Feeling lonely is one of the worst emotional situations we know of. After you take care of your physical needs (food, shelter and security), the need for friendship can only grow bigger.
Being alone, not having someone to share your worries and hopes with, makes you feel a certain kind of emptiness. It’s actually natural for your body to make you feel that way: our physiology is designed to push us to go and socialize, and stay CLOSE to people.
In this article, I’m going to share with you how to deal with loneliness, and start meeting the kind of friends that you need.
Why Feeling Lonely Can Get Worse With Time.
Maybe you noticed that when you are lonely, you start to feel cynical and suspicious of people. That’s normal because deep down in our nature, loneliness is associated with rejection and danger. These emotions are tied with loneliness.
Even if YOU decide that you want to be left alone, you still feel that society is rejecting you, and the mental gap between you and other people grows bigger if you don’t do something to stop to it. This can lead to loneliness worsening by other means:
- You stop relating to normal people because you spend a lot of time on your own, which makes it even harder to start making friends.
- You start losing your social skills. Social intelligence is like any other kind of intelligence: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
- You become irritable: when you’re lonely, problems and setbacks start to seem bigger to you.
- You lose some of your motivation: after long periods of hard-work, a bit of socializing can give you all the energy you need. The lack of it can make goals matter less.
The thing is, loneliness drains your energy, and make your goals and aspirations seem much harder to attain.The sooner you deal with it, the better.
What Kind of Friends Make Loneliness Go Away?
As you might know, not everyone can be the friend you could openly share your life with. In fact, some people can make you feel even more “alone”; we call them “the close-minded”. You don’t want to spend your time with those!
You need friends who will understand you—ones who will actually LIKE the unique things you do, and accept your individuality. These are the kind of friends with whom you can share your life, your dreams. You could go out with them, without ever worrying about being judged or being seen as “weird”.
It’s with genuine friends like this that you start to feel really happy that you have the right people with whom you can go out to parties and nice dinners; to go on trips and adventures; to celebrate your birthdays and have the fun of your life.
How to Start Meeting Friends
The rule of thumb is that friendship needs to be ABOUT something: this can be a passion, an activity, a hobby, a shared opinion, etc.
What you need to do, is get to the places where you have the highest chances of meeting others who are looking for friends too. These places are Meetup groups, charity groups, or expats’ events (check Internations or Expats .com). You can also join a Toast masters group if you also want to learn public speaking.
Why it Works
When you join a group, you feel obligated to go there each week: it’s hard to forget about it and get distracted. These groups are designed for people to meet new friends, and when you attend, you can introduce yourself to anyone you bump into. Try to find as many commonalities between you and the people you’d like to hang out with later, so it’s only natural to keep in touch with one another. If you just do just that, you’re way ahead of the curve—you’ve taken the first step out of loneliness, and into a life full of the friends and the fun you absolutely need.
If you’re eager to learn more techniques for meeting people, having great conversations, staying in touch, and making friends, then I recommend that you get on my Free Social Skills Newsletter.
In it, I’ll share with you precise steps you can take to get the friends you want.
See you there,
Paul SandersFeatured photo credit: Solitude concept - lonely sad woman in the woods via Shutterstock