“A joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else. He’s not a club, diamond, heart, or spade. He’s not an eight or a nine, a king or a jack. He is an outsider. He is placed in the same pack as the other cards, but he doesn’t belong there. Therefore, he can be removed without anybody missing him.” ― Jostein Gaarder , The
Many people equate loneliness with the state of being alone. However, feeling lonely has nothing to do with being by yourself.
A lack of emotional connection to the people around you can leave you feeling lonely.
This disconnect can occur whether your alone in a room or standing in a crowd. Feeling alone has nothing to do with the number of people in your life.
There are many people who have a vast number of “friends” and social connections. Yet, when they need a shoulder to cry on or someone to comfort them in their time of need, there’s no one there. Sure, there are people there for the good times, but not one person for the bad. Their “friends” aren’t true companion; they’re more like props on a stage. Many people use others as props in order to not appear to be unpopular and friendless.
If you bring new people into your life, to overcome loneliness, quality is more important than quantity.
- One person.
- That’s all you really need.
- One true friend.
Sure, it would be nice to have more, but to stop you from feeling lonely, let’s just start with one.
Developing one real friendship is the easiest way to overcome loneliness. It’s also something you can build on. Once you learn how to develop one true friendship, you’ll be better able to cultivate others.
I know you may be thinking that this may seem a little too simplified, it can be relatively difficult. You see, you’re not just trying to find a “friend.” You’re seeking true friendship.
We live in a culture where bigger is better, especially when it comes your social connections. That means your first obstacle is to keep from overwhelming yourself with too many people. In order to overcome loneliness you need to get past the idea of more friends and focus on good friends. You don’t need to fill your life with props. If you want to stop feeling lonely, you need real relationships.
You can be in a roomful of people and experienced intense loneliness, just because you feel as though you don’t belong.
It’s all about connecting. If you don’t connect with the people you’re around you’ll feel alone. If you don’t form a bond of friendship with the people in your life, then you feel as though your presence doesn’t matter and you’ll continue to experience loneliness. And this loneliness will stay with you whether they’re there or not.
When you find true friendship, that connection will stay with you whether your friends are in the room with you or across the country. You’ll know that somewhere there is someone who cares. That’s what you need to fight your feelings of being alone.
Loneliness is not about being alone, it’s about feeling alone.
There are many people who have chosen to live lives of solitude. While they are physically alone, emotionally and spiritually they have powerful connections. When you have someone that you have a connection to, whether it’s a friend or family member, a pet or a higher power, then you will never truly feel lonely. feeling lonely occurs when you don’t have those deep connections.
In order to overcome loneliness, make an emotional connection that will endure when there’s nobody else around.
Strangely enough this all begins with you. While you may want to start by going out and making friends with others. First, you need to make friends with yourself. Reconnecting with you will help stop you from feeling lonely and help you overcome feelings of loneliness as they arise.
But, you can’t avoid the inevitable.
Eventually you will need to bring new people or pets or beliefs into your life. You need to care for them and cultivate this relationship. This is the best way to overcome your loneliness.
Some may find it hard to meet new people. Others may find it impossible to let someone in. Still others may find it difficult to let go of the fear and pain that they associate with close interpersonal relationships.
It may be difficult, but it’s something you need to do.
feeling lonely? You need to make real connections with real “friends.”
Now, I have nothing against building your social network or spending time with people socializing. However, to make a real connection, to overcoming your loneliness, you need to start looking for people who share your interests, hobbies, or your beliefs.
That may mean leaving your comfort zone.
Taking a class, joining a group or just getting active in your community can expose you to a whole new set of people. Start meeting new people and start looking for the ones that can be your friends. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
Everyone has the ability to build their own tribe of like-minded people. Don’t worry if you’re the joker in the deck. You don’t need the other cards. Remember most decks come with two jokers. You only need that one other people, then you won’t be alone anymore.
Feeling lonely? Have you overcome loneliness in the past? Leave a comment, telling me where you’re struggling or how you were able to overcome this obstacle.
I try to respond to all comments and use them as an inspiration for future posts.
photo courtesy of h.koppdelaney