How to deal with loneliness in life?
How to deal with loneliness in life?
Running a community center for victimized and distressed men is not an easy job. One needs to be very patient and at times deal with very tough yet sensitive queries. Given the rampant and often socially validated insensitivity towards men and the issues that they go through, many a times, direct or institutional solutions are not available and this makes it imperative that we focus on training of men themselves and motivate them towards introspection to achieve inner peace, alleviate stress and get a firmer grip on the crisis situation they are facing. Our fascinating journey so far, providing hundreds of men, a platform to achieve inner peace is a testimony to this.
And yet, the challenges for us are galore. One of the foremost challenges is a question we are often at loggerheads with, and that being,
“How to deal with loneliness in life?”
Even though, I am neither an expert in philosophy or psychology, yet with my limited understanding of the two, compounded with the vast and enormous experience that I carry in talking to thousands of victimized men over these years, I hereby attempt to answer the above question.
But, before delving deep into the answer, it is pertinent to understand the difference between the two terms – “Loneliness” and “Being Alone”.
While loneliness refers to a desperate state of mind wherein a person is craving for company but the circumstances just not allowing it and as it is circumstance driven, it takes away the power of choice from us, making us feel powerless, choice-less, dependent and wanting.
Being alone, on the other hand, can often be a choice wherein we just decide to be on our own – self-dependent, content and accepting about life.
However, it must be mentioned here that it is very easy to slip the boundary between loneliness and being alone; at the same time, tougher to distinguish if we are really there, driven by our choice or we just made it our choice, seeing the circumstances around. Still, irrespective of the origination, once we make a choice, it always makes us feel powerful and confident of bringing that much needed change in our life.
Effects of loneliness:
- We tend to become less caring about ourselves as we start feeling, who’s there after me and what if I don’t be so careful about myself. This caters to men especially, as more often than not, men take care of themselves so that they can be better protectors of their near and dear ones.
- We often lose the meaning and purpose of life and this leads to a deterioration in quality of life and is also a major factor driving behind suicides by men. And that’s because, they feel unwanted by the society. As a society, we are yet to mature to a stage where we can look at a happy single man, happily without feeling jealous or insecure about him.
- Finding a community that shares the life of a single man is a daunting challenge in itself because most of his friends, relatives, colleagues would be having a socially defined life. And many men succumb to this challenge and compromise with their life with an abusive partner in order to drive loneliness away, at least superficially.
- Single men have the lowest number of listeners and those who listen to men also, are very judgmental about the man and offer solutions which ultimately land him in a compromised relationship thus jeopardizing his overall life quality.
- Socially relevant institutions like banks, social clubs, etc. always align their promotions which are counter-productive for single men and more in line with family men like home loans are tough to get, clubs and resorts entertain married men with open arms and offer discounts and promotional offers. Such a social behavior discourages men from breaking away from strenuous relationships even if they aren’t happy within the relationship, thus again forcing the man to live a compromised life.
There can be many other effects of loneliness and some of them can severely affect the mental and physical health of men, however, the intent of this article is not to magnify the impact of loneliness, rather address it.
So, what’s the first step towards dealing with loneliness?
The first step is to kill the mocking bird. Convert the desperation of Loneliness into a choice of Being Alone.
And the second step which is, crucial, is to “Reconcile with oneself”.
More often than not, we keep chasing dreams we never saw – like plum posting, posh car, plush house, status and influence among the society – and then end up being stressed as we find it tough to fulfil all dreams and quite often, we fail to ask ourselves – did I really see this dream myself or just went along with the rest of others?
While, this does not mean, that we do not work hard to achieve them, because as they say, it’s better to cry in your Lamborghini rather than your bicycle and better be the monk who sold his Ferrari instead of mocking those who own Ferraris, but at the same time, it is important to ask ourselves, how much of it we really need.
Also, just being surrounded by people does not mean that we aren’t lonely inside. Often single men, are surrounded by people who constantly conspire to ruin their singlehood and take the onus of defining happiness for the man, onto themselves.
Hence, it means that there is no sure shot formula of dealing with loneliness. It’s subjective and depends on the individual but we can always say that, think for yourself, be yourself and live life as per your own terms and conditions. You were not brought into the world with your consent, nor was your religion, culture, language a result of mutual discussion splattered with choices for you to choose. They were just imposed on you and you are expected to defend them lifetime, and if needed, die for it. That can certainly be not your prerogative and you can always choose an alternative path for yourself.
We often tell our community members – “Me First”. Live your life for yourself, and do what you feel like doing. Of course, it should be without hurting others deliberately or intentionally, but as long as you are pursuing your dreams and desires and it gives you a sense of achievement and self-satisfaction, believe me, you will never feel lonely and you will also enjoy being alone.
Do not fall victim to your circumstances, make a choice for yourself and if life casts loneliness onto you, kill it with your inner light and make a choice of “Being Alone”. In no time, you would have dealt with your loneliness.