Human beings are social creatures, created in the image of a God of relationship. Because of this, we are innately programmed with certain social needs. We can’t deprive ourselves of these needs and be healthy any more than we can deprive ourselves of the need for good food, water, sunlight, or exercise. Studies have shown that loneliness can increase mortality by 50 percent—comparable to the mortality risk of smoking—and that it’s about twice as dangerous as obesity. It impairs immune function and boosts inflammation, which can lead to a host of diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.
Marriage expert John Gottman says, “The difference between the masters and the disasters is that they’re able to repair.” Repair is the replacement for withdrawal.
Fortunately, we don’t need a PhD to repair well. Apparently, the effectiveness of repair in a relationship has more to do with the recipient of the repair attempt than the repair attempt itself. But the recipient will be much more able to receive the repair attempt if the repairer has made recent deposits in the “emotional bank account.” Talk in people’s love language, be unselfish and serve. This will make repair attempts much easier!
Reference: Loneliness compendium: Examples from research and practice Katy Hole 29 March 2011