Coping with Loneliness

Loneliness is a terrible feeling.

Rooted in an instinctive survival need – we fear being separated from the tribe and cast out of the warm, firelit shelter into darkness and danger. Something out there could eat us! Humans are social animals – we generally prefer to run in herds.

Added to that – buried deep in our psyche – is the memory of a time when we were held close, safe and warm in the womb, our every need met.

We crave that feeling – we try to achieve it with lovers, friends and family. But we can never quite get there again – we can only briefly glimpse it from time to time.

It leaves us feeling disconnected. Apart – strange, different and cut off from everyone else.

The irony is that most people feel exactly the same way.

It is our feeling of loneliness and separation which connects us.

Nobody can recreate the womb for us – that would be unhealthy and almost downright impossible to have someone read your mind and meet every need without it being expressed. But you can have more of those “glimpses” of connection for sure.

To feel less lonely:

1. Be open to connection – smile, talk and interact. That person avoiding your gaze on the street may open up and warm to you with a return smile – perhaps.

2. Find your tribe – like-minded people with similar interests

3. Swapping the polite “i’m fines” is all very well with someone you barely know – but find those who you can share more with – and do so. Share feelings, thoughts – show your humanity. It is safe to do so – people like it – as they too are often unsure how much they can share.

4. Help out – it creates a connection. Help can be as simple as a listening ear.

5. Let others help you – it creates a connection. People really LIKE to help – unless of course you’re a mooch/taker constantly. Are you? If not – let them help, it is the kind thing to do.

6. Work on knowing, liking and enjoying yourself – you are the closest to you – the one who knows and understands everything about you. You are your own best friend. (or should be đŸ˜‰ if not go look at my talk on self-worth). Give yourself a mental hug and support yourself as needed. We overlook the comfort of being there for ourselves.

7. Don’t isolate – make the effort to get out there – even if you find most people annoying – or crowds freak you out – or you are really anti-social or introverted – some scheduled time in a social context is mentally MUCH healthier for you. Isolation is a slippery slope to depression and more serious psychoses. You are not wired to be completely alone 24/7. One of the treatments for people after a serious trauma is to socialise and seek support of others.

we know that getting out there is also scary – interacting with the world carries risk – there are some mad, bad, mean people out there . . . even very nice people can have crazy moments, annoying moments . . . on balance though – the risk of these things is worth it when you consider the incredible gain to be had when you really connect with another being . . . that warm, fuzzy, happy moment when you realise you are really not so alone in the big world . . .

All rights reserved © 2019 Melanie Harvard – the uncommon coach TM