In this On Purpose episode, Jay Shetty discusses a topic many people relate to: feeling lonely or disconnected.

He points out that everyone wants to feel close to others, but sometimes it's hard to know what "feeling connected" truly means. Many people feel distant from those around them or aren't understood.

Loneliness Epidemic

Jay Shetty believes genuine connection means feeling seen, heard, and valued. It also means making others feel the same way. This has to be real, not just an act. Surprisingly, more than half of Americans feel lonely, and many don't think their relationships are meaningful1. Only 59% admit to having a best friend, and 12% have no friends2.

Moreover, 57% of Americans eat all their meals alone3. This is a significant change because they might have been eating with family just a few years ago. Jay Shetty himself has lived far from family for seven years. This change in how we live affects how connected we feel. Also, more than half of Americans have felt left out4.

Jay observed how being left out as an adult can make you feel like a kid again. Sometimes, instead of thinking logically, we react with our feelings from childhood. Therefore, he wants to share with the listeners some tips on how to avoid feeling lonely and improving your relationships.

Relationships Keep Us Healthier

53% of Americans say they're shy, which makes it hard to make friends5. Even Jay Shetty feels shy in new places but can be confident in comfortable settings. Sometimes, people mistake shyness for being rude or not caring.

A lot of Americans feel like no one knows them well4. Moving to new places where no one knows your background can strengthen this feeling. Being alone too much can be as bad for your health as smoking6. Studies have shown that loneliness can even shorten your life by 15 years. It’s why  Jay created  this episode to guide you on building better relationships.

1. Check In With Yourself

Jay Shetty talks about understanding our feelings before connecting with others. He says to think of our social energy like a battery. Sometimes, it's complete and ready to spend time with others. Other times, it's drained, and we need some alone time. It's okay to need time alone and to "check in" with how we feel. If we feel charged, we should consider who we'd like to spend time with. If we feel drained, we should think about how to recharge.

Moreover, Jay emphasizes that listening to our feelings and ensuring we feel understood and valued by ourselves first is essential. If we do this, we won't always expect others to make us feel good. Just like when we're thirsty, we look for water. If we drink water ourselves, we're not thirsty anymore. Similarly, we should check our feelings before seeking others to make us feel better.

2. Becoming Emotionally Eloquent

Jay Shetty says expanding your emotional vocabulary is the second habit to feeling more connected. This means understanding our feelings better and using more specific words to describe them. Instead of just saying we're angry, we can be more exact: maybe we're frustrated, annoyed, or impatient. Harvard Business Review published a resource including a list of emotions7. This way, you can understand yourself, and others can understand you.

Jay also reminds the listeners that connection is more than feeling included. It's also about making others feel included. When you help others feel valued, it makes you feel connected, too. It's like having a deeper relationship with your feelings to share them more clearly.

3. Old New and New Old

Jay Shetty introduces the idea of "Old new and new old." This means that when he meets an old friend, he tries to make new memories with them instead of just talking about old memories. Jay believes that while it's fun to remember the past, it's also essential to create fresh moments with people who have been in our lives for a long time. It could be about discovering a new hobby or skill the friend has learned.

Conversely, "new old" implies that when he meets someone new, he tries to find something from the past they share from their past. For example, Jay once spoke to someone new who came from the same place he grew up in, London. Even though they didn't know each other before, they had an old connection to talk about.

Jay thinks mixing old memories with creating new ones is invaluable. This helps in making the conversations more exciting and meaningful. Finding new ways to connect with an old or new friend is always good.

4. Ask Interesting Questions

Jay Shetty emphasized the importance of asking interesting questions. He believes that if we keep asking boring questions, even cool people might seem boring and look like we don't care. We often ask our friends and family questions like "What did you do today?". Jay thinks that questions can make people feel pressured to do something exciting. Instead, we should ask more fun and open-ended questions.

For example, Jay asks questions such as "What's the best advice you've ever gotten?" or "What was the coolest thing that happened to you this week?" These questions make people think and share exciting stories. They also break the routine of asking the same old questions.

This is especially important for friends or family we see a lot. We can easily fall into the habit of repeatedly talking about the same things. Jay Shetty believes that changing how we ask questions can surprise people and help them think about something new. It's like giving them a gift because they might not have had the time to reflect on it before.

