This article outlines powerful tips on how to deal with loneliness...
Tip 1 - Realise that you are an instrument of joy
You are not so lonely as you think. There is no life on earth that does not touch some other life. Our life belongs to a group of persons. Our slightest act affects those who love and believe in us. It is not often that we weep or smile alone.
The knowledge that each of us is an instrument of joy or sorrow to others should comfort us. It should also encourage us to try to overcome feelings of loneliness, which we all feel at some time or another.
Much sorrow and loneliness could be avoided if only we would learn how to meet disappointments, ingratitude, unresponsive love, failures, mistakes and above all the death of a dear relative or friend.
All these factors are difficult to accept without affecting our emotions and dispositions in life. In such weak circumstances the virus of loneliness is sure to attack us unless we immunise ourselves with the vaccine of the philosophy of life.
Tip 2 - Be prepared to accept the inevitable
The best way to start overcoming loneliness is to be prepared to accept the inevitable. It would be advisable to take this Mother Goose rhyme as one of our mottos:
Elsie Mac. Cormick confirms this by saying, “When we stop fighting the inevitable, we release energy which enables us to create a richer life. Otherwise if we go further and reject the harsh world of reality and retreat into a dream world of our own making we will be insane.” It is not easy to learn to say “It is so, it cannot be otherwise.” Yet Schopenhauer said, “A good supply of resignation is of the first importance for the journey of life.”
Tip 3 - Put yourself out to make friends
The next step to avoid loneliness is to make friends. We all need the companionship of our fellows. We need friends who care for us. But if we want to make friends let us put ourselves out to do things for other people… things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thought.
Let us care what happens and sorrow of our neighbour. Only by sharing and helping others we can have happiness guaranteed. Zoraster said, “Doing good to others is not a duty.”
Friendship could arise from simple attentions we give to others in our daily life. Little things mean a lot. Even a smile wonders the world. If we make an effort to smile at the people we meet on our way to work, we can make new friends. Actions speaks louder than words and a smile says, “I like you; You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”
Tip 4 - Control your tempers and answer your calls in a welcoming voice
A simple habit worth adopting is to answer your mobile or telephone in a pleasant voice, whatever your mood. Calls are sometimes a nuisance especially if we are busy, but we can always make the person feel we are glad to speak to him/her.
Being pleasant to everybody at all times is important for us. In order to win friends, we must control our tempers. It is worth remembering that whenever we lose our tempers we are to be losers. We only waste our energy when we argue or quarrel, because the only and best way to win over our enemy is to make him/her our friend.
Tip 5 - Remember names
Making an effort to remember names is a good habit too. Franklin D. Roosevelt used to say that the simplest most obvious and most important way of gaining goodwill is by remembering names and making people feel important. He was absolutely right because a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important in his language.
Tip 6 - Be a good listener
The last effort we need to gain friendship is to train ourselves to be good listeners. We must listen intently and be genuinely interested in what others have to say. This kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can ever pay anyone.
Tip 7 - Get active and do not entertain your thoughts
As friendship is a balm to loneliness, so is activity. The lonely person must lose himself in action, in order to avoid despair. George Bernard Shaw was right when he said: “The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother whether you are happy or not.” We must not bother to think that we are lonely. We must get busy and keep busy. It is the cheapest kind of medicine there is on the market and one of the best.
Tip 8 - Be open to change - blocking change is blocking life
To overcome loneliness we must not allow ourselves to be trapped in a rut. We must make small adaptations to keep ourselves flexible and venturesome. Change is as good as a rest. To try to keep change from our doors is to try to shut out life itself. When we practise flexibility we make our days interesting. We feel young, for we are keeping up with life rather than letting it pass by.
Tip 9 - Use your strong inner resources
Thus circumstances alone do not make us lonely. It is the way we react to circumstances that determine our feelings. Though we may be convinced that we cannot endure loneliness, disaster or tragedy, it is good to remember that we have strong inner resources which, given the chance, would rally round and see through the dark world of loneliness.
Lina Calleja Ghigo
Published: June 2018