How To Overcome Loneliness: Try Compassion

Practice reminding yourself that others feel lonely, too. It is part of the human experience that most people share at some time or other. And just as you would show compassion for anyone else who suffers from being lonely, you also deserve this caring response. So, choose to see yourself with perspective—as you would see someone else—and tell yourself that it is sad that you feel so alone.

If you have supportive others in your life, reach out to them. Take a deep breath, pick up the phone to text or call, and ask for support in whatever form you need it. Allowing yourself to truly connect with others will help you feel emotionally stronger and less alone.

Strange as it might seem, there are benefits to loneliness, so you don’t necessarily want to be totally without it. By feeling lonely, you are able to understand and have compassion for others who feel similarly. Your loneliness can also be a crucial signal that your relationships are not as emotionally close, supportive, or engaging as you really want them to be. So it offers you a chance to identify this problem and make efforts to fix it.

As you consider these ideas, keep this in mind: The person who you are right now is in pain, a very human kind of pain in which you feel different from all other people and yearn to feel connected. Just as it would be sad to see others struggle with this, it is sad that you feel this way. And just as you would naturally feel compassion for their pain, you deserve the same compassion. So accept and feel your loneliness. Then offer yourself compassion. Doing this will help to ease your pain, open you up to experiencing a sense of feeling connected, and help you to take the necessary steps to reach out to others.

– Leslie Becker-Phelps

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