Lonely in London? Only if you allow yourself to be5th February 2015
With Ben Karkaxhiu breaking London records this week and pushing the capital’s population to over 8.615 million, the highest since 1939, we must ask ourselves how can you be lonely in London and how can Britain be deemed as one of the loneliest places in Europe?
The Mental Health Org stipulates that loneliness is a situation experienced where there is an unpleasant or inadmissible lack of certain relationships. This includes situations in which a number of existing relationships is smaller than considered desirable or where the intimacy one wishes for has not been realised. Thus, loneliness is seen to involve the manner in which a person experiences and evaluates his or her isolation and lack of communication with other people. Yet in a world currently fueled by communication, and the insuppressible nature that is social networking, how can anyone really deem themselves as lonely?
For me, a place is only lonely if you allow it to be just that, and loneliness in itself is to your own detriment by being wrapped up in the world of the online and not experiencing both what, for example, London has to offer and the people within it.
I would like to note here that for anyone who does feel lonely, I’m not saying that loneliness does not exist; it, of course, does. I felt lonely when I first moved away from home to London in 2013 and initially struggled. But, my point is if I would have allowed myself to continue to be lonely in a city which thrives on its ever-growing community and culture – both on and offline – then I would only have myself to blame. There is no shortage of means to find company, friendships and love in London.
Yes, this is easy for me to say working for one of London’s leading on-to-offline social networking companies (thinkingbob) as my role as Head of Community essentially has a hidden stipulation that I must be a sociable person. Luckily for me – and I genuinely hand on heart mean luckily – I am a sociable person and find that socialising and talking with others comes naturally to me. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for that personal quality. But I also know that this isn’t the case for everyone…
Having met many, many people all with very similar stories;“I really struggle when I meet new people”, “I find it difficult to find friends in London”, “I just get too nervous and back out”, “I can’t find people who had the same interests as me”. Every single story is valid, and every single story is real. But these are the people who have broken their own personal ‘lonely London’ barriers and taken those all important steps:
Step 1: Turn on the computer.
Step 2: Accepting that you’re a person who needs one friend, a group of friends, a massive social circle or even if you need to find ‘the one’ – you’re just like the rest of us!
Step 3: Type in the words we all fear and feel (unnecessarily) ashamed to typing: ‘meet new people in London’
Step 5: Didn’t like who I went with in step 4 – I’ll try again! You will find a group and people that suit you and your interests. Trust me, I did.
London is only lonely if you allow it to be. So don’t let it be.
thinking bob is a leading on-to-offline social networking company currently located in London. Our focus is to provide social environments that allow people to connect and create friendships with others. We do this by creating innovative, cerebral and fun activities with the focus being on peoples minds and personalities rather than their job titles and where they were born. thinking bob is where minds meet.
UK Community Manager – thinking bob