reasons you described. I've been hung up for a long time on it because of the pastor's opinions (they really do change a lot of what is said in a sermon) but the community and connection is so valuable.

Same with community events and volunteering.

Still, if you aren't very religious, I'm not sure what could possibly replace church.
 

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Probably this:


Which kinda leads me back to education. Maybe giving free or super cheap local workshops to help local businesses.

Ha… I knew I had a thread about it somewhere:
volunteering is great. It's different from hanging out with a bunch of people in a wholesome, judgement-free setting though. That's what church feels like to me. At church, you have people who are rich and poor, healthy and sick, attractive and ugly, all together, singing, sitting by one another, having coffee and donuts before and after, talking about life.

Volunteering is kind of like working a job. You can get focused on the task at hand, rather than the people around you.
 

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I think what most people need is to socialize with people that they have the same interests in. If you are in your own bubble, even your day to day accomplishments can be unfulfilling because there is nobody to share it with.

Imagine finally getting a personal record on some video game after 1 month of trying and you have nobody to tell it to. I mean you can tell friends that don't play video games and they will say "great" but they really have no idea what you did or how hard you worked.

Today, when I send my Amazon FBA graph to someone else in ecom, they know exactly what it means, good or bad. When me and @JasonR bitch about high container costs we feel each other's pain. This connection only occurs when you and your friends have activities in common. My W2 friends could care less about container prices. But when I send them a meme about MJ and Lebron, it starts a whole 1/2 day conversation.

As @Lex DeVille mentioned, it's all about tribes. But you might need different tribes, a tribe for sports, a tribe for ecom, a tribe for video gaming...
 
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