First, Know what loneliness is : A signal
If you’re lonely, chances are, you think you’re a loser.
No matter how successful and smart you are, loneliness makes you think you don’t deserve to be around people. It makes you think you’ll always get rejected by people, no matter how courageous you are by going and talking to them.
That’s insane. But it’s really what happens. And you can break out of it.
In reality, loneliness is a signal that reminds you, as a biological system, that you’re in trouble. It gives you some pain to get you moving to fulfill a need. Like the pain of hunger or thirst, it has a biological and survival value.
You should never misinterpret loneliness as a sign that “you’re a loser” or that “you’re awkward”, leave those interpretations for people who don’t want to get over it.
Sadly enough, those people lose social skills and become very repulsive. When you put them in a room, they can’t tell what people mean by what they say. They can hear a story that has nothing to do with them, yet interpret it as a sign that they don’t fit in that group.
Loneliness creates a downward spiral that I call “The Loneliness Trap“.
You should SNAP OUT of that and respond appropriately in the face of loneliness.
Respond to that signal : Reconnect
Most loneliness is Emotional Loneliness. It’s the feeling that you’re not understood. People hear the words you say, understand the stories you share, but you don’t feel that they GET IT.
That’s why most new friendships won’t make you emotionally fulfilled instantly. If you’re lonely, you need some deep connection. Someone that can listen and understand you. And the good part, is that that can be achieved differently and quickly.
But if you’re lonely, your mind doesn’t even “work right” to let you know who to connect with and how.
Reconnect in a safe environement where rejection is improbable
When you’re lonely, you feel that everyone will reject you. So I wouldn’t advise you to an extremely challenging place to connect with people. There is no need to start hard.
Here are some places to consider :
– Meetup.com : many of the people who go to meetup are just there to make friends and talk to people. Maybe they’re new in town and feel lonely. They will certainly be more open to you.
– SocialAnxietySupport.com : go meet a member and talk about your loneliness with him/her. Arrange a meeting and go for it. If you’re lonely, no one would understand you better than someone who’s going through the same things. But connect with someone who’s actively trying to change their situation.
– Join a charity group that wouldn’t consume all your time. Do it even for a small amount of time, maybe just to help poor children. And if you enjoy it, keep doing it. It will make you feel great and will definitely get your loneliness away. I’ve seen people try this over and over and it’s really the easiest way.
The Golden Tip : Reveal A Secret
Really, do it. When you meet someone new, reveal a small secret. They won’t know it’s a secret so they’re not gonna think it’s a big deal.
Reveal something that you used to be ashamed of. Examples : “I don’t go out too much”, “I’m a loner”, “I spend too much time at home, I need to cut that out”,… etc.
But, do it and notice how YOU FEEL. You will feel free, shameless and powerful.
Most importantly, your loneliness will GO DOWN. You’ll realize that you’re just a human being like anyone else. And that YOU’RE OK!
When lonely, you face a dilemma
And it goes like this :
You feel the need for some attention, some caring and listening.
You realize that the way to get that is to give it FIRST to other people.
So, how can you go care and give attention to people, when YOU need it most. It’s like being hungry and going out looking for people to feed.
When you meet someone, forget about your story for a little while and listen, ask them questions and get interested in them. Naturally, you’ll have to express your opinion on the topics. (That’s how natural conversation goes anyway). That’s your time to talk, express yourself, even on random topics.
Integrate in your life the solution for loneliness
If you want to get rid of loneliness once and for all, a few tries won’t do it.
YOU HAVE TO MAKE TIME FOR THE ANTI-LONELINESS SOLUTION
Take your calendar, define a few sections of the week where it will be YOUR JOB, to socialize.
I don’t care how you’ll do it, but do it. Make a simple plan and do it over and over :
For example, you can decide that, from now on, Thursday evening = Charity evening! That’s the time you go to a charity and give some of your time. It’s not hot or glamorous but it will get you in a social habit. You would have SUCCEEDED in making yourself get out of loneliness.
You can subscribe to a book club and go EVERY week.
If you can, go to AT LEAST, one meetup per week. And if you can do more challenging things like going to a bar and nightclub at least once a week, then do that.
Find a time when you have nothing else to do and call it “SOCIAL TIME”. Do it every week.
After that, you would have “graduated” out of loneliness. And it would be time to develop more social skills, make friends and build a social circle.
Good times are ahead of you.
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