How to Deal With Loneliness

What you can do

Assume the best

For example, suppose you go to a photo-sharing Web site and see pictures of your friends at a gathering to which you were not invited. At that moment, you have a choice—either to conclude that you were deliberately snubbed or to adopt a more positive outlook. Since you cannot know all the factors involved, why assume the worst? Instead, direct your energy toward thinking of a better explanation for your being excluded. Often, it is not the situation but your outlook that brings on feelings of loneliness.—Bible principle: Proverbs 15:15.

Avoid sweeping assertions

When you are lonely, you might think, ‘I never get invited anywhere’ or ‘People always avoid me.’ But those sweeping assertions will only make you sink deeper into the quicksand of loneliness. Such thoughts can create a vicious circle: You feel like an outcast, which makes you isolate yourself, which makes you lonely, which makes you feel like an outcast.—Bible principle: Proverbs 18:1.

Be willing to befriend those who are older than you

The Bible tells of the life of David, who was likely a teenager when he met Jonathan—a man 30 years older than he was. Despite their age difference, David and Jonathan became close friends. (1 Samuel 18:1) You could have the same thing happen in your life. “Recently, I’ve come to appreciate the value of having friends who are older than I am,” says 21-year-old Kiara. “I have some very dear friends decades older than I am, and I really appreciate their mature view of things and their stability.”—Bible principle: Job 12:12.

Appreciate the benefits of solitude

Some people feel lonely as soon as they face a moment of privacy. But simply being alone need not make you feel lonely. For example, Jesus was sociable, but he also appreciated the value of solitude. (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35) You can do the same. Instead of seeing your being alone as a disadvantage, use quiet time to reflect appreciatively on your blessings. That can make you an even more desirable friend to others.—Proverbs 13:20.

A girl feeling lonely

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