First, the second half of that title is false. You've either forgotten who loves you or need to find more.
However, there may be times when you feel isolated and depressed — almost everyone has such spells or is strong enough to admit it. It's not easy to talk about, but loneliness, feeling unwanted, and even self-hatred are all very common. If your hermiting lasts for weeks, you'll need the assistance of medical professionals, but if it's not so severe and only occurs on occasion, here are some lively and practical suggestions for you:
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Make a “praise pile”
Ideally, you should do this before you get into a funk — it will serve as a life preserver when you're in the “eye of the storm.”
Compile evidence of your feelings of love: a handwritten note from your mother, a photo of you and your best friends at the lake, and awards you've received. They do not have to be recent; recognition can span your entire life. They don't even have to be physical; I've used the Firefox ScrapBook add-on to do what its offline counterpart does: clip and save encouraging words from others. Similarly to my Lifehack comments. 😉
So, when I feel like I'm not being cared for, I take a quick look at the “praise pile” and remind myself that others have cared for me before, and they will again. And, perhaps most importantly, I care about myself now that I've realized this. This is a process that does not happen overnight. One cannot simply “snap out of it.” As the trite-but-true adage goes, it “takes time.” But, oh, how accurate it is.
Donald Trump, according to How to Get Rich, keeps a box of mementos similar to what I've described. He appears to be very fond of himself.
Give up on something worthwhile
Burdens and loneliness are bedfellows. Some people who want to have a more social life are crushed by the rat race or by their own compounded fears. Dropping what I often refer to as “slop” (waste that isn't necessary for your enjoyment of life) frees you up to take on more meaningful tasks (keep reading!). Less worry means more freedom to pursue interests and self-explore.
Why does this seem so self-evident? That's because it is. However, it is possible that you will only be able to unchain yourself during a period of emotional inner turmoil.
Don't overthink it; it will only make things worse. If you watched the recent Olympics in Beijing, you might have noticed how many top athletes (particularly gymnasts) have such a fluid momentum that you wonder if they're thinking consciously at all. As any great performer knows, and as controversial as the term “muscle memory” may be, repeated practice leads to what is referred to as “second nature,” or a point at which analyzing evolves into intuition based on prior experiences.
When you're feeling particularly stressed or anxious, take advantage of those otherwise-unpleasant moments. Determine what is worth keeping in a flash, especially if you are crying and in a lot of anguish, and visualize yourself as a burning building. What would you take with you if you could rush into yourself and save only a few things to take with you to a new you?
Make a list of them and put it aside until you feel more rational. Then look at it again, and connect your current thoughts with what you were feeling at the time. This can be a powerful truth-revealing exercise that gets you started in the right direction.
Find something new to fight for
I don't mean to be violent when I say “fight.” Rather, I'm referring to a cause that you can champion and advocate for. The “fight” here is adversity versus adversity. Your cause could be a charity that improves the lives of others, or it could be a campaign to save a television show. Notice how these goals necessitate the participation of others — they're inherently social, and even if you don't think about it much (and shouldn't), they'll lead to you interacting with others and feeling less lonely.
Being recognized as a maverick and a leader is not a planned process that must be set up like a goal. Rather, the goals here are more concerned with the natural satisfaction and happiness you will experience.
A couple of examples from my own experiences: when I felt snobs were discouraging newcomers from enjoying electronic music, I spoke out against them, acting as a beacon of light for newcomers. I wrote reviews and guides to make techno music more accessible. The adoration was incredible. In a professional capacity, I've recently connected knowledge resources for the virtual world of Second Life, assisting our community in having happier experiences. I started out as a fan and grew to love what I do (and myself) so much that I eventually got a job with the company.
Growth is similar in that you never know where you'll end up, but you should always be passionate about it and know where you want to go. Even if it isn't a single direction, combining disciplines and skill sets will result in a one-of-a-kind fusion that no one else has, which is a compelling reason to embrace your individuality.
Honor both your similarities and differences
Too many people make the mistake of focusing on what they have in common or how they differ. This is flawed, overly filtered thinking, because success is neither entirely familiar nor entirely alien: it is both. We are all human beings with feelings. As a result, we all have problems, but some of us deal with them more effectively than others. We're all variations on the same theme.
It is good for all humans to be healthy if you are concerned about your body image. But imitating someone else's figure is impossible — as Jocelyn Wildenstein demonstrated with her cat impersonation. You need to do what's right for you (including Jocelyn — if she's happy, that's all that matters), and being inspired by someone isn't the same as cloning them: it's taking your hero's “recipe” and improvising a new mix with it.
Be self-assured about what you truly enjoy
When I mentioned how much I liked Britney Spears' song “Toxic,” I used to get dirty looks. I like the slick music video with the angular strings and slammin' beats. Britney's voice was also not bad. I don't agree with her recent lifestyle choices, but that song was a masterpiece in my opinion!
