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How to Overcome Loneliness – 15 Techniques That Work Like a Charm
Everyone feels lonely at one time or another. And it can be difficult to make new friends in today’s troubled and unpredictable world. The friends and acquaintances we have may be so busy and worried that they don’t even realize how lonely we are. We may not tell them how we feel because we don’t want to bother anyone. So. . . we suffer in silence.
What is a person to do?
Well, if you find yourself sitting at home – alone – and feeling sorry for yourself, just try some of these 15 tricks to reduce loneliness and make new friends. They have worked for many of my clients, and they will work for you.
15 Sure-Fire Techniques
1. Look through your address book or think old relationships which you could revive. Even if you’ve lost your job, you can contact some of your former co-workers and arrange to meet them for lunch or a social outing. Stay in touch and keep those relationships going.
2. Continue any current relationships, also . . . stay in touch with your friends and partners. Offer to meet them for coffee or tea.
3. Use your hobbies and interests as a springboard to meet new people. Join a book reading group, gardening club, or join an exercise class.
Let’s say you keep tropical fish. You can join the local aquarium club and faithfully attend their meetings. Join the chess club or a writing group. When you’re in a meeting, leave to start conversations. In time, relationships will follow. And you won’t feel so lonely!
In the small town where I live, there is a drawing club, and people who enjoy sketching and drawing get together once or twice a month to do what they love. And there is an art guild, made up of local artists who give each other support and encouragement.
Whatever you like to do, you can find a club or organization that can help you meet new friends.
4. Volunteer your time.
No matter where you live, there is probably an animal shelter that needs volunteers to help care for the homeless pets.
Our local paper told a story last week about a man who lost his job so he volunteered at the animal shelter. He made many animal and human friends and soon became the director of the shelter. And now he has a new life that he absolutely loves!
In almost every community there are nursing homes where lonely, aging and sick people live. Open your heart to them. By helping others, you will help yourself.
I know people who take their therapy pets to nursing homes and group homes for homeless children, where they allow their pets to minister to the elderly and sick, to touch people’s lives. I know others who take gift baskets to nursing homes. And others who play music for those who are disabled or bedridden.
5. Take your dog to obedience class.
You will meet other dog owners and you can participate in fun meetings and obedience trials. Note: Avoid using your pet as a substitute for human companionship. But a happy, healthy dog can introduce you to new friends!
6. Go to your house of worship and participate.
There will be programs you can participate in and people to meet, classes to join and special services to attend. You will find caring people who can help you make new friends and connections. Be kind to other lonely people in the religious community. Your loneliness will be relieved!
7. Find someone in your life to help in some way. Sometimes just being a good listener will make a lot of new friends for you. Find someone who lives on your street or in your apartment building who might welcome your friendship and start a conversation.
Offer your help. Give your time. You’ll grow closer to those you’re helping and, chances are, you’ll meet others in the process. And you will not feel lonely while you are with others.
8. Visit your local coffee shop and join the conversations when the opportunity presents itself.
Get to know the employees and customers, and let them get to know you. Stop by regularly, and soon you’ll have a home away from home where you can always be part of a good social environment. Be gregarious, even if you are shy. You just have to ask someone what interesting drink they have, or talk about the news or weather. Engage in conversations — they’re loners!
9. Read the local newspaper.
You will feel more part of the world by following current events. And there are always stories about local groups and organizations that may interest you and offer you a chance to meet people.
10. Offer to teach a class or workshop at the local YMCA or community education center.
It sounds like you have a skill or expertise that others are interested in learning. You will enjoy the social contact you will experience. Share your knowledge and skills with others. How good you will feel!
11. Ask about membership in a civic organization.
There are many worthwhile organizations that may interest you. Ask if you can attend a meeting to decide if you would like to join. A friend of mine dealt with the loss of her husband, to cancer, by joining Habit For Humanity. Every time she helped build a house, she had a great time and felt connected to others in a meaningful way.
12. Participate in chat rooms and blogs on topics of your interest, and observe others on the Internet. But be careful not to overdo it. There is no substitute for real life friends that you can interact with in person!
13. Take a part-time job in a restaurant or other business where you can meet and serve people and take an interest in other employees.
14. Avoid being a stranger. There are people out there who want and need to know you, but you have to seek them out! Let’s say you are walking out of the bookstore and you open the door for others. You are taking a small but important step towards feeling more connected to others and being in a positive social environment.
Go out of your way to introduce yourself to others and show interest in them. Wherever you go, bring your best (and most outgoing) personality with you. . . and use it to interact with people. Research says that outgoing people are less lonely than others.
For example, if you go to a nearby walking trail that is visited by many people in your community. . . instead of keeping to yourself and avoiding social contact, talk to other walkers and engage in conversations with them. Soon someone will warm to you, and you will have a pleasant, rewarding discussion. Going there several times a week will allow you to continue your new relationships with others who exercise and give you the opportunity to meet new people.
You don’t have to be an extrovert to let your light shine and befriend others. In turn, they will be friends for you.
15. Find ways to make yourself more attractive. All of us have some flaws. Identify yours and work to change them, thus making yourself more attractive to others.
The Power Of Good Deeds
Good deeds always come back to us surprisingly. They open doors for us in their own time. As you open your arms to others, you will develop a kinship with many people. Soon you will feel less lonely. And you will be a part of the lives of others in a most meaningful and important way. Go where you are needed, serve others, find creative ways to give your love, help someone in need, make someone’s day and make something good happen. . . you won’t be so lonely!
Sometimes the hardest part about being lonely is feeling so down in the dumps that you just can’t imagine a possible solution.
what to do
First, don’t give in to negative thoughts or expectations. Instead, think positively.
And second, do something! Act! Don’t let yourself sit and complain. Get up and make something happen. Just do it! Go and make a good dead. Start a conversation. Do something worthwhile.
If you follow this plan, remember to forget about being lonely and stop focusing your energy on lonely thoughts and feelings, you will soon find that your loneliness will disappear.
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