Extreme feelings of loneliness can be debilitating. However, there are many steps which one can take to overcome these feelings. Here are some constructive ways of coping with loneliness.
1. Accept invitations when they are offered. Sometimes you wonder if someone is only inviting you over because they have to or because they are sorry for you. Go anyway; who knows, you could end up making new friends and having a good time!
2. Connect. Phone someone, visit them or invite them over - or plan to meet somewhere. A casual acquaintance could turn into a friend.
3. Be responsive in conversation. Show people that you are interested in what they say by smiling and nodding.
4. Ask questions to keep the conversation flowing - and really listen to the answers. This will make others find it rewarding to talk to you.
5. Be open to the interests of other people and focus on interests you have in common with them.
6. Be visible. Do not stay away from people to hide your loneliness.
7. Stay positive. Do not make negative remarks about yourself.
8. Don't criticize easily. Try not to think critical thoughts about people you meet.
9. Be realistic. Do not think you have to be exceptionally clever or attractive to be liked.
Overcoming our loneliness and building a support system is indeed in our hands and might even be easier that we think. By using the above pointers, we all can learn ways of feeling connected with others!