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The Party Starts with YOU

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Do you feel disconnected these days? Lonely?

“A new study from the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross shows how online social media, rather than making us feel connected, contributes to loneliness and reduces overall life-satisfaction.” Read more Lonely facebook Friends

lonely woman

WELL, NO KIDDING! We’re made of flesh and bone, not bits, bytes, and pixels. I am 3-dimensional human being with a soul, body, and spirit, not a 2 dimensional, animated, cyber creature.

I LOVE REAL PEOPLE. I want to look into your eyes when you talk to me. I want to hold your hand when you need a friend. I long to give you a hug in person when you’re sad and another hug when you graduate from college. That helps bring “life satisfaction.”

SOCIAL MEDIA has a place, but when it sucks up hours of your day and lures you into the night you’ve just isolated yourself from living water and the bread of love.

LONELINESS: Don’t take it any more. Fight back!

IT WON’T BE EASY for some of you, but it will be worth it.

KNOW THIS: you are not alone in these feelings of disconnection and loneliness.

The counter measure: PARTY! – That’s right. I said party. I don’t mean drugs, alcohol, and wild dancing. NOR do I mean video games, watching TV, or the like.

You might have to teach yourself this and train yourself to like it.

It could be scary at first.

You can succeed!

HOW TO START:

1) Make an invite list. Once you have your list of names, execute! Run next door and talk to your nice neighbors. Drop off a paper invite to people you like at work. And, okay, send a PRIVATE FB message to “friends” who live in your area. Do you like the grocery clerk? Then invite her.

2) Pick a game, or two.  We have a closet stuffed full of a variety of games. If you don’t,  I just came across this AWESOME link to help you plan a party/game club. LINK 

3) Find a party partner. If you already feel your nerves on fire telling you, “NO! Don’t do it! Just keep hiding behind the screen. That’s safer,” then ask someone you trust to join you.

Believe me they are out there waiting to be asked.

4) Food and Drink. Ask people to bring a small plate of finger food to share. This is an important step; people need to feel like they’re contributing and not just mooching off you. Help them take ownership of this game-nite/party-club buy assigning them a task. “Hey Jane, can you pick up some paper plates on your way over. Thanks! You’re awesome.”

 

Friends playing5) Party night. Chill out! We’re all quirky human beings with emotional needs and fears. This is not a bad thing. It’s what makes us unique and authentic.

  • Greet people at the door .”I’m so glad you’re here. Thanks for coming.” (don’t just put up a sign telling them to come in)
  • De-clutter your play area and clean your bathroom before people arrive and they will feel more comfortable.
  • Introductions. If you have a hodgepodge of guests from everywhere, it sometimes helps even to do an activity to bring guests onto the same page mentally/emotionally. i.e. have everyone find one person they don’t know, ask them 3 things about that person, then be ready to introduce that person to the group. (trust me on this one)
  • Eat, drink, and be merry. YOUR ABILITY TO CHILL AND ENJOY WILL BE CONTAGIOUS.

Troubleshooting: Got a problem person? Someone who’s acting obnoxious or rude or over-talking the group? You and your host/partner take that person aside privately and ask them kindly to tone it down. They probably don’t realize their lack of social skills, and they might even love you for taking the time to help them overcome and be able to make friends. ONLY as a last resort should ask them to leave. You do want all your guests to feel secure and free to have fun at your party; that’s how to show them.

 

I used to teach group-building techniques and could go on forever on my favorite topic, but I’ll stop here–except to say: I’ve just started game nites again since moving to Texas, and I cannot wait for the first party.

Leave a comment in the comment section. Let me know your thoughts, and if you’re going to join the fight against social disconnection.

 

The Way of the Embattled Spirit

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2 Responses to “The Party Starts with YOU”

  1. J.A. Marx says:

    Follow up: Game Nites are going well. We’ve got friends from all walks of life sharing fun.
    J.A.

  2. joyce knab says:

    Oh THANK YOU! Great ideas and I will begin in June. For years it had become a job for which I was sometimes criticized and I think that I have forgotten how much fun I can have. I have forgotten how much I like gathering and getting to know people.
    Thanks again Julie

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