Everyone has felt lonely at some point in their lives – when going through breakups, changing schools or jobs, or even for no real reason at all! Here’s a list ways people dealt with their loneliness.
Thanks to everyone who commented on reddit. Check out the source at the end of this article!
Dude, the last six months of my two-year stint teaching abroad were brutal. Everyone I knew had ended their contracts, I broke up with my girl, didn’t really care for the work. I was just miserable. I even went out and bought a PlayStation and Black Ops 2, leveled up to master and diamond guns. Didn’t even like the game. Built myself a city in minecraft just to burn it to the ground. I read all 1500 pages of Les Miserables. I read Les Miserables again [seriously]. I signed up for some EdX classes and found out I suck at logic. I couldn’t begin to estimate the volume of cheap beer I swallowed in the meantime.
Anyway, when I look back on it I’m just glad I made it through.
You need to be stuck in a relationship with someone who makes your life miserable. Then you’ll appreciate being lonely.
I’ve moved cross country at least a half a dozen times, and the first month or three in a new town is the hardest, but there are a lot of ways to mitigate being lonely.
0) Get/stay out of the house/apt. as much as possible. There are no new people in your house. You will not meet any new ones there.
1) Look online for a (reasonably local) hackerspace / or club of any sort that you’re remotely interested in. Running, cycling, hiking, wine / beer drinking, etc. Worst case, alumni football TV watching, etc. Whatever. 89% of the folks in clubs are there for the exact same reason you are.
2) Be a regular at a restaurant with friendly staff. Whether it’s a cheap diner for eggs in the morning, or a fancy sushi joint. When someone helps you, remember their name. Talking to the same folks regularly helps build connections that are going to help keep you sane. Doesn’t matter if they’re 75 years old, etc. Knowing people and talking to them feels good.
2.5) For that matter, learn the name of everyone you come into contact with on a weekly basis. The clerk at the convenience store, the security guard at the office or apartment complex. The Laundromat clerk. Say hi, hows it going, some weather, etc. when you see them. Before you know it, you’ll know 20 people in town by name. People who would be bummed if you stopped showing up, got hit by a bus, etc.
3) Volunteer. Help out at a soup kitchen. Help out at a senior home. If you want to be the most beloved person in your new neighborhood , just rake leaves / shovel snow for elderly neighbors. Even without asking at first. (obviously, never ask for or accept money.) Offer to take out their garbage to the curb, carry groceries, change light bulbs. Guaranteed hero status within weeks.
4) Online dating. Focus less on getting laid, more on making friends in new town. Getting laid comes vastly more easily and rewardingly with a wider social circle in a new town.
And don’t skimp on the helping other people / being friendly to old people part of the above. Most of them are vastly lonelier than you’ll be for decades to come, and would be thrilled for days for even a brief chat about the weather. Best way on earth to make good friends, and you’ll feel better about yourself and the world in profound ways.
Music is the only thing that keeps me sane.
There’s a difference between being lonely and being alone. I belong in the latter, and it’s the only way I can see myself living.
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I’m in the Army as a single soldier stationed in Europe. I spend my time going on adventures. Find a destination and go there on foot… Like straight there on foot. Corn field in the way? Screw corn. Walk straight through.
Get lost in your new city. I go on two, three hour walks with a handful of Euro, a water bottle, some snacks, and maybe a change of clothes or my cell phone charger. I just walk to stuff. Check out abandoned buildings. Walk down by the river. Take pictures. Adventure.
Get a dog or cat, or any pet for that matter. A dog that gets you out of the house for walks might even have the added benefit of helping you meet people too.
Join a gym. Working out makes me feel good, makes me look better, is healthy, and give me something to do during the day. One could potentially make friends at the gym also.
Loneliness: I own this, I’ve been there and I’ve conquered it. You will meet a lot of people in daily life, 20 people at least that you have met before, 10 that you have never met in your life. They are all as lonely as you are. They may hide it well, but believe me, they want nothing more than a new connection in life. Speak to them, ask about them, make the effort. Above all though, and never forget this, if they invite you to something, if they encourage something in you, say yes. Be the yes man, even if just for a while, do it and never regret, just try it. Above all though, never be afraid to go it alone. You see that mountain on the horizon? You want to climb it? Then go climb it! Go climb it alone! I guarantee you’ll meet your best friends on the way up.
Running. Seriously, it’s the best. Start off small, find a nice trail or park. Walk if you have to for an hour. Then try jogging it for as long as you can. Don’t worry about speed. You have to go far before you can go fast. After awhile you will be able to run no problem. Other runners will wave or give you a smile when you pass each other. The gear is awesome, it gives you an excuse to dress like a superhero. Honestly it probably saved my life.
