How to Stop Being Lonely and Single
What is Loneliness?
What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘lonely’ and ‘alone’?
When most people hear the word ‘lonely’ they think of a person on their own.
But the real meaning of loneliness goes a lot deeper.
Loneliness is a state of mind.
You feel disconnected from people and have an internal sense of emptiness and isolation.
Most people fear being alone.
They see being both alone and single as some form of shame on their part.
This is mostly an illusion of a vulnerable mind.
There’s nothing at all wrong with being single.
It should be celebrated. Being single means being free.
Even people who aren’t single appreciate the times when they were.
If you feel lonely and single, the fact that you’re single could be that you are lonely.
What do I mean?
Well, being in a lonely state of mind makes it harder for you to form connections with other people.
A single lonely person puts out different energy than someone who is happily alone, living their life with zest and purpose.
The energy you’re putting out and the way you carry yourself could be what’s keeping you single.
Let’s take a look at the lonely part.
When you overcome the mindset of loneliness, the world will open up for you and things will start falling into place.
What Causes Loneliness?
1. A Recent Break-Up
The loneliness of a breakup can hit you hard because you’re not used to being alone.
For so long you’ve had someone else to distract you from yourself and to provide you your emotional needs.
Depending on the depth of your relationship and the circumstances surrounding the break-up, you can easily slip into depression and grief at the loss.
Be careful not to become a helpless victim to your emotions and vulnerability.
2. A Painful Experience
The loss of a loved one can be devastating, and it takes time to grieve and process the loss.
After the initial shock of the loss and coming to terms with what happened, the grieving process includes proactively involving yourself with life again.
I had a friend who’s husband committed suicide. It was tragic and unexpected.
No warning or previous attempts, no note left behind, nothing. Just gone.
For a few weeks, I didn’t see or hear from her. Then one day I was out and saw her.
She was back to work and trying to rebuild her life.
Of course, she was still devastated and her life will never be the same again.
But she was trying to get back to some state of normalcy.
She had every right to isolate herself and grieve indefinitely. No one could have faulted her for that.
But she chose not to be a victim of the nightmare she was enduring any more than she already was.
3. Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Excessive drug and alcohol abuse can turn an extroverted socialite into an isolated, hermit-like introvert.
They become disconnected from the world and a stranger to their friends and family.
The more the habit takes hold the less they feel they have in common with ‘normal people’.
They become exposed to an alternate world of secrecy, desperation and self-loathing for who they’ve become.
This inevitably leads to more loneliness, reinforcing the cycle of addiction and abuse.
No matter how temporary, the high of the drugs numb their emotional pain.
The stronger the neural pathways in the brain ("this drug equals pleasure"), the harder the behaviour is to change.
4. Low Self-Esteem
When a person has low self-esteem they feel less worthy to be around other people.
Low self-esteem can lead to prolonged periods of being single or being with the wrong person.
The way to overcome low self-esteem isn’t to look for external solutions.
The change needs to take place from within.
People who have low self-esteem often keep themselves in their comfort bubble. Their safe zone, or comfort zone.
To raise your self-esteem means doing things that you know would make you feel better about yourself.
It could be taking up new hobbies, going to new places, getting a new job and changing your environment.
The best boost for anyone's self-esteem is to set a worthy goal and start taking action towards it.
The feelings of progress toward something worthwhile gives you confidence and optimism. Your self-esteem rises a consequence.
Ever wonder why people who set goals and take action seem to be more self-confident? That’s why.
5. Poor Social Skills
Good social skills are becoming increasingly rare in today's world of social media and technology.
People text instead of talk, live their (edited) lives through Instagram and find sexual validation through dating apps.
Most people who connect on dating apps never meet.
They flirt for a while via messages, then move on to the next match.
This inevitably creates loneliness and disconnection from real people.
Technology is a good thing and has increased the quality of life for billions of people around the world.
But the fall in real social skills is undeniable, particularly for younger generations who grew up with the technology and don't know anything else.
How Do You Know You’re Lonely?
1. You Feel Depressed and Hopeless
Loneliness is usually accompanied by feelings of depression and loneliness.
An example is being at a party, surrounded by people having a good time and enjoying themselves, yet you feel sad and alone.
A Lot of people can be alone and feel quite happy about it. They enjoy their own company.
Some can’t be alone for more than a few moments and need constant distraction or companionship.
They don’t want to be alone with themselves.
You can feel alone without being depressed.
