Loneliness is something we have all experienced at one point or another. It’s a feeling that can drag us down and make us feel less than. But while your feelings of loneliness are valid, you can do something to try to make a change.
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Get off social media.
Despite the wording, social media will not make you feel less lonely. In fact, it actually might make you feel even more lonely. Those hundreds of people you follow? They’re not your friends. You don’t have meaningful relationships with them. They won’t make you feel better.
Call a friend.
Make it personal and call a friend – on the phone, on Skype, show up uninvited at their house, whatever. Have a real human conversation with a friend and you’ll instantly feel better.
Have an in-person conversation with a stranger.
Maybe you need a quick dose of socializing and your friends aren’t available. Strike up a conversation with someone in line at the store. Look the barista in the eye at the coffee shop. Put yourself out there (it’s scary, yes!) and talk to a stranger for a bit. They’ll either think you’re crazy but politely answer you until you part ways, or you’ll hit it off.
Be open to making connections.
We’re all sending off certain vibes just with our attitudes. It’s weird and sounds woo-woo but there it is. If you walk around with your eyes down and you’re not looking for opportunities, you’re not going to make any connections. People are going to get the sense that you don’t want to talk. But you can open yourself up to those connections by looking up and looking friendly – “Hey, world, I’m open for business!”
Nurture real relationships.
Make sure you’re putting effort towards relationships that are mutually beneficial to you and your friend. You likely want relationships that fuel you, that make you feel full and happy. My ideal relationships include trust, vulnerability, laughter, sharing, and thoughtfulness. If all of your friendships are shallow (we need a variety of relationships), you’re not building a deep support system for yourself.
Building a strong social support system is a hugely important part of our well-being. We need connection and support from others. Without that social system, loneliness can be debilitating.
But we live in a world where real connection is possible and accessible. You can help pull yourself out of your loneliness.