Loneliness… such an exciting topic! Before I begin, I don’t want anyone reading this who considers me a friend to take offence to this. Look beyond the title and you may agree with my words. If you disagree that’s fine too, but know that you are definitely appreciated. Also, this has ended up being a VERY long post, so as our favourite YouTubers say, grab a cup of tea, get comfortable and enjoy! With all of that out of the way, let’s discuss loneliness! C’mon, schmile! I promise you it’s not that bad… or at least I’m trying to convince myself it isn’t.
Loneliness isn’t ALWAYS bad
It’s important to emphasise that being lonely doesn’t mean you need to change who you are so that people will like you.
Your loneliness should serve as a time in which you focus on yourself, your goals and your dreams and ensure that you bear fruit, after all, you have fewer distractions. Do not allow this season to lead you astray into things that have no place in your life just for the sake of drowning your sorrows. There is ALWAYS an opportunity to be productive.
In some cases, you may have actually lost your friends, I’ve been there. But hey, life goes on #NothingDoYou
When I spoke to another friend about my ‘loneliness’, she was surprised that I even cared. “You always seem to get along fine on your own, I didn’t realise it was an issue for you”. I was shocked at this but only for a moment. I’ve been hurt by my so-called ‘friends’ all of my life. I grew from these challenges in good ways and bad. I turned into this no-nonsense-taking-smart-mouthed-bitch who made sure everyone heard what I had to say when I had to say it.
The change was quite drastic. I refused to once again put myself in a position where people could take advantage. Burning bridges was an art I had mastered. I got to uni and decided this attitude was no longer needed, it was a fresh start and so I turned back to my original self: quiet, reserved and unfortunately naive. It backfired on me. I was betrayed by those I had opened myself up to and so I joined team #NoNewFriends.
Reasons for Loneliness:
I have found that at this stage in life, it is common to experience sustained feelings of loneliness.
Some general reasons:
We get so used to being in school and seeing our friends daily that uni or work life poses a threat to our relationships that we don’t know how to handle. Some people just have to learn and accept that after secondary school, this closeness ceases to be the case, this doesn’t make them any less your friend, the dynamics have simply changed.
I was growing in all walks of life. I had found the balance I was looking for in my attitude towards people (or was at least close to it), but when my friends started to grow, we all started to grow apart. There are a plethora of reasons for this but ultimately those core ‘squaaaa’ members slowly drifted into acquaintances.
One thing I noticed that was so interesting to me was the mindset. Many of my friends were ‘heritage friends’ we were as close as we were because we had been friends for a long time, that was the only reason. But the decisions we made in life that are so heavily influenced by our culture and upbringing did not manifest until much later in life. As we grew, we realised that our thinking just wasn’t the same. The things that were important to us such as careers, faith and relationship just weren’t things we could relate on anymore. This was a serious issue. For so long, discussing the hair colour of our sims was our greatest dilemma, not long later we had found ourselves in positions where our outlook on life would end our friendships.
Distance makes a difference too, but it showed me who my true friends were because it isn’t something that should be an issue if the relationship is genuine. A lot of people used this as an excuse, especially after starting university, but we live in a modern age where social media is dominant and communication isn’t difficult to maintain, you can miss me with that crap. Moving on…
Ultimately, your reasons for classifying yourself as a lonely person will be as a result of your definition of friendship.
What is a good friendship?
I spoke about a year ago on what makes a bad friend (Are You A Bad Friend). But now I’d like to discuss what I feel makes a good friend.
To me, an ideal friendship is one where the relationship is mutual. I have people I talk to that I could consider friends, but I place them higher in my network than they do me… There’s levels to this ish! This deters me from getting too close because I’ve been in such situations before and found it wasn’t worth it. I can’t expect someone to give me 100% if they only signed up for 50%: that would be unfair to us both.
A desired friendship is one where you aren’t ashamed to share secrets, good news or bad news, you aren’t made to feel bad for disturbing them, there is no competition and you know how to deal with conflicts. I had been in long-term relationships with people who I had never once argued with, it was extremely dangerous because when those fights eventually arose, neither of us knew how to deal with them. Long story short, those friendships I’ve just spoken about, they’re not around no more. Word to Terminator T!
When I think of a bestfriend, I picture a supporter, a counsellor, a comedian, a motivator and a comforter. Maybe I’m asking for too much. Thankfully I have a friend in Jesus who is all of these things and more! Can I get an AMEN?! I’ve learnt that you have to be the friend you wish to have.
The Bible defines a good, strong friendship by saying:
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
If you wish to find out more about Christianity and friendship, take a look at Got Questions?org
Loneliness is real outchea in these streets my dear people, it is cold and it does not discriminate. I thought I could simply ignore it and it would disappear, I also thought that it was just me. Neither of those things is true. Keeping my mind off my situation was only a temporary fix. When I was sick and alone (literally) and that one person I could call a friend was unavailable, it hit me HARD! So to anyone reading this that has realised that they have been neglecting or underappreciating their friends- fix it asap. This is not where you wanna be!
I can’t give you advice on what I don’t know. If you’ve been reading this post and not just skimming through, you probably wouldn’t want any advice from me either. But this thread by Adzvice.com might be of use to you.
It’s not all bad… I promise
The ‘Pros’ of Loneliness
My loneliness has made me feel much lighter. I’m that friend that makes my friend’s issues my own and it can often weigh me down. I’m learning to deal with this slowly (Black Depression). In the meantime, not having so many people dependent on me gave me time to focus on my own life.
I have learnt so much about myself because I am my number one focus. I feared that having no friends would mean I had fewer experiences and lessons to share; but my loneliness has actually led me to blog weekly without fail, discussing a range of issues I care deeply about that I also now have more time to reflect on, simply because I have more time to myself.
My standards have been raised. Learning to cope alone makes me unwilling to accept companionship from anyone and everyone in order to satisfy my needs.
I’m not the perfect person or the perfect version of myself. But if I want my friends to inspire, uplift and motivate me- in ALL aspects of my life, especially spiritually- it makes no sense to have friends I feel are ‘lesser’ than me. Read an amazing post by Totally Tanisha for more on spiritual friendships.
I’ve witnessed the beauty of purpose in other people- people come into your life for a reason and a season. Learning to acknowledge this has been one of my greatest lessons concerning friendship. Not everyone is using you and most importantly you shouldn’t feel like you are using them!
Overall, I’m a lot more self-led and motivated simply because I don’t always have people to discuss issues with. (Touched on this in my post: Petty Purge). Being quick-thinking and decisive doesn’t always work on a personal level, but it’s definitely a benefit in the corporate world.
The most important benefit of them all has been my relationship with God. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a friend in Jesus! He is the one person (not really a person but we do not have the time for that right now y’all) I can put my trust in without any doubts or worries- it’s an absolutely wonderful feeling and I hope that you can all experience it too.
Honestly, if you made it this far, we should be friends!
Stay strong, 100 years is not forever is what a wise woman always tells me.