But when you are depressed and you feel unworthy or hopeless, loneliness isn’t far away.
2. You Use T.V and Social Media to Escape
Excessive T.V and online activity help people escape the drudgery of everyday life and get away from themselves.
Studies have shown social media use, in particular, is linked to increased cases of social isolation and depression in young people.
When you’re lonely you’re prone to shy away from interpersonal activity.
You'll opt for Netflix or Facebook as your main source of interaction, comfort, and escape.
3. You Always Feel Tired
Acute loneliness is a distant cousin to depression and lethargy.
You rarely find people who are lonely out in the world juicing life for everything it’s worth.
Loneliness is a downer. It’s more likely you’ll find them in bed, at home, not doing very much.
Good emotion is created by motion. The more you move your body the better you feel.
When you’re lonely and even mildly depressed you can wake up in the morning after an 8-hour sleep and feel as tired as if you never slept at all.
4. You Have No-One to Talk To
This is more common than you think.
People can have thousands of Facebook friends, but no one to talk to.
The longer you feel alone the more distance you create from people around you.
In extreme cases, isolation and loneliness can lead to an increased risk of suicide (read the study here).
Sadly in many cases, if the person had someone to talk to about their problems the tragic loss of life might have been averted.
Social contact is a human need. Without it, our minds and our lives start to decay.
How to Overcome Loneliness
1. Get Outside
Don’t stay inside all the time. Go out more.
Even going out by yourself to a local cafe is a better option to not going out at all.
Being out of your home puts you into life.
People, activity, things going on around you.
Get out of your head. When you're lonely that’s not a place you want to spend too much time.
Get out of the house and into life.
2. Try New Things
Familiarity leads to boredom. Try new things and go to new places.
They don’t have to be drastic changes from what you’re used to.
Start with micro-steps.
Put yourself in positive environments, around positive people.
Energy is transferable. Just being in these places will lift your mood.
You have a lot more value than you think you do.
Putting yourself in new environments gets you ‘out of yourself'.
That's because you have to be aware and adapt to your new surroundings.
3. Talk to More People
Make some effort to be more social and talk to people. 'Hello' is a good place to start.
When someone says hi to you or asks you how you are, don’t say ‘good thanks’ and be done with it.
Ask them how they are, what they did on the weekend, or how's their work or family.
Extend the conversation and be friendly to other people.
People will, in turn, be more open to you which can lead to new friendships and personal connections.
4. Develop Your Self
A great way to overcome loneliness is to put your energy into being a better version of yourself.
Read books that can teach you something valuable.
Set goals for yourself and make a plan on how to get them.
Raise the standards you have for yourself in all areas of life. Commit to becoming a winner.
5. Get Into Physical Activity
Nothing builds confidence and self-esteem like physical activity.
Sports are a great way to meet like-minded people and increase your health at the same time.
If you’re not a sports person you can start a new activity.
Whatever your interests are, there are numerous clubs and groups you can be a part of.
What have you got to lose? If you try it and it’s not your thing you can always go and find another one.
The purpose is to do something and become more social.
6. Join a Class
Learning is another great way to overcome loneliness.
Enrol yourself in a class and learn something you’ve always wanted to learn.
It puts you around people with similar interests to yourself.
People in classes are generally friendly types and are there for a variety of reasons.
You’re not going there to meet new people. You’re going there to learn a new skill.
But you will meet new people as well, which is an added benefit.
7. Learn How to Love Yourself
Loving yourself and liking who you are will take you from ‘lonely’ to ‘alone’.
Self-confident people with healthy levels of self-esteem don’t stay alone for long.
People are attracted to positive energy and good vibes.
If that’s the energy you’re radiating people will be drawn to you.
Learn to like yourself, and carry yourself with self-respect and integrity.
The Truth About Loneliness
The truth about loneliness is that in the vast majority of cases, loneliness is a choice.
If you’re of sound mind and body there isn’t any reason you need to stay lonely.
You might be lonely now but you don’t have to stay that way.
Beware of learned helplessness. That's when you say “ I’m lonely now so I’ll be lonely forever”.
View your loneliness as temporary.
Put into practice what you read in this article and you’ll start moving away from loneliness and towards whatever you want to be.
Quotes About Being Lonely and Single
“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” — Johann Wolfgange Von Goethe
“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.” — Mandy Hale
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” — Michel de Montaigne
“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” ― Kim Culbertson
“Sometimes you need to be alone. Not to be lonely, but to enjoy your free time being yourself.” – Anonymous