Does anyone like solitude

Overcoming Loneliness: The Long Road to Deeper Relationships

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In the last few weeks I have dealt with loneliness several times. I wrote about the lifestyle that makes me lonely and about short-term relief in the moment of loneliness. Now I want to go a step further and describe how I believe To be able to overcome loneliness sustainably. Even if there are setbacks, I've been making good progress for more than a year. I strive for better relationships and have therefore returned to my home city of Leipzig after years of traveling.

I will probably experience lonely moments in the future - like a few weeks ago - but they should become increasingly rare. I have it in my own hands. Nobody can go this way for me. The following quote from Alfredo La Mont expresses this wonderfully:

"Solitude is a prison cell that can only be opened from the inside."

In this text I describe what works well for me, for me sustainable feeling less lonely. Whether these measures are suitable for imitation may depend on your personality type. I am a loner who has a hard time building, deepening and maintaining relationships. It usually takes a long time to get warm with someone. If the contact remains superficial, I quickly let him fall asleep again. I need few, but deep, relationships to feel good. If you're like that, this article might have useful answers.

However, do not expect any patent recipes! It is not easy, it does not go quickly and it does not work without setbacks. It is a process that begins in the head, develops through active action and ends in a new way of life.

1. Accept the situation

Hardly anyone talks about loneliness because most people believe they are alone with their feelings. That is why they are swept under the carpet - also in their own heads. I try to push the dark thoughts away from me and not sink into unnecessary self-pity. But without success. Presumably I'm just prolonging the dilemma by suppressing it. It would be better to accept the uncomfortable situation as it is.

"I feel lonely" is a clear commitment to the situation in which I find myself. It doesn't say anything about whether I like the condition or not. Nor does it mean that I will continue to be lonely in the future. It just means that I myself at this moment feel lonely. Now that the cards are on the table, I can take responsibility for my life. I no longer have to push my thoughts away, make up no excuses or gloss over anything. I recognize sadness and negative thoughts for what they are: A signal that something is wrong.

Now I may wonder what this is Something is. What exactly am I missing? And above all: can I take concrete measures to overcome this situation?

Some time ago I lacked deep friendships, or so I believed. Although I knew a lot of people and spent time with them, I often felt isolated. I couldn't really participate in her life. I soon realized that this condition was self-inflicted. It had nothing to do with the fact that I didn't know interesting people or that nobody would like me. Rather, I had neglected to let these people participate in my life. I was constantly out and about in the world, making superficial acquaintances while each other's life was going on at home.

In the meantime I have settled back in my homeland, strive for a rich social life, invite people into my life and am invited into theirs. Sometimes I even have the feelingto be blessed with good friendships.

Lonely moments have become rarer, but they still come. I know the reason, but I did not speak or write about it. I kept pushing the thought far away. Now I'm slowly thawing out and admitting: Sometimes I feel lonely because I've been single for too long. I accept this state of affairs, look him in the face and work on small changes. For the first time in years, something is happening.

Conclusion: No matter what the cause of your loneliness is, accept it as the signal that something is wrong. I'm sure you already know what you're missing. Face this answer honestly and let this confession be your turning point.

2. Do things that you like yourself to do

There's this one advice I can't hear anymore:

"You have to love yourself first."

He's hanging out my neck! Who absolutely loves themselves? Even if it does - does it really solve all problems? Even the greatest narcissists can be lonely, especially because of their self-love.

Loving yourself sounds like the ultimate goal: "If I love myself first, then ..." But this goal seems so big and unattainable that I stop any effort before I do anything undertake.

Nevertheless, I think I have to start with myself, after all, the "Solitude" prison cell can only be opened from the inside. Step by step I want to learn to respect myself more and do more good things for myself. This is what it is about Healthy Habits: healthy habits for ourselves. My self-image will not be reversed overnight, but every day I can learn to like myself a little more.

In lonely moments I doubt my kindness. I can think of many reasons to criticize myself. But they don't get me any further. It is more important to consider the situations in which I like myself. A while ago I wrote that down. I like myself B. even if I cook something instead of eating a ready-made meal. I like myself when I'm moving, spending time in nature, helping someone, or trying something I'm afraid of. These are all activities with which I invest in myself. I have to pull myself together for most of them, because there is always a more convenient alternative. Instead of reading a book, I could waste time on Facebook. However, I don't like myself doing it.

