How To Deal With Loneliness

One of the biggest taboos in our society is feeling lonely.

We are social animals – naturally inclined into becoming couples, families and communities. Society has also different groups for us to feel a part of: companies, countries, urban areas, even online virtual communities.

woman-alone-on-a-beach

And yet, some of us are still on our own at times… This is also natural. However, being on your own and feeling lonely are two separate things because it is possible for someone to feel lonely whilst being surrounded with people.

What is loneliness?

Loneliness is the perceived lack of intimate or close relationships and the lack of people with whom to share our innermost feelings – worries, doubts, hopes, dreams.

Many people will go through periods of loneliness in their lives. It may be one of the hardest things we have to cope with.

The most important things to remember about loneliness are (one) that is will pass eventually and (two) that the adversity of this painful period in your life will strengthen your character.

Are you lonely?

This can be a difficult question to answer for many people. Some folk only realise that they have been terribly lonely after the period of loneliness is over and they find themselves in a better situation. Others will find it hard to admit to themselves that they are lonely at the moment that they are.

However, loneliness is usually charaterized by feelings of emptiness and despair. It may get worse as we are sad because we are feeling lonely. Or sad to be on our own.

So, there are our feelings and our feeling about those feelings! And that brings us nicely into what we can do about loneliness.

What to do about loneliness?

Admit

The first step can be to admit our loneliness. You could maybe write a diary entry about it or have a conversation with yourself about how you’re feeling. But, it’s important that, once it’s recognised, to move on.

Resolve

So the second step after accepting that you have been feeling lonely recently is to resolve to do something about it.

It is important that the loneliness doesn’t take a hold. Try not to go down the path of saying this to yourself: “Why am I lonely at this stage in my life? My life’s a failure? No one else is lonely!” You can bet your bottom dollar a lot of other people are! But that shouldn’t concern you.

Don’t compare

Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. “I wouldn’t be lonely if I was married or if I was in a relationship.” This simply isn’t true. You can study all the statistics about married couples living longer, etc., all you want. You’re not a statistic; you’re a real person. Some of the happiest, most gregarious people I’ve met have been singles!

Don’t blame

The same goes for your material surroundings. You may feel that you don’t have the money to go out and meet people. You may feel that something bad has happened to you and that’s why you don’t trust people.

Explore

If this is the case, explore your feelings. Is this the real reason you were feeling lonely or is this less of a contributing factor than you would like to believe? Some of the richest people in the world are, in fact, the loneliest!

So, if you’ve explored your feelings on this subject dispassionately you may well discover that some of the negative feelings you have on the subject are unnecessary.

That done, it’s time to take action!

Try to email, call or drop by at least one “forgotten” friend NOW! When you do meet people (and everybody meets people) try to communicate on a deeper level with them. Obviously, you don’t want to appear nosy. But try to listen to their problems more. Emphathise in a deeper way with people and they’ll be more likely to trust you which will, in turn, help you to open up.

Is there a hobby or a pastime that you previously enjoyed but have ignored recently. See if you can rekindle some of your old interests. There’s no better way to meet people than to meet them through shared interests.

Try to get involved with meeting people at any opportunity. Try to join clubs or volunteer to do some charity work in your local area – even if it means doing something you don’t like (like bingo!)

Enjoy solitude

It isn’t a crime to be on your own. And it isn’t a crime to enjoy being on your own. Whilst being on your own you can have some of the most peaceful and spiritual moments. If you are happy with yourself you will attract happy people towards you.

You can do it!

You can feel close to humanity by feeling the love inside your heart grow and grow with meditation and prayer. Put a little time into yourself. You’re worth it!

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Comments

  1. Great stuff Rob,
    There is a lovely scene in the film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” where an aged lotherio has carried out a failed pick-up pretending to be what he isn’t. The women is excusing herself with “it was nice meeting you” when he turns it around completely by saying “No it wasn’t – look can we start over … I’m lonely!”. She is relieved and says “I’m lonely too”

    You are so right. It is so easy even for the most sociable and outgoing to put themselves in a situations where they are lonely. It can be like exercise – the less you do it, the more it seems harder to start and the worse you feel.

    • Rob Cubbon says:

      I’m going to have to see that movie now! That’s a great scene you described.

      Yes, life’s a battle sometimes to get into the right habits. 🙂

  2. I coul hear my manly rugby- playing pals cryingg harder than I
    didd next to me. Thiss really is truly an emotional movie.