A story of acknowledging and overcoming loneliness
There are many things men are often terrified of being and/or terrified of being seen as. Being or being seen as – sometimes the reality doesn’t seem as daunting as other people thinking the reality is true.
Being wrong, incapable, weak are a few of the big ones that I’ve mentioned on this podcast before.
And then there is another, one that carries with it so much social stigma it really only gets put in the darkest of corners for the saddest of people.
What is it that we fear being and being seen as along with these heavy hitters?
Loneliness is a dirty word in so many places and in so many psyches, that we avoid even contemplating it.
As a result, we struggle to even be alone.
We’re with someone at a cafe, restaurant or bar, they get up to go to the bathroom. They’ll be gone a few minutes, maximum. And what do we do? We pull out our phones, we distract ourselves from a moment with ourselves.
We are a society that fears being alone and much more, being lonely.
Not only does it have this impact on how we view ourselves and the direct resulting impact on our mental and emotional health, but loneliness has now been clearly shown as a massive contributor acutely to poor immune function and chronically to reducing longevity.
Loneliness is something that so many people feel and experience in a kind of bastardised and self-shamed way.
And so, we must talk about it.
In this Episode:
In today’s episode of the podcast, I am extremely pleased and proud to have on The Loneliness Guy, Phil McAuliffe.
Not only is Phil an expert in working with both diplomates and gay men around the issue of loneliness, but he is one of the first graduates of my coaching program back in 2016, and now very much an integral part of the coaching aspect in the community in Everyday Legends Academy.
In this episode, we explore Phil’s own story of not only realising that he was lonely – despite working on his younger self’s dream job as a diplomat in Seoul and various other countries around the globe – but then coming out as lonely to his then-wife.
This would then take a whole new level of self-realisation, self-connection, and self-assessment as Phil realised part of his loneliness, as is often the case with many of us, was the realisation of how much of himself he had been hiding behind a self-protective mask.
We dive into Phil’s story which I think has wonderful insights for so many, be you someone who resonates with the feeling of loneliness yourself, or someone who simply wants to connect to yourself more and get more from the everyday.
Phil is passionate about de-stigmatising loneliness and creating a safe space for people to authentically connect with themselves, those people around them and their communities.
Loneliness – especially chronic loneliness – is an awful feeling. Phil’s battled, and continues to battle at times, feelings of loneliness and knows how wretched and unworthy it can make us feel.
Loneliness is part of the human condition, but there’s such stigma in admitting our loneliness and we often deny the thoughts and feelings that come with loneliness and hope that they’ll just go away. They don’t. Phil tried that.
The antidote to loneliness is connection. We need connection for our mental, emotional and physical wellness. But connection – authentic connection – is hard work, especially when we’re all so busy or we don’t even know how to connect with each other.
With love and curiosity, Phil uses his story and life observations to show a way for you to begin the journey back to real, authentic connection that you need and deserve.
You can find Phil’s blogs and podcasts at www.thelonelinessguy.com (site for gay men) and www.thelonelydiplomat.com (for diplomats) and on social media at the links below.
Where to find Phil:
- Websites: http://www.thelonelinessguy.com and http://www.thelonelydiplomat.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheLonelinessGuy and https://www.facebook.com/thelonelydiplomat
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_loneliness_guy and https://www.instagram.com/the_lonely_diplomat
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