Loneliness – hitherto a problem seemingly confined to the elderly – is now just as prevalent among youthful job entrants. Strange as it may seem, given that we now have the world at our fingertips, being lonely does not merely equate to being alone. More than just listening, we sometimes want somebody who understands and appreciates. Expressing our views on social media platforms can be a double-edged sword, resulting in either validation or rejection or even worse – apathy (zero views). Faced with such issues, we’re likely to retreat into the comfort of our own safety zone. Of course, spending some alone time is good and can help us reassess our priorities, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
So if loneliness is something that is bothering you, take comfort that you’re not alone! Read on as we present you with 5 ways to break out.
#1: Start a Conversation!
Communication is important in all forms of relationships. It’s not just about “opening your mouth” as our parents say. It’s more about being able to express your thoughts and feelings coherently without fear of a judgmental response. Start by asking someone how their day has been. It doesn’t have to be family or close friends, it could be a colleague or your Grab or Gojek passenger or driver. Listening to someone else’s day can bring surprises and helps you open up about your own. Sometimes the best way to receive concern ourselves is to show concern for someone else.
#2: Reflect and Rediscover
Aristotle once said “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” For those of us who share rooms with siblings or roommates, it’s hard to even cough without being heard. So at times, loneliness can be a blessing. It’s also a great time for self-introspection and reflection. Start by asking yourself why you’re feeling lonely what has led to that. Now, we’re not talking about self-flagellation, but instead understanding the actions or sequence of events that have led to an outcome. This could be one way of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. And if you are experiencing emotional hurt, embrace and understand what is causing it, so you can recover from it.
#3: Pick up a new skill
Simply, being gainfully occupied leaves no time for loneliness. Try picking up a musical instrument, martial arts or learning a new language. Join a group class and commit to sticking it out for at least 6 months. The routine gives us something to look forward to and if you’re lucky, you might even make new friends along the way.
Just remember not to place your expectations too high – whether it’s the Olympics or meeting someone at class. Exercising your mind puts your brain to better use than delving too much into the state of loneliness you’re feeling. No doubt, learning a new skill may be daunting, but it is also a way to build up your resilience and to test your limits. After all, no one wants to go on a date who spends their time doing absolutely nothing.
#4: Expand your social circle
There are plenty of opportunities to widen up your social circle beyond the meat markets of nightlife. Go volunteer. Whether it’s a charity or your own community, someone is desperately hoping for a helping hand. Volunteer in an old folks’ home. Deliver food to the needy. Reading to underprivileged children. Clean up the homes of the unfortunate. Opening your eyes to the lives of others shifts the focus away from yourself towards people in need.
(Or you can consider signing up for our wholesome social events! We will be gradually weaving in volunteer work into our events here at Fabrique Love.) Visit Upcoming Events for more details!
#5: Go Travel
Pack your bags and fly off the beaten track for the weekend, don’t bother making tedious arrangements with friends. There’s nothing like traveling alone that breaks you out from whatever comfort zone you were in. Figuring out the logistics of getting from point A to point B is already an adventure. And when you return, your priorities will definitely not be what they were when you left.
(But if you’re really keen to take the big leap, just join us for one of our overseas trips!)
And that’s it! We hope these 5 ways will help you to break out of your loneliness and help you pluck some courage to pursue the things you love. It will be difficult at the start but so long as you are willing to try, the rewards will be much more than you imagined.