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Addressing Negative Thoughts Most Effective in Fighting Loneliness


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#1 Rebel

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 11:55 AM

Article on the most effective strategies to fight loneliness.
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Recently, researchers have characterized the negative influence of loneliness upon blood pressure, sleep quality, dementia, and other health measures. Those effects suggest that loneliness is a health risk factor, similar to obesity or smoking, which can be targeted to improve patients' health in several dimensions.

"People are becoming more isolated, and this health problem is likely to grow," said John Cacioppo, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. "If we know that loneliness is involved in health problems, the next question is what we can do to mitigate it."

To determine the most effective method for reducing loneliness, Cacioppo and a team of researchers from the University of Chicago examined the long history of research on the topic. Published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, their quantitative review found that the best interventions targeted social cognition rather than social skills or opportunities for social interaction.

The team's review, called a meta-analysis, analyzed the methods and results from dozens of papers that tested loneliness interventions. Strategies fell into four categories: improving social skills, increasing social support, creating opportunities for social interaction, and addressing social cognition.

When the researchers pooled the 20 studies that employed the most rigorous study design of randomized, controlled trials, they found a small, but significant effect on reducing loneliness. Sub-dividing the studies by their strategy revealed that interventions targeting social cognition -- a person's thoughts about themselves and others -- were far more effective than the other strategies.

"We're getting a better understanding of loneliness, that it's more of a cognitive issue and is subject to change," said Christopher Masi, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center and lead author of the study.

Specifically, the four interventions that helped people break the cycle of negative thoughts about self-worth and how people perceive them were the most effective at reducing loneliness. Studies that used cognitive-behavioral therapy, a technique also used for treating depression, eating disorders and other problems, were found to be particularly effective, the authors reported.

"Effective interventions are not so much about providing others with whom people can interact, providing social support, or teaching social skills as they are about changing how people who feel lonely perceive, think about, and act toward other people," Cacioppo said.

The quantitative analysis also examined whether group interventions were more effective than individual-based therapies for loneliness. Despite previous findings from qualitative reviews that favored group formats, the current review found no advantage for either group or individual interventions.

"That's not that surprising, because bringing a bunch of lonely people together is not expected to work if you understand the root causes of loneliness," Masi said. "Several studies have shown that lonely people have incorrect assumptions about themselves and about how other people perceive them. If you bring them all together, it's like bringing people with abnormal perceptions together, and they're not necessarily going to click."

Cacioppo, Masi, and colleagues next hope to apply what they learned from their review toward designing new ways of measuring and treating loneliness. Interventions of various intensity can also be designed for use by psychologists and primary care physicians on people with minor or severe loneliness. But all such designs would do well to focus on social cognition above other tools to reduce the health hazard of loneliness.

"I think loneliness is increasingly recognized as an important problem in medicine -- and certainly the demographic trends in society will likely exacerbate this problem," Masi said. "We found a type of intervention which seems to be effective and we are looking forward to testing a new intervention based on these findings."
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Source http://www.scienceda...00907171640.htm

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 02:30 PM

Secular society, welcome to Bible 101. Modern social habits are bad for your mental and emotional health, who'd have guessed? :parakaleo:
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

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#3 R2D2

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:18 AM

I'm not sure about that article even though I appreciate that it was a careful analysis of 20 studies. I would probably have to read the paper in its entiracy to understand what the method is that they are advocating. It sounds like it puts the blame on individuals (just change the way you think) whereas I do believe that modern society is creating more loneliness relative to the past. Families are smaller, people are busier, religious institutions that used to bring people together are less significant. As a result when people become lonely they develop negative thoughts, not the other way round. I think there are groups in the population who are more suceptible to loneliness than others because of particular circumstances and stressors.

