Ways to Combat Feelings of Loneliness
By: Tim De Pass
Isolation can engulf an individual leaving them with no close meaningful interactions except their own silent thoughts. It may be common to have people around but always be at an arms distance, reluctant to fully participate. Even to crave some sort of connection whether it be friends or a relationship, but once the opportunity arises retreating seems like the best option. Creating deeply meaningful bonds can be hard and opening up to someone can be terrifying. Human connection is essential in our mental health allowing us to love and share in the experiences of the world. Loneliness is the flip side of this connection that has the potential to damage our well-being and strip away at our thoughts leaving us stranded. When loneliness comes to a breaking point it takes different attempts and techniques to combat it with.
Try new things
It is easy to get stuck in our routine, eliminating any possibility for spontaneity or new adventures. But these seemingly random adventures sometimes provide opportunities to meet new people and explore a part of ourselves we never realized. Getting out of our comfort zone not only creates an opportunity to develop relationships with new people but also a way for us to find out more about ourselves. Once we are more accepting and understanding of who we are, it may make it easier to let other people in as well.
Find others with similar interests
As odd as we may find our interests, it is incredibly likely that someone else also has a shared interest. Finding people with similar hobbies and interests in common helps develop an immediate connection with that other person. It may start with finding a group online and then start to slowly interact with other members. From there, if you feel connected to these individuals even considering a meet up so everyone can build deeper bonds. Having a shared interest creates an immediate connection with others, being able to build off that connection and taking the next steps may help build deep relationships that last a long time.
Persistence and say yes
Building close relationships take time, effort, and even vulnerability. It may take months, even years, to make close friends but it is important to stick with it if you feel a personal connection with someone. Being persistent, reliable, and patient shows a willingness and over time the relationship can grow. Also, say yes to as much invitations as you can. This increases the opportunity to meet new people while also creates a chance to build memories with other people. Over time, an increased proximity with another person will build a connection just based off of shared experiences. Using these shared experiences provides a rich opportunity to cultivate closer ties and build meaningful relationships for future events.