Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two blinks: on loneliness and communication

Here is an article Georgina linked on Facebook, called The Lethality of Loneliness, about the science and the biological effects of loneliness. It’s long, but interesting if you are so inclined. Here is the conclusion:
At a deeper level, though, loneliness research forces us to acknowledge our own extraordinary malleability in the face of social forces. This susceptibility is both terrifying and exhilarating. On the terrifying side is the unhappy fact that isolation, especially when it stems from the disenfranchisement of the underprivileged, creates a bodily limitation all too easily reproduced in each successive generation ... But there’s something awe-inspiring about our resilience, too. Put an orphan in foster care, and his brain will repair its missing connections. Teach a lonely person to respond to others without fear and paranoia, and over time, her body will make fewer stress hormones and get less sick from them. Care for a pet or start believing in a supernatural being and your score on the UCLA Loneliness Scale will go down. Even an act as simple as joining an athletic team or a church can lead to what Cole calls “molecular remodeling”. “One message I take away from this is, ‘Hey, it’s not just early life that counts,’ ” he says. “We have to choose our life well.”
And here is an article from The Art of Manliness, that Elsie linked on facebook, about How to Communicate Your Needs in a Relationship, but it doesn't need to be a "romantic" relationship. This merges with what I have posted previously from Growing Yourself Up, by Jenny Brown, and also called to mind a recent tweet from Alain de Botton :):
Paradox of the sulk: 'if I have to spell this one out, you're not someone I want to be understood by.'

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