Loneliness can be very hard, and many people have experienced it at some time in their life, they may have looked around, even in a room full of people and felt lonely. Sometimes people try too hard to fix the loneliness problem, and it just makes it worse. We used to know a guy, a very nice man that was dying to have a girlfriend, and the more he tried, the worse it got. If you try too hard at something it only starts to look desperate, and it makes the whole problem worse. So let’s see if we can avoid some self-fulfilling prophecies, and see what we can do that’ll make it a lot easier to be less lonely.
Understand the loneliness
One of the things you must realize is that loneliness is a feeling. You can feel lonely by yourself on a mountaintop, or you can feel lonely in a party full of people. Just as someone else can be the life of a party and feel fulfilled, they can also feel just as fulfilled sitting by themselves on top of a mountain. Loneliness is just a feeling. Your brain has many different ways to alert you to various things. Everything from the pain of hitting your toe, to fear when there is something that might be dangerous. Loneliness is simply the same thing; it’s your brain trying to tell you something. Though you may not know what it is, it is just a way of your brain to talk to you. So understand that loneliness might not be as big a problem as you think. Change the way you look at things and try and accept what it is. For now, let’s see what we can do about making it better.
One of the first things you need to do to overcome loneliness is get in touch with yourself. You need to understand what makes you happy and what you dislike. What are the behaviors that might trigger those feelings of loneliness. You can do many things to get in touch with yourself such as meditate, or write out a journal, though of course both of those we believe you should do anyway regardless of loneliness or not, but you need to understand what makes you happy and what you want in your life. There is an old saying “you cannot be happy with anyone else until you are happy with yourself.” Nobody else will make you happy. Only you can make you happy. Even if the things you find out about yourself are not exactly stellar and maybe a bit uncomfortable, you just have to accept them and then start working on making them better. So, loneliness can stem from you, not understanding yourself. So, make yourself a better person and work towards the goal you want.
Try new things
There is another old saying that says “show it you sell it, hide it you keep it.” What that means is if you don’t change the routine, don’t change what you do, and stay at home, then nothing is going to change. If you want to change your life, it’s going to take a little bit of effort to step outside of the box that you created for yourself. This should not be a reach, as if you’re not happy with your life then you realize already that you need to change it. When you step outside of your box and try new things, it can open up many pathways in your life. We don’t mean you have to do spectacular things such as parachuting or learning to drive a race car or anything like that, just small things such as go to the local mall and listen to a book reading, or go to a concert in the park, are fine. Just be comfortable with yourself and go there by yourself. The easier it is to do, the more likely you will do it, but remember it still takes some proactive action in that you have to take a step out to do it. Try and do one new thing and day, and write it down in a notebook so you can look back on it and see all the different new things you have done over time. You will be quite surprised at how much your life changes.
It ain’t about you.
What we mean here is if you’re at a party and you’re feeling lonely or you are having difficulty talking to anybody, or you hate going out in groups because you always feel left out, you have to change how you look at it. If you’re going out to try and enjoy yourself, and you’re not enjoying yourself, then you’re just being egotistical. You may like to argue this point and say ‘no no you’re not egotistical,’ but the reality is you are. It’s not about you, the people at the party are not there to entertain you. If you look at the life of the party, or the confident people that seem to have all the friends, you’ll notice that they’re not doing it for themselves, their performing for others. So next time you’re in a group situation, or any social situation, think to yourself, how can I make these people enjoy this more. What can you say in conversation to make them enjoy the situation more? Put yourself out, and don’t care about how uncomfortable you feel or how much is not enjoying it, but try and make a game of making them happy. What can cheer everybody up? The more you do it, you’ll have a surprise in that people will start asking you to come to their parties or invite you to dinners, and suddenly you’ll have friends and the loneliness will be a lot less. It will not be creepy, as long as you don’t try too hard. Also it’s important to know, act in a way that they act, not in the way that you normally would. If you like stupid humor and they don’t, and you try and use stupid humor to make them feel better, it’s not going to work. Put some thought into it and see what will make them enjoy their time more, and not you. Fake it until you make it.
Dangers of social media
Social media seems like one of the logical places that you can go and overcome loneliness, but in reality, it can make a bigger problem than it solves. In many ways it allows you to hide behind a computer or your phone and not actually stepping out of the box. Its fine to make friends online, but remember you’re looking for actual friends, and not just people that will comment and talk to you. Sometimes you’re better off just shutting down social media completely for a while, and getting outside. Remember what you see on social media for other people’s lives, as much as it looks like they’re enjoying it thoroughly and having a much better life than you, is just a highlight reel. When you look at your own life you’re looking at the outtakes. Try looking at your highlight reel instead. Do not compare your life to theirs, they are probably just as tired and as lonely as you and are just better at covering it up. Stepping out of the box is the best thing we can suggest.
Loneliness comes from inside, just like depression, so sometimes you have to fix it by going inside and analyzing yourself. Loneliness is not always about having somebody there, although that does tend to help. Once you understand the loneliness is a symptom, you can start to remedy it, and then you will find that people will graduate towards you much easier and you will not feel as lonely again. If you try and force it, It will not work, so the best thing to do is fix the foundation of your life and make yourself happier and start to interact with other people in a positive way without expecting anything from it in return. If you worried about social interaction, there’s nothing wrong with telling people that you are by yourself most of the time, and are not very good in social situations. You will be surprised how many people understand this, as so many people are in the same boat even if it does not seem it. Once you figure out that loneliness is just a symptom, it will become much easier. Get out there, and change your life for the better, and you’ll find that everything falls into place on its own.