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How to Learn to Accept Loneliness

Updated on September 10, 2013
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Loneliness is often pervasive. We feel an aching that reminds us of what we are missing. We see people having fun or sharing a tender moment and we feel a pang of loneliness. Sometimes, we don't have a choice. People leave or move away. Kids grow up, relationships grow apart. We change jobs or school. The reasons could go and on but the results are the same. In this article we will talk about ways to cope with loneliness.

Perspectives on Loneliness

This article is part of the Perspectives series. The Perspectives series is made up of 5 hubwriters. Thery write about a new subject each month and they pick a different guest writer to join them. I am honored to have been chosen to share my perspective with this admirable group of writers. This month, the perspectives will be discussing loneliness.For an introduction, please visit the following link and then, check out the rest of the articles in this series listed down below.

"Perspectives: An Introduction"

The Definition of Loneliness

"the state of being alone in solitary isolation" wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Wow! That's pretty harsh ! Let's try another:

lone·ly (lnl)adj. lone·li·er, lone·li·est1.a. Without companions; lone.b. Characterized by aloneness; solitary.2. Unfrequented by people; desolate: a lonely crossroads.3.a. Dejected by the awareness of being alone. See Synonyms at alone.b. Producing such dejection: the loneliest night of the week.

loneli·ly adv.loneli·ness n.


Still pretty strong but a little better than the first one.

Albert Einstein Quotes:

"It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely."

We don't always have to be alone to feel lonely

Alone....lonely. We so often confuse the two. Yet, it is possible to be alone and not lonely as much as it is possible to be lonely even when not alone.

When we see a person dining alone or watching a movie by themselves, many of us automatically think they have been "stood up" or have no one to be with. We find ourselves feeling sorry for them. But, do we notice the person who is isolated within a group? The person who is either not being paid attention to or who is not into whatever is going on. Why do we automatically make the assumption that the person who is physically alone is lonelier than the person who is feeling alone within a group? ? Why have we been programmed to feel that we always have to be surrounded by people? Why are so many of us embarrassed to be seen alone, yet sometimes miserable in a group? One thing that is certain, whichever lonely it is, it will be easier once we learn to accept it.

Scared of Lonely, Beyonce

Loneliness can consume you.

We can be overwhelmed with loneliness. We can allow it to consume us. We can become so lost in it, that we don't function as well. Some people can't function at all. Loneliness can be crippling. It is important not to try to smother our loneliness by being with people just for the sake of not being alone. We want only to surround ourselves with people who are there for us. There masy not always be an abundance of people like that but a few good people in our lives can help take away the emptiness.

Tennessee Williams had an interesting thought on Loneliness

"When so many are lonely, as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone."

Steps to alleviate Loneliness


  • find alternatives
  • join groups of people with common interests
  • find activities to keep you busy when you are alone.
  • if you do happen to go to that movie alone, look forward to the discussions that will ensue after.
  • Be in touch with people you care about. We live in the world of communication and multi- media. You can call, text, im, skype or e-mail.

Steps in Accepting Loneliness

  • Determine the source of your loneliness
  • Embrace yourself and learn how to be comfortable by yourself
  • stop making things conditional (the movie won't necessarily be be any funnier with someone else sitting next to you, the meal should still be just as tasty even if you are alone)
  • loneliness doesn't have to be permanent
  • remind yourself what/who you do have

A friendly Superbowl Wager!
A friendly Superbowl Wager! | Source

An example of conquering your Loneliness

If you have determined that you feel the loneliest when you have to attend work dinners, take steps to make it easier.

Is it possible to miss the dinner?

If you have to go, prepare yourself.

If you don't have a "+1" when everyone else does, create one. You don't have to go out and hire an escort. Just ask a good friend to come with you. Bring someone who makes you smile, makes you feel good about yourself.

If bringing a friend isn't possible, you might want to set something up beforehand with co-workers. You are not likely to be the only one going stag and some of them will be grateful to have someone else to sit with.

Combatting Loneliness

Think about when you feel the loneliest.

Where are you?

What are you doing?

Are you alone?

When is it the most significant?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can move on to the solutions.