I'm not a big fan of "positive thinking", although I'm not that sure if this is what they are advocating. I do like cognitive behavioural therapy but that is very practically based and teaching people to draw on social networks, do things they enjoy, change bad work lives, look after your health etc. I think when people do practical things such as focussing on their particular strengths in social interaction then positive thoughts and improved self worth will naturally follow on.
"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Heb 4:15

#4 IDF

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:35 AM

Being lonely keeps me on facebook all day :) Yeah Loneliness sucks, death is better than loneliness, that's how horrible a thing it is. We all experience it at sometime during our lives, just some more than others. All sorts of reasons why people end up lonely. Orphans and Widows probably the most prone to it, Mental health, disabilities and terminal or major illness's as well as poverty can all be major reasons. Time for me to plan a visit to someone who's lonely, at least then we can be lonely together :parakaleo:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

#5 Rebel

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:13 AM

I'm not sure about that article even though I appreciate that it was a careful analysis of 20 studies. I would probably have to read the paper in its entiracy to understand what the method is that they are advocating.

They have a link to http://psr.sagepub.c...088868310377394

And say Sage journals are free to access till 15th October.

It sounds like it puts the blame on individuals (just change the way you think

I don't think that they put blame on anybody.

But here's what wikipedia says about Criticism of Cognitive behavioral therapy

Presenters at a psychotherapy conference at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in July, 2008 criticized the increased spending on CBT and the widespread belief that CBT is more effective than other forms of psychotherapy.[66] In this conference professors Mick Cooper and Robert Elliott (both at University of Strathclyde), William B Stiles (Miami University) and Art Bohart (Saybrook University) issued a joint statement, which briefly stated:

* As more research focuses on CBT, more studies are published on CBT. This reinforces the logical error that CBT is superior and this has a direct negative effect on other forms of therapy, which are well documented but have smaller bodies of research.
* People who get therapy improve substantially, regardless of the type of therapy they get. When therapies are compared to one another, they usually appear to be equally effective.


when people become lonely they develop negative thoughts, not the other way round. I think there are groups in the population who are more suceptible to loneliness than others because of particular circumstances and stressors.

I don't think they are saying that people develop negative thoughts, then get lonely. They seem to say that just encouraging people to socialize is not enough, more important is to teach them to keep positive.

I'm not a big fan of "positive thinking", although I'm not that sure if this is what they are advocating.

No, it's not clear to me either what they advocate. I can't stand "positive thinking". Being positive is different though, just like you describe below.

I do like cognitive behavioural therapy but that is very practically based and teaching people to draw on social networks, do things they enjoy, change bad work lives, look after your health etc. I think when people do practical things such as focussing on their particular strengths in social interaction then positive thoughts and improved self worth will naturally follow on.

I reckon Americans should give R2D2 a few millions $$$ for telling them simple truth instead of spending their fortune and time on some vague research results :parakaleo:

Edited by Rebel, 14 September 2010 - 11:17 AM.


#6 Rebel

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:39 AM

Being lonely keeps me on facebook all day :) Yeah Loneliness sucks, death is better than loneliness, that's how horrible a thing it is. We all experience it at sometime during our lives, just some more than others. All sorts of reasons why people end up lonely. Orphans and Widows probably the most prone to it, Mental health, disabilities and terminal or major illness's as well as poverty can all be major reasons. Time for me to plan a visit to someone who's lonely, at least then we can be lonely together :parakaleo:

Hi IDF, i find that there's a lot of good things that come from loneliness. I think it gives people opportunities to think about the Bible more and understand people in the bible better maybe. Loneliness can be a curse and a blessing at the same time, it can help us understand others better, and then with that understanding we could support others better.

It depends what we do with loneliness. In a strong wind a young tree can break and suffer, struggling to survive half broken. Or we can strive to develop into a strong tree, like God would like us to.

I think Christ was lonely. Even though he was surrounded with crowds. They didn't understand him, even the disciples, he was hitting his head against the wall. He knew about all the suffering and sins. And his friends deserted him in the hardest moments for him. But God never deserted him.

So when we keep looking for help from people around and finding none, God kinda says "Hey, at last you came to me. I was waiting. Together we are a team, right? Let's go through it together. Talk to me."

Same with Christ, and it's similar with Bible characters. They've been through hell, deserted by close friends, misunderstood, abused, people told lies about them, but...
Php 4:13 I can do all things in Christ that strengtheneth me.

Edited by Rebel, 14 September 2010 - 11:42 AM.


#7 daysha

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:10 AM

Hi Rebel, :smited:

I think Christ was lonely. Even though he was surrounded with crowds.