5. Deep vs. Shallow Time

Jay Shetty discussed the difference between "deep" and "shallow" time with people. He remembers his wedding, where he had to go around and thank hundreds of guests. It felt like he didn't spend enough time with anyone because he was always moving from one person to another. He calls this "shallow" time. It's like when you go to a big party and only talk to everyone for a few minutes.

Jay believes that spending deep, meaningful time with fewer people is often better than spending short moments with many. If all our time with friends is always in big groups, we might have the same quick chats repeatedly, like asking how someone's week was.

Sometimes, he thinks having smaller gatherings or even one-on-one with friends is good. This way, conversations can be more meaningful. Jay Shetty also shared a story about a friend who visited him. Before she came, he asked if she wanted more friends to come over. But she just wanted a quiet evening with him and his partner. They had a great time because they could talk deeply and connect better.

6. Identify Patterns

Jay Shetty talked about the importance of seeing connections in our lives. Instead of thinking our work and home lives are separate, we should see how they're linked. Being happy and healthy at work helps us be the same at home and vice versa.

Jay warns that if we're present in one area, like work, we might need help to be at home. This can make both our work friends and family feel ignored. In short, he believes in finding patterns and understanding how everything is connected rather than seeing things as separate.

7. Smile at Strangers

Jay Shetty believes in the power of simple gestures like smiling at strangers and saying hello. When he goes on hikes, he enjoys greeting people and their dogs. This creates a positive vibe for the day. Jay thinks that if we keep our heads down and ignore others, we miss out on connections.

Therefore, he suggests greeting people to create an energy of connection. Even in everyday places like coffee shops or grocery stores, a small conversation or a simple hello can make us feel part of a community. Jay reminds us that these moments of genuine connection add up and make us feel included in the places we visit daily.

8. Use Technology to Your Advantage

Jay Shetty talks about using technology to stay connected with friends. He plays games online and believes it's a fun way to bond. Even though he has friends in Europe, they use FaceTime to chat.

Jay thinks it's better to schedule a call. It feels close and special. He also organizes game nights with friends in London through online platforms. Messaging is cool, but Jay thinks calls or video chats are much better. They help people feel more connected than just sending texts.

9. Connect Through Giving

Jay Shetty believes giving helps us connect with others. Giving isn't just about presents. It's also about sharing food and being open about our feelings. It's important to share personal things with trusted friends in a safe place. While giving presents can be memorable, Jay thinks the best ones are meaningful. These unique gifts can make our friendships even stronger.

10. Do Ordinary Things Together

Jay Shetty shared two particular ways to feel more connected with others. First, he talks about inviting friends for everyday tasks, like grocery shopping or exercising. You don't always need a big event to hang out; sometimes, simple tasks lead to the best chats.

Second, Jay believes having friends of all ages is remarkable. Spending time with people our age is cool because we might share experiences. But hanging out with older friends can teach us a lot, and younger friends keep things fresh and exciting. He thinks friendships with different age groups make us feel whole and complete. They teach us, help us share, and offer support.

Being friends with people from different backgrounds and ages makes Jay Shetty feel genuinely connected. He hopes others will try these habits to feel less lonely and more connected. He reminds the listeners to start with one step, which can make a big difference in their lives.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “<<TITLE OF PODCAST EPISODE>>” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at

1Hartman, Christie. “The Roots of Loneliness Project.” The Roots Of Loneliness Project.  
2Cox, Daniel A. “The State of American Friendship: Change, Challenges, and Loss.” Web log. Survey Center of American Life (blog), June 8, 2021.  
3Fottrell, Quentin. “Americans Eat Most of Their Meals Alone.” Web log. Market Watch (blog), August 23, 2014.,%25)%20and%20lunch%20(55%25).
4Nemecek, Douglas. Rep. Cigna US Loneliness Index. Cigna, 2018.  
5Ballard, Jamie. “Millennials Are the Loneliest Generation.” YouGov (blog), July 30, 2019.  
6Mikhail, Alexa. “Loneliness Is a Health Crisis Comparable to Smoking up to 15 Cigarettes a Day. Here’s How to Combat It.” Fortune (blog), June 15, 2023.
7David, Susan. “3 Ways to Better Understand Your Emotions.” Harvard Business Review (blog), November 10, 2016.

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