Loneliness is More Dangerous than Smoking or Obesity

“Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.” Douglas Nemecek

“… individuals with adequate social relationships have a 50% greater likelihood of survival compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships.”

4 reasons you feel alone:

#1. You feel alone because you are alone.

Zoom meetings can’t replace skin. You’re going to die much sooner if you aren’t nourished with human contact.

I’m not encouraging you to touch everyone. I am encouraging you to respect the power of in-person contact, handshakes, and physical pats on the back.

#2. You feel alone because people don’t understand you.

No one thinks about your organization like leaders.

Perhaps it’s time to practice selective vulnerability and let yourself be seen.

#3. You isolate yourself.

When you’re a leader, getting away from people feels like a hog finding slop.

Quiet reflection produces vitality. Seclusion – as a habit of life – perverts thinking. “When people are isolated from human contact, their mind can do some truly bizarre things.” Michael Bond.

#4. You’re a control freak.

You don’t accept people for who they are. Eventually people avoid unnecessary contact with you.

7 ways to deal with leadership loneliness:

You are wired to connect.

Connected leaders feel stronger, more fulfilled, and make better decisions.

#1. Go for a walk.

Movement makes connecting more comfortable. Have walking one-on-ones.

#2. Turn smartphones off during face-to-face interaction.

#3. Be your true self and help others be their true selves.

#4. Don’t allow technology to replace in-person interactions.

#5. Chat with cashiers and other strangers.

#6. Find energizing ways to contribute.

The formula for unhappiness is simple. Expect people to serve you.

#7. Monitor inner chatter.

The most dangerous thoughts are the ones you repeatedly have but don’t notice. Habits of thought impact quality of life.

Speak to yourself as if you were speaking to a friend.

Why are leaders lonely?

What might help leaders overcome loneliness?