Toward the end of Loneliness, the beginning of belonging

 

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”
Mother Teresa

Here are some thoughts offered on Soon Online Magazine:

* Remember, you are not the only one to feel this way – perhaps 25% of the people around you feel the same. So make the first step!

* Do you have an interest or hobby? Find a group or society with this interest and join it.

* Don’t look for the answer to loneliness in a sexual relationship. Many people, especially girls, move from one quick sexual relationship to another, desperate to find closeness and meaning. The sort of people they find usually only want the sex part of the relationship, and do not offer more in return. You are worth more than this!

* Even in a stable long-term relationship or marriage, you should still not expect your partner to meet all of your emotional needs. They should certainly meet many of your needs, because your partner should be your best friend. But you should also have a network of good relationships with other friends, giving and taking help and support…

* It can be easy to live out our lives through the imaginary relationships in films, TV, books, or even arm-length relationships on the Internet. These aren’t real! TV and film characters do not act and talk like real people! It is an imaginary world, very different from the real one. Live in the real world!

* To be wanted and needed, is a big answer to loneliness. Is there any way you can help other people? Can you volunteer to do something? Hospital visiting, visiting old people, assist an advice centre, an inner city help program – the list is endless. Or just learn to be a listening person who can understand how other people feel, and help them. In helping other people, we find friends and lose loneliness!

* Don’t wait for someone to phone (or write/email) you – you contact them. And if they seem too busy, it doesn’t mean they are rejecting you. Try another time!

* Don’t drink too much – it may take away feelings of loneliness for a few hours, but does not answer the real problem.

* You may feel separated from other people because of wrong things that others have done or said to you, or things that you have done or said to others. These things build a wall between us. Look for a way to become friends again. Don’t be too proud to say sorry, even if you feel it was mostly the other person’s fault!

* If you have been hurt as a child through sexual or emotional abuse, or difficult relationships with parents, don’t bury those feelings. It is possible to find victory over these hurts.

 

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