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I have an active mind, a healthy imagination, and I make the most fun out of every little thing. I appreciate the individualism, I roll at my own pace, I fear no judgment, I embark on my own adventures, and, if I’m feeling lonely, I consider the alternative. I’m uncomfortable being around others, and so there’s comfort in being alone for me.
But if you’re really feeling alone and you want to eschew that state, find a hobby and be friendly. It’s literally that simple. You’ll make friends on some level unless you’re terrible at socialization or rude.
I think I have an advantage in quite liking being on my own, but here’s some of what I do:
1. Have the radio on when I can. It’s better than just music because you can hear people talking sometimes too; and you can interact and have them talk to you if you email in requests and stuff. Find a good radio station which plays the sort of stuff you love and you’ll find a little community of people to talk to (I feel like that about BBC 6 Music).
2. Get a dog. I didn’t do this at the time I did feel lonely but we have one now. It gets you out of the house, it’s the perfect way to meet people (we know every dog owner in the village now) and the dog itself is an annoying, cute, demanding, loving, friendly and generally personality-filled ball of cuteness. Don’t get a dog lightly, research breeds and only do it if you have time and don’t leave it alone for too long every day.
3. Exercise: run, swim, etc. Gets you out and about, being fit makes you happier, and you can meet people… or you have some time alone but not lonely because it’s great for clearing your mind. If you run, enter races and go to local park runs (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ or local equivalent)
4. Do an evening class. In something you’d otherwise not do. I’ve done creative writing, ballroom dancing (that’s a good one if you want to meet a significant other), and I’m currently doing German with my GF.
5. Business networking. If your job(s) require it in anyway, talk to your boss and see if they need anyone to go to local networking meetings. You’ll meet friends as well as business contacts.
6. Online dating. Or speed dating. You’ll meet loads of people speed dating – both potential dates and other people of the same sexuality/gender who are probably in a similar situation to you.
7. Just embrace it. This might only work for a short while, but take advantage of it by doing stuff like coming home, getting naked, and playing GTAV while drinking beer and listening to loud music or any of those other things you’ll never be able to do when there are other people around again.
Try going to [http://www.meetup.com] and searching for groups/events in your area (if any). It may help get you into a routine of seeing other people.
Loneliness can suck sometimes but try to embrace it. Eventually you’ll be so busy with other jobs and friends in your new location that you will say to yourself, “Oh, I wish I had the time to do [insert something here].” Now is that time and it can only help you in the long run. Good luck.
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There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. One is a physical state, and the other one is the result of emotions. A lot of people fight loneliness by trying to build up large groups of friends and trying to always be with someone. That’s not necessarily bad, but I think that leaves you depending on others for your emotional well being. I try to be comfortable with myself when I’m alone. I really think about what I feel the way I do when I’m lonely. Sometimes it turns out I just want human interaction so I call up some friends and have some fun, or go to a bar and try to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Other times I find it’s actually a form of insecurity and self doubt sometimes caused by not having enough friends or whatever. From there I try to find the source of those feelings and deal with them.
I’m 58 and up until about 8 years ago I was always living with someone… parents, friends, (ex)husband, son, sister’s family… and slowly I got my life back on track and bought my own condo… and then my son went off to university… I was ALONE!
I’m having the best time of my life now.
Music, cooking, reading, drawing, learning, movies, writing, dancing… so many things in the day to keep me interested and occupied and doing them when it suits ME… not based on everyone else’s want and whim. That alone time is like fuel for the soul so when I do invite friends and family over for dinner or a games night… I can give all my self to them knowing I’ve got a space where I can re-energize.
Living alone has been a delightful surprise. Never planned it. Just happened. Looked for the silver lining of it… and found it. I love my life!
Have a routine. Plan a routine by prioritizing the things you want to get done. Plan your day around those things. For me, it’s my 9-5 job & then hitting the gym & trying to stay in shape by looking after what I eat.
Train yourself to stick to that routine. It’s rewarding to feel disciplined for once in your life.
Working out is the best depression buster. Just pick any physical activity you like & go with it.
I write. In fact, I always write best when I’m alone. It prevents all distractions and really breaks that mental dam on the river of creation that is my mind. I get in the zone and time slows. All that exists is me, the page, and the world that page is bridging the gap to. I control everything and forge that white landscape into whatever I so choose.
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Play ‘Learn to be Lonely’ from the Phantom of the Opera movie soundtrack loudly and on repeat while sobbing softly in into a glass of my finest Carlo Rossi.
