Do you ever feel lonely? Before you curl up in a ball of despair thinking that you’re just a terrible/boring/strange person that no-one will ever want to spend time with, consider the following:
1. Make friends with inanimate objects
Who said friends have to be human beings? Who said they have to be alive at all? With a bit of imagination you can enjoy a sufficiently fulfilling social life with pieces of furniture, your car, the bits and bobs on your mantelpiece, or even a bloodstained volleyball called Wilson. All you have to do is fill the gaps in the conversation with something an inanimate object might reasonably be expected to say. In many ways this is much better than talking to another human because you can 94% guarantee the inanimate object is not going to say something to make you feel stupid, or cross.
2. Prank call solicitors
Like having a good old chinwag on the phone? Prank calling isn’t just for bored teenagers. In fact scientific studies probably suggest that prank calling can significantly improve the wellbeing of lonely adults by simulating social interaction without requiring the adult to leave the house or be polite. Solicitors are excellent prank call candidates because they are paid a lot of money, generally rub people up the wrong way, consider their time to be a lot more valuable than yours, and there are lots of them to call, setting you up for a good few weekends of fun. Pretend you are going through a divorce and insist on talking through the minutiae of your relationship breakdown, starting from that time in 2010 when your partner didn’t wash up their cereal bowl for 5 days, until the solicitor hangs up.
3. Get a pet
This is a no-brainer. Become the guardian of an animal and you’ll never be alone again, until they die a few years down the line. Animals may in fact be better company than inanimate objects. Not only do they actually interact with you, but they are also quite cute and sometimes might even like you back (scorpions and cats excluded). Dogs in particular make good companions because they like to get out and about. No-one’s going to think you’re a lonely old weirdo when you say you’re going to the Lake District with your labrador. In fact they might even be a bit jealous. You’ll be able to start an Instagram account for your labrador and people will no doubt envy the quirky adventures you pretend to have together. Going on a walking holiday alone without a dog will – whether you like it or not, make people wonder if you are perhaps a serial killer or at least into some weird sexual fetish. Of course, you don’t have to give two hoots, barks, meows, or hisses about what people think.
4. Catfish people on dating apps
Don’t complain that you’re lonely until you’ve at least tried posing as a minor celebrity on Tinder. This way you’ll be able have some really nice conversations with probably some quite attractive people, without even having to be your terrible, awkward, disappointing self.
5. Pretend you’re either:
- An introvert
- A writer
- An artist
All of these things make it much more acceptable to be alone for long periods of time. People will assume you’re hiding away on purpose to recharge your batteries, or they’ll think you’re busy expressing your inner anguish in some exciting creative way, rather than – say, lying on your carpet staring at a crack in the ceiling that looks like an owl for three hours.
6. Become an alcoholic
Becoming an alcoholic opens up a world of social opportunities. Not only will you be able to join groups of like-minded people, but you’ll also no doubt be in the pub a lot, which is a great place to meet other alcohol-enthusiasts.
Having a baby generates similar results, except instead of the AA it’ll be antenatal classes and probably not the pub so you may wish to consider the first option.
Silliness aside, loneliness really is a big problem for millions of adults across the world. There are lots of different reasons for it – relationship breakdowns, anxiety, ill-health, modern habits keeping everyone inside glued to their screens, it could be that you’ve reached the age where all your friends are coupled up and no-one wants to go dancing with you anymore. I think the first thing to realise is that it’s okay to be on your own. It’s okay to feel lonely. It doesn’t mean that nobody likes you, or ever will like you. Embrace it, accept it, laugh at it if you can.
Practising yoga (see, this is a relevant post, ish) can really help you feel comfortable in your own body. If you’re feeling lonely and it’s upsetting you, take a moment to lie down somewhere. Relax your muscles, unclench your jaw, take some long, deep breaths and just think about the things you can sense around you. Focus on your body, the carpet (the crack in the ceiling that looks like an owl). If it helps, stick a guided meditation on YouTube. Being at peace with yourself is the first step towards combating loneliness. Once you’ve done that, you can think of practical things like starting a hobby, being brave and asking the person who smiled at you in the gym if they want to go for a jog with you, or enjoy a cheesy Rockyesque workout montage together.
We probably all feel a bit lonely every once in a while. So in that respect, you’re not alone. Anyway. Good luck with the prank calls.