“I am reproached for my taste for solitude. It’s just that I am more accustomed to my faults than to those of others.” Nicolas de Chamfort
How often do you crave for deep, fulfilling, meaningful connection with people around you, a connection which rarely comes? Do you have a general feeling that you do not belong? In other words, do you feel lonely?
Well, guess what, you are not alone feeling alone. Loneliness is lurking around the corner for all of us. In fact, loneliness is such a common problem that governments across the world are taking this matter very seriously. Indeed, it is now clear that loneliness does not only affect our mental health, but also our physical one, as well as our success in work and studies (1).
It is already hard to fulfill our natural needs for human connection in normal times, but it is even harder when we have to move in a different city or even country to study or work. It then becomes easy to feel alienated, belonging neither to our former home nor to our new place. Enrolling university, with its huge number of students, can make us feel the same, feeling alone yet surrounded by hundreds of students.
The Loneliness Fighter Brigade is here to help you with that. People often feel ashamed to admit they are lonely, as they think they are alone because they are not lovable. Instead, what about thinking of social connection as a need, just like eating or drinking? The feeling of loneliness is actually an alarm from our body to act and find connection with peers. Just as you feel hungry when your body needs energy, you feel lonely when you need to connect with other human beings. It is all quite natural!
We propose two types of activities:
- regular social evenings, inspired from a successful initiative in the US. We are not talking here about getting drunk, doing small talk, making random jokes and pretending everything is fine. Instead, we mean having a guided evening with exercises taken from psychology or theater techniques to help us bond and de-armor ourselves, so that we can have true open-hearted deep conversations.
- one-on-one meeting with one of the Loneliness Fighters (check here to choose your favorite :) ) in case you are having a hard time, need to talk and be listened to, need some advice, or anything we can help with. We are not here to judge, only to listen.
We welcome everyone: expats and Czechs, students and staff of Charles University. Some of us speak Czech, but many do not. For this reason, the social evenings will be in English, but you can choose a Czech-speaking Loneliness Fighter for the one-on-one meetings! :)
Hopefully, we may help you going through what you are going through. And well, the Loneliness Fighters are just humans, which means we also feel lonely more often than we wish, so you may help us too! :)
So, want to know more, join the next social evening or feel like talking?
- Follow us on Facebook for the latest news
- Just drop an email to lafonplc [at] natur.cuni.cz
- Or contact one of the Loneliness Fighters!
Looking forward to hearing from you :)
The Loneliness Fighter Brigade
A very good book on loneliness by the former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy:
1. V. H. Murthy, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World (Harper Wave, New York, NY, 2020).