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How to Stop Being Lonely

How to Stop Being LonelyIf you want to stop being lonely, the cure is easier than you might think. There are currently 7,506,058,357 other humans on the planet. Surely, some of those humans would like to be your friend (Or boyfriend. Or girlfriend.)

You are not doomed to a life of loneliness unless you choose it. Here are four tips to help you meet people and start enjoying life.

1. Join Something.

I like to read short stories and talk about them afterwards, so on Saturday mornings, I meet a group of other people who like to do the same thing. We discuss the short story our leader, Dorothy, assigned earlier in the week while getting exercise and walking along the Housatonic River. Since joining the group, I’ve met interesting (and fun) people. We like each other enough to hang out afterwards at the coffee shop that adjoins our favorite bookstore.

The key to stop being lonely is to meet people with similar interests. So, if you like to read, join a book club. If you like to run, join a runner’s group. Knitters can join knitting circles. The possibilities are endless. Pick something, join, and go.

(NOTE: If you feel awkward around new people, you probably need to learn to love yourself more.)

2. Start Something.

When I moved to a new state and was in the process of building a business, I wanted to meet other entrepreneurs and small businesspeople, particularly women. The trick was, most networking groups I’d tried met at hours of the day when I’d have to hire a babysitter (my children were eleven and ten at the time). The meetings tended to be cold. I’d shake hands with a couple of people, but the format of the group didn’t allow me to get to know anyone. I hated those meetings.

I had an idea to start a group of my own, a kind of old boys’ network for girls, where we could get to know each other, do business together, and maybe even become friends. I placed a notice in the Connecticut Post inviting women to join a group I decided to call Connecticut Women In Business, and the rest is history. We have been meeting two Wednesdays a month since 2006. I’ve made connections that would have eluded me had I not summoned the nerve to email the newspaper. Since then, members have become solid friends who also go to dinner or the beach together.

You don’t have to start a business group to stop being lonely, though. Maybe you just want somebody to hang out with. This weekend, on my neighborhood Facebook page, I noticed a post from a woman who’s moving into the area and wants to make women friends. She directed would-be members to a new Facebook page she started specifically for the new group. She got lots of likes and comments. At this writing, her page has already attracted five members. Others will surely follow.

If you decide to do something like this, do it safely. Always meet people strangers in public places until you like, know, and trust them.

3. Help Somebody.

You can stop being lonely by volunteering. Help out in a homeless shelter, and you’ll meet compassionate people. If you volunteer at Habitat For Humanity, you’ll meet able-bodied, compassionate people. If you’re good at sports, coach a team. If you like a political candidate, call to find out if she needs an envelope stuffer. Churches, hospitals, and animal shelters also offer volunteer opportunities. For more ideas, go to Volunteer Match.

4. Get Rid of the Dead Wood.

Spending time with negative people feeds loneliness. So, if you have a relative or so-called friend who a) makes you feel bad about yourself, or b) goes on and on about how the world is going to hell, you need to back away. Join something, start something, or help somebody so that you become increasingly less available to people who bring you down. Your happiness depends on it.

If you liked this post, please give it a share. If you have any other ideas about how to stop being lonely, leave a comment.

Oh, and by the way, How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams is available on Kindle!