Loneliness can make you feel: unloved and unwanted, socially inadequate, convinced that there is something wrong with you, self-conscious and ill-at-ease with others, and angry and critical of others. Remember you can take action against loneliness, and help others who are feeling the same.
You can feel lonely when: you are alone and have no choice about the matter; you do not feel part of a group or event; there is no-one you feel you can share your feelings and experiences with; you feel disconnected and alienated from your surroundings.
Moving out and leaving home means a lot of changes: in lifestyle, work patterns and degree of independence. Having a support network of friends, family, colleagues (at work) or Student Services (at University) can help you deal with the changes without becoming overwhelmed or feeling isolated.
Some people are more at ease in groups, and others in one-to-one situations. Think about what you prefer. Find others with similar outlooks and interests. Remember that, despite what it might seem, not everyone is interested in sport or going to pubs.
Don’t deprive yourself of doing something you want to do just because you have no-one to go with you, like going to a movie or a concert. All the people including you are there to enjoy themselves having a shared experience, so make the best of it.
To make friends, try to make yourself go to new safe situations where you will meet people with interests in common. Choose activities that you are genuinely interested in and try to enjoy them – whether it is a Society, sport or even some voluntary work.
If you’re in a new school/club/job and feeling lonely, don’t wait for other people to speak to you. Try to talk to people you sit next to, maybe suggest going for a coffee. Say hello, or even just smile, with other people you sit with or pass in the corridor.