Ideas for improving social interaction — R Voice

Ideas for improving social interaction

Hi folks! The past couple of years have been a struggle, like they have been for many of us. I have been especially struggling because I'm so isolated. I live in another country, I live alone, and I've been working on my dissertation from home. When I put some effort into it, I'm able to drum up more options for interacting with people online, but I'd like to get some other ideas. Things that have worked for me so far: watching movies online, my online working groups, meditation/yoga. Does anyone else have other creative ideas for just being around other people?

Comments

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin
    edited January 5

    Thanks for starting this thread @suzanne reinhardt. I can relate to your concerns about social interaction and with new lockdowns and restrictions being announced in different parts of the world, I'm starting to feel nervous again. Social interaction is not an issue for me at this point, because I can still travel locally. But back when I couldn't leave my house, one thing that really helped was a recurring Zoom call that me and a few of my friends had set up.

    It was difficult to stick to it at first because we ended up talking about the same thing and often ran out of "updates" to give each other. But with time, it was extremely helpful. For one, it gave us all something to look forward to, and it felt comforting to know that we could share the happenings of the week with people who genuinely cared, even if it wasn't big exciting news. It's not like I couldn't pick up the phone and call them at random. But with busy lives, that never happens. The fact that these meetings were on our calendars ensured that we didn't skip it and planned other things around it instead.

    I know of a few other people who've joined Zoom exercise groups and still others who are part of online book clubs. Could be something to explore?

    I'm interested to hear from others in the community. @Vivien Kretz @Kakoli Majumder @Shruti Turner @Soumi Paul @Oladele Campbell @Omololu FAGBADEBO @Gustavo Arluna @Suman Mundkur @Isurika Sevwandi @Hong Ching Goh @Kiran Kondru I'd love to hear your thoughts on this :)

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    Thanks, @suzanne reinhardthanks@Andrea Hayward, for the invite. One thing that the lockdown has done is to alter the pattern of social interaction. It was a big blow to those of us who are extroverts. Nevertheless, it has been a serious learning curve for reassessment of personal life. The first year afforded me the opportunity of maximum concentration on my book publication. While I was able to interact with some friends and colleagues through the various social platforms, I was an opportunity for me to rediscover my person.

    One thing at a time😍

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    @suzanne reinhardt thank you so much for starting this thread. The same concern also hit me like a train recently.

    Last lockdown, I had reoccurring walks with two of my friends and signed up to walk a dog regularly, which gave me another kind of interaction and also forced me to go outside of the house. 🐕 Those were a lot of fun.

    I definetely agree with @Andrea Hayward, organising meet-ups regularly is definetely very fruitful.

    I share your concerns but I am very hopeful, too. During the last year, I built up connections randomly with people I knew and didn’t know through Instagram and Facetimed people from high school I thought I would never talk to again.

    Always remember that there is a lot of people out there to connect with and so many people happy to connect with you. You are more connected than you think you are.

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 80 ✭✭✭

    Thanks to both @suzanne reinhardt and @Andrea Hayward for initiating this conversation. Being an introvert, this did not hit me that much but I would say we can explore deeper relationships with people we already knew which is comfortable for me than dealing with strangers found on internet whom we cannot sometimes rely on blindly without knowing their clear intentions. We were fortunate enough to interact with the neighborhood and explore new topics, start community gardening together during this lockdown under safety precautions. My personal view here is to create a circle of contact companions from your friends' group or from your neighborhood so you can immediately go to them when you need, via WhatsApp groups (I mostly rely on this), WhatsApp group calls, or just text messages. I also suggest enjoying being alone and reaching out to people only if you literally need it because loneliness could be so much positive in focusing on academia, especially to get your dissertation done😀

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin


    @Omololu FAGBADEBO you're so right. The pandemic and lockdowns have definitely led to reassessment of not just personal life in general but also preferences when it comes to social life. I consider myself to be an extrovert but upon reflecting during the time I spent away from people for a large part of 2020, I realized that I enjoy the quiet. It helps me clear my mind and focus. It's not to say that I'm now asocial but I don't think I ever had the opportunity to experience this quiet and calm before the pandemic, as I was always on the move and around people.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @suzanne reinhardt I just thought of something else, specifically the role that our furry (and feathered) friends have played in keeping us company in the absence of social interaction. I'm not going to say that it replaces human interaction but my cat Stitches truly kept me sane and also occupied in the best way during the first lockdown in 2020. Spending time with him is both comforting and fun! He's always up to some new mischief, so I'll never be bored. Also, the cuddles and hugs are a big bonus 😅

    If you're an animal person and have the physical space for a pet, I'd recommend exploring this :)

    I think my fellow animal lovers @Hong Ching Goh and @Jayashree Rajagopalan would also have something to say on this 🙂

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Vivien Kretz signing up to walk a dog sounds like a wonderful reason to step out of the house 😃

    "You are more connected than you think you are" - Thanks for always hitting us with this quotable wisdom 🤩

  • Hong Ching Goh
    Hong Ching Goh Member Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    I value my interaction and connection with all living creatures equally, see not quite much of difference between with cats and dogs, or nature as compared to human. but I guess I do have preferences haha

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    You are right, @Andrea Hayward. That is the rediscovery that I was referring to. There is a certain social part of our lives that we did not understand until the lockdown brought out our true and real person.

    One thing at a time😍