Up until now, my suggestions to raise your vibration have all been solitary endeavors, and if you’re an introvert like me you’ve probably been 100% fine with that. I am energized by solitude and cherish my alone time, but introversion can be a double-edged sword. If I’m not mindful, my healthy solitude can easily veer into not-so-healthy isolation and loneliness.
The truth is, we human beings need connection with each other…and I’m not talking about liking each others’ statuses on Facebook. I’m talking about actual, physical, hugging, talking, crying and laughing together connection. Our need to belong, to share, to love and be loved is as vital as our need for food and air. When we have strong social ties we’re happier, healthier, more resistant to illness, and live longer lives.
But getting out there doesn’t always come easily to some of us, and the ubiquitousness of social media can give us an easy but ultimately hollow sense of connection. Have you ever spent an hour liking and commenting on Facebook only to wind up feeling emptier and lonelier than ever? Yeah, me too. Don’t get me wrong; I love Facebook. It’s fun. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people who live far away. And I’ve been fortunate to land in a very closeknit online group from which has sprung some lovely real-life friendships. (The photo above is from one of our meetups.) But generally speaking, social media is no substitute for the real thing.
So what’s a socially challenged introvert to do? For me, Meetup has been a godsend. You simply sign up, type in your interests, and find a local group of like-minded people to join up with. Or start one of your own! I’ve met some awesome people at a local meditation group and a walking group. You can also join a gym, go to a support group, take a class, volunteer…keep trying different things until you find your tribe. Your people need you.