Do stuff. Being exhausted from doing (and accomplishing) something you enjoyed doing is the best cure for loneliness. If you can’t find anything to enjoy, it might be a good idea to visit a doctor.
I plan my non-existent wedding on Pinterest.
First and foremost, start taking care of yourself. I’m not talking about hygiene, or weight, I am talking about make sure you are doing what you can to make yourself a decent sort of person that people want to be friends with. Get your head into it. Making friends should be your only concern right now. If you can make friends, and start participating in their lives regularly, then the rest of the stuff WILL fall into place.
If you start showing an interest in people, they will reciprocate. you will start getting invites to do things, thereby, meeting more people. If you always beg off, the invites stop coming.
So how to go about this? simple, Start doing stuff. Seriously, figure out something you like to do and start out by finding groups that like to do the same thing. Cycling, Hiking, Photography, D&D, scrap-booking…whatever it is, look for a group and go at least four times.
You can find groups like this pretty easily on Meetup or by going to a store that specializes in the hobby you want to pursue and ask them about groups. This will probably take you out of your comfort zone. You will have to approach a group of people you don’t know and integrate with them. This is why I say find a group that shares your interest. You automatically have a topic of conversation you can talk about.
If you are able to do this, then you WILL make friends. That’s honestly all you need to worry about at this point. One day, you will find out that one of these people that you meet is more interesting than the others. And at that point, you can explore a relationship. You will have the advantage that you share an interest and that you are already friends, which are both important aspects of a successful relationship.
If you have trouble doing any of this because of personal discomfort, that’s OK too. There may be a few things you need to clear up before you can proceed. This is part of the “Taking Care of Yourself” Mentioned earlier. See if you can find a professional that can help you explore why you feel uncomfortable doing this.
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Spend at least 15 minutes a day meditating. Concentrate on your inner stillness, if you know what I mean.
Just “be”. Do not think, do not feel, just be. It is this feeling that allows me, personally, to bring myself back to a peaceful state when I begin feeling troubled. I am able to look at things objectively rather than with the bias of my thoughts and feelings, and can make proper judgement on all situations through this state of mind.
I teach myself things. I’ve used YouTube to teach myself to crochet. I try to constantly keep myself challenged. It helps distract me. I still spend some evenings crying, but mostly I can distract myself with books and learning.
I was super lonely for most of my freshmen year of college, so I made an NPC in skyrim that looked like a pretty girl I knew and she became my best friend. It was kinda sweet and it helped.
When I got to Iraq, I was a new private in my unit. I knew absolutely no one in my unit, or in that hemisphere of the world, actually. I felt surrounded by people that either had contempt for me or outright wanted to kill me. But instead of succumbing to despair and loneliness, I realized that–besides work hours–my time was all my own. I could do anything, learn anything, become anything in the quiet of my personal time. I read a lot, I exercised, I thought a lot about what my past meant, and what my future could be. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise. The quiet of my mind allowed me to get back in touch with myself, and really get to know myself in a way I never had before. When I got back to the States, I had the unshakable confidence that comes from knowing yourself totally. Nothing could embarrass me or put me off-center ever again. Being alone and being lonely don’t have to be the same thing. Use this time to make yourself into who and what you really want to be, and realize that what feels like a bad situation is really an opportunity to define yourself as a person, an identity separate from any expectations or perceptions that you might previously been tied to, and something that no one can ever take away from you.
Netflix. Looots and lots of Netflix.
I lived in a secluded mountain cabin in Southern Colorado for about four years. The loneliness can be brutal. I’m introverted and enjoy time by myself but we need human contact.
I would drive 20 miles to get a cup of coffee just to have some human interaction. Put yourself in situations where you are around people. Online communities and talking on the phone don’t do the job. Force yourself to interact with strangers, even for a short time, and you’ll start feeling better.
Ultimately think long term. A big part of the anxiety surrounding my loneliness centered around the loss of support structure. Friends and family are not only great for company but they are there when we need help.
Look down the road to reestablishing contact with your family and moving to an area where you can develop relationships. Just planning the move can help alleviate the problem.
Get a lot of cats.
Look for an adult basketball league or something along those lines. You can definitely form some strong bonds that way. I’d look into local YMCA or other fitness centers to see if they have any adult sports leagues. No one takes it super seriously, it’s just a way to stay fit and to meet people. Unfortunately, where I live, it is a very small area and there aren’t many leagues around. Also, if I didn’t have my Netflix account, I’d go crazy. So there’s another suggestion.