One of the saddest parts of finding yourself in the web of loneliness is when you continue to get more friends and hang around more people but continue to feel lonely.
This experience is not limited to just one person. There’s no person who became free from loneliness by making more friends. Although freedom from loneliness is intertwined with making friends, it is not the friends that bring the freedom.
In this post I will be showing you the real cure for loneliness.
What is Loneliness and How Does It Form?
Loneliness is a feeling of lack of connection with the environment or the people around. It is not being alone but feeling alone. You can be alone and not feel alone, and vice versa.
Most people tackle being alone by getting more friends but don’t tackle the real problem of feeling alone. In fact, having more people around you can heighten the feeling of loneliness.
When you see the people but can’t connect with them, it gives you a feeling of being weird, having a problem, telling you that no one likes you or will like you. Loneliness has reached its peak when you have given up on the possibility of having close and satisfying relationships.
Now, at one point or the other, we all feel lonely but the level of loneliness that begins to call for attention is when it persists for more than one day in a week. This persistent feeling of loneliness will make you feel you have a problem that makes people stay away from you.
Thinking you can’t make friends will make you feel unconnected the more and will push you away from people the more then make you believe you can’t make friends the more and the cycle continues.
How To Overcome Loneliness
If the cycle is broken at any point, let’s say you boldly tell yourself, ‘i don’t have a problem’, you can further it from there: ‘I can still make friends. I am relatable. That means I won’t be alone. That means I am really not alone ( it’s just that relationships build with time).’ Then, the feeling of loneliness will cease.
The first and fundamental key to overcoming loneliness is therefore being secured in your self-worth and assured that nothing is wrong with you.
Loneliness as we saw earlier is a feeling of lack of connection and one or two close relationships (not necessarily so much) will quench that feeling.
But what happens most times is that because most lonely people are not secured in their self-worth, they continually need affirmations from the relationships they have to really feel connected. They are at a high risk of falling back into the thought that people won’t like them even when the other person is so committed to them.
You know, we don’t see things as they are; we are them as we are. If you don’t see yourself as someone people want to hang around, you would expect that everybody thinks so about you too and that will fuel the feeling of lack of connection.
How To See Yourself As Worthy
The reason anyone does not see their worth is either one or both of the following:
- They have received verbal and non-verbal communications of unacceptance, rejection or condemnation that they have come to believe over time.
- They are so acquainted with their flaws or limitations by comparing themselves with peers or standards they look up to.
Whichever is the reason, it can be summed up as perception — conclusions you have arrived at through signals you perceive. Since perception is the root of the sense of unworthiness, new perceptions will create a new sense, and this time, a sense of worthiness.
If you are subjected to continuous affirmations of your worth and importance to life, the sense of unworthiness will disappear like the way it came.
Unfortunately, we don’t get these affirmations— at least not from the environment.
If you must build your self-worth, you must learn to give yourself affirmations. You are truly worthy of the same quality of life everyone else you admire lives. Your personality, abilities, gifts, talents, experiences, background, pains and everything that makes you up, regardless of how you feel about them, all work together to produce a unique individual called you.
This makes you a spice wherever you enter. You are not a pack of junks.
The raw materials for all the things we admire are not in themselves beautiful, but they end up producing important end products. Crude oil, for instance, is not anything beautiful or something we consider important on its own, but we can’t get kerosene, cooking gas, petrol and the petroleum jellies without it. A more beautiful raw material can’t get the job done.
In the same vein, the crude experiences you have had are the raw materials necessary to produce the beautiful end products you desire. Don’t settle with negativity— that’s not the end product. Rather, use the negativities to produce a beautiful future.
You, understanding this, should see yourself in a new light: that since you have experienced negativity, you now have something to offer to the world.
Consider this yourself: would you listen to someone who has never had any problem or overcome any challenge if they try to teach you how to overcome challenges?
People who have not come in touch with pain cannot offer any help to someone in pain. And this world is full of hurting people. Rejoice in the fact that you can you now offer help to the devastation of the world.
Continue to remind yourself that you are a spice through your differences. Mike Murdock said, ‘your similarities create your comfort; your difference creates your reward’.
Your difference is not a defect.
How To Affirm Yourself And Build Your Self-Esteem
You can create bookmarks, cards, wallpapers (wall, mobile, computer), stickers on your car or any other means possible to keep affirming your worth. Look at yourself in the mirror and speak positively to yourself. Our convictions form from the things we see and hear.
Surround yourself with sound positive voices and sights. Run away from people and places that seek to belittle you or make you less important. It is your life so you must take responsibility for your welfare.
Ultimately, your environment creates you; but fortunately, you create your environment. Take it up as a duty to constantly remind yourself of your worth. Once you wake up in the morning, don’t settle with the negative thoughts on your head, instead admire yourself, your worth and your importance.
Effect of Self-Affirmation
Like I said earlier, we don’t see things the way they are, but as we are. Once you are secured in your self-worth, you begin to expect positive responses from others and ultimately, you get them.
Your disposition towards yourself determines how others treat you. So a healthy disposition will therefore bring healthy relationships and this brings us back to the topic of discussion.
Being secured in your self-worth puts you on track to having close and healthy relationships— you begin to expect people to like you and you make moves towards establishing close relationships with them.
You also no longer interpret basic signals you receive from people negatively. This security in your self-worth will also be your stability when real negatively is thrown at you.
Some negativity thrown at you are only perceived but other times, they are real. Even when they are real, you are able to withstand and not sickle into self-condemnation. You are still able to find your importance and value amidst all the negative signals and still stay assured that nothing is wrong with you.
Through this, not only is your disposition built for positive relationships , it is also maintained for the continuity of the positive relationships.
How To Not Be Lonely When You Are Alone
We have seen how being secured in your self-worth can bring you satisfying relationships thereby chasing loneliness, but what about times when you are away from those relationships or they haven’t been developed yet? Will you, then, settle in loneliness?
Truth be told, developing close relationships takes time. But I would like to tell you that from where you are (without the relationships yet), you can still not feel lonely.
You can learn to enjoy your own company and develop a close relationship with yourself. Being secured in your self-worth sets the stage for you to enjoy your times alone, but you must build upon it.
Loneliness, the state of feeling a lack of connection with the environment, can be cured with healthy relationships but we cannot develop healthy relationships until we are secured in our self-worth.
Make self-affirmation a daily task. Nobody will give you enough affirmations. That’s how to build your self-worth. Being secure in your self-worth also helps you not to feel lonely even when alone. Learn how to do self-affirmation effectively here.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.