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Loneliness

Loneliness

Figuring out why and what to do about it.

Johan, Flickr, CC 2.0
Source: Johan, Flickr, CC 2.0

Many people go through periods, maybe long periods, feeling lonely. Perhaps these questions can help.

Is loneliness really the issue?

Could it be that you be looking for something but not necessarily someone? If that's possible, ask yourself what you most passionately enjoy or have enjoyed discussing? Should you learn something: by reading, watching videos, having a tutor, taking a class, a course, or even pursue a degree? Should you tweak your job description or take on a special project at work? Should you pursue a new job or even a brand-new career?

Why are you lonely?

Okay, let's assume that you really do want to connect with one or more people. Do your answers of any of the following questions offer a clue as to why you're lonely and what you might want to do about it?

Have you not reached out enough or been too subtle about it? Do you need to reach back to old friends? Put yourself in situations where you're likely to meet the right sort of person?: A few examples: Join or start a book or movie club: a singles retreat, volunteer for a cause you care a lot about, take a course in communication, dance, philosophy, or financial planning? Dare you throw a party? Here are tips.

Have you reached out to the wrong types of people? What would the Wise One within you tell you to do: Seek out smarter people? Kinder ones? Those who share your interests? Who have a different political view? Have you stayed with people who don't bring out the best in you and so you need to cut your losses sooner?

Have you made connections but you haven’t worn well? Imagine that all the people you've met were in a room without you there. What would they say is the main reason or two they haven't kept in touch, let alone attempted to deepen the relationship? Is there something you want to do differently in how you interact with people: be a better listener, have more to say, be more generous, be edgier or less edgy?

What are you lonely for?

Companionship?

An activity partner?

Someone to commiserate with?

Have sex with?

A soulmate, kindred spirit? That is normally associated with romantic partners, but a platonic kindred spirit can be a wonderful addition to a life.

All of the above?

Real life

In truth, many people who have spent much of their life lonely will likely continue to. Their loneliness is probably caused by some combination of their personality, alas in our lookist society, their looks, and life circumstances that militate against having sufficient friends. If that feels like you, do you want to make more of your solo life? For example, might you want to write more, for example, in a journal? Work more? Eat out even if alone? Travel more?

The takeaway

Is there at least one thing in this post that you'd like to try?

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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