Overcoming loneliness is a question of mindset -reframing loneliness- and skills -acquiring the ability to make friends-.
I remember when I first reflected on loneliness. It was through a song. The lyrics of this Italian song would roughly translate as follows:
Dear brothers from the other side
We sang in a choir down on Earth
We loved in a hundred the same woman
We left a thousand for the same war
This thought won’t solace you, when you die, you die alone
It might sound chilling, but it’s not. Stick with me through the whole post:
Why You’re Alone
You are not alone. We are all alone.
Most everyone is motivated by self interest. When things are swell, you don’t notice. And you get distracted by the calm before the storm, lulling yourself in a sea of lies and appearances.
But when cracks appear, the grim reality will start rearing its ugly head.
It’s just how the world goes.
If you’re lucky, your mother is the only person who loves you unconditionally. But deep down that’s also self-motivated (read The Selfish Gene). And here’s a chilling news: evolutionary psychology shows that in hard times your parents would probably barter your life for your siblings’s survival if they had a higher chance of making it.
How Loneliness Will Empower You
The great news though is that you can use loneliness as your springing board to becoming a better person. And, ironically, also a less lonesome person.
1. Accepting Loneliness
Accepting that you are alone is your first step towards overcoming entitlement mentality. It means you stop expecting handouts and you stop demanding with -mistaken- idea that people owe it to you.
Don’t let a chummy work environment with birthday gifts dupe into believing anybody cares for you there. Your boss will drop you at the drop of a hat if someone cheaper comes along.
And don’t think your partner cozying up to you is your little private enclave to retreat from the tough world. It’s not that unlikely that a few months from now she will be blocking your number and having an orgasm with someone else.
Never allow yourself to think otherwise. Believing that anyone is going to support you no matter what will only welcome pain and disappointment in your life.
And you know what?
Accepting that will make you a better person.
Let’s read on:
2. Despise Dependency
Once you accept you have to fend off for yourself, it’s time to start despising any relationship in life that makes you dependent on someone else.
Robert Greene says in The 50th Law makes a compelling case that success an self reliance has at its core a distaste for dependency. Loath being dependent on anyone, grow a repulsion for being employed to anyone and detest the hand that feeds you.
That inner feeling of repulsion will be your fuel to drive you towards self reliance.
3. Focus on Self Reliance
It your duty to move towards self reliance and being your own man. Your want to build skills and mental strengths that make yiy independent of any particular person (not of humanity as a whole, mind you, but of any specific person).
At this point, something magic will start happening: people will want to associate with you.
People indeed are attracted to independent people who don’t need anyone else. Fiercely independent people are much more likely to live the life they want and do as they please independently of what society thinks. And that’s another highly attractive trait.
Everybody wants a piece of that.
Self reliance means you will not make yourself independent of any single person or any specific group of people. It also means you will be able to make friends as you go.
Imagine how freeing it will be to kind of man who can walk it anywhere and make friends. Or the kind of woman who won’t put up with her boyfriend’s disrespect because she can finds another one in a month time.
4. Focus on Giving
Basic social dynamics (check the rule of social exchange) say that unless you can give people something, nobody wants to give you anything. Be that friendship, support or a relationship.
Accepting your loneliness means that when you need something, you focus on giving first (What’s In It For Them). As a matter of fact, it means that you structure your whole life and mindset around giving and not asking.
- Are comfortable with your loneliness
- Understand that an empowered life requires self reliance
- Focus on what you can give first
Than you become truly free and liberated.
Nobody owes you anything, and you owe nobody anything either. Now you can focus in living and building the life you want without hurt feelings and expectations.
And you acquire the freedom of ruthlessness too.
Because if nobody owes you anything, you don’t owe anybody anything either.
And unless they can contribute to your well being and to the world’s well being, you are free to let them go without any feelings.
That’s a liberating mentality.
The New You
Leveraging your loneliness is a bit like the circle of control in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The circle of control says you can only influence a small portion of reality. It can sound depressing, but it’s the opposite
When you only focus on your small sphere of control instead of worrying about what you cannot control a magical thing happens: you become happier and more efficient.
And, ironically, your circle of control grows larger and larger.
Leveraging your loneliness is the same.
You focus on giving, and you become happier and more connected. And you won’t even need to think about overcoming loneliness anymore because… You’ll never be lonely again.
If you made it thus far nodding, congratulation.
It’s an important mindset to possess.
Accepting loneliness and making yourself a self-reliant giver is the hallmark of a high quality (wo)man.
You don’t overcome loneliness. You accept it. You embrace it. And you use to become a better person.
Focus on making yourself self reliant and on giving first. I guarantee you, not only your loneliness will be a thing a thing of the past, but you’ll be on your way to becoming high quality, free man.
Read more on social skills in my social mastery guide.