It's not just The Lonely who feel lonely - it's Guests at Events.
The Duchess of Cambridge, The Chief Nurse Professor Jane Cummings and broadcasters Dame Esther Rantzen, Piers Morgan, Susanna Reid and Martha Carney, have all been talking about Loneliness in the run up to Christmas. It's been described as a 'national epidemic'.
But it's not just the old who live alone who experience loneliness.
I see it happening every day at our social events in Britain. It doesn't matter if it's a local networking group, a corporate business event or a big-bash party. If there are people standing around with no-one to talk to, they are suffering social isolation. Social isolation provokes a physical and mental state called 'Loneliness.' Inherent in the feeling of loneliness is fear: fear of being alone.
Do you really want people feeling like this at your party or business event?
Of course you don't.
I think many - oh so many - of you who put on events with the best of intentions are unwittingly creating this sense of social isolation (loneliness).
There's a lot you can do to make sure it doesn't happen at your event, but the first part of that process is to be aware that it is happening.
How can you tell if people are feeling socially-isolated? Thankfully, it's quite easy to tell. Here are some of the signs:
- standing on their own
- standing with the person with whom they arrived
- looking at their mobile
- looking at brochures
- changing weight from one leg to another, looking around, but unable to move on from a group
- talking at length to waiters or other service providers who aren't guests
- leaving early, without good reason
If you see this happening at your event, you've got social isolation.
My mantra is: 'Not if I'm in the Room will anyone feel socially-isolated'. If you host events, let it be yours too.