Many people have “guilty pleasures,” whether they are pop songs or other recreational activities. Why should it be considered guilty if it causes no harm to your health or well-being? Remove the “layers of mindfat” and be sincere. This prepares you to meet other people who share your interests (as opposed to people who don't).
Here's the issue: many of us, even those who are no longer teenagers or in college, are haunted by the specter of “peer pressure.” We're afraid of “not fitting in” if we say anything to the contrary. And, especially if we enjoy something popular, we will be subjected to repeated reminders such as “Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good.”
You don't have to engage in pointless word wars or endless debates about the merits of something. If you believe that a certain other person or group consistently opposes what you care about, and this is regularly depressing you, spend more time with people who do share your appreciation. The Internet is rife with subcultures and microcliques, so even if you're geographically isolated, you can find people with whom you share interests.
We do, in fact, live in a social networking saturation era, so I approve of experimenting with different tools and simply sticking with what you use regularly — doing reveals being, and you may just clown around… But remember, you're all in this together.
Furthermore, some minor threads grow exponentially as more people express their enthusiasm for them, such as how Gaia Online and deviantART have grown from tiny niches to nourish vast anime communities. Investing in your happiness is similar to investing in the stock market: volatile, but with the potential for long-term growth.
Be a little more self-centered
Isn't selfishness always bad? Certainly not! (What's with these broad generalizations?) Some people are prone to giving too much to others while not feeding themselves, so if this describes you, you must make changes. My wife once told me her meat story, which is a delicious, terse tale about feeding yourself and being careful who you give your “meat” (basically yourself) to.
You must first be strong before you can help others. It is true that by giving to others, you may experience a positive feedback loop of joy, but you must begin with something.
Do you ever feel as if your own dreams are being stifled because you are always there to support others? Tell them what you want to do, and if they're good people, they'll come to help you out in-kind.
In the best relationships, love flows both ways.
It is necessary to adapt, evolve, and iterate
A single word, but a powerful one, with concepts like “evolve” and “iterate” intertwined! As a genre fan, I have to mention Doomsday, the monster who killed Superman. If you're unfamiliar with his backstory, he was an alien creature who was repeatedly killed and reincarnated in order to adapt to harsher conditions (and more death). He progressed to the point where he could, well, murder Supes. Less gruesome variations on this theme can be found in Replicators from Stargate SG-1 and Omnidroid from The Incredibles.
For some reason, I can't think of any heroic examples right now, so you'll want to be the polar opposite: emotions come in cycles, and each time you feel unloved, benefit from it. Go deep inside your head and learn why you feel this way, what causes it, and when it is most likely to happen. You will have more control over the cause and effect of your unhappiness if you learn about yourself. Extreme cases necessitate medical attention, but in the vast majority of cases, you have, or will adapt to have, the ability to do something significant.
Create a guide to assist others
We've arrived at the self-referential section! However, sharing one's experiences is beneficial. You can help others if you have a blog or even if you leave a comment on someone else's blog. And they may inform you — I hope so!
That feedback should go in your “praise pile.” You'll need it on a rainy day to remind you of your good deeds.
Never think, “I'm not good enough” or “I don't know enough.” You're good enough because you've dealt with pain. You've been through a lot of pain, so you're well aware of what it's like.
With all of the talk about “believing in yourself,” it's important to remember that this should never be taken in isolation. External forces influence each of us in both positive and negative ways, and our lives are never static. The balance is fluid, with our moods changing throughout the day, if not by the hour. What we choose to expose ourselves to and participate in has a large deterministic effect on our world outlook, especially in an age when more people choose which news they will watch, not because it reports objectively, but because it tells them what they want to hear. (I may go into more detail on this later.)
Writing a guide, even if it's just a few self-confessional paragraphs, provides self-validation as well. Simply “letting it all out” makes you feel better, and as I previously stated, don't waste your time on those who don't appreciate your bravery. Attract those who do.
Finally, it's difficult to “pull yourself out” when you're being kicked like a stray dog. But this is why I shared the above — there have been times when I was convinced that everyone despised me, but then I realized (with increasing strength over the years) that this was just a temporary lie, my fallible emotions playing a nasty trick on me.
I rode through the proverbial storm with a “praise pile” in hand, discovering new things about myself along the way, and repeating that cycle until I arrived where I am today. That's why I'm telling you about it.
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Meeting Parents for the First Time: It's easy to get overawed when meeting parents for the very first time, when in fact you should be really proud of what you have achieved in your life. They are proud of you too, even if it doesn't feel like it when you meet them. Talking with them can be a little bit awkward, especially when you think about the times when you were at this age. Laugh with them when you recall the times you were young. This will definitely break the ice and it will start you off on a great note. There is no need to be nervous, so just relax and enjoy the conversation. Read more.
You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.
No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.