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Working as a public health administrator in the United States, Vivek Murthy was struck by the widespread nature of loneliness and its negative effects on our equilibrium. Despite what you might think, loneliness greatly affects working people who are integrated into society. That is, potentially, you and all of your employees.

Although strong social bonds lead to good physical and psychological health – together with its corollaries, creativity and performance – Vivek Murthy often observed a deficit. Why? Because maintaining social ties is more complex than it appears, and requires a pro-active approach now more than ever.

Socializing means making an effort

The need for social bonding is innate; but that doesn’t mean creating bonds is easy. Fear – or rather fears – sometimes prevent us from approaching others: fear of the other and fear of the unknown. Are you afraid that the person you’ve just met, for example, poses a potential threat? Are you afraid of being open, genuine, and vulnerable in your relations, especially in your work environment? Afraid of not finding the right words or adopting the right behavior, and being ridiculous and inappropriate? Or afraid of being marginalized? This distrust, although natural, is exacerbated by such extreme events as a terrorist attack or an unlikely pandemic. And these fears, rarely conscious and explicit, are sometimes difficult to overcome.

Excerpt from Business Digest N°308, July – August 2020

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Read the full 3-part feature

Point of view

Together - even when we’re alone

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