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Lonely and Bitter? 5 Ways to Deal with Solitude

Lonely and Bitter? 5 Ways to Deal with Solitude

There may come a time when you find yourself feeling lonely at one point in your life, and you start questioning how and when exactly that happened. Trying to contemplate the facts and going backwards in time will only make you bitter and resentful – at least, that’s what happened in my case.

There’s no point in crying over spilled milk – you are where you are, and you need to make the best of it. As a matter of fact, solitude can be a very dear friend if you offer it a hand of peace. Any situation can be used to your advantage if you’re able to completely change your mindset and look at the world from a different perspective.

1. It’s Only a Prison If You Make It So

This cage of loneliness is only a creation of your mind, and you can set yourself free. For starters, you should stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop doubting your worth – many lonely people believe that they don’t have anything to offer to the world, and that is the reason why they are so distant from it.

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You have probably already heard about that confidence theory – it’s all about how confident you believe you are. People can smell insecurity from a mile away. And much like the confidence theory, your feelings of insecurity all comes from the inside; the world is exactly the way you believe it is.

If you believe you’re confident – you will be; if you want your mind to be a happier place – you will make it so, and if you want to turn loneliness into a temple of peace and serenity – it’s up to you to start building it.

2. Create Routines and Follow Them Through

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Teenage girl on the grass with a guitar

    It’s quite easy to be pulled into the shadows of depression when you’re lonely – you’ll be pulled in if you let it. However, the fact that you have nothing or no one to plan your day around doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan at all.

    You should make friends with discipline, for starters. Start your morning with a delicious cup of coffee or cup of your favorite tea, make your own yummy breakfast and enjoy the beginning of your day. Voila – you have already done something useful; you just made yourself feel comfortable and pleasant.

    3. Fill Your Life with Various Projects

    After your morning routine is done, you should roll up your sleeves and see what you can do for your surroundings. DIY projects are extraordinarily beneficial, and they will do wonders for your home and your inner self. Building or fixing things using your own hands, and developing your skills in the process, will make your home more pleasant and help you get to know yourself better. Obviously, this will do great things for your confidence.

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    4. Make Your Work More Interesting

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      A lot of loneliness in this age of technology comes from a whole new phenomenon – working at home. Sure, this comes with a bunch of advantages because you are your own boss, but it also lets you sleep in, which may seem quite harmless in the beginning.

      Get your work and yourself out of the house – there are ways to make friends when working from home, and you should explore your options. Besides, you shouldn’t allow yourself to stagnate but, instead, you need to strive towards advancement and growth. This professional rut may be the reason why you’re bitter, which is why you should find a way to see your work in action and find ways for it to contribute to the world.

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      5. Reach Out and Talk to People

      If your mind is too quiet and you feel like you miss spoken kind words, someone’s acknowledgement or appreciation, the obvious thing to do is to earn it. Obstacles that prevent you from communicating with others can be overcome, but you need to have a strong will to do so.

      You should go to social gatherings you enjoy, visit cultural events that are in your area of interest, take walks at your nearest park, or read in your local library instead of at home because that way you’ll find people who are similar to you and share your thoughts.
      There’s a silver lining to solitude – it allows you to explore the depths of your personality. Upon those discoveries, you should build your life and fashion it according to your needs. It doesn’t seem so bad now, does it? I see it as a great opportunity you should take advantage of.

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      Published on April 7, 2021

      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

      Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

      While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

      1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

      Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

      If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

      In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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      2. They Make Everything Transactional

      Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

      For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

      Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

      A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

      Some statements to be wary of include:

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      • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
      • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
      • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
      • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

      3. They Criticize Everything

      One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

      However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

      Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

      • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
      • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
      • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
      • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

      4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

      We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

      For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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      This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

      5. They Socially Isolate You

      Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

      Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

      This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

      In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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      6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

      It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

      Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

      Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

      • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
      • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
      • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
      • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

      Final Thoughts

      It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

      More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

      Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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