Social Question

FlutherBug's avatar

How do you handle or cope with loneliness when you are all you have?

Asked by FlutherBug (1103points) June 11th, 2016

If someone does not have family or friends then what can one do to alleviate loneliness and depression? If they don’t have anyone in the world that cares or loves for them?

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11 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think most of us do have people who care about us, although we may be oblivious to their existence because we are too introspective.

If I was feeling quite lonely, I would look for places to go and activities to participate in that bring me into contact with other people. One thing I’d do is check out formal volunteering opportunities. I’d also check my local community center and library for group activities that appealed to me.

If this is about you, I hope you find people to be close to soon. In the meantime, keep in touch with us here. We’re not there with you, but I truly believe people here care about their online jelly friends.

janbb's avatar

Don’t know where you live but has listings of clubs and activities you can participate in in many localities. I joined a local walking group after my husband left me and it made a world of difference. You can’t always find good family but you can make friends. And while you’re making friends you’re also doing something you like to do.

I’d also suggest you get out of the house every day and just smile and have casual interchanges with barristas, cashiers, bank tellers, etc. You feel much less isolated if you have pleasant human interchanges throughout the day.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

I have my two cats. I know that’s not the same but it does help. I feel what you’re going through though; I had somebody I felt like I could connect with in my life but I’m probably not going to see him anymore after Monday and I’m taking it kind of hard.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well I can’t totally relate to that, because I have family but only few friends. I guess you could try to join a social group or community in your area to meet people.

Actually @janbb has given you great suggestions there.

AshlynM's avatar

This is the perfect time to go out and make friends. Do activites where there’s people around, like joining a gym. Look in your neighborhood for activites to do. Dogs also make wonderful companions.

chyna's avatar

You have a picture of a dog in your avatar. If it is yours, or if you do have a dog, going to a dog park is a great way to meet people. People practically run up to you to talk about their dog and ask about yours.

I always seem to make friends at work and when I was in school. I never really met anyone when I was at the gym because generally people were there to work out and leave.

ibstubro's avatar

What about your church, @janbb.
Mention your church.

Even better yet, you could take @chyna‘s suggestion a step further and volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Doing volunteer work anywhere would get you out and you’d meet new people. Feel good about yourself.

janbb's avatar

@ibstubro Yes, I will mention it. I am not in any way a religious person but I found a spiritual home and a friendly community in my local Unitarian Universalist congregation. I wouldn’t push anyone toward any religion but their humanistic non-dogmatic approach is very comfortable for me and I have made lots of new friends by being active there. In fact, I just came from a party at a UU friend’s house. I’m the Board Secretary and I’ve only been a member for three years.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @janbb.

The details of your divorce resonated with me, and I’ve followed your finding of a church.

Haleth's avatar

@janbb‘s suggestions are on point!

Another thing I would suggest is if there’s some new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, sign up for a class. It could be cooking, an intramural sport, sailing, martial arts, anything you think is interesting.

I’ve been kind of building a new life for the last few years. In my experience, there are a few important ingredients in actually making friends.

1) Get out of your house/ your routine, and go to a place where you can meet new people
2) Show up on a regular basis, become a “regular”
3) Be brave and ask a few people you like to hang out.

Even having an activity or a few people who are happy to see you can go a long way to alleviating loneliness. Real, kindred spirit kinds of friendships sometimes rise organically out of that.

Finding a support group could also be very helpful for you. Loneliness often goes hand in hand with depression. Support groups are very welcoming and give you a place to talk about your deeper feelings with people who understand.

Last suggestion, and this definitely won’t work for everyone- after we leave school, people make a lot of their friends in the workplace. Once or twice before I’ve had jobs with fun co-workers where we had a lot in common. It was pretty much like stepping into a ready-made friend group. Right now I have a job that alternates between boring and stressful, and nobody there is a good personality match. It makes a big difference. Finding a job where the culture is a good match for you could make a huge difference in your life.

LBM's avatar

This is a great question, and sadly one that exists. I think people that have a large family, or lots of friends, cannot imagine not having that. But it exists. I have my partner, but he is all I have. I do not have any friends at all, or sadly any family now.
If and when I am completely alone, I really don’t know what I shall do. I have thought, would I end it? What would I do? I honestly don’t know, but it does keep me awake some nights, very very frightening feelings.

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