Pledges of Belonging

For the concluding activity of the March 29, 2019, Dialogue Nights ("The Loneliness Epidemic"), participants gathered into small groups to create "pledges of belonging." These are actions each of us can take in our daily lives to create more connections with others and deepen and strengthen connections we already have.

Group One Pledges

When you encounter someone being anti-social, don’t reject them - create a space for them to engage

Don’t concede to the impulse to be anti-social when a social opportunity arises

Be open to people who seem willing to engage

Enter interactions believing the other person is worth knowing and by extension, so am I

Don’t set boundaries/expectations re: an interaction before it starts. This makes every person a potential connection!

If you want to maintain a connection with someone, be open about it! Don’t be afraid to let someone know you appreciate their company


Group Two Pledges

Hear someone out

Engage in self care


Talk to your loved ones

Hug someone

Acknowledge and appreciate

Be silly

Be your own inspiration


Group Three Pledges

Interact more, in a genuine/authentic way

Check in on people you care about

Follow up and acknowledge what you’ve heard in the last conversation

Give back and give

Recognize that loneliness exists

Connect, celebrate, listen, and be inclusive (especially if you know someone else is lonely). Take a chance!


Group Four Pledges

Having dinner with different friends each week

Focus on high-quality connections

Attend (or learn about) Hackathons

Go to things on your own

Go to Gensonen, daily (or other place with tea and jazz)

Participate in team sports (also: climbing)

Take initiative in conversations

Commit random acts of affirmation

Keep in touch

Accept times for solitude

Be ready to break your cycles

Focus on one person who is struggling

Show others that they matter


Hosting potlucks/events

Share food

Cook with others

Travel, seeking serendipity


Group Five Pledges (A Plan for Positivity)

Put your phone away

Consciously decide your relationship with SNS

Smile to strangers

Start a dialogue with someone you haven’t talked to for a while

Have a meaningful conversation in different environment

Create awareness of pattern of isolation at work

Make space for yourself to recharge but know when to reach out

Save time to cultivate our hobbies (possibly with someone)

Balance your social life, work life, and close relationship life


Group Six Pledges

Don’t make assumptions about general situations

Call parents more often

Smile more

Be more open to connection

Don’t get too lost in your own head

Go to random events alone (have adventures with yourself)

Be more open-minded/authentic with yourself

Say yes more often

Follow up with people you connect to

Work out

Go for walks/be in nature

Look up from your phone


Group Seven Pledges

Be the initiator of emotionally vulnerable and deeper levels of conversation and connection

Be present and in the moment with those around you

Let others know how much you value them

Ask others how they genuinely feel and think about things beyond just data and information

Give and accept praise as best we can

Turn small talk into real talk

Be patient with others and ourselves

Remember we don’t have to be in control all the time


Group Eight Pledges (SLALGGB Pledge)

Smile when greeting

Limit social media uses

Appreciate more existing relationships

Let go of your baggage

Get involved with something new

Keep a gratitude journal

Be genuine


Group Nine Pledges

Make a standing plan that gives you an option

Treat yourself with love

Make an effort to keep up with relationships

Interact with people around you and speak your thoughts


Group Ten Pledges (3 Loneliness Virtues)

Practice mindful social media engagement/including breaks

Humanize social interactions, not treating others as human objects (make eye contact, smile, say “Good Morning”, make small talk)

“Own it”! Embrace being alone/recognize your emotions


Group 11 Pledges

Nurture curiosity

Show interest/curiosity

Go places conducive to connection

Create that energy

Seek places of positive energy

Finf relatable/encouraging places

Find common ground

Recognize similarities (we’re all human)


Group Twelve Pledges

Smile at strangers

Phone calls

Invite people to connect on a deeper level

Put the phone away/social media

Mindfulness and compassion

Acts of kindness

Healthy habits → exercise, food, nature


Trying new things/activities



Group Thirteen Pledges

Unconditional dignity and positive regard

Giving freely without expectation

System interrupt

Participate in congruence with values

Courage and compassion

Check in with your loved ones


Group Fourteen Pledges

Finding self-security → belonging to self = belonging to human race

Avoiding preconceived notions → genuine open-mindedness/connections/interactions

Starting with body language (more open)

Resilience-building to perceived rejection

Inherent sense of belonging simply by way of presence → you have something to offer → not sabotaging by fearing you’re not your “best-self”

Mindful admiration → mentally noting others’ strengths for energetic creation of belonging


Group Fifteen Pledges

Greet one person each day

Mindfully use technology

Prioritize face to face interaction

Embrace vulnerability

Take into account cultural difference

Not being judgemental


Group Sixteen Pledges

3 social practices each week

Dinner parties/hosting/organize

Plan ahead for weekends!

Reach out to people at least one person per week (Stop being lazy! Overcome inertia)

Smile/say hello to regular strangers



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