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Ask Polly: ‘I Am So Bad at Making New Friends!’
The way out of that trap is giving up. That’s something you don’t hear in America very often: Quit. Give up. Surrender. Be the desperate loser you don’t want to see in the world, and give her your love. Right now, you’re observing your desperate self and trying to love her, but you can’t. Instead, you’re blaming yourself for not loving her. Don’t do that! That’s just as bad as avoiding a REAL LIFE desperate, lonely person who might be your future BFF! It’s okay to be turned off by yourself and others. That’s just you struggling with real emotions. That’s just you digging for the truth, the whole truth.

Let the whole truth in. Ask yourself: Why is it gross to seem desperate and awkward? Why is loneliness pathetic to you? And what are your fears around being known, being seen, being heard? Why does it feel safer to stay hidden? What happens after you’re rejected? Are you supposed to take it seriously? Are you supposed to crawl back into a hole then? What if you chose not to? What if you kept trying to connect instead?
relationships  friendship 
2 days ago by hopeful_monster
One in four Australians are lonely, which affects their physical and mental health
One in four Australians are lonely, which affects their physical and mental health
November 9, 2018 6.33am AEDT
Younger Australians struggle more with loneliness than older generations. Toa Heftiba
Michelle H Lim
Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist, Swinburne University of Technology

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One in four Australians are lonely, our new report has found, and it’s not just a problem among older Australians – it affects both genders and almost all age groups.

The Australian Loneliness Report, released today by my colleagues and I at the Australian Psychological Society and Swinburne University, found one in two (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for at least one day in a week, while more than one in four (27.6%) feel lonely for three or more days.

Our results come from a survey of 1,678 Australians from across the nation. We used a comprehensive measure of loneliness to assess how it relates to mental health and physical health outcomes.

Read more: Politics with Michelle Grattan: Andrew Giles on the growing issue of loneliness

We found nearly 55% of the population feel they lack companionship at least sometime. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Australians who are married or in a de facto relationship are the least lonely, compared to those who are single, separated or divorced.

While Australians are reasonably connected to their friends and families, they don’t have the same relationships with their neighbours. Almost half of Australians (47%) reported not having neighbours to call on for help, which suggests many of us feel disengaged in our neighbourhoods.

Impact on mental and physical health
Lonely Australians, when compared with their less lonely counterparts, reported higher social anxiety and depression, poorer psychological health and quality of life, and fewer meaningful relationships and social interactions.

Loneliness increases a person’s likelihood of experiencing depression by 15.2% and the likelihood of social anxiety increases by 13.1%. Those who are lonelier also report being more socially anxious during social interactions.

This fits with previous research, including a study of more than 1,000 Americans which found lonelier people reported more severe social anxiety, depression, and paranoia when followed up after three months.

Older Australians are less socially anxious than younger folks. Fabio Neo Amato
Interestingly, Australians over 65 were less lonely, less socially anxious, and less depressed than younger Australians.

This is consistent with previous studies that show older people fare better on particular mental health and well-being indicators.

(Though it’s unclear whether this is the case for adults over 75, as few participants in our study were aged in the late 70s and over).

Younger adults, on the other hand, reported significantly more social anxiety than older Australians.

The evidence outlining the negative effects of loneliness on physical health is also growing. Past research has found loneliness increases the likelihood of an earlier death by 26% and has negative consequences on the health of your heart, your sleep, and levels of inflammation.

Read more: Loneliness is a health issue, and needs targeted solutions

Our study adds to this body of research, finding people with higher rates of loneliness are more likely to have more headaches, stomach problems, and physical pain. This is not surprising as loneliness is associated with increased inflammatory responses.

What can we do about it?
Researchers are just beginning to understand the detrimental effects of loneliness on our health, social lives and communities but many people – including service providers – are unaware. There are no guidelines or training for service providers.

So, even caring and highly trained staff at emergency departments may trivialise the needs of lonely people presenting repeatedly and direct them to resources that aren’t right.

Increasing awareness, formalised training, and policies are all steps in the right direction to reduce this poor care.

For some people, simple solutions such as joining shared interest groups (such as book clubs) or shared experienced groups (such as bereavement or carers groups) may help alleviate their loneliness.

