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Feeling Lonely and Want to Change? Here’s How.

Feeling Lonely and Want to Change? Here’s How.

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.

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people being alone 2

    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:

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    • 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”.

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    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.

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    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 Sanders

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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