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Being Lonely Shouldn’t be Terrifying

Lonely. It’s a word few of us say out loud.

We know someone who seems lonely, and sometimes we perceive them to be miserable. After all, we’re conditioned to believe “miserable” and “loneliness” go hand-in-hand.

So, we don’t talk about how lonely we are. Instead, we push that feeling away when it materializes. We don’t want to be miserable or be perceived as such.

However, we don’t have to fear being alone. It’s possible to work through those feelings of loneliness while eventually establishing new bonds and relationships. Let’s go over a few ways to accomplish this.

People Want to Hear From You. Reach Out

As I mentioned before, shame often accompanies loneliness. We feel like we have it stamped on our forehead, so we avoid others. We retreat into our safe places, running from the idea of someone else knowing.

The truth? It’s not as bad as we think, even if someone else knows we’re lonely. In fact, it’s an opportunity to show that it’s not a big deal.

We hesitate at times to reach out because we think “If they’re not reaching out, they must not want to hear from me.” Honey, if they’re your friends/family, of course they want to hear from you. Reach out!

Break the Negative Thought Cycle

Be kind to yourself. And honest.

Sometimes, we’re going to get it wrong when it comes to emotions. We all do it. It’s normal, and it inspires growth. That’s why it’s so important to be able to identify what we’re feeling and respond appropriately. We’re able to break those negative thought patterns this way.

Sometimes, we create these self-centered views based on our negative emotions. We assume people don’t like us, which is why we’re lonely. However, if we’re honest about our situation, that’s usually not the case.

We have friends and family who love and support us. We’re just focused on the emotion that’s most intimidating. Happiness doesn’t scare us as much as loneliness does.

When we’re overcome by loneliness, it’s important to stop and identify it.

Join a Community. Help a Cause

Perhaps now you’re ready to do something about feeling lonely. So, where do you start?

Many people find benefit in volunteering or joining cause. It’s a chance for individuals to meet new people with shared interests. If you’re new to an area, for instance, it’s a great way to not only help your community but get to know it as well.

It’s also a great time to practice those social skills! Not everyone thrives on social energy, and that’s fine. Some people are more introverted than others. Some are shy and need a little time to warm up to new faces. With time and the momentum gained from interacting with like-minded individuals, it’s much easier to establish bonds and friendships.

Beyond that, volunteering combats the effects of stress, depression, anxiety, and much more. What you put into your community ends up coming back to you. That’s something to reflect on!

Remember Your Sense of Self

It all starts with knowing who you are. In my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, I touch on practices to establish a positive self-identity. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

And remember. Loneliness is nothing to fear.

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How to Express Your Feelings, Even When You’re Wrong

It may be a hidden topic you didn’t know you needed to discuss. Yet, like many, you want to know how to express your feelings, even if you feel like you’re overreacting.

There’s a specific kind of danger we associate with expressing emotions, especially when we feel our emotional response is “wrong.” We’ve been conditioned to shy away from showing our feelings to avoid being seen as weak or hysterical to others.

Research shows that suppressing emotions can lead to problems with our health and mental well-being, yet many hesitate to explore healthy ways to overcome negative emotions.

Let’s discover a few ways to express ourselves, even when we feel like we’re being irrational.

Pause & Acknowledge

When you feel an overwhelming emotion setting in, it’s time to pause instead of react. You can count to ten, take deep breaths, or even excuse yourself to take a walk.

Then, it’s time to acknowledge the event that upset you. Did someone say something that angered you? Why does it anger you? Once you pinpoint where the emotion is coming from, don’t forget that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling.

Take Action

Now that you know why you’re feeling the way that you do, it’s time to address it. Make sure you’re calm and ready to tackle a potentially difficult subject if necessary.

For instance, if someone said something that offended you, pinpoint why it offended you and calmly explain it to the individual. It’s important to be assertive and not aggressive or passive-aggressive in your approach. There are sheets on that here.

The Discomfort Won’t Last

The best news? Over time, it’ll become much more easier to identify the source of negative emotions and properly address them. It simply takes practice and time. You’re not going to get it right every time, and that’s okay.

Be Ready to Learn

You’re going to get it wrong sometimes. You’ll make a wrong assumption about something someone said, only to feel foolish for getting upset. Don’t let that deter you. We all make mistakes, and we all jump to conclusions.

The beauty of expressing your emotions is that there’s always an opportunity to learn from these mistakes. Take advantage of these opportunities as they arise and optimize your emotional growth.

Be Ready to Grow

Now that you know how to express your feelings, put it into practice! And don’t forget to take everything one day at a time.

Many who struggle with self-expression can also suffer from low self-esteem. I wrote a fairly handy book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, about overcoming those pesky self-doubts, and I encourage you to read it!