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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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      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

      In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

      Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

      Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

      Conflicts are literally everywhere.

      Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

      Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

      Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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      Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

      Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

      Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

      The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

      Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

      Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

      How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

      Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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      Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

      Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

      How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

      Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

      Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

      Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

      How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

      Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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      Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

      Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

      How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

      Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

      Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

      Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

      How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

      Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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      Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

      Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

      How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

      Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

      Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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