The more I do for myself, the more I like myself - and the more others will like mebecause I live by my values, follow healthy habits and also become more interesting. Yes, someone who takes time for his or her well-being looks more interesting than someone who puts a frozen pizza in the oven and then bangs in front of the television.

Since I've been following healthy habits again and again - even if I don't stick to them all - I feel more comfortable in myself and get more attention from others.

Conclusion: Think about the situations in which you like yourself. When can you say with all your heart: "It's good that I made it!"

3. Find the right people

I have high expectations of the people I spend time with. One could argue that this claim makes you even more lonely because I sort out so many people I don't want to see again after a meeting. But the opposite is the case: I feel lonely with people who don't suit me. Even if such a person is for me interested, your interest does not end up in my points account. I am still alone.

Few people have a positive impact on my wellbeing. With them I feel the desire to spend more time with them. If this interest is mutual, I feel good.

If I were to hang out with random people for a long time, just not to be alone, I would not have enough time for those people who do me good. That shouldn't be. I don't want to have fifty people around me who are nice but take away my energy. Instead, I prefer to spend my time with five people who deposit into my points account.

It is not easy to find these people. It's exhausting and takes a lot of time. Sometimes it exhausts me for a while. But every now and then I take opportunities to meet new people and sometimes someone gets stuck. It's worth the effort in the long run.

Conclusion: Do you already have people around you who are a good fit for you? Then consider yourself lucky and spend a lot of time with them. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. My boss used to say a lot life is too short for lazy compromises. I think he was right.

4. Spend time together

I try to spend a lot of time together with my friends - real time Quality timeas they say in English. Only this really welds together and goes to my points account.

Quality time was not possible on my travels. While I stayed in touch through email, text messages, and Skype, it's not the same as a face-to-face conversation or a shared experience.

Since my return, I have been more concerned with friendships. I invite friends over to my house for coffee or dinner. We go to the lake together, go to events, meet in the park, hike to Zwickau, do sports and work together. I even celebrated my birthday, which I never do otherwise. For me, spending time together is an essential prerequisite for feeling good. Modern communication channels are not enough. They tend to increase loneliness.

This time together means for me to jump over my shadow over and over again. It is not easy for me to invite friends over for a birthday or for dinner, or to suggest a common experience. It costs me to overcome every time, because I don't want to impose myself.

It is also not easy to turn a loose acquaintance into a friendship. I have to overcome this, too, but if I can do it, it usually turns out to be something good. Only recently, a long-standing friendship turned into a couple of cups of coffee and later two hikes together over several days. That connects.

Spending so much time with other people seems to contradict my preferences as an introvert. People often take energy away from me, so that I need my rest afterwards. But with those already mentioned right Humans do not. I feel better with them afterwards than before.

Conclusion: Jump over your shadow by making existing friendships active take care of other people's lives or make new friends out of acquaintances.

5. Listen properly

It's easy to be liked by people: I just have to listen to them. Everyone wants to talk about themselves and wants to be heard. I'm a good listener by nature, but I've managed to do it even better since I understood a fact: Every person's life is like a film and this person is the main actor in their own film. Everyone else around him play a supporting role or are extras. If I give a person his main role, I will probably be sympathetic to him and - a nice side effect - with this realization I will automatically be more patient for him.

However, listening is not a one-way street. It's not just my interlocutor who benefits from letting him talk. I always learn something new and can participate in the life of the other. That I am being taken into trust means a lot to me. It signals to me that there is a connection between us. That's exactly what I need in order not to be lonely.

Conclusion: Accept the main role of the other. Really listen to them to build a relationship and then be heard yourself.

6. Tell about yourself

Just listening is not enough. A close relationship can only develop if I also tell something about myself. It's not easy for me. I prefer to let others talk. But if I remain closed in a conversation, I then feel that it has not changed my loneliness. I continue to feel isolated even though I've learned a lot from each other.

I prefer to wait until someone asks me a question. But sometimes it doesn't come or it's not the right question. Then I could be stubbornly silent, but it doesn't make me feel any better. As a result, I have to jump over my shadow and tell something without being asked. For some people this may be perfectly normal, for me it isn't. If my interlocutor doesn't listen, I shut myself off completely. But if he's one of the right People, he will most likely listen.

