What not to do when you feel lonely

If you feel left out, not accepted, not loved, how do you deal with that? Where do you start? There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are things you can do. There are also a things you should NOT do. Here are five of them:

Don’t let your feelings of loneliness consume you. Feeling lonely is often accompanied by negative thoughts, such as:

  • I am not important to anyone
  • Nobody cares how I’m doing
  • I am not needed
  • Nobody understands me
  • I feel like I don’t exist
  • I’m missing out on life
  • My existence is meaningless

Don’t get stuck in these kind of thoughts. Try to focus on dealing with your feelings. Take control and look what you can do to battle your loneliness:

Don’t blame yourself or the world. Where non-lonely people often think that it is the lonely person themselves who’s to blame (“you’re just not trying hard enough”), the lonely person often thinks that it is the fault of others (“people have let me down”). Neither is entirely true. And blaming yourself or others isn’t going to help. Feeling lonely is a normal human emotion. It’s nobody’s fault.

Don’t run and hide from your feelings. Don’t run away from being alone by going out and constantly socializing all the time. Keeping yourself busy like that is not going to solve the problem. Admit your feelings and pay proper attention to them.

Don’t numb your feelings. Indulging in alcohol, cigarettes or drugs is never a good idea, and it will surely not help you cope with loneliness. It will be like taking a painkiller: you may not feel the pain for a while, but you are not taking care of the issue that caused it in the first place.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Or worry about the idea you may have of what your social contacts should be like. Connections have to be meaningful and satisfying for you and the other person involved, not according to some external measure.

And remember: many people struggle with this. You are not alone!