Stop Being Lonely

An introvert's guide to friends and relationships

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Jonathan HowardHunter@staringispolite · Growth engineer & founder
I know Kira personally and she's great. It's been exciting to follow her journey, culminating (so far!) in this book. Relationships & deep friendships can be especially hard for members of startups and makers in general, when free hours in the day are in short supply. So I thought it could be valuable for the ProductHunt community to get Kira on here to get a discussion going! As a start, Kira, can you share what lead you to writing the book? What's the most surprising thing you learned along the way? And do you have any protips about relationships in the context of startups/makers when time is shorter and at least one partner is striving for something difficult?
Kira AsatryanMaker@kiraasatryan · Writer
@staringispolite Thanks so much Jon! I completely agree that this book has a lot of useful information for people with busy lives and a lot on their plate. It’s about more than loneliness - it’s about how to make any and all relationships more satisfying (including the ones at work). What led me to writing this book was my own personal experience with loneliness. I found that much of the advice out there was of the “just put yourself out there!” and “just go meet people!” variety. I found this unhelpful for two reasons: #1. I had extremely limited free time and didn’t want to spend it on interactions with complete strangers, and... #2. As a tried-and-true introvert, I cherish my alone time. But these two realities, take together, made it so that I felt lonely quite frequently. I wanted a different framework for reducing loneliness. The solution I came up with requires you to meet no new people (unless you want to). Instead, the key is to interact with those around you differently. The key is to get to know another person from their own perspective and to demonstrate interest them. I call these two actions “knowing” and “caring.” Taken together, they create the experience of “closeness” - a feeling that acts as an antidote to loneliness. The most surprising thing I learned along the way is that it’s how one perceives their relationships that matters. In other words, one person can have just one close relationship and feel completely fine, while another can have a hundred friends and feel desperately lonely. It’s how one feels about their relationships that matters. Pro-tips: #1. Invest in the relationships that are already working for you. If you spend 90% of your time with coworkers, identify whom you already feel a bit of a friendship connection with. Get to know them better and demonstrate interest in them. #2. Take interactions offline. I know, I know! We all love our Slack. But just one “Hey, wanna get a beer around the corner and chat?” can change the dynamic of a relationship completely. #3. Take the work talk a little deeper. It’s easy to just stay on the topic of work when you’re really passionate about it, but all work-talk leads to little closeness. Use work-talk as a lead-in to discussing deeper things: what motivates you, what interests you, and what you care about in life.
Aamer Jomaa@aamerjomaa · Co-founder @ Boosted Jobs
@kiraasatryan @staringispolite great advice! I totally agree. I think it's very important to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to relationships. Life isn't a popularity contest. I put your book on my wishlist. :)
Kira AsatryanMaker@kiraasatryan · Writer
@aamerjomaa @staringispolite Awesome! :) Quality over quantity is a great way to put it.
George@gtsouk1
I need this book :P