But for others, there are more barriers to overcome, such as stigma, discrimination, and poverty.

Shared interest groups can help some people feel less alone. Danielle Cerullo
Many community programs and social services focus on improving well-being and quality of life for lonely people. By tackling loneliness, they may also improve the health of Australians. But without rigorous evaluation of these health outcomes, it’s difficult to determine their impact.

We know predictors of loneliness can include genetics, brain functioning, mental health, physical health, community, work, and social factors. And we know predictors can differ between groups – for example, young versus old.

But we need to better measure and understand these different predictors and how they influence each other over time. Only with Australian data can we predict who is at risk and develop effective solutions.

Read more: The deadly truth about loneliness

There are some things we can do in the meantime.

We need a campaign to end loneliness for all Australians. Campaigns can raise awareness, reduce stigma, and empower not just the lonely person but also those around them.

Loneliness campaigns have been successfully piloted in the United Kingdom and Denmark. These campaigns don’t just raise awareness of loneliness; they also empower lonely and un-lonely people to change their social behaviours.

A great example of action arising from increased awareness comes from the Royal College of General Practitioners, which developed action plans to assist lonely patients presenting in primary care. The college encouraged GPs to tackle loneliness with more than just medicine; it prompted them to ask what matters to the lonely person rather than what is the matter with the lonely person.

Australia lags behind other countries but loneliness is on the agenda. Multiple Australian organisations have come together after identifying a need to generate Australian-specific data, increase advocacy, and develop an awareness campaign. But only significant, sustained government investment and bipartisan support will ensure this promising work results in better outcomes for lonely Australians.
psychology  health  happiness  loneliness  relationship  friendship 
4 days ago by enochko
Puzzles - kerravon - Stargate Atlantis [Archive of Our Own]
After John's off-hand comment about passing a MENSA exam, Rodney feels obliged to challenge him. Unfortunately, the puzzles are interrupted by a cave-in that injures John and traps them both.
gen  math  f:sga  friendship  c:john.sheppard 
8 days ago by miss_speller
afrai: Friendship!!! Is Magic
She edged closer to the refreshments table. She wasn't the first to think of this: there was another person there. He was dark-haired – Asian, perhaps? More importantly, it was evident he didn't want to be at the party any more than Haruhi. He was radiating discomfort.

You didn't spend years in a host club without developing certain instincts. Haruhi said to the stranger:

"The food's good, isn't it? Have you tried the small quiches?"

In which Victor is hilariously jealous of Yuuri and Haruhi making friends, and Haruhi likes Yuuri's skating as an insomnia aid but is totally inured to Victor by years of Tamaki exposure, and everyone is so in character it hurts.
fic  crossover  ouran  yurionice  gen  friendship  postcanon  humor  het  marriage  haruhi/tamaki  slash  victor/yuuri  <15K  +2017-05 
8 days ago by spatz
galaxysoup: Due Diligence
Kyouya is the last person Haruhi expects to find standing outside her door at three in the morning.

In which Kyouya visits Haruhi shortly after his first child is born. Lovely.
fic  ouran  gen  postcanon  friendship  <5K  +2012-04 
8 days ago by spatz
Ever Felt Jealous of a Friend’s Achievement? Here’s How to Get Around It - The New York Times
When those feelings of jealousy begin to set in, instead of framing a friend’s achievement as something you could have done but didn’t, try to find the complementary aspects of their achievement to discourage the implicit comparison, Vedantam writes.

Say, for example, your best friend earns an award in your shared field. Rather than ask yourself, “Why didn’t I win that award?” find the ways your friend’s work is different from the things you do and the goals you have set for yourself. Embrace the prideful side of this coin, and celebrate your friend’s accomplishment — studies have shown that a loved one’s accomplishment can even rub off on you, increasing your own self-evaluation.
jealousy  friendship  relationships 
9 days ago by hopeful_monster
The Exit Signs I Missed
"Soulmate AU- Ronan is the first to realize that he and Adam are soulbonded through the words on their bodies, but chooses to keep it to himself." (31,317 words)
adam_parrish  ronan_lynch  richard_gansey  blue_sargent  adam/ronan  abused!adam  clueless!adam  pining!ronan  angst  hurt/comfort  friendship  issues:class  abuse:child  slowburn  pining  bonding/soulmates  first_time  fandom:ravencycle  author:mugsandpugs 
9 days ago by elwarre
Any Port in a Storm (the Cold Winds, Hot Air remix)
Xparrot - Rodney & Ronon, G --- 5,212