Being lonely in a crowd is really hard. Know what that's like, and so I much prefer small cosy groups.

They didn't understand him, even the disciples, he was hitting his head against the wall. He knew about all the suffering and sins. And his friends deserted him in the hardest moments for him. But God never deserted him.

So when we keep looking for help from people around and finding none, God kinda says "Hey, at last you came to me. I was waiting. Together we are a team, right? Let's go through it together. Talk to me."

Hugs :) in case you're feeling a bit down at the moment. :parakaleo:
d xx

Same with Christ, and it's similar with Bible characters. They've been through hell, deserted by close friends, misunderstood, abused, people told lies about them, but...
Php 4:13 I can do all things in Christ that strengtheneth me.


God sets the solitary in families, even if we have to wait 'til the Kingdom to experience it fully.
We experience being in God's family in part & in many ways by God's grace including right here with our BTDF friends. :)
:parakaleo: BTDFers chasing Reb to give her a hug too!

Edited by daysha, 15 September 2010 - 07:15 AM.


#8 daysha

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:19 AM

... at least then we can be lonely together :)

Sounds like an oxymoron.

Whooooo, wots that? BTDFers chasing IDF for a hug ............................:parakaleo:

#9 freckle

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:41 PM

I certainly see myself in the conclusions of the study.

I tend towards loneliness and it is mainly because I isolate myself. I'm convinced that I am an un-likeable person so as a kindness to others I remove myself from them. At lunchtime at uni and work I carefully sit on my own so as to avoid anyone having to "put up with me".

I realise that this is completely irrational and that in reality I'm not that much worse than other people. My mum is just the same and I wonder if I learnt it from her as a child or whether it's just one of those things you are born with.

I do try and force myself to be more friendly and it is usually rewarding.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

#10 Rebel

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:32 PM

I certainly see myself in the conclusions of the study.

I tend towards loneliness and it is mainly because I isolate myself. I'm convinced that I am an un-likeable person so as a kindness to others I remove myself from them. At lunchtime at uni and work I carefully sit on my own so as to avoid anyone having to "put up with me".

I realise that this is completely irrational and that in reality I'm not that much worse than other people. My mum is just the same and I wonder if I learnt it from her as a child or whether it's just one of those things you are born with.

I do try and force myself to be more friendly and it is usually rewarding.

I like you lots, Freckle. I wish i could be friends with you. :)

IMO, you are that much better than other people, if it comes to that. You won't believe me, but i am right :parakaleo: I hate comparing though. We have a rule :) in our family not to compare. Comparing yourself to yourself, so that we can improve and work at our character is a lot healthier, than comparing to others.

And you are such a clever button. :parakaleo:

Probably both - born with it and learnt from family. But it is possible to win and change, if you want.

#11 Rebel

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:47 PM

Hugs :) in case you're feeling a bit down at the moment. :parakaleo:
d xx

:parakaleo: BTDFers chasing Reb to give her a hug too!

:) I am very well, Daysha. But i wouldn't say no to your hugs. :smited: Have a beautiful day, mate.

#12 Greb

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:17 AM

I tend towards loneliness and it is mainly because I isolate myself. I'm convinced that I am an un-likeable person so as a kindness to others I remove myself from them. At lunchtime at uni and work I carefully sit on my own so as to avoid anyone having to "put up with me".


I have felt exactly the same as this for most of my life. For me it was mostly born, although I also allowed myself to be affected by comments and attitudes from others or from society.

I can identify with the findings of the study as I found that one of the things that has helped me the most was CBT, in the form of a book I read, which helped me to identify and change my faulty thinking. Until then I hadn't even realised it was faulty thinking so it was a big revelation, I felt like I was being set free. I can understand why that was more effective than just making people socialise more.

The other thing that has helped a lot is doing my own Bible studies about different personality/temperament types and self esteem, and finding that no temperament is wrong, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and all are equally needed as part of the ecclesial body.

#13 Grace

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:26 AM

What was the book you read Greb?
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."

