Are you lonely? Ways to escape isolation, loneliness, and rejection. How to find happiness, friendship and meaningful relationships. Email advice and counsel available.
"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."
Loneliness is a very powerful emotion. It can lead to depression, illness, even suicide. Although it may often hit the old, sick or handicapped people, it is very common among young people too. Why? Read how Denise escaped loneliness on this page.
It is certainly true that in many countries, modern culture emphasises the individual person, and not the group or family. There is often pressure to be 'self-contained'. Many more young people live alone, often away from family or friends because of work or college. The pressures of life may not leave enough time to make good relationships.
Modern culture, in TV, films and books, tells us that the only meaningful relationship is a sexual or romantic one. It isn't true, but we believe it. If we do not have such a relationship, we feel a failure. Or we try to find meaning in these relationships, but often fail. And if these relationships are private and closed, leaving no room for other friendships, then when they end, we have no 'real', 'ordinary' friends to turn to.
Dr Chris Andrew, a consultant psychiatrist, says,
"Loneliness is universal. I get a lot of patients, especially those who haven't married, who have a strong feeling of not being part of 'family', of not having connected. They feel unfulfilled, that they don't belong, and are not caught up in what is thought 'normal'."
Surprisingly, it is not only the quiet, shy, people, who may feel loneliness. It can also be the sort of person who is the 'life and soul of the party' - always joking, laughing, apparently out-going, yet afraid to really connect with others - holding other people away at arm's length. They may seem to have lots of friends, but inside they are hurting. These people have often been damaged as children by sexual or emotional abuse.
Yes! You may need to work hard though! Here are some ideas to think about:
We were created to be social humans. We need people. "It is not good for man to be alone" is a key statement from one of the earliest surviving historical writings. Yet it goes right to the centre of our human need today! Do you know who wrote it?
Our relationships with each other are easily damaged and spoilt, because of our own wrong actions and selfish behaviour, which so often we cannot even see. But beyond these relationships, there is another deeper relationship which has been damaged. It is this - that God - the maker of the whole world - is a loving person, who desperately wants a relationship with you! It may be unbelievable, but it is true. God is not a power, a force, a feeling, or a distant angry ruler - He is a person, who wants to be a 'friend who stays closer than a brother'. He is the ultimate Family, the real Lover, the special Friend. What is more, He can give us a new power inside, to handle life, relationships and problems.
So many people (your writer included) have found that finding God was to lose loneliness. Do check it out, on our 'finding the answers' page. This page also gives our email address if you need more help. And read Denise's story, at the bottom of this page.
Denise's Story Denise was a student in Victoria, Brazil, and doing private piano teaching in her spare time, when her life seemed to come to an end.
I lost my boyfriend When I was a student, I had a boyfriend for almost three years, but we had to finish our relationship. My hopes, my dreams, and all the purpose of life seemed to have come to an end. I had no reason for living, no one to share my life! I was feeling so lonely! Nothing else could fill my emptiness.
I began to think that maybe God could help me. Then someone who knew my situation invited me to go to a church, and this person assured me I would be better after going there. The speaker at the church meeting was talking about Jesus, how He would like to take my hand, and lead me all the way ahead. He said that Jesus is alive, and that He would like to live with me and help me to overcome all difficulties. I cried and prayed, "Jesus, I want you in my life. I know you died to give me life. Take all my sad and bad feelings and give me purpose for my life. Give me all you have. Guide me until the end. I give my life to you."
I realised He was with me as if at the table having a meal, or walking on the street, or in my room. I was not alone. I could talk to this special and perfect friend! And I had new friends who were Christians, who helped me, and invited me to help them on my holidays. I was able to go with them to the Amazon area of Brazil to help run a children's holiday club.
I have discovered that the real purpose of my life is, "Receive love from Jesus, and give it to other people in this unhappy world."