Article by Carole Ann Rice
You can have over 1,000 friends on Facebook and still feel lonely. Those feelings of disconnection and isolation is something we all experience at some point but aren’t always aware of. Top Life Coach Carole Ann Rice knows the difference between having no plans on a Friday night and loneliness. So, here are her top five signs you may be lonely, and her tips to combat it:
1. Emotional pain – being lonely is emotionally painful. You may feel as if you’re looking through the window of life at everyone else having fun, but you’re not there with them enjoying it like they are.
Solution – Why: find out why you’re lonely; do you not have many colleagues at work, you’re not close to your family? Or is it simply that you live in a remote location where it’s hard to socialise? Once you know the source of the loneliness, you can take steps to overcome it.
2. Physically on your own – people enjoy being on their own and having their own company and this can be extremely pleasant. But loneliness is more than that – it is isolation, feeling completely disconnected from the world and other people. Loneliness can be as bigger a killer as physical diseases, such as diabetes or obesity, as it’s hugely linked to depression.
Solution – Do something: if it is that you’re a stranger in a strange town it’s time to start looking for meet-ups or groups of people that share your interests, whether that’s reading, dancing, Spanish, drama, singing. Networking with people where you know you can chat to people with your interests.
3. Outsider – the sense of being an outsider from the people around you, and feeling completely removed from that. That could be in person, at work, on social media wherever you are – you don’t fit in.
Solution – Shyness: – if you’re shy, try learning a few ice breakers to help you start conversations. Equally, being a good listener is a good way to make friends. Just by paying attention to other people, and letting them talk about themselves. This means you don’t have to be confident, just interested in others.
4. On the edge – and not of glory. You might look as if you’re involved but you’re never fully part of the gang or community. You’re always on the edge of everyone else’s groups. You could be in a crowd but still feel lonely. Happiness comes from connections and having support in terms of relationships.
Solution – Get out of your comfort zone: everyone gets shy, especially during new experiences. But the more you do the more you grow! Decide to do something new, even it’s scary! This could be singing lessons, dancing, drama. If you go somewhere once, you’re a stranger, but go twice and you’re known, and three times – by then you’ll have made contacts and relationships. Don’t assume people are unfriendly – spark up a conversation and, if in doubt, just smile.
5. Not truly happy – true happiness is having connections and having support in terms of relationships. If you feel you don’t have someone you can turn to when you’re feeling at your most vulnerable, you may be lonely.
Solution – Online relationships: Facebook group discussions are a great way to start connections if you can’t quite bring yourself to make them in the real word yet. Of course, this isn’t as good as face to face connections but it’s a way to build your confidence up or make friends that you will eventually meet in person.
Carole Ann Rice from Real Coaching Co is one of the UK’s leading life coaches and personal development experts. She helps people all around the world discover the best version of themselves. Much of her work involves focusing on the here and now and is different to what you may experience in therapy.
Carole Ann’s clients are empowered – as she believes in you even when you don’t! She’s 100% committed to your success and offers continued support every step of the way.