Fighting Loneliness: A How-To

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Nov 16, 2015.

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  1. Greetings, may I start with an internet hug?

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    There we go :) Now first off I want to disclaim a few things:
    • This post is not a panacea, nor is it a guarentee in any way
    • Loneliness often goes hand in hand with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, dissociation, and other more serious issues which you should definitely talk to a specialist about instead of some girl on the internet.
    • Loneliness - like everything else - affects every person differently. What works for one person may not work for you, and visa versa. Keep this in mind when reading these suggestions.
    Got it? Good.

    Now, I understand you've been feeling lonely lately :( Humans are social creatures, even the introverted ones. We need other people in order to be healthy, but sometimes it's just not that easy. Or at least, it doesn't feel that easy.

    Here are some things you can try to help you A) feel less lonely, B) make connections, and C) work through the depressive mood associated with loneliness in a positive way

    • Speak up!
      It's fine to call someone up just to chat. Message a friend, ask how their day was, tell them about yours. Try sending the message as an e-mail or letter rather than an instant messaging service, and express that you'd like to hear back from them when it's convenient. This removes the pressure to respond right away and makes it easier to respond comfortably. If you haven't seen or talked to this person in a while, that shouldn't be a deterrent; simply express a desire to catch up.

    • Contribute!
      Get involved with your community, whether that means joining a garbage clean up campaign in your city, donating to a charity, or posting threads here on Iwaku, feeling like you're a part of something does wonders to decrease loneliness.

    • Find your people!
      Loneliness can often stem from feeling like you can't communicate with the people around you, or lke you have nothing to talk about with them. Think about the things you are passionate about, and seek out communities of people with like interests to share them with.

    • Solicit!
      Hearing from other people can be even more effective than messaging them, yourself. Encourage random messages, selfies, status updates, or whatever helps you feel connected. Encouragement can be as simple as leaving comments, responding back, or even just mentioning that you enjoy reading/seeing this material.

    • Go be near some humans.
      Sometimes we feel alone, but don't necessarily want to talk to anyone. Especially for introverts, lots of social activity can be tiring. In this case, I recommend either the actions under 'Contribute!', or simply hanging out somewhere with people. You can wear headphones, read a book, or play on a handheld to deter people talking to you if you really want to be left alone, but I find even being around lots of warm bodies who are talking moving laughing and having lives can help me to feel less alone. Even more effective is if you have a family or social group that you can go to and just share space, not having to converse or share an activity.

    • Share
      Invest your solo time in creative expression, and share your work with the world. Getting feedback on something you've created, whether it's appreciative, critical, or a simple 'like' rating, could be just the level of communication exchange you need.

    What do you do when you're feeling lonely? Comment below!
     
    • Love Love x 2
  2. I post in General Chat when I feel lonely. Having twelve alerts when I wake up makes me feel special.

    That and the removal of negative ratings makes it nice to see people pointing out my nonexistent alcohol problem!

    Otherwise I hop on skype and begin messaging my Monster Hunter group or find a group in Destiny to pal around with.
     
    • Love Love x 1
  3. I live in a valley in the middle of no-where. Having this Roleplay forum, another forum, and 4 dogs and 4 cats helps to keep me from getting lonely.
     
    • Love Love x 1
  4. Crippling social anxiety basically prevents me from doing most logical things to alleviate loneliness. I have enough difficulty with non-personal interactions, being social with others is basically out of the question. I'm only kind-of-okay on public forums, but the moment you get me in private (even just PMs), I completely shut down. My brain is stupid.
     
    • Love Love x 1
    • You Need a Hug You Need a Hug x 1
  5. I can't believe I didn't mention animals! Dogs especially are great therapy for the lonely and/or anxious! If people don't have pets, they could visit animals at their local shelter (friendly ones who don't have trust/hair trigger issues), or even hang out in a dog park. Although for hanging out in a park ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU ASK THE OWNER before approaching an animal. You never know when an animal is still training, ill, nervous/jumpy, distrustful, or has anything else that will make it feel stressed or aggressive if a stranger starts interacting with it. Most times if dogs are out in a park - especially if they're off-leash - it's a good sign they're mostly okay around strangers, but yeah. ask.
    (Source: lived next to a dog park and loved playing with the puppies. A simple "Can I meet your dog?" is all it takes)
     
  6. My 'Love' was a hug, because I completely empathize with you on that one. I, too, have crippling social anxiety that leaves me all but unable to be social and make friends in real life. Being online helps; it creates that faceless barrier that alleviates that sensation of judgment. Skype is hit or miss. When I voice, I can be loudly bombastic, or really quiet.

    Point is, you ain't alone, hun. I'm right in that same boat with you, and if you ever want someone to talk to, feel free to PM me, or let me know it's okay to PM you sometime (since you got that part where it's even tough to talk in PMs).
     
  7. Oof, I can get extremely lonely. If I can't hang out with anyone in person at the moment, then I strike conversation in chats in facebook, or in forums in iwaku and deviantart. It feels a little weird, because I talk to people like I'm the happiest thing, constantly laughing and making jokes, when behind my screen I'm crying my eyes out. If it's a possibility, I go to class. Sometimes that helps me feel less lonely too.
     
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