The concept of true friendship has been challenged by the notion that someone who friends you on Facebook really can be counted on when you’re in need. You can be well-connected in the digital sphere and find yourself isolated and alone when the chips are down. Val Walker, a rehabilitation consultant, grief counselor and author of ‘The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do for Others in Distress’ found herself in the ironic situation of having no one to pick her up after a surgery and realized that she needed to build new connections to others in the physical world. In the process, she moved from a pristine, but lonely, spot in Maine to bustling Boston and wrote her latest book, ‘400 Friends and No One to Call’. She shares valuable information about the growing problem of social isolation in America and ways to re-connect in ways that do not require a personality make-over. Many of us are introverts or have social anxiety, or have experienced loss and grief which affect the way we interact with others, but we can find soulmates and friends who share many of the same characteristics. It’s an important conversation and may offer you a way forward if you find that this topic resonates. Given that loneliness is a health epidemic in the United States, and many of us have been in self-isolation because of the pandemic, it will provide new ways of thinking about connection for this unique moment in time.
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