Life can be sometimes confusing. One of those times is when the obvious shows to be incorrect. For example, a four-year-old child washes his dad’s new leather shoes to make his dad happy but does not understand why his dad gets furious and beats him.
Things are not always as they look. We have to look a little deeper into them to understand what is going on.
“I am lonely. I feel alone. I forced myself into a new clique but I still feel alone.” This has been the cry of many who cannot understand why their friend list keeps growing, and with it, their loneliness.
What is Loneliness?
Loneliness is a feeling of lack of connection with the environment or the people around. It is actually not being alone but feeling alone. You can be alone and not feel alone, and vice versa.
Most people tackle being alone by getting more friends but don’t tackle the real problem of feeling alone. In fact, having more people around you can heighten the feeling of loneliness.
When you see the people but can’t connect with them, it gives you a feeling of being weird, having a problem, telling you that no one likes you or will like you.
People who suffer from loneliness are those who have given up on the possibility of having close and satisfying relationships.
We all at one point or the other feel lonely but research has defined that if a person feels lonely more than once a week, it calls for attention and that’s what I’m talking you through getting free from here.
What this persistent feeling of loneliness does is to make you feel you have a problem that makes people stay away from you. This thought aggravates the feeling which strengthens the thoughts again and bla bla bla… The cycle continues.
Somehow, if the cycle is broken at any point, let’s say you boldly tell yourself, ‘i don’t have a problem’, you can further it from there: ‘I can still make friends. I am relatable. That means I won’t be alone. That means I am really not alone ( it’s just that relationships build with time).’ Then, the feeling of loneliness will cease.
If this model is true– and it is, then the fundamental key in overcoming loneliness is being secured in your self-worth.
Loneliness as we saw ealier is a feeling of lack of connection. One or two close relationships (not necessarily so much) will quench that feeling of lack of connection.
But what happens most times is that because most lonely people are not secured in their self-worth, they continually need affirmations from the relationships they have to really feel connected. They are at high risk of falling back into the thought that people won’t like them (they don’t see their worth) even when the other person is so committed to them.
You know, we don’t see things as they are; we are them as we are. If you don’t see your worth, you would expect that everybody thinks you don’t worth too and as a result they won’t like you, then… Loneliness arises.
How To See Yourself As Worthy
The reason anyone does not see their worth is either one or both of the following:
1. They have received verbal and non-verbal communications of unacceptance, rejection or condemnation that they have come to believe over time.
2. They are so acquainted with their flaws or limitations by comparing themselves with peers or standards they look up to.
Whichever is the reason, it can be summed up as perception:conclusions you have come to arrive at through signals you perceive. Since perception is the root of the sense of unworthiness, new perceptions will create a new sense, and this time, a sense of worthiness.
If you are subjected to continuous affirmations of your worth and importance to life, the sense of unworthiness will disappear.
Christians have an advantage in this because once they believe in Christ, they continually get affirmations from God and the Bible. They begin to see their worth too God and so and so…
However, everyone constantly needs affirmations to boost their sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, we don’t get these affirmations–at least not from the environment.
If you must build your self-worth, you must learn to give yourself affirmations. You actually worth. Your personality, abilities, gifts, talents, experiences, background, pains and everything that makes you up, regardless of how you feel about them, all work together to produce a unique individual called you.
This actually makes you a sauce wherever your step. You are not a pack of junks.
The raw materials for all the things we admire are not in themselves beautiful, but they end up producing important end products. Crude oil, for instance, is not anything beautiful or something we consider important in its own, but we can’t get kerosene, cooking gas, petrol and the lovely petroleum jellies we apply in our skin without it.
Crude oil is the necessity for all these. A more beautiful raw material wouldn’t have done the job.
In the same vein, the ‘crude’ experiences you have had are the raw materials necessary to produce all the beautiful end products you desire.
Don’t settle down with negativity–that’s not the end product. Rather, use the negativities to produce a beautiful future.
You, understanding this, should see yourself in a new light: that since you have experienced negativity, you now have something to offer to the world.
Consider this yourself: would you listen to someone who has never had any problem or overcome any challenge if they try to teach you how to overcome challenges?
People who have not come in touch with pain cannot offer any help to someone in pain. And this world is full of pained people. Rejoice in the fact that you can you now offer help to the devastation of the world.
Continue to remind yourself that you a sauce through your difference. Mike Murdock said, ‘your similarities create your comfort; your difference creates your reward’.
Your difference is not a defect.
How To Affirm Yourself
You can create bookmarks, cards, wallpapers (wall, mobile, computer), stickers on your car or any other means possible to keep affirming your worth.
Look at your yourself in the mirror and speak positivity to yourself. Our convictions form from the things we see and hear.
Surround yourself with sound positive voices and sights.
Run away from people and places that seek to belittle you or make you less important. It is your life so you must take responsibility for your welfare.
Ultimately, your environment creates you; but fortunately, you create your environment. Take it up as a duty to constantly remind yourself of your worth.
Once you wake up in the morning, don’t settle with the negative thoughts on your head, instead admire yourself, your worth and your importance.
Effect of Self Affirmation
Like I said earlier, we don’t see things the way they are, but as we are. Once you are secured in your self-worth, you begin to expect positive responses from others and ultimately, you get them.
Your disposition towards yourself determines how others treat you. So a healthy disposition will therefore bring healthy relationships and this brings us back to the topic of discuss.
Don’t forget we are talking about loneliness.
Remember, one or two close relationships will satisfy the feeling of lack of connection. Being secured in your self-worth places you on a plane of having close and healthy relationships– you will no longer interprete signals you receive from others negatively.
This security in your self-worth will also be your stability when real negatively is thrown at you. Some negativity thrown at you are only precieved but other times, they are real.
Even when they are real, you are able to withstand and not sickle into self-condemnation. You are still able to find your importance and value amidst all the negative signals.
You know that those signals do not define you because you are defined already–through the positive affirmations you have laden yourself with. An insulation is, therefore, formed.
Through this, not only is your disposition built for positive relationships , it is also maintained for the continuity of the positive relationships. Loneliness hereby stays far.
How To Not Be Lonely When You Are Alone
We have seen how being secured in your self-worth can bring you satisfying relationships thereby chasing loneliness, but what about times when you are away from those relationships or they haven’t been developed yet? Will you, then, settle in loneliness?
Truth be told, developing close relationships takes time. But I will like to tell you that from where you are (without the relationships yet), you can still not feel lonely whilst the relationship form or grow.
Learn to enjoy the company is yourself. Develop a close relationship with yourself. Being secured in your self-worth has set the stage for you to enjoy your times alone, but you must build upon it. You can’t always be with people. There are times you must be alone. At such times, you can still not feel lonely.
A close relationship with God consummates everything–He offers that ‘close friendship’ even when it’s just you.
Loneliness, the state of feeling a lack of connection with the environment, can be cured with healthy relationships but we cannot develop healthy relationships until we are secured in our self-worth.
Make self-affirmation a daily task. Nobody will give you enough affirmations. That’s how to build your self-worth. Being secured in your self-worth also helps you not to feel lonely even when alone.
The take home assignment is therefore self-affirmation. You should read this article next: How To Become a Self-Affirmation Pro
Olusegun Iyejare is career coach and certified counsellor. He helps entrepreneurs balance mental wellbeing and entrepreneurial success. Think about maximizing your potential or living a fulfilling life and Olusegun is your go to person.