How to deal with loneliness when you have no friends

by Martijn
How to deal with loneliness when you have no friends

What you will find in this article

Don’t want to read? Listen to the episode on Spotify!

Despite social media and all the virtual connections in the world that seem to have exploded in the past decade, more people are feeling lonely than ever before in human history. I just have one real friend, but I’m definitely not feeling lonely. So, if you don’t have friends and you feel lonely very often, this video might be for you.

How to deal with loneliness when you have no friends

Fortunately, I haven’t had many times in my life that I felt lonely. Digging a bit deeper into the reason why I clearly saw the things that helped me to know how to deal with loneliness when you have no friends. These are the top six tips to not feel lonely, even when you don’t have many friends.

  1. Understand the difference between being alone and being lonely
  2. Get rid of your social media accounts
  3. Find something you love and pour your heart and soul into it
  4. Define your understanding of true friendship
  5. Look only within yourself for validation
  6. Realize who you are and become friends with you

Understand the difference between being alone and being lonely

Let’s kick it off with the first one. This seems to be a very obvious one but you need to understand the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Most of you are probably already aware of the fact that society, in general, is pushing us towards dependency on other people. And unfortunately, this is causing a lot of confusion for many people.

You need to be able to continue to observe what the media are pushing you towards. Critical thinking is a highly valuable skill in today’s world. It will help you to keep a clear mind and not be fooled to fall into dependencies that are not real. When you don’t have any friends and you are alone in life it does not mean you need to feel lonely at the same time. These are two very different things.

Feeling lonely is a negative emotion caused by an erroneous perception of the needs you have as a human being. And it happens to people that have no friends but also to people that apparently seem to have a lot of friends too.

Get rid of your social media accounts

And this transitions nicely into the next topic. So many people appear to have a bunch of friends, hundreds of people connected through social networks, yet they feel incredibly lonely.

It’s been almost 2 years now that I deleted all my social media accounts, and it has been wonderful. Social media sometimes is convenient to stay connected with people. But most of the time it creates an addiction for validation, for recognition, and it creates unhealthy invisible competition. We unconsciously look for likes on our pictures, our posts, and comments and we are submerged into a world full of fake feelings, emotions, and artificial relationships.

Having lived without social media for almost two years now, I can honestly say that life without social media is much much better. In the end, it really is an addiction for most people. Realize how often you grab your phone, just to check nothing on social media. How are you affected by likes or dislikes, comments, positive or negative, while they are just occurrences on a screen and nothing more than that?

So, I encourage you all to quit social media. Simply call if you need to be in touch with someone, send an email, write a letter. It will feel so much better and you will have more time on your hands to dedicate to yourself and what you like to do.

Find something you love and pour your heart and soul into it

And this is actually the next point that is so incredibly important. Find something you love and pour your heart and soul into it. Loneliness is something that is created in your own mind. And as I mentioned before, it is a false perception of dependency on other people. And this only occurs because in your free time you spend time thinking about the need to be connected with other people while you could be using this time to simply do something you love.

So often I see and hear people saying that they are bored. And I never understand why. There are so many interesting things that you can do in this world, so many interesting things you can read about, you can investigate. I can honestly not remember a time I was bored. Especially in today’s times with the internet and all the information that can be found anywhere, it’s hard to not find anything that interests you and sparks your creativity and ignites a passion for something that you genuinely can engage with and be excited about.

So instead of engaging in addictive activities like binge-watching videos on Youtube or social media just search for something that helps you grow and you find incredibly interesting to do. It will keep your mind fresh and will steer you away from loneliness.

Define your understanding of true friendship

Something else that I found helpful is to think a bit more in-depth about what I consider to be a true friendship. When I did that it was very obvious to me that I just have only one friend. This is someone I can share absolutely everything with. It’s someone who is currently living in another country and we haven’t seen each other in 1 1/2 years.

We connect almost every week for hours and hours to catch up on how our week was and share our thoughts on the world, our lives, our progress in our spiritual practices, we make jokes, we have fun, we listen to music, we watch videos together online, and we support each other. We provide a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and even suggestions on how to approach certain things that we are dealing with at that moment.

Commonly, our calls last up to six to eight hours and we go to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning. And I can tell you, I’m happy I only have one friend. I would not be able to invest the same time in another person because I simply don’t have that time.

Now, I do realize that these criteria will be different for everyone but it would be good for you to actually define what you expect from a true friendship and then evaluate if you have such relationships in your life or not. That doesn’t mean you need to exclude everyone else from your life.

Of course, there are other people that you connect well with and you meet up every once in a while. Or you have a call every once in a while. And these are just people you know and get along with. But when you start to depend emotionally on these types of relationships you know that you chose the wrong perspective and that being alone is maybe mistaken for loneliness.

Look only within yourself for validation

That brings us to the topic of validation. I mentioned it briefly before and so often in this world that we live in today people are consciously or unconsciously searching for validation from other people. The perception they have about themselves is purely based on the feedback they receive from other people. These people most often cannot be considered friends.

Of course, there is a difference between genuine feedback or simply wild comments on social media, or unfiltered judgments from other people that you come across without even really searching for it. Genuine feedback can be very helpful. It can help you to provide a different perspective on things you do, and how you approach certain things in life. And when you remain neutral and don’t take this feedback personal it can be something that has added value and can help you to grow.

But again, critical thinking is very important here. Because most people don’t know you and offer their biased vision on things they don’t know anything about and are purely based on their own experience in life. So, be open to feedback but don’t take anything on board and accept it as a reality. Be ready to want to improve every single day but not compared to other people. But compared to who you were the day before.

True validation with which you can find peace, ultimately is only to be found within yourself. Deep within, you will feel if feedback from other people is right for you or not. Feel free to discard any feedback if it doesn’t feel right, you’ll probably make the right decision.

Realize who you are and become friends with you

When you allow yourself to be the judge of your validation you remain in control. And this is important to be friends with yourself. People seem to be having big groups of friends. Hundreds or even thousands of friends on social media, but they’re not even friends with themselves. They don’t know themselves. Their character is based on the opinion of other people about them.

So this creates a very volatile personality, very vulnerable to outside influences, emotionally unstable, and very prone to feeling lonely. Despite being surrounded by other people. That’s because they lost themselves in the craving for being popular and being recognized and validated by other people. But if you don’t know yourself, how can you become friends with yourself? And if you are not your own friend, how can you expect to have a true genuine friendship with someone else?

So before investing time in relationships with other people around you it’s vital to invest time in the relationship you have with yourself. Discover who you are. Define what you like and what you dislike. This doesn’t mean you cannot be flexible and change your opinion. As long as it’s your opinion. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Everyone is different and so are you.

So, don’t try to be like someone else. Just be true to yourself and who you are. Spend time in silence with yourself and nothing but yourself. No phone, no social media, no outside influences. Just every day some time with yourself and your thoughts and try to align with your inner knowing.

Discover what you like and don’t like about yourself. Build on the things you like and work on the things you want to improve. It’s not that hard to become friends with yourself. But it’s extremely important before you can actually build a relationship with other people.

And then, once you’ve become true friends with yourself, you will find that you don’t need other friends around you. And this detachment from the need to have friends will provide you with a higher standard. And now all of a sudden it becomes a choice to have a friend or not. And you will be able to increase the quality of your friendships incredibly. And this is the key to not feeling lonely, even when you don’t have friends.

View the video here.

Find more articles about personal development here, and mental health here.

You may also like