When telling the story, I want to present my thoughts as unfiltered as possible and not pretend. Since my thoughts are very private, this openness makes me vulnerable. It hurts a little every time and often I can't bring myself to do it, but when I open up, it's a big step towards a trusting relationship.

Since I've blogged, this openness has been easier for me. What I have written down once, I can also discuss later in conversation. Nevertheless, I always have to bring myself to open words. My inhibitions want to protect me from injuries, but experience shows me: If I am with the right When I treat people openly, my words are received positively. I've never been laughed at or confronted with incomprehension.

Conclusion: If you talk so openly, you automatically become interesting and build real relationships. When you tell something about yourself, you establish a relationship of trust that is not possible with talking about the weather.

7. Help your friends

I offer my help to the people who suit me as often as possible. This automatically deepens our relationship. This also makes me vulnerable. It may sound absurd, but it does I often have to bring myself to offer people my help or give them something as a present. Not because I don't want to spend the time, energy or money, but because I don't want to impose myself. I am afraid of receiving a rejection. This is nonsense. Everyone is happy about serious offers of help. Anyone who rejects them will have good reasons for doing so.

Help can mean anything. I can energize my friends by being there and listening when they need someone. I can help them move, water the flowers on vacation, take the pet out, build a closet, bring a course to dinner, etc. I also include small gifts outside of festive occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. Or I hand out a compliment: Everyone is happy about nice words.

Accepting help is just as important as offering help: If my friends want to help me, I shouldn't be persuaded for long. That too is often difficult for me. But serious offers of help are an expression of appreciation and are gladly expressed. If I accept help, I feel better afterwards, knowing that other people will go a long way for me.

Conclusion: Think about how you can support your fellow human beings, jump over your shadow and offer the help that you can contribute. Give even if nothing is given to you (yet). Don't be an exchanger, especially not a taker, but a giver. Accept the help that is offered to you.

8. Lower your expectations

Loneliness has a lot to do with expectations. If I assume that the world has to turn around me, I can only be disappointed. This description sounds exaggerated, yet we all expect just that. If I write a Whatsapp message to a friend and don't get an answer soon, I'm referring to myself. Then I wonder what I might have done or feel left alone. There is no reason for that.

The fact is, I have no idea what this friend is up to. Maybe she is busy at the moment, spending time with other people and doesn't want to type on the phone in the meantime, maybe her battery is empty or she has completely other worries than answering my message. In any case, it has hers own to live with own Priorities and is the lead actress in her own film.

With this knowledge I try to lower my expectations. I don't want to feel lonely right away because someone doesn't answer my message or declines an invitation. It is not the other person's responsibility whether I am lonely or not. It is my Thing how I rate the situation: I can find realistic answers or paint everything dark.

The positive rating doesn't always work for me, I'll admit that. But when I'm not in a hole, I try to maintain realistic expectations and only hold myself responsible for my well-being.

Conclusion: Know that nobody is responsible for your happiness, but that everyone is the most important person to themselves (and that's perfectly fine). Instead, look for solutions in your Life.

Open the door from the inside

Loneliness is a homemade problem that I am responsible for. It is not enough to complain that I am alone, that nobody understands me and that everyone else only thinks of themselves. That is the most negative assessment of the situation imaginable and will lead to nothing.

When I feel lonely, it is because I often withdraw, refuse to accept invitations from friends, not invite anyone myself, make myself comfortable in my comfort zone, or close myself off to others.

It is up to me to accept this situation and improve from that point on. Sure, I don't always want to hear that. Lying on the floor, I sometimes lack the strength to pull myself out of the hole by my hair. Rather, I want someone to redeem me, but let's face it, that won't happen. I have to redeem myself.

In the moment of weakness, that may sound unrealistic. But even then there are solutions to see life more positively again within a few days. You can read here what helped me last time. As soon as you see light again, start accepting it. From then on you have it in your own hands.


Photos: Accept - reject, young man reading, three friends, three friends on the beach, best travel friends, young men on stairs, hikers climbing on rock, man with smartphone, man on Shutterstock bench

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