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Stop Feeling Lonely – The Four Mistakes You Must Avoid
Do you believe that it’s possible to stop feeling lonely? Or do you feel that it’s something that’s entirely beyond your control? The truth is, loneliness is something you can do something about – and you must. Loneliness can have severe long-term effects on physical and mental health.
You can take action, starting today, but you need to go about it in the right way. That means avoiding the four common mistakes.
Mistake 1 – Feeling threatened
Loneliness is insidious, in that the lonelier you feel, the more likely you are to withdraw from the things that would help you to stop feeling lonely. For lonely people, the world can seem a hostile and threatening place, and it’s tempting to retreat from it altogether.
This is an illusion, and one you urgently need to break. The fact of the matter is that the world contains everything you need to live a richer, fuller life. When you retreat from it, you leave yourself vulnerable to the phantoms of your own imagination.
Learn to see the world in a more balanced light, as a place where a hundred good things happen for every bad thing that’s reported in the press. Resolve to go out and look for them.
Mistake 2 – Going Too Fast Too Quickly
It can be tempting to try to stop feeling lonely by latching onto absolutely everything and everyone that comes your way. Unfortunately, this tends to have the opposite effect to the one intended. People don’t like other people who come on too strong or who seem desperate. So learn to relax and hang back a little.
Think in small steps. What little thing could you do today that would help you to feel less lonely? Visiting a new coffee shop? Having a short conversation with a shop assistant? Be kind to yourself and ease back into the social whirl as gently as possible.
Mistake 3 – Quantity over Quality
Having lots of relationships won’t help you to stop feeling lonely, necessarily. Somebody with dozens of casual friends and acquaintances can feel intensely lonely, where somebody with one or two really good friends can feel contented and blessed. As you start to overcome your loneliness, think in terms of developing quality of relationships, based on mutual interest, trust and support.
Mistake 4 – Being “Realistic”
Just as it’s an illusion to think of the world as unremittingly hostile, so it’s an illusion to think that “everything goes wrong” or “I’ll always be this way”. This isn’t realism – it’s a belief. The problem with this sort of thinking is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you’re always destined to be lonely, chances are, you’ll end up that way.