Everybody feels lonely sometimes, and it's a really sad feeling that can be hard to shake.
Maybe your best friend moved away or you’ve moved to a new school, and sometimes we can even feel lonely when we’re not actually alone. This might be because we feel as though we have no real friends, feel unwelcome, left out, or just that no one 'gets us'.
People often feel lonely when they:
- feel shy and find it hard to make friends
- feel like they don’t fit in
- feel like other people don’t like them
- are being treated badly or bullied by someone
- have a disability or illness
- have lost someone they were close to
- don’t get on with their family, or don’t see them very often
How can you stop feeling so lonely?
- Talk about it – Talking about how you feel to someone you trust will help you feel less alone and get the support you need. It can also help you work out why you feel lonely – sharing your thoughts and feelings with a caring adult that you trust can help you feel a lot better. If you’re not sure who to talk to, give us a call at 0800 What’s Up.
- Write letters, email or Skype family and far-away friends – This is a really good way to feel connected to others, and share your thoughts and feelings, even when the person lives far away from you.
- Do fun things! – Use your free time or time alone to focus on the things you like to do, like hobbies and interests. You could learn a new skill, like playing guitar, juggling or yoyo, make a home movie, learn how to bake yummy cookies, or cook dinner for someone, sew yourself a cool outfit, start a vege garden, whatever you like! When you feel confident, you could teach others and show off your skills, and one day you might make friends with others who have the same hobbies.
- Spend time with animals – Sometimes pets make the best company, and caring for your pets can help you get through tough times.
- Visit your grandparents or other family/whānau – Connecting with family you don’t see often can help you feel less alone.
- Be kind to yourself and try not to worry too much – As hard as it may seem, try not to worry about being lonely – everyone is lonely at different times in their lives, and it doesn’t mean that you will feel this way forever. It might take time, but with some effort, one day you should feel better and will find people you connect with.
- Make some friends, one at a time – You can start by saying 'hi' to a person at school, or one of your neighbours. The next day, or when you feel ready, you could start a conversation. Then you could work towards inviting that person over to watch a DVD, play video games, or do something fun with you (but remember to ask your mum, dad, or caregiver first).
- Think more about others and ask people questions – Ask people what they’re into and show an interest in getting to know them. This is often a tough thing to do, but showing interest in other people will help you make friends, and take your thoughts off your loneliness.
- Help out or get involved – Look for areas where you could help an individual or a group after school, or during other free time. By helping others, you’ll keep busy, take your mind off yourself and feel good too – plus, by being with others, you’re in a good place to make friends.