Dealing with loneliness is an important aspect of your life. You may feel lonely because you don’t have a romantic partner or you may feel lonely because you don’t have any friends. But what really happens when you feel alone?
Everything starts with a feeling and you decide that that feeling is loneliness.
Then you naturally assume this feeling is created by being alone, and since you believe this feeling of loneliness is created by being alone, you believe it will be fixed if you can find friends or a romantic partner.
If you then try to make friends or find a romantic partner but don’t succeed, you start to believe that there is something wrong with you.
Once you tell yourself this story, all of a sudden, shame, depression and a feeling of lack come over you.
Since you believe you can’t find friends because there’s something wrong with you, then you trigger a negative thoughts spiral within your mind that you will never find friends or a romantic partner in your life.
When you have this belief about the future and that there is no hope for you, then your depression and loneliness also turn into despair. You sort of give up on life.
That creates a whole increasing of intensity of your suffering and adding a layer upon layer to your loneliness makes it really hard to live life with any happiness at all.
So how can you distance yourself from this sense of loneliness?
The first thing you need to do in dealing with loneliness is to ask yourself what is the number one most important thing in life for you.
If you’ve been feeling lonely, the answer for you might be: “I want friends or a boyfriend or a girlfriend more than I want anything else”. But I want to tell you that you don’t actually want that.
What you really want is peace and happiness more than anything else, and you happen to think that a friend or a lover will give you that happiness.
If I were to give you two choices:
1) Have a lot of friends, have a boyfriend or a girlfriend but suffer all the time and still feel insecure.
2) You stay alone, but you feel completely happy, fulfilled, joyous and with no depression.
Which of those options would you choose?
At this point, you may think that those two options are completely impossible; that if you have friends you are guaranteed to be happy and that if you are alone you are guaranteed to be suffering.
But for most of us, if we are willing to look honestly at ourselves and our lives, we would choose to be alone and be happy all the time.
In order to lose that feeling of loneliness, you first have to understand what is causing it. You think it’s caused by being alone, by not having friends or a romantic partner.
But if being alone created the feeling of loneliness, then you would be forced to feel lonely in every single moment that you are alone. Is that the case? Of course not.
In some moments that you are alone, you are enjoying yourself. Maybe you are playing video games, maybe you are drawing or maybe you are just reading a book. But the point is that in some moments you don’t feel lonely when you are alone.
Here’s an incredible video that demonstrates just that.
Being alone can’t cause loneliness.
It has to be something else, and that something else is THOUGHTS.
At any moment that you are distracted from your thoughts, you feel fine and there is no loneliness.
But suddenly a thought pops up that says, “if I had friends, life would be better” – and then you feel alone again.
What’s the only thought that creates loneliness?
The thought or belief that causes loneliness is the idea that friends or lovers create happiness.
As soon as you believe that a friend or a lover is needed to be happy, then all of a sudden you feel like something is missing now and that you need to be happy because you feel lacking and lonely.
But on top of that you also believe that you’ll never be happy if you don’t make friends or get a lover, and that creates anxiety.
Lastly, if you are even in a situation where you are with a romantic interest or you are with potential friends; since you believe it would be so great if they liked you and so bad if they don’t, all of a sudden you feel a great pressure on you.
You start to believe that you need to say the right things so that they will like you, that you need to think of smart things to say, that you have to make sure you don’t seem anxious, so they will all like you.
All that together creates inauthenticity, it creates a struggle to speak, a struggle to interact freely and a struggle to even enjoy conversations.
If you think friends or lovers can make you happy, then you place so much importance and emphasis on them that you don’t actually enjoy interactions with them because you are constantly afraid of whether they will like you or not.
How do you get out of that trap?
You have to simply recognize that friends or lovers can’t make you happy. They can’t make you happy at all, and here’s why.
We tend to look at happiness as if it is like a sweater that we just put on us. But happiness is actually the opposite of that.
When you were a child, why were you happy? Not because you got everything you wanted, but because you didn’t have the thoughts that create suffering.
What thoughts create suffering?
Thoughts about the future create anxiety.
Thoughts about the past create sadness.
Thoughts about others create judgment.
Thoughts about yourself create insecurity.
Thoughts about other’s opinions create worry.
So when you say that friends and lovers can make you happy, what you really say is that a friend or a lover can delete the thoughts in your head that make you unhappy, or that friends and lovers can change your relationship with the thoughts in your head. That’s not true.
Everyone seems to be in agreement that friends and lovers can create happiness, when it’s so obvious that they don’t. They cannot get rid of the thoughts that make you unhappy.
Friends can distract you from your thoughts, but as soon as you are alone you go right back to them.
Instead of saying, “Can something make me happy?”; you need to reverse that question to, “Can something delete the thoughts that make me suffer?”.
What To Do Next?
If friends can’t make you happy or a lover can’t make you happy, then what hope do you have?
First of all, if none of those things can make you happy, and none of those things are needed to be happy, then you are not missing anything that you need to be happy.
You are at no disadvantage whatsoever for being happy. In fact you are at advantage, because most people never look at the thoughts in their head and they never question what’s causing their suffering.
Any time that you feel alone ask yourself, “What story am I telling in this moment? What do I want most in life?”
You can be happy alone, doing anything that you want to do, if you just simply don’t believe the thoughts that tell your life isn’t good enough.
You Are Good Enough
Finally, you have to get rid of the idea that if you can’t make friends or can’t get a romantic lover there is something wrong with you.
I’m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you. Just because the people around you don’t like you, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It means you are not the right fit.
When someone says “I don’t want to be your friend” or when someone seems to think you are bad in some way, it’s not that you are actually bad, you are just not the right match.
You are fine as you are until a story tries to convince you in your imagination that you are not.
If you want to be free of loneliness and you want to be happy by yourself, all you have to do at any moment that you feel lonely, is to question whether the thoughts you are having are true.
But here’s two things I want you to do after you finish reading this post:
Go spend a few hours on your own right now.
Come back here and tell us how it went. I have no doubts you’ll have something to talk about!