Don’t Be Lonely

I was listening to NPR in the car today and loved a story about people having a hard time making friends. The pandemic has definitely made meeting new people hard, but this story was about pre and during Covid times. It pointed out two major things. Loneliness is a head issue. There are people who have tons of friends who still feel lonely and people with few friends who never feel lonely. The second point was, people like you more than you think they do. Let’s take that point first.

Unless you are a true narcissist I find that to be more true than anything. Many people I have talked to over the years, both young and old, have said something along the lines of, “I don’t want to go there, the people there don’t like me.” Most people don’t dislike people they don’t know well and most of us like most of the people we know. If you like most of the people you know why would you think they don’t like you back. Second, if you like people once you meet them, why would you think that same in the reverse.

For me, I like most everyone I meet. It really takes me a long time of knowing you before I decide I don’t like you. I can honestly say there are only about a couple of people I really know that I don’t like.

The doctor being interviewed on the show was espousing the notion that people who complain they don’t have friends are holding themselves back because of this unfounded fear that people don’t like them. Honestly most of the people I don’t like think everybody loves them.

So if you are lonely, you need to push yourself to go out and meet people with the attitude that others are going to like you, because they are. Now if you are a jerk, eventually they will learn to dislike you, but chances are you are not a jerk.

Loneliness is a tragedy that doesn’t have to exist. You just need to put yourself out there and get out of your own head. Volunteering to help others is the best way to help yourself. You never will feel better than when you are doing something for someone else. Please don’t suffer alone.

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