William James

#14 freckle

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:34 PM

I like you lots, Freckle. I wish i could be friends with you. :)


Thanks :)

And you are such a clever button. :parakaleo:


Being singled out all one's life as "the clever one" does not exactly make one feel any less lonely. I hate telling people what I do for a job. People assume science = clever. It doesn't and it doesn't matter anyway. A brother at my meeting admitted he felt intimidated by me because of my job when he'd only ever been a lorry driver. I explained to him how incredibly hard I find driving.

Comparisons really do us no good at all.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

#15 freckle

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:38 PM

I can identify with the findings of the study as I found that one of the things that has helped me the most was CBT, in the form of a book I read, which helped me to identify and change my faulty thinking. Until then I hadn't even realised it was faulty thinking so it was a big revelation, I felt like I was being set free. I can understand why that was more effective than just making people socialise more.

The other thing that has helped a lot is doing my own Bible studies about different personality/temperament types and self esteem, and finding that no temperament is wrong, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and all are equally needed as part of the ecclesial body.


Also keep thinking: "my family love me, my true friends love me, God loves me - I trust all of them - I can love me". Not loving yourself in a proud way - just in a way that acknowledges that you do have value.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

#16 Greb

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:08 PM

Also keep thinking: "my family love me, my true friends love me, God loves me - I trust all of them - I can love me". Not loving yourself in a proud way - just in a way that acknowledges that you do have value.


Thanks Freckle.

Yes when I say self esteem I should clarify that I don't mean thinking 'I am wonderful' I mean NOT thinking 'I am inferior to everyone else/ I am more flawed than everyone else'. "There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:21). But God has told us that he loves and values each one of us as a parent their child.

#17 Greb

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:27 PM

What was the book you read Greb?


It was 'Change Your Thinking' by Sarah Edelman. CBT might not work for everyone or every situation but I think it was what I needed.

#18 Greb

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 06:24 AM

Being singled out all one's life as "the clever one" does not exactly make one feel any less lonely.


So true ... being clever does not necessarily cause everyone to come flocking to be one's friend. But the more introverted types often make excellent friends once one gets to know them - they are likely to be good listeners, loyal, sensitive to the feelings of others, thoughtful in their responses and not prone to saying things that hurt others.

I think it can be extra hard for women whose talents are mainly intellectual to feel valued or needed in the ecclesia. But that's probably another subject!

#19 Jeremy

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:33 AM

Also keep thinking: "my family love me, my true friends love me, God loves me - I trust all of them - I can love me". Not loving yourself in a proud way - just in a way that acknowledges that you do have value.

I think what you've written here is SO important, Freckle. There really is a balance to be struck between getting proud (which no-one is advocating) and doing things which can strengthen self-esteem in a healthy, godly way.

When I was struggling with depression, one piece of advice which I found helpful was the suggestion that I just did something nice for myself each day - maybe making time to listen to a lovely piece of music, having a yummy snack, wearing that favourite shirt with the outrageous stripes on it... Building that kind of thing into my daily routine did help, and I think it matches what you're describing here.
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

#20 daysha

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:54 AM

... wearing that favourite shirt with the outrageous stripes on it...

Posted Image

#21 daysha

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:57 AM

The Christian needs a healthy level of self esteem in order to love others as he loves himself. :parakaleo:

#22 IDF

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:01 AM


Being lonely keeps me on facebook all day :) Yeah Loneliness sucks, death is better than loneliness, that's how horrible a thing it is. We all experience it at sometime during our lives, just some more than others. All sorts of reasons why people end up lonely. Orphans and Widows probably the most prone to it, Mental health, disabilities and terminal or major illness's as well as poverty can all be major reasons. Time for me to plan a visit to someone who's lonely, at least then we can be lonely together :parakaleo:

Hi IDF, i find that there's a lot of good things that come from loneliness. I think it gives people opportunities to think about the Bible more and understand people in the bible better maybe. Loneliness can be a curse and a blessing at the same time, it can help us understand others better, and then with that understanding we could support others better.

It depends what we do with loneliness. In a strong wind a young tree can break and suffer, struggling to survive half broken. Or we can strive to develop into a strong tree, like God would like us to.

