Loneliness and shyness; a lot of people around the world recognize those words because they describe states that they have to live in every day. They choose them for the simple purpose of self-protection. It’s a shield for them because they feel that things are difficult, though, and they use them as an excuse to escape reality or just the fact that they are insecure. Although, things are not simple, is this the right approach to confront and deal with matters in a falling world? And in a world that can be better because of you! Well, I suppose you know the answer even though you think that you have tried and failed and it’s not worth your time.

Of course, loneliness or shyness is not something to be ashamed of. It happens – and it has happened to all of us at some point in our life. We are creatures of human contact and communication and we feel sad when no one is around us to feel us, to protect us, to understand us. It’s a natural need. But the problem grows when we choose one of the two as a solution to our problems. Certainly, there are external factors playing a significant role to create the problem -such as moving to a new area or building a social life from the scratch- but most of the time the problem lays in us. For example, we may be too afraid of looking stupid in social situations or worrying too much about what others might say. The fear of rejection or the discomfort we sense when we try to approach new people play a major part for choosing isolation.

So what can we do? First of all, we have to acknowledge the problem and choose the right way to deal with it. A big reality that we always have to remind ourselves of is things can change if we choose to change. For instance, work on your attitude when dealing with thoughts provoking negative inner behaviors. Stop presuming that people are always thinking or talking about you. Most of the people are caught up in their life trying to move along. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. There is no instruction manual for life. Nor is there a right and wrong way of doing things. So, don’t try to be perfect; rather try to do your best. Stop the negative self-evaluation. If you find yourself around these thoughts, stop and consciously challenge them.

Start practicing your social skills one step at a time. Go easy on yourself. Smile at someone you see in the street or give a compliment to someone you interact with throughout the day. Start small friendly conversations with people and begin trusting people again – keep in mind, though, that they might not trust you. It’s not a one-way street, so be patient and expect failures. Fake it, until you make it! I mean confidence, even though you are not exactly feeling it inside. Laugh at yourself! When you do something that makes you feel embarrassed, humor can be helpful. Be there for others, as you want someone to be there for you.

The bottom line here is the relationship you have with yourself. Getting closer to yourself gives you a deeper understanding and helps you recognize that you are valuable. That you are not flawed or unlovable, that you can create your own opportunities to get close to others. Start slow and progress. Do just a little bit — just one thing at a time— and you’ll feel less lonely with each passing day. Approach one potential partner and strike up a conversation. Start knowing and caring.

And most of all smile!
It won’t mean that your life is perfect.
It will mean that you are appreciating what you have and you doing the best you can!

Author: Chris Kokkinelis

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