Meet the Perspectives!
Meet the Perspectives! | Source

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I went through a stretch where I was so very lonely, and miserable, and didn't know what to do. A friend suggested that maybe it would be a good idea if I left my house and met people. :) Duh!

      Great suggestions here Randi! have a great weekend!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      lol, Bill! Who knew it could be that simple!? Thank you for being here as always! You guys have an amazing weekend as well!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      As billybuc pointed out, most loneliness is self-imposed. We shut ourselves into our self-spun cocoons in an attempt to remake ourselves into something more acceptable, but that only works for butterflies.

      Good Hub!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Ah Randi,

      My Sista Perspective...you have done a FABULOUS job, the job of a true Apprentice. You have tackled this subject in a didactic manner, yet we hear YOU loud and clear...your suggestions are thoughtful and comprehensive.

      BEST of ALL... you did a GORGOUS song choice...love this Beyonce!

      Voted UP and UABI...I am in awe of your juggling abilities and you have been a pleasure as our guest this month. Love, Maria

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, WillStarr, I couldn't have said it better! I appreciate your stopping by!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Maria...I am speechless! (a very rare thing indeed!) Your words mean so much to me as they come from such a talented writer! I am so thrilled you included me here amongst you talented Sistas and the brothers from another mother.

      I do love Beyonce and she said it so well....sometimes we are more scared of lonely than actually being lonely.

      Thank you for your votes!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Great advice, Randi and a wonderful contribution to this month's perspective. Well done!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Shauna! It is an honor to be included!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      btrbell, without any doubts I share your perceptive on loneliness. Indeed, it can consume us. I tend to see it as an emptiness like a Black Hole in the universe. For some reason, when we stop growing, or maybe stop loving, we just become a hole called Loneliness.

      Excellent advice you've given in here!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Martie! I so appreciate your words. Yes, loneliness can be so consuming that we fail to function or progress. Thank you so much for your comments and for sharing thie perspectives with me this month!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Randi....This is a terrific hub! I know, from experience, that a person can feel more alone when living with an incompatible mate than when actually living alone in peace and contentment. Following unhappy marriages, it became my mantra: "It's better to BE alone than to WISH you were alone."

      We need never be lonely if we have family and friends, including the online friends we get to know on HP. If it's easy to get out of the house and mingle--great! But it's also possible to stay in touch with the people who enrich our lives via their visits, chatty phone calls and long, letter-type emails--not to mention contact on HP-- that prevent us from being lonely.

      And...it also helps to have a loving pet! My dog cuddles up on the sofa beside me when I watch a movie. She's good company!

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      This is a nice addition to the Perspective series. Lonlieness is something we all know a little about. Wonderful contribution.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you mckbirdbks! It's nice to have you here!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I absolutely agree with you, Randi, in your profound observation that alone does not equate to loneliness. The only time I've been conscious of being lonely was when I was in an unfulfilling, unhappy relationship. I disliked myself for being in that circumstance. When I found the courage to leave, I learned I am resourceful, resilient and fully capable of independence. When I began to like myself, I no longer felt lonely. I met a 'sort of man/child' after my divorce, who is of an age where he should be able to take care of himself, frequently told me what I should be doing and I quickly took my leave, as I knew we would never even be friends. In the past it would have taken me years to come to the same conclusion. I love making my own decisions, living the way I desire and having no one but myself to blame when I learn something, be it, the hard way, without guilt or apology. Brilliant, provocative article, Randi. Great writing. You go, girl.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Amy, my friend! Conversely, I am just finishing the alter ego to this one on my other site. It's a bit more raw! But, still, I am happy on my own! Thank you so much for you're always kind and generous comments!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      An excellent hub to add to the perspectives this month. You offer some great advice here.

      Well done

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Hi Randi, Very helpful hub. One very important thing that you have mentioned, which I have paid close attention to, is being comfortable with myself. If I like myself, then being alone is not difficult. Thank you for this perspective on loneliness.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      It seems hard to believe that we sometimes make ourselves lonely, like falling into a hole we don't know how to get out of. All of your 'steps' were very interesting and I'm sure will be helpful to those feeling lonely. Sometimes learning to live by ourselves takes learning to live with ourselves. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, Rosemay! I appreciate your stopping by and your benerous.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Generous comments

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Randi,

      I am an introvert so I don't constantly need to be in the company of others.