I think Christ was lonely. Even though he was surrounded with crowds. They didn't understand him, even the disciples, he was hitting his head against the wall. He knew about all the suffering and sins. And his friends deserted him in the hardest moments for him. But God never deserted him.

So when we keep looking for help from people around and finding none, God kinda says "Hey, at last you came to me. I was waiting. Together we are a team, right? Let's go through it together. Talk to me."

Same with Christ, and it's similar with Bible characters. They've been through hell, deserted by close friends, misunderstood, abused, people told lies about them, but...
Php 4:13 I can do all things in Christ that strengtheneth me.


Hey Reb, yes and no, I certainaly don't need nor want the feeling of loneliness to be my soul motivator to get closer to God and his word, in fact its really one of the last motivations I need or want, cause then all Im doing is wasting his time praying about my need to find my soulmate, Thanks for the encouragement though Reb, I know I'm not completely lonely, the LORD is ever present, he's just not the huggy type :parakaleo:

Even the LORD saw that it was not good for man to be alone and created his soulmate, I'm looking to be with my soulmate as I believe we all have one,

I was asked by a sister recently '...do you reckon we only get one true love in our lives?'

My response: 'Yeah, I do, Adam had his soul-mate made specially for him, was part of him, Jacob had two wives but only had one true love, David had 8 wives but had only one true Love, Solomon had many wives but only one true Love, to name a few examples. I think theres can be exclusions where by people have 2 soul mates in their life time. Hope this helps :)'

It is also scriptural that two are better than one, and a 3 bonded cord (adding Christ)is not easily broke, pretty much unbreakable. I've had girlfriends in my life, but never experienced one thats spiritually compatible, which is the main requirement I look for if I ever find her.

Been alone for over 10 years, up until a couple of years ago I was set on staying alone, and enjoyed it, the lack of responsibility, freedom to do as I pleased whenever I wanted, but now I am seeking stability in my life, I want responsibility, I have avoided all this for so long, believing I was incapable of it, but now I know I can do it, I used to hate the idea of marriage, but now appreciate the ideal. Maybe it will give me a substantial enough reason to keep on going, who knows.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

#23 IDF

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:05 AM


... at least then we can be lonely together :)

Sounds like an oxymoron.

Whooooo, wots that? BTDFers chasing IDF for a hug ............................:)


Cheers D :parakaleo:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

#24 IDF

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:08 AM

The Christian needs a healthy level of self esteem in order to love others as he loves himself. :parakaleo:



That is actually a really good point :)

It goes with the one about humility, Humility isn't thinking less of oneself, its about thinking more of others. :)
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

#25 Rebel

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 01:36 PM


The Christian needs a healthy level of self esteem in order to love others as he loves himself. :parakaleo:



That is actually a really good point :)

It goes with the one about humility, Humility isn't thinking less of oneself, its about thinking more of others. :)

Humility is a true estimate of yourself. I don't think it's thinking more of others.

But Daysha's point is very important, i agree.

#26 Rebel

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:09 PM

I certainaly don't need nor want the feeling of loneliness to be my soul motivator to get closer to God and his word

I didn't suggest that. I'm saying we can make lemonade out of lemon, flower can grow stronger, when manure was added to the soil. We can 'grow' because we've been through hard times. I am not saying "Let's get hard times to grow character".

all Im doing is wasting his time praying about my need to find my soulmate

He has eternity, i doubt you are wasting His time.

Even the LORD saw that it was not good for man to be alone and created his soulmate, I'm looking to be with my soulmate as I believe we all have one,

I was asked by a sister recently '...do you reckon we only get one true love in our lives?'

My response: 'Yeah, I do, Adam had his soul-mate made specially for him, was part of him, Jacob had two wives but only had one true love, David had 8 wives but had only one true Love, Solomon had many wives but only one true Love, to name a few examples. I think theres can be exclusions where by people have 2 soul mates in their life time. Hope this helps :parakaleo:'


Well, there are plenty of people who didn't meet their "soul-mate". When i was single, i was unsettled if God would help me to find a husband or maybe He wanted me to stay single and devote my life to Him. I have told this story already. Then i thought something like "God please give me some sort of sign, because i'll go crazy if I worry about it any more. So i won't worry, i'll serve you". I left it to His capable "hands". I became mostly content with what i had. I was generally enjoying my life.

