Loneliness is a state of the mind, it is not connected with the physical state of being alone. Introverts feel great alone at home and we may experience loneliness in the crowd and sometimes feel like aliens. However, we don’t want to be alone always, we just require less companionship than extroverts do but still we need a deep communication and a strong bond with the closest person.
As a full-fledged INFJ introvert, I prefer not to plunge into dubious and spontaneous activities: they oppress me. I forego excessive socializing as I don’t enjoy superficial communication with large groups of people. Instead of it I relish heart-to-heart conversations and always set a high bar for friendship. Nonetheless, when I stay at home too often, it erodes my self-image and I start feeling lonely. So, what is the reason for it?
Actually, it happens because I should meet my emotional needs on my own and I don’t have a close person to connect emotionally and with whom I can share my concerns, ideas, worries and joys.
If you feel like you’re in the same situation as me then don’t despair, here are ten things you can do when you feel lonely. They have helped me to overcome this empty feeling that gnawed at my gut, I hope they’ll be useful for you too and you won’t be stuck in a loneliness loop.
Realize The Difference Between Loneliness And Social Isolation
Psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote: “Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself.” The underlying reason for your problem is that you can’t connect with people in the intimate, emotional way that you crave. We introverts need intimacy: we want to establish a strong emotional link with a person who understands us.
So remember this is a temporary state because all you need to do is befriend someone, or trust an existing friend with some more of your “inner self”.
If you shut yourself off from other people voluntarily then you are in social isolation. This is an extremely dangerous condition because it can lead to problems in emotional, spiritual, and physical terms so it is important to determine the state in which you are and take measures to change it.
Open Up To Other People
You always need someone to understand, support and be there for you. Although we usually observe people but do not take the initiative, you shouldn’t wait for people to come into your life, instead, extend social invitations to people you sympathize and empathize with and who seem interesting to you.
You don’t even have to do this face-to-face, for instance, invite someone by app message (WhatsApp, Facebook’s Messenger,) by email, or over the phone. You won’t find a faithful companion if you don’t make an effort.
Read An Uplifting Book
We introverts have a rich and complex inner world. It is the most authentic part of who we are. So if you need time to understand yourself and do not go deeper into loneliness and depression, then read a book. You’ll stretch your mind, grasp new concepts, reading will abate the waves of sadness, and distract from oppressive thoughts.
For example, you may pick novels, poetry, short stories, they’ll remind you of simple life pleasures. Personally, my favorite ones are “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, “The Guest Cat” by Takashi Hiraide.
A research, published in Journal of Clinical Psychology, shows that meditation reduces depression and hostility, cultivates mindfulness, contributes to the growth of resilient and balanced personality. Also, it strengthens mental health. Besides, it helps you to live the present moment and don’t dwell on the past.
For example, try a breathing technique: inhale for a count of four and then exhale for the count of four, do it through the nose. You’ll feel better.
Keeping yourself busy is an excellent option to alleviate feeling lonely. And it doesn’t matter if you are talented or not if a certain activity soothes you and helps to think in the right direction. You may do off-the-wall creative things, like a pottery class or Decoupage or keep it simple and try a coloring book, puzzle, needlework, or calligraphy. Do anything which helps you to feel better and realize your creative potential.
When you are overwhelmed with feelings but don’t have someone to share them with then try to express yourself. In either in oral or written form, in your own time and on your own terms. Put together poems, write a diary or create a blog on a topic that is appealing to you.
Engage In Sports Activities
It’s been scientifically proved that dopamine – a chemical, which is important for feeling happy, is released while exercises. So, sports help us to reduce anxiety and be happy, plus they can also make you more productive.
You can choose those kinds of sport, which you can perfectly do alone or together with your best friend. Invigorating sports such as swimming, long-distance running, cycling, dancing and tennis will charge you with energy. On top of that, you’ll get out of this loneliness state as you’ll have shaken up your brain chemistry and released a lot of “feel-good” hormones.
Tonnes of accumulated energy shouldn’t be spent in vain. While you are investigating the roots of the problem, dedicate some time to self-education and self-improvement. Do what you’ve never done before: take online classes in foreign languages, history, cooking, public speaking, beauty. Pick anything that excites you, increase your knowledge which will improve your mood and therefore your self-esteem.
Be Engaged In Gardening
If you don’t have someone to share what is inside your heart, then give positive energy to plants. When you grow flowers, take care and nurture them, it helps to feel needed. You will get rid of negative energy and clear your head – they’re also very good listeners!
Don’t Focus On Soul Searching
I know that INFJ introverts like to analyze, and then end up with a critical inner dialogue. The important things is not to be obsessed with a permanent search behind reasons for loneliness, these things happen from time to time. You are not wrong, you aren’t guilty, you are a unique human being who deserves to be happy.
As difficult as it sounds accept yourself and love yourself. Be compassionate and attentive towards yourself and others. Make your close people smile and they’re more than like to make you smile back, encourage yourself and watch inspirational movies or videos.
Loneliness is passing, while it may seem the main focus of your existence there are always ways to overcome it. Use the tips above when you start feeling blue to help pull you up out of the loneliness pit and back towards the light.
Hopefully, these tips will be beneficial in your fight with loneliness and promote your development as a harmonious personality: both mentally and physically. If you have any tips of your own on how to combat loneliness, please leave them in the comments – it would be nice to get a discussion going and connect like-minded people.
If you’re not sure what Personality Type you fall in to then you can take the test at 16 Personalities. It will give you your MBTI score based on a few questions.
I’d recommend taking the test a couple of times over a couple of days as I really do think it depends on what mood you are in at the time of taking the test. It would appear that depending on how I feel I’m either ENFJ-A or INFJ-A and I’m thinking the Extrovert to Introvert swing probably hinges on energy levels.
Take the test and let us know whether you agree with your score in the comments below.