      Being alone for me does not mean being lonely.

      Voted up and awesome and sharing.

      Take care :)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, Mary. I truly appreciate your stopping by and your generous comments and votes! I am honored!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Sueswan, you are so right. Being in a group could be excruciating. Thank you so much for stopping by and your votes. So appreciated! :)

      Randi

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      We've all been there, Randi, and wish I had your insightful article to read when I had endured a spate of loneliness. This is a clear and coherent narrative of the descriptions and definitions as well as steps to alleviate such a malady. Really well written and a credit to the apprenticeship program. Well done- up and awesome.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Docmo! I take that as an extreme compliment coming from a writer of your caliber! Thanks for the votes and the warm welcome!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Randi,

      I love your perspective on loneliness. Really great write here. It is when we live a life of isolation, that actually can cause one to become ill or it can even be deadly. Your suggestions here on how to prevent loneliness in one's life will be most helpful to all who have fallen into this state of isolation.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Faith Reaper, thank you so much for stopping by with great comments and all those votes. Yes, to be isolated is definitely not healthy. I hope things are well in your world.

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      I have been dealing with lonliness for a long time. After reading this hub, I have learned ways to cope with it and accept it. Thank you so much btrbell! Thumbs up, interesting, and useful!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I'm so happy it helped, Amanda! Things will probably get easier once your little one is in school. Thanks so much for the thumbs up!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      Great hub btrbell. Loneliness is tough to deal with sometimes and your hub gives some good perspective on it. I love JayeWisdom's mantra in her comment.

      It is so important to learn to be happy by yourself, but it's not always easy!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Catgypsy for stopping by and your great comments! I agree, Jaye knows how to say it!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Catgypsy for stopping by and your great comments! I agree, Jaye knows how to say it!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Jaye, you were my first commenter on this hub and I was honored to read what you wrote and excited to answer you. Alas, my answer is missing and I am so ashamed to say I don't remember all that I wrote but I will say this: your words are greatly appreciated. I think that hit on something that I the crazy cat lady forgot in this hub, out pets go a long way in keeping loneliness at bay. Thank you for your votes! Take care! Randi

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Randi, I will never be lonely as long as you wear your sexy glasses.

      But all kidding aside, this one hit home rather hard for the loneliest man on hubpages as I have no family, I am in debt and may have to sell this cottage which is home to my family heritage. Now that is the epitome of loneliness. Thank you for writing this - it's been a challenge to my life but at the same time I like it the way it is too - you know that old saying - having your cake and eat it too - lol , sending you warm wishes from one of the coldest nights of the year from Colin and his sleeping pussycats at lake erie time canada 11:35pm

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Aw, Colin, you're breaking my heart. I'm so sorry that you are in danger of losing your home. I do understand . This is a precarious economic situation and we, too, are quick sand. I have been blessed in my life with my 2 children. And, my soon to be grandchild, and of course 4 kitty cats! Love and kisses to the 3 of you and prayng for a better year. 11:29pm AzMountain time

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I am glad that I a new follower through your writing of this hub. I think the hub has some great suggestions to recover from loneliness. This is very well written and I think it is an awesome hub.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Pamela99, thank you so much for your generous comments. I'm glad you are a new computer also and I look forward to checking out your hubs!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Great job with this topic, Randi. I like how you added the definition and then followed it by several examples and solutions. UP/U/I and sharing.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Denise! It seemed like such a harsh definition, too! I do appreciate the votes and share. You are awesome!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very well said Randi. I must commend you for the effort in putting all this into a great, useful hub. Right on the "Steps to alleviate Loneliness".

      Voting up and across ('cept funny) and definitely sharing.

      Live. Laugh. Love.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Cris! You are the best!

    • jaydene profile image

      jaydene 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Great article, I can surely relate to all of it. It even brought some tears to the surface. Managing our loneliness is a tricky thing to do . Finding ways to make it less painful is all we can do. thanks for writing this

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, Jaydene! I certainly didn't intend to bring tears to anyone's eyes :( It is tough out there and I agree with you...let's do what we casn to make it less tough and painful!

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