Take Leave of Your Senses
There you are, the life of the party. Picture yourself with your head thrown back, laughing with utter abandon among a small crowd of admirers. Life is all champagne and caviar. Then without warning you find yourself feeling lonely in a roomful of people. Have you experienced this? I have. I call it my Poe.
I think loneliness happens in occasional moments when you no longer care for your own company. When you don’t care for the company of others, the solution is easy. You make a graceful exit. But, how do you take leave of yourself?
Take Leave of Yourself
Believe it or not, you can. You are not your mind. It’s one of the most useful tools you were born with. But it certainly isn’t you; your mind is a thing apart from you. This means you can step aside and observe it.
For instance, if you hear yourself saying, “I’m such a complete failure.”
Before you continue to beat yourself up, have this dialogue instead. It’s a method I developed to determine if my fear is valid. I called it the LIRI Method. You can read more here.
Your crazy mind: I’m a complete failure.
You: Is there any truth to this?
Your crazy mind pauses.
You: I put myself through college and earned two degrees. My car’s paid for. That makes me a success at some things so I can’t be a complete failure.
Your insane mind goes mute.
The first few times you take up this exercise you will feel funny about it. Like you have taken leave of your senses. But no one has to know you’re having this conversation, except you. When your mind is playing a sad song that’s not in harmony with your reality, it makes sense to take leave of your senses.
Be Your Number One Fan
If you’re not comfortable carrying on a monologue, then try being your number one fan. When you feel lonely, ask yourself this: would someone else want to hang out with me? If you can’t answer that, list the things people say they admire about you.
Seriously, you cannot think of one? Get out any cards and letters people sent you, even your high school yearbook. I bet you will find something nice that people have written about you. Perhaps among the superlatives are: “funniest girl in class,” “the most creative art student I had in years,” “generous friend ever.”
Now if this person were someone else, would you think he or she is pretty cool to hang out with?
Take cue from Barney from the TV show, How I Met Your Mother. Tell yourself, “I’m Awesome” at least twice a day.
Buy a beautiful journal and list your many accomplishments and wonderful traits. Call it your Book of Awesome.
I stress doing the above things first before moving on to the next step. Because no matter how much someone tells you how great you are, if your self-esteem is shot, you will still feel lonely in a roomful of people.
Connect in Meaningful Ways
Once you get you to like you again, then it’s time to work on connecting with other people. Here are three ways you can do that.
- Invite a new acquaintance for coffee. We live in an age of time and attention deficit. When you make that extra effort to know people and give them the gift of your time, you will stand out.
- Volunteer at senior homes. The elderly are rich with life experiences. You will be treated to their amazing strength and resiliency, qualities we all can learn to hone. Unfortunately, many of them have children who only pay a visit around the major holidays so your company will be welcomed.
- Invite a friend for a walk or a run. Exercise increases your happiness factor because it releases endorphins in your brain that combats stress. And if it happens that exercise makes you look and feel your best, I doubt that you will be lonely for long.