This is the second part of a 2-part series on the top 6 ways to overcome loneliness. Click here to read Part 1of the series.
4. Open yourself up
Don’t underestimate the importance of what you have to offer. Allow yourself to be vulnerable rather than feeling like you have to show only the best side of you. Experiment by sharing aspects of yourself, including your experiences, feelings, memories, goals and dreams, etc. This will help you feel more understood and hopefully will inspire others to open up too. Also, ask for what you need to lessen your loneliness. People respond to direct, specific requests for support or companionship such as “Do you want to watch that new movie together next Friday night?” rather than general, vague requests like “Let’s hang out some time”.
7. Be patient
Thanks to modern technology, we have grown accustomed to instant gratifications. We think we can form friendships overnight, and we get disappointed when we don’t. However, forming and keeping relationships is a learning process and requires a set of knowledge and skills just like any other endeavours. Nurture your existing social network, even if there is only one person to start with, then gradually expand it. Remember, quality over quantity. Don’t forget to reach out to reconnect with your old friends and acquaintances even if you haven’t spoken to them for 20 years. Other people get lonely and are afraid of rejections too and are probably just waiting for you to make the first move. In the process of finding like-minded and like-hearted people, you will learn so much about yourself, other people, and relationships.
8. Get support
If your loneliness is debilitating with no signs of lessening, it may be time to seek professional support. With support, you can build your self-confidence, change your communication and relationship patterns and start making genuine and lasting connections.
I’d like leave you with this hopeful thought – there are more than 7 billion people on this planet, so even if the best friend or partner you are looking for is one in a million, you’ll still have 7000 candidates out there. And let’s face it, most of us don’t have such high standards, so our chance of success is a lot higher than that! So go ahead and be bold today.