Why You Need A Community
“It takes a village.” is what we have all heard growing up. But recently, I’ve found that to be truer than ever despite having all we need at our fingertips. Our world is more “connected” than ever, but somehow people are saying that they have never felt more lonely. Finding a community is difficult but probably one of the most important things we need right now.
I feel like people are constantly messaging our best friends, significant others, and family, so we feel “connected”. But once we are all at a table together we can’t seem to look up and have deep conversations. We are so overwhelmed by the chaos of the world we see on the internet, that we don’t have the mental capacity for our family and friends when they need it.
While the world has pushed the message that technology “connects” us, we’ve actually been growing apart for years. People used to rely on, celebrate, trust, and genuinely engage with one another. Although the world has changed, it still takes a village. Sadly, most people don’t want to put in the work for the village.
If you agree with me, keep reading to find out why you need a community and how to find one.
The Science of loneliness and the power of community
If you find yourself constantly feeling alone, comparing yourself to strangers on the internet, and finding it more and more difficult to get out and meet people. You aren’t alone.
Studies show that post covid there was a 5% increase in loneliness. That may seem like a small percentage, but the long-term effects have a significant impact on someone mentally and physically. Some studies show a 60% increase in the risk of functional decline, people tend to drink and smoke more which affects their quality of sleep. Being lonely can cause you to become more emotionally distressed which impacts your mental health and relationships.
Sadly, there is a stigma around loneliness. You have to be happy all the time, nothing is allowed to bother you, etc. Social media portrays everyone’s “best life” and we tend to compare making us feel more isolated and alone. Or we communicate our loneliness as a choice and we enjoy being alone because we are an introvert or “hate being around people.” I will admit that I have used both of those excuses in the past.
Multiple studies show that being a part of a community has a lot of power that combats loneliness. Community gives you a sense of belonging and support, which increases your happiness and productivity.
How Authentic Community makes an Impact
Finding and being active in an authentic community can make an impact not only on yourself but on others. Having the support of others can help you through some of your toughest obstacles. People can encourage you, give wise counsel, and see your situation through a different lens. You’ll be able to do the same.
You can find influence in a community. Whether it’s through a common cause or mentorship program, you can find power and influence with a group of people with a common goal in mind. There is nothing more exciting than when you share an idea and people love it. Even more, when people want to join and help you.
A community can help you grow personally and professionally. It’s good to have healthy conflict and deep discussions. These discussions can lead to ideas, projects, and relationships that will strengthen the people around you and benefit your local community. You never know what connection will make the biggest impact.
How You Can Find A Community
So, where can you find a community? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times because we are always moving. But there are a few places you can search for!
- Church – The church is a great place to get connected with people and it has many areas where you can volunteer. Most churches allow you to join the praise and worship team, work in the nursery, host Bible studies in your home, attend a Bible study, etc. It’s hard finding friends and people your age, there is no shame in going to church just to meet people.
- Work – You may be thinking, “the last thing I want to do is hang out with people from work.” However, connecting with your coworkers beyond a surface level is powerful. Some of my closest friends are people that I worked with for years. You don’t have to connect with everyone! Just one is a step.
- Your Passions – Are you passionate about something? Art, books, politics, etc. Find a local group like a book club, art class, or fitness class. It’s easier to leave your comfort zone and get out there when you know you are going to be around people with a common interest.
- Neighbors – Remember when you were a kid and you knew everyone on your block? Or at least your parents did. There are many benefits to knowing your neighbors. Like if you run out of something you can ask them. If you’re working on a project and need a ladder or weed-eater, ask your neighbor. If there is an emergency and you need someone to quickly watch your kids or pets, ask your neighbor. I don’t encourage this if you live in an unsafe neighborhood or area.
- Volunteer – Volunteering is powerful. One, it helps so many people and causes. Two, you can meet people with incredible stories and backgrounds that you can learn from. Three, You have a common interest with the other volunteers.
- Online Groups – Online Facebook groups are a great way to meet people, find local events, or find people online with a common interest. For example, we move a lot because of Chris’s job so a Facebook group full of football coaches’ wives helps me find people who can relate to my lifestyle. There are so many groups you can join. Find a group full of people like you (business owners, artists, moms, working moms, etc) or a local group that hosts local events (DallasGirGang).
I want to challenge you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, embrace the awkwardness, and find a community. Write down in your planner or set a reminder on your phone to go say hi to a neighbor, go to a fitness class, or volunteer somewhere. But don’t forget to talk to people once you are there!