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E M O T I O N S:
lonelyLoneliness

Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been,
Lives in a dream.

Sits by her window wearing the face that she keeps in the jar by the door,
Who is it for?

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?

-John Lennon & Paul McCartney

 


Do you spend more time by yourself than you want to? When you are in a group, do you feel left out, different, invisible, or totally unconnected to the others?

Nobody understands me.

Everyone experiences feelings of loneliness at different times in their lives. If you don't believe it, find someone you trust who seems to get along with everyone. (Maybe an adult who you know very well.) Ask them if they ever feel alienated or misunderstood. If they are being honest, they'll say "Sure!" See? Everyone feels lonely sometimes.

Great! How does that help you?

Alone is different than lonely.

You are a single person. No one is having the same experience of life that you are. You have your own unique thoughts and feelings and memories. You can share things with others, but no one can get inside your head. You are alone in there. Is that a bad, sad, scary thing? Sometimes it feels like it is. Especially as you are getting closer to actually being on your own. You are gradually separating from your family and figuring out lots of things for yourself. Growing up is accepting that part of being human is being alone. It also includes learning to be friends with yourself. Enjoying your own company. Enjoying the freedom of doing what you like to do. When you are friends with yourself you are less likely to feel lonely.

Reaching Out to Others.

Even when we are friends with ourselves we still need connections with other people. Friends understand us in special ways and they make our journey through life more meaningful. If you are feeling lonely and need a friend it is a good idea to join a group or a club. Find one centered around an interest of yours. It could be a soccer club or a chorus or a group that discusses great books or delivers food to sick people or volunteers in child care centers. Guaranteed the people you meet there will have at least one thing in common with you. Remember, reaching out to others is the first step out of your loneliness.

Emotions are waves.

Another part of growing up is the understanding that emotions come and go like waves. Sometimes you will feel intensely lonely or sad or angry. Other times you will feel just as intensely happy, excited, or bored. But whatever you are feeling, it will always pass. And a new feeling will replace it. Remembering that feelings always change is not easy, especially when you feel awful. But now you know it, and you can use it to help you cope with your feelings and get on with your life.

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