Other than one of the three cats and my one-year-old grandson, I’m the only male in a family crowded by females. It can get lonely and I often feel isolated by all the girl talk around me. If crowds give you that same kind of unwanted insular feeling too, here are a few ideas about what to do if your norm is feeling isolated in a crowd.
Crowds can be led, but actually getting them to change is exponentially more difficult than getting one single person to change one single thing. So just accept that. Then we can move on.
Since it’s not the crowd that’s going to change, or even one person in it, I had to get really comfortable that either A) I was going to be isolated in my very own family crowd forever, or B) the only one that could change to connect with this crowd would have to be me.
Resilience and Persistence
Crowds are very resilient. The strength in their numbers allows them to absorb things well, such as my persistent trial-and-error attempts to connect to the family crowd around me. I tend to learn best by failure, and this is an area I’m still working on, but it is heartening to know that I can keep trying to get it right in safety.
Now that you know the basics, let’s circle back to the start. Are you comfortable feeling isolated in a crowd? No judgment here! If you are, thank you for reading this far, but nothing I can write is going to change that…unless you want to allow the uncomfortable, isolated feelings inside.
If you are ready to break out of the trapped, isolated experience of being in a crowd, it’s go time.
Three Ways To Break Out Of Isolation In A Crowd
At first, these will feel uncomfortable. And what’s worse, while you can rehearse them, the actual real-life crowd-busting experience you crave is mostly out of your hands.
All of these offer you a chance to be authentic, and I’ve used each of them successfully. They are arranged from hardest to easiest.
Reveal a hidden talent
Everybody has one, even you. The thing that you used to do without inhibitions that made people laugh. The thing that put you at the center of the spotlight for a few moments. Act as if you’re fearless. After you nail it, turn to someone close by and ask them to reveal their hidden talent to the crowd. This might turn into a party game that eventually engages the whole crowd…and you’ll be remembered for starting it.
For me, since everyone knows I play the piano, I try to choose an unexpected song when I come out of the crowd to perform – something that plays on people’s sensibilities, gets them a little uncomfortable first before offering a happy landing.
Ask someone a leading question
What timely topic are you most curious about? If there were experts in the crowd who could give you the secrets you most want to know, would you want to connect with them and hear their knowledge? Even questions on touchy subjects can be asked in a leading, non-threatening way that allows people to include you in a discussion. It won’t take word of mouth long until a self-appointed expert finds you and offers you the wisdom of conversation, which is a step out of the isolation where this all began, and at least you’re now listening to someone with the knowledge you want.
I have no trouble, for example, being a third-party voter in America. I have plenty of opinions about that, of course, but I’m always curious about what other Americans think about voting outside the two-party system so I ask, shut up, and listen. These days, politics seem to be in everyone’s face, and I’ve had lots of practice at this, so it’s almost natural for me, after the usual pleasantries, to ask the random stranger I just met and can’t escape “How do you think a credible third political party might change America? A very interesting conversation usually follows the initial funny look I get, and I’m getting used to both.
Engage with the other loners
It’s a rare crowd that doesn’t have more than one person in it who feels isolated. If you can, another person who’s feeling as isolated as you and engage them. This gets easier with practice, too. You could prepare something useful to say, such as “Hi. I’m feeling really isolated in this crowd. Would you like to hang out for a few minutes?” The idea is not to become a bigger island together but to offer someone else the very thing you most want: connection.
Put In The A-Team
This isn’t a competition, but if you bring your best game to the crowd, you’re going to be successful. Even people who seem confidently charismatic in crowds may have a secret to how they appear that way. If you’d like to dig deeper into dealing with isolation in general, check out this article: Things To Do If You’re Feeling Isolated In Life or contact us here.
What To Do If Your Norm Is Feeling Isolated In A Crowd