And i met my husband 2 months after. But if i hadn't met him, i would try to keep enjoying what i had. I would try to keep serving God, and i would pray so that His will is done in my life, not my will. (That was the plan anyway.)

It is also scriptural that two are better than one, and a 3 bonded cord (adding Christ)is not easily broke, pretty much unbreakable. I've had girlfriends in my life, but never experienced one thats spiritually compatible, which is the main requirement I look for if I ever find her.


Two are not always better than one. Two is the second best option. A preferred option would be to stay single if person can cope.
1Co 7:8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1Co 7:9 But if they have not continency, let them marry...

Edited by Rebel, 17 September 2010 - 02:12 PM.


#27 Rebel

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:35 PM

Being singled out all one's life as "the clever one" does not exactly make one feel any less lonely.

No, it doesn't. But i would feel honoured to be a friend of somebody like you. I didn't say you're clever because of your profession, but because i have read what you say.

I didn't compare you to others. I meant that you have an asset. (I hope i am using English right here.)
Kind and sensible - that's what important for me in people. I think you are both. So if i were at your Uni/work, i would be thrilled if you got friends with me. And the only thing that would stop me coming to talk to you would have been that you get annoyed when people make mistakes in their speech. I make lots of them, but it would be a pity to miss out on such a nice person like you.

#28 Jeremy

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:38 PM

Been alone for over 10 years, up until a couple of years ago I was set on staying alone, and enjoyed it, the lack of responsibility, freedom to do as I pleased whenever I wanted, but now I am seeking stability in my life, I want responsibility, I have avoided all this for so long, believing I was incapable of it, but now I know I can do it, I used to hate the idea of marriage, but now appreciate the ideal. Maybe it will give me a substantial enough reason to keep on going, who knows.

It's true that the advantages and disadvantages of single life as compared with married life strike us in different ways at different times of our life. However, I believe going into marriage as a way of sorting ourselves out would be a recipe for disaster. I'm not particularly saying this is what you mean, IDF, but if we're not basically sorted before we go into a marriage, how can we ask somebody else to take that on, and how can we hope to be the right person for the one we're marrying? I'm not married, but I suspect in 99% of cases, what you see is what you get, and marriage doesn't "sort us out" at all.

Married people: would appreciate some comments on whether you think this is right/wrong. Thanks. :parakaleo:
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

#29 Rebel

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:45 PM

But the more introverted types often make excellent friends once one gets to know them - they are likely to be good listeners, loyal, sensitive to the feelings of others, thoughtful in their responses and not prone to saying things that hurt others.

I think it can be extra hard for women whose talents are mainly intellectual to feel valued or needed in the ecclesia. But that's probably another subject!

I don't know about intellectual talents of women in the ecclesia, but i think there's heaps a sister can do in the brotherhood in general. Those qualities you described are needed by so many in the brotherhood and in the world.

#30 Rebel

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:02 PM

Also keep thinking: "my family love me, my true friends love me, God loves me - I trust all of them - I can love me". Not loving yourself in a proud way - just in a way that acknowledges that you do have value.

I think what you've written here is SO important, Freckle. There really is a balance to be struck between getting proud (which no-one is advocating) and doing things which can strengthen self-esteem in a healthy, godly way.

When I was struggling with depression, one piece of advice which I found helpful was the suggestion that I just did something nice for myself each day - maybe making time to listen to a lovely piece of music, having a yummy snack, wearing that favourite shirt with the outrageous stripes on it... Building that kind of thing into my daily routine did help, and I think it matches what you're describing here.

I think what Freckle describes is positive self-talk, positive thinking.

If it works, it's excellent. I can't stomach positive self-talk. It doesn't help me. But doing things for myself like you described, Jeremy, that's what helps me, when i get tired. Reading, singing, "composing" a bit of music, walking.

If person is not very happy with their life (say, they are lonely or shy or depressed), the main thing, i reckon, would be to educate yourself about their difficulties, about how it works and how to overcome it, if they want to overcome it. Knowledge is power.




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