Top Concerns

Kick the Loneliness Habit

Loneliness is a belief and feeling that you have no-one to confide in, no-one who will listen, and no-one to hang out with. People who are lonely often tell themselves "there's something wrong with me," or "I'm the only one who feels like this." This type of negative thinking only reinforces lonely behavior such as staying in your room, not saying "Hello," and not trying new things. The ultimate result is continued thoughts, feelings and behaviors of loneliness.

You can kick this loneliness habit and here is how: Resist the urge to isolate and stop jumping to critical conclusions!

Expand your social network; starting new friendships involves you taking a risk and reaching out. Start with people you naturally have things in common with like you live on the same floor or go to the gym at the same time as you. Practice your social skills by making a daily effort to always sit beside someone in lectures and say hello to them. Get involved in sport, music, art, religion or clubs on campus - these are great places to meet people, the sport or activity provides a natural icebreaker to overcome any initial awkwardness.

Not everyone you meet will become your instant "bestie,"if someone isn't interested in making friends with you, don't take it personally, it's not necessarily a judgment about you. See your early attempts to talk to people as just a "practice session." This will make their response less of an issue. You'll be less anxious and more your natural self. And, if you take the risk you may be rewarded by friendship.

Challenge your critical thoughts and perceptions. It is easy to assume everyone else has friends, especially when you see groups of people around school and at social gatherings. Yet we often see only what we are looking for; if you look hard enough you will also see lots of people by themselves just like you. Challenge feeling discouraged, turning a chance encounter into a friendship takes time, and can't be rushed. Be patient, take courage in the friends you had before, if you've done it before you can do it again!