In 2008, University of Chicago social neuroscientist John Cacioppo revealed some groundbreaking research in his book ‘Loneliness.’ He shattered the misconception that loneliness was—as previously thought—due to a personality defect or lack of social skills. Rather, he wrote: ‘None of us are immune to feelings of isolation, any more than we are immune to feelings of hunger or physical pain.’
Several years later, new research is corroborating Cacioppo’s theory with why lonely people stay lonely. Lonely people have adequate social skills, but they tend ‘to choke’ in social situations. Interestingly, as two separate studies discovered, having participants reframe their nerves as excitement helped them perform better socially.
For anyone who experiences social anxiety and the subsequent loneliness that often follows, give this tactic of ‘reframing’ your nerves a try. Do you know of other effective techniques?