I am 23 years old and I have never been in a relationship. It’s just frustrating. I am shy and reserved but I feel I am fatally ‘unattractive’ and that’s why no one takes a notice of me. I did manage to get on a few dates but nothing seems to work – either people express no interest in me or they are too desperate. I try not to worry about superficial things like looks, height, my hair, etc. but my loneliness and insecurities upsets me. I look at the mirror and I often cry. Sometimes, it’s because I think I am ugly, the other times I feel I look pretty but no one seems to think I am. I am becoming sick and tired of this.
Being a counselor, we get a lot of people reaching out to us asking for advice on similar issues. Going through a feeling of loneliness is not uncommon; in fact, many of us may feel like going through it at one point or the other in our lives. Quite often it is accompanied by a lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, trust issues, and self-doubt. All this can cause serious issues in your personal and professional life.
In this post, we look at how you can go about dealing with similar issues and tackle loneliness.
1) Work towards self-acceptance:
The first and foremost step is to accept and embrace all facets of your personality. As a counselor, we often advise our clients to also accept the parts of themselves they are otherwise not ready to accept. And it’s only when you stop judging yourselves that you can create a more positive outlook towards life.
You need to understand that you are born with limited resources, for instance, your looks, and intelligence. But you can work on optimizing it by:
- Learning to identify and assess strengths/weaknesses
- Learning to optimize strengths that you already possess
2) Improve repertoire of skills you have:
While one may likely be gifted with certain skills, but that doesn’t mean it is difficult to learn additional skills. Learning new skills that are within your interest, for instance, a musical instrument, a new language, a new sport or even cooking, serves two key purposes:
- Develops a hobby;
- Also, it works as a platform to meet like-minded people.
If you think learning a new skill can be tough, think again. All you need is 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice and you can easily learn something new, and even outperform a vast majority of the population. If you learn to practice in a smart and intelligent way, there is literally no limit to what you can learn and master.
3) Identify skills you would like to improve on to help meet your goals:
Let’s understand it through the case of the girl. Here, the girl should introspect to incorporate the things that can make her company more enjoyable, if she is driving people away. For instance, her:
- Communication skills
- Language skills
- Grooming /hygiene, etc.
In addition to this, she should enhance her knowledge to have more things to talk about during her dates.
Further she should ask herself if she comes across as approachable or not, or if she is not able to recognize if guys are showing interest and she is able to reciprocate it.
4) Identify what makes you different from the others:
This is usually done by observing others and by collecting information. In this case, the girl can improve or refine on certain skills she believes she lacks. And use the things she is good at which can, in turn, boost her self-esteem and confidence.
5) Shift the aim of interaction:
Given that love cannot be chased and found, one must shift the aim from finding love and companionship to increase and expand your friend’s circle. Here you can make groups of friends or buddies that you can hang out with. For instance, drinking buddies, movie buddies, adventure sports buddies, gyming buddies, etc. An active social life is a great way to get rid of the loneliness feeling. It can greatly enhance your confidence and self-esteem.
6) Have a sense of gratitude:
Having a sense of gratitude for the things one already have is important. But also be sensitive towards the less privileged beings, who are deprived of love and affection. For instance, orphans or an old age people. To that effect, you can volunteer your time to be with such people. This helps in shifting focus from yourself to the others and in the process it changes your ‘self-pity’ perspective.
7) Never Give Up:
And lastly, it is imperative to keep trying and keep up the faith and not give up.
These are some of the many things you can do to revive your lost confidence, build your self-esteem and get rid of the feeling of loneliness. But if for some reason you are unable to tackle it yourself, there is always help available. It’s just a matter of you opening up! Chat with our experts online if you need any guidance.