Dealing with Loneliness
Dealing with Loneliness is often the outcome an individual who suffers from low self esteem has to face.
Low self esteem characteristical behaviour like shyness, feeling unworthy, inadequate and inferior leads naturally to isolation and therefore loneliness.
Loneliness by itself is not a bad thing.
We all need it sometimes whether during the day or at a particular time in our life. Someone may need to be alone before work or a project to gain focus, someone else needs it after work to relax fully and quickly. There are times in life when an individual needs to regroup, re-evaluate his/her life to make important decisions and changes. I have actually changed the course of my life during one of those times and never looked back since.
So we should not fear loneliness, it is helpful and sometimes necessary.
Dealing with loneliness becomes a problem when it is constant and when it is not a choice.
Let's look more closely at some low self esteem characteristics that can lead to loneliness.
- Being shy, avoiding public presence, social group and meeting new faces.
- not coping with criticism.
- Never being happy with our look ( I'm too fat, too small, nose too big, etc..).
- Feeling unworthy, undeserving.
- Feeling inferior and lacking assertiveness.
- Being jealous, suspicious and having trouble keeping healthy relationships.
- And most of all, lacking intimacy whether with friends or a partner. Someone with low self esteem really struggle to let go, open up, in a protective instinct which keeps any relationship to a mundane level.
These behaviours will inevitably lead to isolation. Dealing with loneliness as well as low self esteem may seem to be a daunting task but really, it doesn't have to be if you decide to make some changes and act upon them.
Since loneliness and low self esteem walk side by side, overcoming one will help with the other.
Here are few tips to overcome loneliness and improving self esteem at the same time.
- Get out of your comfort zone and make it a goal to go out more often like social events. Accept invitations even if it doesn't feel comfortable yet. Give yourself a chance to meet new people and give others the chance to get to know you.
- Ignore your negative self talk and negative self evaluation about your worthiness or your look. You don't need to earn your worthiness, you are unique, you are just you and that's all you need to be.
- Try to include someone like a friend or a work mate to do activities that you usually do alone like riding a bicycle, jogging or going to the movies. Get in the habit not to do everything on your own
- Find groups that have the same interests that you have. It is easier to meet new people this way and can open a new world to you.
- Become more intimate with friends and partners. The reason people feel lonely even when they are surrounded is because they keep their relationships to a superficial level. Talking about the weather with someone is the same thing than being alone. Try to have more profound conversations about yourself, your interests and opinions but also learn to listen to others and accept who they are and what they have to say.
- Stop procrastinating. Procrastination is the worst enemy when dealing with loneliness and low self esteem. It keeps us stuck to the ground with a zillion excuses why we should not make a move and take our chances. You need to take action and some risks to see some changes in your life, so move your butt.
Be positive, any achievement will improve your confidence which in turn will help you in dealing with loneliness. It's a win-win situation.
The first advice that you usually get from everyone about dealing with loneliness is to get into a relationship. "Find someone, don't stay alone by yourself". I agree with one point: everyone needs to love and be loved or at least feel appreciated and it is not "healthy" to be alone all the time.
But I think this is taking the issue the wrong way.
Too many people jump from one bad relationship to another because they fear being alone. Others stay in the wrong relationship for years or even their whole life for the same reason, or maybe because it is not adequate, normal to be alone in our society standards.
Loneliness can be a good thing. It is a good time to meditate and reflect about your life, to re-assess, to re-evaluate. It is a good time to be selfish because you don't have to compromise with anyone else. Think of yourself, go on that trip you've always dreamt of or take those classes and qualifications you've always put off because of your obligations. Make a good use of those lonely times.
Paradoxically, loneliness is a good time to re-discover yourself, to learn how to love and respect yourself and to raise your expectations.
Once you are comfortable being alone with this person that is you, you are no longer begging or desperate for a relationship or friendship. You will then allowed these to come into your life naturally and allowed yourself to choose the right ones.
To me, dealing with loneliness is a paradox. My advice would be to stop worrying about your loneliness and to start focusing on yourself and your life. Once you love and respect yourself, others will too, everything will come into place and dealing with loneliness will be the least of your worries.
"You cannot be lonely if you like the person you are alone with."
~ Wayne Dyer ~
Jealousy in relationships
Trust issues in relationships
Healthy body image
Improving self esteem
Return from dealing with loneliness to healthy relationships