Deal With Loneliness

Thursday, December 3, 2009

People feel lonely for a number of reasons, such as not having enough friends, not knowing how to be close to the people you know, or not being accepted by those you try to befriend.Everyone experiences loneliness. Some humans are more socially accepted. Some who try to be social remain socially rejected, and some have difficulty even trying.

1. Realize that we all get lonely. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. We're particularly prone to loneliness when we're making transitions, especially for the better. If you're changing, such as exploring new alternatives and paths for yourself, you're bound to get a little lonely as you look for people who share your new interests and thoughts. There is no guarantee however, that you will be successful at forming new relationships.
2. Call or get together with the people you know, even if they aren't who you want to be with right now. Human contact makes more contact easier. This includes your mother and the guy at the deli counter. Listen more than talk. Listening, and drawing people out will deepen your contacts more than just talking endlessly about yourself. Do not exhaust your existing connections; these are all you have at the moment.
3. Get involved in anything where you will meet people. If you are very shy, find a group for social anxiety, even if it has to be online (obviously it's better if it's not). Look on places like Craig's List for activities in your area. Volunteering can help. But don't attend functions with the idea of making friends or meeting people. Being too demanding is a sign of loneliness. Try to go with no expectations whatsoever, and to enjoy yourself regardless of what happens.
4. Challenge yourself to take the initiative in social relationships whenever you can. You ask the person if they want to chat, get a coffee, whatever. Remember how much you like it when people are attracted to you. Remember though, that you are trying to make a place for yourself in another person's life. Do not think that just showing up will win you instant friends. It can be a long, painstaking process, and most people you meet already have their own friends and lives. You must always show interest in other people before they will show interest in you, if they ever do.
5. Take risks about revealing yourself. Say what's on your mind, if it seems at all likely the other person will be receptive. It can hurt when it backfires, but it's worth it a million times over if it works.
6. Remember that we are all alone inside our heads; we are born and die alone; it's nothing special. Every person who has ever lived has been lonely. Love wouldn't exist without loneliness to inspire it. Look at your loneliness with detachment.
7. Notice the difference between loneliness and solitude. Imagine this is the last day you will ever be alone. What would you do?
8. Join an online community. Sometimes it can help. If you're willing to help others as well as being helped yourself, check out the free Phone Buddies peer counseling community.
9. When feeling lonely, don't allow yourself to wallow in your loneliness. Do something, anything! Take a walk, ride your bike.
10. Do everything you would normally do with a partner or friend. Many times it isn't the partner or friend you are missing, but the activities and hobbies you shared. Take yourself out for a date. For example, if you would have gone out to dinner or to a movie on a date, then take yourself out to a movie or to a nice restaurant. Don't hold yourself back.

Connect with anyone who you assess to be genuine, and who is around you. Following your instincts about people can be important here. Just because someone is around/near you, doesn't mean they are good (vs. bad)company. Sometimes being alone is better than being in bad company.Set up social activities when you're not feeling lonely. Anticipate.Read literature and go to museums/theater/dance. Art reaches inside. For those with religious beliefs, consider fellowship with those of your faith. Most churches should have some sort of regular fellowship, if your church doesn’t then consider starting one.

Remember that reaching out to someone else lonelier than you could give you more happiness than you could imagine. Learn to meditate so that you have the experience of being loved and nurtured emotionally by other sources than human beings.Consider getting a pet! Animals can make marvelous companions; they give unconditional love, and can offer you loyal company. Walking a dog can also be a great way of meeting other people!Try not to get stuck into a rut with routines; routines allow you to go on auto-pilot, allowing you to day-dream about "what could be." Even worse, you're less likely to act on those day-dreams, because you'll be comfortable with your routines. Shake things up! Engage yourself in some activity that would keep your mind occupied. Remember that loneliness happens to everyone and that there is someone to talk to. Surround yourself with positive people.

Loneliness is a state where cults will find you most vulnerable. Be careful and listen to what others have to say about any group you are thinking of joining.
If you have a persistent feeling of loneliness, please seek medical help. It might be a sign of depression.Watch out! Becoming overly dependent on online communities as a social outlet may lead to addiction and more complications. Avoid trolls during all online conversations. When talking about yourself, avoid getting too personal. This might put people off, and invite mistreatment.

1 comments:

Holi said...

What a great article! I'm going to forward that to people. You are so right about how important it is to keep reaching out and too also stay very aware of whom you are connecting with, to protect yourself. The goal is to hoepfully created an extended family of chosen friends, so that you have a full support system. That's very hard to do as we get older.

There is a service that matches people who are looking to develop friendships like that (one on one), Creating Extended Families.

Anway, thanks for writing that, and I'm going to try to forward it to some friends.

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