In an increasingly interconnected world, it may seem strange that there are still people who feel alone, but the reality is this. New technologies have made us exchange words more frequently, but the impact they have had on the quality of the emotional ties that bind people together has not been unequivocally positive.
Bearing in mind that in the face of isolation there are no magic solutions to solve the problem overnight… how can we overcome loneliness?
Methods that help overcome loneliness
Below we will review some guidelines that are useful in solving the problem of emotional isolation typical of people who feel lonely.
Ask yourself what you want
It is true that isolation can be very harmful, but it is also true that each person is a world and the definition of what it means to be alone varies depending on who you ask. It is a fact that there are many, many people who love solitude, and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, in Western culture countries extraversion is highly valued, and introversion and the tendency to want to be alone is less well perceived. This can make some people wonder about a problem that does not exist: Why don’t I enjoy being in the company of others more? What is my problem?
The truth is that in the beginning, loneliness is only harmful when it generates a clear suffering caused by the scarcity of moments when you connect emotionally with others. This is also what explains why very popular people with a busy social life can feel a void inside when they feel that these interactions mean nothing or are not based on honesty.
So, the first step in knowing how to overcome loneliness is to be clear about whether there is really something that needs to be overcome.
2. Reconcile with your habits and tastes
There are people who, even if they don’t realize it, feel lonely because in part they decide to exclude themselves from social life. This is often the case with people who think of themselves as too unique and who think of others as forming one homogenous category: “the others” on the one hand, and “me” on the other.
But there are too many people in the world to reduce it all to a single stereotypical concept. That’s why if the problem is in tastes, mentalities and hobbies, nothing should stop us from going to where the people who have all that in common with us are .
The Internet, although it does not guarantee that we will overcome loneliness, it does provide us with a lot of options to contact all kinds of groups and people with similar characteristics. Going to forums, and other types of online communities where you can meet people, is a great way to get involved in stimulating conversations and, from there, create new friendships.
3. Seek support from those closest to you
Overcoming loneliness is no easy task, and that is why it is worth not refusing any available help. After all, one of the first steps in solving any psychological problem is to get rid of the artificial problems, and the obsession with getting everything for oneself is as irrational as it is unconstructive.
In this case, we also have the advantage that the very fact of seeking support from family and friends helps to break down this feeling of loneliness. Talking about how we feel is an activity that can become therapeutic and, on the other hand, brings us closer to possible solutions that we did not have access to before.
4. Force yourself to attend social events
If you are thinking about ways to overcome loneliness, you may be experiencing some depressive symptoms because of the isolation you feel. In this emotional state our energy level and ability to take initiative is low, and so it is difficult to move around and get involved in stimulating tasks.
That’s why, even if you don’t feel like it, one of the great resources to use to break the loneliness is to force yourself to attend social events and, once there, maintain a proactive attitude. That way there will be the opportunity to start associating this kind of activities with fun, interesting conversations, the possibility of making friends, etc.
But if you think your depressive symptoms are too intense, or if you’ve already been diagnosed with some form of depression, keep in mind that trying to follow this pattern will be totally counterproductive, because you probably won’t be able to follow it and you’ll become even more frustrated. In cases like this, it’s the disorder, not the loneliness, that’s the main problem.
5. Train in techniques to develop assertiveness
Now that you have broken the first barrier in your comfort zone, it is time to break the remaining one and get more actively involved in conversations .
To do this, avoid at all costs brooding about the best time to intervene; just say what you think clearly and in a firm tone of voice. Think that if you don’t do it this way, your personal characteristics, your tastes and your appearance will not matter: people will not pay attention to what you say, because it will be noticed that even you don’t give much importance to your message.