If you’re feeling lonely in life, say goodbye to these 13 habits

Loneliness and isolation are no joke. We could see their very real effects during the lockdowns, and some people swore never again.

But apart from these extraordinary measures that imposed this on almost everyone, are there things in our everyday lives that contribute to loneliness? 

Indeed there are, and if you want to learn what habits you need to kiss goodbye, keep reading the article.

1) Isolating yourself

Humans are social creatures. For us, meaningful interactions give us a sense of belonging and emotional support. 

On the other side, loneliness often stems from isolation. When we self-isolate and spend most of our time indoors and online, of course, we won’t have opportunities to meet other red-blooded people. 

You must seek out social engagements deliberately to create opportunities to share experiences, emotions and build lasting connections.

I realize that’s easier said than done, especially when you’re older, and finding friends and romantic partners can be much more difficult. 

However, isolating yourself is the first habit that needs to go!

2) Ignoring social invitations

I’m not lonely, but I’m often guilty of this. My introverted nature is blocking me from being more outgoing and social. 

Turning down social invitations due to anxiety or hesitation also reinforces isolation and loneliness. 

Accepting invitations, even when uncomfortable, increases the chance of meeting new folks, forming bonds, and enjoying shared adventures.

Next time someone asks you to go somewhere with them, don’t make excuses. What’s the worst that could happen if you went? 

People don’t bite. You’ll be just fine. 

Let’s continue in a similar tone. 

3) Avoiding new experiences

When you don’t go out, you’re missing out. There’s no denying this fact. That’s why many have FOMO or the fear of missing out. 

Trying new activities exposes you to diverse people who share your interests. This opens up possibilities for forming new friendships or romantic relationships. 

The best thing about it is that it will be with like-minded people who understand and appreciate your passions.

Hiking is a quintessential example by now. You’re outdoors meeting people that share the same passion, are more or less fit, and always welcome new people. 

It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

4) Excessive work hours

Many people are lonely because they simply work long hours and don’t have any time for their personal life. 

Overcommitting to work limits your time for social activities. Striking a balance between work and leisure allows you to connect with friends and family more.

But working hours aren’t the only culprit. Long commute times are also detrimental. Couple all of this together, and you spend most of your waking hours at work and going to and from. 

So what’s the solution here? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Try finding a work-from-home job if your commute time is terrible. But be aware that WFM can contribute to loneliness too. 

If you have to work overtime, find a job that doesn’t have these requirements. There’s always a choice, even if you don’t see it now. 

5) Being too self-reliant

Relying solely on yourself for support often results in emotional isolation. When you keep your emotions and struggles strictly to yourself, you miss out on the opportunity to share your experiences with others. 

Emotional sharing is a crucial way to connect with people on a deeper level.

Initiate conversations and make plans with friends or acquaintances. Taking the initiative to connect shows how much you value and are invested in maintaining relationships.

Again, join clubs, classes, or social gatherings that align with your interests. These settings are a natural opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded people.

6) Excessive screen time

Why does almost every article now mention spending too much time in front of screens? It’s because watching TV or scrolling through social media often results in a sense of detachment from real-world relationships. 

Prioritize face-to-face interactions and genuine conversations to better understand other people’s emotions.

There’s nothing much to add here. If you’re feeling lonely, put down the phone and spend time where other people are. 

7) Neglecting relationships

We’re all so busy now. We have to work, go to school, or both. There’s less and less time to spend with others, and even sending a text feels like a lot of effort at times. 

But maintaining relationships is incredibly important. If you don’t call or text, and they don’t do it, who will? 

I understand that being the one who is always reaching out first makes you feel lousy, but if that’s the cost, so be it. 

The alternative is you lose friends and people you care about. Maybe they just don’t think this way and forget to connect with you. 

8) Negative self-talk

When you constantly criticize yourself, it often results in low self-esteem and social withdrawal. 

For example, if you think to yourself, “I’m better off alone since I can’t seem to connect with anyone,“ “I’m just not interesting enough to make friends,” or “I’m not good at making friends,” you’re digging a deeper hole for your loneliness.

Shifting your mindset to one of self-compassion and self-acceptance helps you engage with others more openly.

Counter these thoughts with, “I have unique qualities and interests that can contribute to meaningful connections,” “I’m learning and growing through social interactions, and each experience helps me improve,” and “I can build connections, and I’m willing to put effort into developing meaningful relationships.”

9) Comparing yourself to others

The habit of comparing yourself to others can create feelings of inadequacy and isolation. 

When you see people on Instagram and Tinder that are better looking and have more money, it’s no wonder you feel like that. 

It’s something that’s well documented and one of the worst aspects of social media.

Focusing on your own growth and celebrating your achievements helps build self-confidence and a healthier self-image.

I’m not saying you should stop using social media (although that wouldn’t be a bad piece of advice), but at least recognize how it affects you and your mindset. 

10) Ruminating on the past

Another thing you need to stop doing is constantly dwelling on past regrets or mistakes. It keeps you trapped in negative emotions. 

We all have our share of regrets and cringe when we think of some of the errors we’ve made. 

But letting go of these thoughts is the best thing you can do for yourself. It allows you to be present in social situations and genuinely engage with others.

Anyone who prefers to live in the past will feel more lonely and unsatisfied in the present. 

11) Avoiding vulnerability

Vulnerability means you’re being open and honest about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, even when they might be uncomfortable or difficult to share. 

People who love feeling vulnerable are few and far between. But sharing your feelings of loneliness or vulnerability with people you trust opens the door to empathy and understanding. 

When you avoid showing your authentic self, your interactions with others remain superficial. And if you always project an image of perfection or strength, others assume you don’t need support or are unapproachable. 

This deters people from reaching out, also leading to feelings of isolation.

12) Having unrealistic expectations

Some people have incredibly unrealistic expectations of friendships, romantic relationships, and life in general. Their perspective is skewed from TV and social media, where they see a perfect representation. 

Here are some unrealistic expectations you should stop having:

  • Expecting perpetual happiness
  • Idealizing relationships and believing they’re flawless
  • Believing others should always reach out and make plans
  • Instantaneous deeps bonds
  • Misunderstanding introverted moments
  • Believing that everyone else is constantly evaluating and judging you
  • Expecting immediate results

13) Living an unhealthy lifestyle

Neglecting physical health can also impact your mental health and contribute to feelings of loneliness. 

When you don’t feel good or comfortable in your own skin, of course, you don’t want to go out there and be around others. 

Engaging in regular exercise, eating nutritiously, and getting enough sleep improves your mood and energy, making you more open to social interactions.

It’s also important for your self-confidence and self-worth. There’s a good reason why so many people are obsessed with fitness and healthy diets. 

Final thoughts

Ultimately, you need to get out there to start feeling less lonely. There’s no getting around this simple fact.

Start by eliminating some of these 13 habits to feel better and have a more fulfilling life. 

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Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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