Rodney and Ronon in a blizzard.
ao3  sga  gen  *g  w.c::5-10k  ;★★★  h/c  friendship  dialogue-only 
9 days ago by we.are.golden
Safe Harbor
sholio - Rodney & Ronon, G --- 1,200

Ronon and Rodney in a blizzard.
lj-fic  sga  gen  *g  w.a::0-2k  ;★★★  h/c  friendship 
9 days ago by we.are.golden
A Strange and Complicated Thing
"Didn’t Adam Parrish deserve nice things? Didn’t Adam Parrish deserve to be pushed against the back wall of Boyd’s and be kissed like he was addictive by a boy who had the cheekbones of a model? Didn’t he deserve hands grasping at his waist with an eagerness to be held close that Adam had never known? Adam Parrish didn’t have many nice things in his life, and he wasn’t going to question this one that had happened unanticipated this one random, Saturday afternoon." (39,462 words)
adam_parrish  ronan_lynch  richard_gansey  adam/ronan  smart!adam  hurt!adam  abused!adam  protective!ronan  understanding!ronan  schmoop  hurt/comfort  angst  friendship  abuse:child  issues:class  homophobia  first_time  rc:au:no!supernatural  fandom:ravencycle  author:ungoodpirate  have:pdf 
9 days ago by elwarre
A Region Of Space - respoftw - Stargate Atlantis [Archive of Our Own]
A cube is a region of space formed by six identical square faces joined along their edges.

It's also the region of space that John and his team are currently trapped in.
math  fusion  f:sga  team!fic  pre.ship  friendship  rescue  kidnapping 
11 days ago by miss_speller
Project Friendship - by Janice_Lester
Friendships, Spock’s mother had explained with great patience long ago, relied on the identification and exploitation of common interests and life experiences. Friendships are logically desirable, in that, along with his nascent relationship with Nyota, they should go some way towards alleviating the discomfort and distraction he still suffers as a result of the myriad subtle psychic bonds severed when Vulcan died. Spock, therefore, employs one point six hours soon after reactivating his commission to join the Enterprise on its five-year mission in reviewing the full crew manifest and the public portions of the relevant personnel files in order to identify his most logical friendship targets. The captain’s placement on the short-list cannot be avoided, owing to the intelligence provided by Spock’s elderly counterpart, but Spock has found present within himself a desire to identify and engage friends he has chosen independently of any advice from time-travellers. He rates 54 individuals as possibilities, 33 as probabilities. He short-lists only four, so that he may devote sufficient time to each during the initial phase of attempting to instigate friendly relations.

In the space of one week, Spock successfully invites Captain Kirk to join him for a game of three-dimensional chess in the recreation room (Kirk very nearly manages to force a stalemate, and Spock is moved to raise an eyebrow in surprise), unsuccessfully invites Doctor McCoy to discuss astronomical phenomena with him on the observation deck (“I’m a doctor! What makes you think I have time for, well, that?”), engages Lieutenant Yangikskslbx in a brief but satisfactory conversation on the merits of her newly blue-dyed flagella for attracting mates, and is the recipient of Ensign Chekov’s warmest smile after agreeing to evaluate the hypothetical course he has plotted (“is only a hobby, Commander, but it is good mental exercise, I think?”) for most efficiently exploring all the remaining uncharted regions of their galaxy non-stop. Spock considers a 75% success rate for his initial overtures an entirely adequate beginning to Project Friendship.
st:aos  gen  spock&mccoy  friendship 
21 days ago by runpunkrun
Extinction: Part 1 The Return | originaltempus
Summary: Defending two galaxies from a single planet is an impossible task. Sometimes offense is the best defence.
f:sga  stealing.atlantis  independent.atlantis  gen  friendship  l:atlantis 
22 days ago by miss_speller

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