Is there an antidote to loneliness?
Well that is rather a silly question I hear you thinking. Of course, when you feel lonely you need to reach out. Meet up with friends and mingle. It’s like turning a switch from lonely to not lonely. But is the answer that easy?
The feeling of loneliness is a rather fundamental one. It can be deeply rooted in ourselves and who doesn’t know the feeling of being alone in a crowd, at a party or in a relationship? The answer to loneliness may be answered but we need to look for nuance.
As I feel loneliness is a deep emotion, I believe a true connection can relieve those feelings and act as an antidote if you will. Connecting with others is made easy by a common ground and it gives me also hope because of the different angle other can take on different subjects.
That common ground can be to have the same hobby or interest but based on that alone you’ll find an acquaintance. Bonding with someone on a deeper level can be based on shared suffering. Empathy, to be able to imagine how another being is feeling, is made easy when you suffered too. It doesn’t mean you only bond with people who have suffered tremendously and others will be forever superficial. The trick is to find somebody who is willing and able to open up about their difficulties in life, their road taken. It can be fun to look with your friend on Tinder but when you can share what you’re really looking for in a relationship it can make you connect to your friend and to your own feelings. We need sometimes need the other to act as a mirror because we’re not able to see our own face.
Opening up about your own struggles is essential but a good friend will not only tell you how they have been wronged by others, the system or the entire country. Such an approach to life doesn’t lead to a new step or opportunity. It just states something without offering hope or tips on how to evolve from that particular state or event. That is why I believe to bond solely in anger or hate won’t bring you an inch further to better something in your life. Yes, you can be angry together and find a common ground but without a broader perspective you’ll be stuck in that swamp of hate till the end of times.
To open up about the silly things you’ve undertaken to some life problems is a really good one. For one laughter is a medicine that is free and works for sure. To laugh at our own mistakes makes them not so stupid. The fact that somebody laugh with you about it, mean that they recognize something in your story and therefore your approach at the time or your story isn’t as silly as you initially though. Sharing your insecurities, failures and vulnerabilities can take a huge burden of your shoulders. When your friend in turn opens up about their struggles, you learn that they also made mistakes and that it is a human thing to do and, even more important, that you can overcome your silliness.
When you understand each other’s struggles it comes easier to forgive your friend when he or she says maybe something that you don’t understand or just do not agree with. You’re able to forgive when they are late again because you understand traffic and the pressure to drop off the kids in time at the school gate. And you’ll know as long you’re honest and apologize when you screw up, you may count on their forgiveness too.
People you truly connect with and with whom you feel at home are not the people chasing fame or present you a splendid business plan. That are good things to know, they can be inspiring but there is that empathy needed. You may get great blogging tips from somebody but imagine you know nothing about possible pitfalls when starting a blog and you get no answer to your questions about that, it will be difficult to see the advice for something more than ‘good advice’. Which is also great and needed but it is something completely different than a friendship.
A true connection is an antidote to loneliness. When you find someone who accepts you as you are in the moment (pets can make great friends!!), someone who is brave enough to open up about life and its struggles, you’ve found someone special. Huge bonus points if you can laugh together, together you can open dark clouds to let some sunshine in!
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ejpphoto/