Most of us have felt lonely at some point in our lives. Feelings of loneliness can be particularly acute after a break-up with someone that you’ve been with for years. You have not only the absence of this person to deal with, but quite often we have allowed the relationship with our partner to interfere with forming and keeping close ties with other friends.
Often, we become so comfortable in a long term relationship that our social skills become dull. The harsh reality is – after the loss of our partner, we usually have no idea how to begin to meet other people. This is when loneliness really begins to set in. We take a look around us and see other people engaged in intimate conversation, laughing and enjoying one another’s company. We feel sure that this will never be us again.
The good new is overcoming a bout of loneliness teaches you a thing or two. Here are a few pieces of advice to help you deal with feelings of loneliness:
1. Stop focusing on the differences between you and others
The feeling of separateness from other human beings arises from thinking that we are different from them. The truth is – we are all sharing the same human experience. Focusing on how we differ from others also causes us to make generalizations, and to place others in categories. Our thinking might begin to go something like this: “She wouldn’t understand how I feel, she’s never been married”, or “He doesn’t have the same kind of worries because he has lots of money”.
Our life experiences may differ from others, but the process of life and the experience of being human is the same. It is important to focus on how we are alike others, if we want to shake our feelings of aloneness.