Friday, November 25, 2005

How to Deal With Loneliness

How to Deal With Loneliness

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 simply because being lonely is part of the human condition. Here's how to cope with loneliness when it comes your way.


Steps

1. Realize that we all get lonely. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you or that you have to stay lonely. 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.
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. Talk until the feeling eases. Make as many calls as necessary.
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.
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.
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 when it works out.
6. Befriend someone lonelier than you are. This will not be the last friend you make.
7. 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.
8. Notice the difference between loneliness and solitude. Imagine this is the last day you will ever be alone. What would you do?


Tips

* Forget about the 'perfect' friend or lover. Connect with anyone around you.
* Set up social activities when you're not feeling lonely. Anticipate.
* Read literature and go to museums/theater/dance. Art reaches inside.