Dealing with loneliness means you are doing more than coping with whatever that loneliness is bringing into your life. You have been coping with loneliness long enough and you are tired of doing that. Now you want to take steps to become un-lonely.
To deal with loneliness there is a need to understand the nature of loneliness. I found scientifically researched facts in 'loneliness - Human Nature and the need for Social Connection' by John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick (2008).
In that book the authors make the following statement on page 80:
'Humans have a need to be affirmed up close and personal, we have a need
for a wider circle of friends and family, and we have a need to feel
that we belong to certain collectives, whether it is the University of
Michigan alumni associaton, the Welsh Fusiliers, the plumbers' union, or
the Low Riders Motorcycle Club.' *Please see the reference at the
bottom of this page.
Dr. John T. Cacioppo, along with others, has spent more than twenty years of scientific research on social connection. If you are interested in gaining a good understanding of loneliness, and finding the methods to deal with it, reading the above mentioned book will give you facts based on scientific research.
To deal with loneliness you will have to understand this three part nature of loneliness.
The three parts are the absence of an intimate relationship, the absence of friends & family and the absence of you having a place in your community.
You will need to make a deal with loneliness.
Is loneliness going to be gone from your life if you...
...manage to be in an intimate relationship and not have friends or a place in your community? It is unlikely that loneliness will be willing to leave your life under those circumstances.
It is definitely not going to leave if your intimate relationship is not a happy one. Being in an unhappy intimate relationship while not having any friends and not having a position in your community is worse than not having all three.
Is loneliness likely to leave your life, if you manage...
...to be have friends but no intimate relationship and no position in your community? Loneliness is not likely to leave you because you will be carrying that ache in your heart for an intimate relationship. However, you will be in the best position to perform lots of social actions and in a better position to find an intimate relationship.
Is loneliness likely to leave your life if you start ...
...performing a lot of volunteer activities with the goal of finding a place in your community? You will learn a lot about your community and about human nature. You will be in a good position to make friends and in a good position to find an intimate relationship.
However, if you just get a position in your community, you will see that loneliness is still in your life. You will need to continue your volunteering while you work on finding friendship and then finally an intimate relationship. All of that will only be possible if on the inside you are a friendly, outgoing person and you are a positive person and your attitude is a 'good' one. If you are not, work on acquiring those qualities and only then start volunteering.
So, that seems to be a good way...
...of dealing with loneliness: start looking for volunteering opportunities that involve at least some physical work and start volunteering.
You may just be lucky and find an intimate relationship simply by going for a cup of coffee in your local coffee shop or you might already be in an intimate relationship and feeling lonely.
Volunteering seems to be an easy thing to start. It will get you some kind of human contact right away. Right from the start be a great volunteer. Don't volunteer and take credit just for showing up! Don't make it obvious that you volunteered just so you could have human contact.
Volunteer and do the best job you can, otherwise you run the risk of not being invited back! Volunteering is wonderful because it involves physical action, which will improve your mood. Once you provide great free work, you will easily achieve the second goal of dealing with loneliness: friends!
When you achieve that second goal, make sure...
...you hold on to your good attitude. Let go of friends if they try to get you to do things you don't want to do. It is highly unlikely that you will come across those kind of friends amongst people who do volunteer work.
When you are volunteering and have friends, you will have an opportunity to observe people as they do volunteer work. You will be going on un-offical 'dates', as it were, although you would be better off not calling them dates. There is very little that is 'hard and fast' or 'cut and dried' about the process of dealing with loneliness.
There are two things to remember though:
1. Keeping a good and friendly attitude is crucial to your success in successfully dealing with loneliness.
2.Dealing with loneliness by volunteering, acquiring friends and getting into an intimate relationship seems to be a logical thing to do.
*Ref: Cacioppo, John T.& Patrick, William (2008). loneliness - Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection
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