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Priyanka was attending a college party. Her friends were all immersed in laughter and conversations. But she felt lonely. Her friends tried to include her in the conversations but she felt out of place, miserable. Though there were people around, she felt lonely, left alone. She did not talk much to anyone and went home feeling even more lonely.

Let us discuss how Priyanka can help herself come out of the problem.

  1. Priyanka should first realise that her feelings of loneliness are just feelings and not facts.
    1. Sometimes we assume our feelings to be facts and build negative thoughts like I am feeling lonely means may be no one likes me in the party” or “All are mean in the party, thats why I am feeling lonely”.
    2. Priyanka should start realising that these are her thoughts and not facts and not extend the negativity.
  2. Priyanka should not resort to electronic gadgets. Sometimes when we feel lonely, we either watch TV or see our mobile phones. Instead Priyanka should look around for people and be more interested in it than trying to escape it. No electronics  Click HERE for the article about avoiding social media addiction. 
  3. If Priyanka is feeling lonely, it does not mean that people do not like them. She is just creating unnecessary negative conclusions because of her feelings which are untrue.
  4. Initiate conversations and social interactions. Though your loneliness is telling you not to interact with people, Priyanka has to go and initiate conversations and talk to people.
  5. Focus on other people’s feelings more than yours while in a group. Priyanka should show more curiosity in knowing her friends’ feelings and their stories than being more engaged in her own feelings.
  6. Priyanka can always find a person who is similar to her. If she feels uncomfortable talking to people who are extroverts, she can start off with a friend who is a little shy and can strike conversations with her to let go off her loneliness.
  7. Priyanka should be curious. She should start giving attention to what her friend says and in return she would also get attention. When she becomes curious about others, her own painful feelings will diminish.
  8. Try again even if you still feel lonely. There is nothing better than practicing and trying regularly to befriend people and talk to them. Priyanka might immediately not feel okay but as she keeps trying regularly, her feelings of loneliness in a group would come down.
  9. One should be aware that others also do feel lonely at times. Priyanka should understand this that it is not a feeling that only she gets. People at times do feel lonely and it is totally okay. It is a human emotion and she just has to reach out to people when she feels so.
  10. Understand that you want friends and it is a positive feeling. Instead of feeling that you are lonely, think that you want to have friends which is a good thing.

No one can be really lonely in this world. We only need to look around, be mindful of people and approach them.


Overcoming Loneliness (in Telugu)
Overcoming Loneliness

 

Dr Jyothirmayi is a Psychiatrist

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