So many of us struggle with feeling lonely. We can be in a room full of people, and feel completely alone. We can be amongst friends, and feel like they don’t want us there… that they’d have more fun if we weren’t there. People can be socialising and having a good time, and that’s how it appears from the outside: except that’s exactly how you feel- like you’re on the outside looking in, steaming up the glass as you watch a world you wish you knew.
There’s a struggle to really feel known, if we always have to appear our best. On social networks we describe our skills, our qualifications, and like the video says, we only tag ourselves in photos where we look good. We display a version of ourselves that we think will make us more interesting, more worth-knowing, more likeable. We want to be popular, and liked and ultimately, loved.
I confess, I relentlessly compare myself to the people on my news feed on facebook. Friends graduating, having babies, getting married, travelling the world. If I were to consciously tune in to my thoughts as I mindlessly scroll through status updates, it would sound like “Everyone’s life seems so much more exciting than mine!”, “I should get married”, I want to go travel”, “I wish my legs looked like that”, “I should join the gym”, “Aw those friends look like they have so much fun together… I wish I got invited on road trips”… And it can begin a slope of darkening, self-depreceating thoughts that get worse the more I look and click through photos, feeling more alone, and more and more like my life isn’t that cool.
And yet, let’s apply reality here: people only update their status with the highlight of their day. (Unless you’re the type that updates the online world with everything you do). So of course, when you scroll through a handful of updates it seems like everyone’s life are exploding with exciting experiences, job offers, pregnancies, and engagements. But these are small moments. And you have these moments too- if you stop to appreciate the moment you are living in.
Let’s take a break from our screens and get outdoors. Take a friend out to dinner. Make a picnic and find a park. Let’s talk.
Talking about the real stuff, the hard stuff, the honest stuff, the fears, the worries, the insecurities will bring you closer to those around you. It won’t make them de-friend you. That’s what I always thought would happen. Instead, I have been blown away by the level and depth of unconditional love and friendship I have received.
It’s your choice to remain lonely. Be a friend, and let yourself be befriended.
- Three Tips to Conquer Loneliness That You Can Practice Today (bewlantonblog.com)
- No Amount of Shopping Will Fill the Hole in Your Lonely Heart (jezebel.com)
- The sound, the colour, the smell of loneliness… (marta87wink.wordpress.com)