I consider myself an introvert, an extreme introvert at that. As in, I feel like when you look up the definition of introvert, my face should be plastered right next to the word with a summary of how I operate through life. For those new to WhatChiSaid, I discussed my social anxiety and the root of my social anxiety in my very first blog post. Also, in my about me, I talk about my childhood some more and talk about how I naturally preferred reading and isolation. Although, as I got older I began to find myself on the spectrum between introvert and extrovert, ambivert, my personality and natural state of operation prefers alone time more than social time. In other words, “loneliness,” is something I experienced and still occasionally experience here and there. The only thing is, I’m comfortable with loneliness, I often intentionally put myself through lonely periods. Now at least, the feeling of loneliness used to make my anxiety worse. You can actually feel loneliness, in my experience at least. It’s like a cold hug. You’re embraced with the faint, sometimes loud noise of your thoughts, but it’s not the type of comforting embrace you’d prefer. A cold hug.
(noun.) A state of solitude or being alone
Loneliness is defined by researchers as feeling lonely more than once a week
Now more than ever, loneliness is extremely common. We have been in a global pandemic for almost a year now. Some people have been following the social distancing orders strictly and haven’t been in physical contact with people for months! Some people don’t have roommates or family members they live with so they are literally…alone. Then there are the people pre-pandemic who have always felt lonely and the pandemic may have just enhanced that feeling. Whether you have always felt alone or the pandemic has made the feeling of loneliness something you have to battle…I want to help combat that.
I don’t want to minimize the impact loneliness can have on the psyche. If the feeling becomes too overwhelming, it can lead to increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, substance abuse, mental health problems, and unpleasant thoughts. For more information click here.
We unknowingly aid in our loneliness. With the type of material and entertainment we indulge in. Whether that be music, movies, tv shows, certain books, etc. they influence our emotions drastically. Sometimes they even make us aware of the fact that we are lonely. For instance, you’re relaxing watching a romantic movie, a very heartwarming and romantic scene comes on and now you’re thinking about how you’re not in a relationship and you’re alone romantically. Same with music and everything else I mentioned prior. We utilize all of our senses almost all of the time, and we register so many emotions based off of what our senses are taking in.
I’m not saying not to listen to music anymore and to stop watching movies. BUT, if you are currently battling loneliness, consider indulging in genres that don’t remind you of the very thing you are trying to overcome. Reality is a funny thing. We often minimize the impact we have in shaping our reality. Watch a comedy or action movie instead, listen to “hype” music, read books about personal development or maybe sci-fi! Indulge your senses with sensational, comforting content.
If you’re feeling lonely and want to reach out to a friend but you feel as if you’d be “disturbing” them if you do. First and foremost reevaluate your circle, you call them your friend for a reason. You should feel comfortable reaching out to them and having a conversation.
What I started to realize about some friendships (some of mine included), is that the friendship is very situational. Such as communication only happens in that friendship when one of the people involved needs to vent or have something pressing they want to share. They rarely hit up one another just to talk, to have a conversation with no actual meaning. They don’t really communicate solely with the intention to engage in casual dialogue.
Take a moment to think about your friendships. How many of them do you reach out to just to talk? Just to have pointless banter with? How many of them reach out to you just to talk? Maybe it’s time to try adding a new element to the friendship, see if there is room for growth in that bond. Call a friend and simply…talk. There doesn’t have to be a magnanimous reason, you can literally say, “Hey, just calling to talk. What are you up to?” and go from there.
For those who don’t have friends and the loneliness isn’t rooted in distance, but rooted in not having anyone to call or hang out with…that’s a different situation. The first question I have for you is are you open to forming new bonds? Are you emotionally and mentally available to build a bond *platonic or romantic*? If the answer is yes, what’s stopping you? We are in a digital age. Friends are waiting at your fingertips. *Not trying to minimize the process because I know it can be scary putting yourself out there, I talk about fear of change in my last post. You can view it here.* BUT, friends are waiting for you at the tip of your fingers. I know this pandemic has made it unsafe and difficult to form new bonds in person, take advantage of this social media world. SHOOT YOUR SHOT AT FRIENDSHIP. Literally, the worst that can happen is the other individual isn’t really open to the friendship. You know what I have to say to that? Oh well! You’re back in the same place you were in before you shot your shot. If the other individual is receptive though, now you have a friend you’re trying to build a connection with. You have nothing to lose and a possible friendship to gain.
Let’s say that shooting your shot at friendship just isn’t your thing. There are other options. You can download friend finding apps! Some of these, “dating” apps, have a friend mode. Just to give an example, Bumble is a popular dating app. I personally know couples who met through this platform. Guess what? There is a friend mode where the people you match with are potential friends instead of potential partners. You can chat with them and get to know them through the app and if you do feel like you both mesh well, you can progress to a facetime or an in person meet up. *With COVID being a thing, possibly facetime first or get tested prior to the meetup.*
A sense of community or belonging helps combat loneliness. What’s your community? Who is in your community? What do you like to do? Possibly join a club that meets monthly. ( i.e book club, poetry club, music club, etc.) Maybe even be the one that STARTS the club, yes that’s right, take the initiative and start a club. You never know who else is feeling lonely that has the same interests as you and is simply just waiting for an opportunity to connect. You belong here, your presence is a blessing in itself. We are divine spiritual beings, we can connect with any form of life. As in we can connect with nature, animals, and pretty much any energy source. Take that first step in finding your community, your person (platonic or romantic), your energy source that helps you no longer feel alone! Why? Because that’s #WhatChiSaid! See you next time!
Feel free to email me if you ever need someone to talk to!
~These are just my thoughts and opinions
~If you enjoyed, share with a friend!
~Comments and/or feedback always welcomed!