Myth busting loneliness – part one

Being lonely is not a character flaw

Man standing alone by a lake

I’ve spoken before about the stigma attached to loneliness. I keep coming back to it because this type of prejudice prevents people getting the support they need to feel connected again.

There is a persistent myth that stops people from saying “I’m lonely. It is a myth that assumes that if you are lonely it is your own fault – something you have done wrong, that you are not trying hard enough, not friendly enough or good enough.

However, feeling lonely is a big part of being human. Loneliness is designed to tell us we’ve become disconnected, that we need to find other humans who we can bond and share with. It is telling us to find our people.

The challenge often comes in finding those who can make us feel connected again. Perhaps this is why any list of tips for banishing loneliness (including ours) mentions volunteering. Doing something to help others has been shown to boost confidence and it gives you a chance to broaden your social circle. You might not meet your people on day one, but you might meet someone who will introduce you to someone else who will be the person you can share confidences with, celebrate successes and have a giggle.

There is no quick, one size fits all way to stop feeling lonely, but if you need a safe space to share with others we will try to help. If you would like to try out one of our Talking Communities drop us an email to info@community-network.org or call us on 020 7923 5250.