How to Wage War Against Loneliness



As much as I love interacting with people of like minds, sharing knowledge, and speaking in public, my best moment is when I am alone. Could that be the reason why I hardly feel lonely? I don’t think so.

The reason is that I have interacted with lots of people who are always alone but never enjoy being alone, likewise, I have a list of people who spent the major part of their time amid people but still feel lonely.

My findings got me curious and signified that the reasons behind loneliness are beyond communicating or sharing with others.

In other words, loneliness is different from solitude; a state of being apart from others. It is not everyone who experiences solitude feels lonely. As an individual emotion, one can feel lonely even with people around you; the causes of loneliness originated from various factors which include social, mental, emotional, and environment.


What then are the Causes of Loneliness?

Loneliness is an emotional trait just like any other human persona. Its causes, effects, prevention, and treatments depend on individuals.

In other to understand the causes of loneliness, in his 1973 seminal work titled Loneliness: The Experience of Emotional and Social Isolation, Robert S. Weiss associate loneliness into two major categories: 

  • Social Loneliness: The feeling of not being part of a wider social network and sometimes feeling one does not have friends or allies they can rely on regularly or in time of distress
  • Emotional Loneliness: Beyond interaction, this loneliness results from the lack of deep, nurturing relationships with other people, which can be fulfilled by close friends, though more often by close family members such as parents, and later in life by romantic partners.

It is from these two categories we will be able to associate the causes of loneliness which may include;

  • Loss of loved ones
  • Loss of relationship
  • Physical isolation
  • Change of environment
  • Individual traits

It is a reality that one could feel lonely as a result of the inevitable occurrence, but many loneliness is self afflicted.

Meaning, loneliness is not the absence of people to communicate with but when you don’t communicate with yourself.


Finding Solution to Your Loneliness

Loneliness is a universal human emotion that is both complex and unique to each individual. Because it has no single common cause, the prevention and treatment of this potentially damaging state of mind can vary dramatically.

As related earlier, understanding the cause of loneliness as applicable to you is the first step towards preventing feeling lonely every time. In addition to that, you might also consider the following tips;

1.    Reach out: I don’t care whether you are an introvert or extrovert if you do feel lonely more than necessary, then, the need for reaching out to people rather than waiting for people to reach out to you is the best solution.

In his bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

During my teenage years, I thought I am an introvert, but today I know better. We all talk when we are in the midst of people like us and sometimes it’s a self afflicted trait due to one reason or another.

With the advancement in digital technology, you don’t have to step out of your house a start to reach out, it’s just a video call away and from there you could a further step of you are outgoing.

2.    Networking: Loneliness is of social more than professional but since loneliness depends on individual traits, it happens that what makes some people lonely is their inability to have a desire professional connection

Either social or professional, you can prevent or win the war of loneliness in your life by intentionally network through volunteering for community or professional activities in other to meet people of like minds.

3.    Develop Quality Relationships: Either romantic or otherwise, your loneliness might be as a result of a failure in your part to contribute towards ensuring that things work out with people around you.

In a nutshell, rather than looking for the right person to relate with, be the right one even within the family.

4.    Become Valuable: One of my natural hobbies is competing for a good thing. When it comes to relating to people, I compete to be the most valuable. This has always allowed me to have people around me for both social and professional interaction.

I have found this not only useful as a solution against loneliness but also profitable.

5.    Try New things: Loneliness can be synonymous with idleness. If you are engaged in quality activities, you hardly feel lonely. Apart from not having a redundant time, your mind will be busy working on things rather than been lonely.

You can try a new hobby or new skills that will allow you to meet people and make new friends.

Taking Control of Your Life: A quality life is not a perfect life but an existence with quality habits and personalities to prevent and withstand challenges.

No doubt, loneliness is one of the life challenges or an undesirable occurrence caused by challenges of which many times could be as a result of low self-esteem caused by our background and environmental challenges.

If you can take control of your life through personal development, loneliness will be among the list challenges that will deserve your time.


 

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