“In order to emerge from our loneliness we have to do several things, all of which involve taking a leap of faith in one form or another.
1. Take initiative. If you’re socially isolated, consider volunteering, doing community service, or an activity you enjoy, as these are good ways to meet people. In addition, try going through your phone and email address books as well as your Facebook and other social media contacts and make a list of people you haven’t seen or spoken to for a while. Don’t psych yourself out and tell yourself they’re not interested. Instead:
2. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Once you’ve compiled your list of friends and acquaintances, reach out to one of them each day. Yes, they might not have been in touch for a while or returned your phone call from two months earlier but give them the benefit of the doubt. Invite them to have coffee, a drink, or even a catch-up on the phone and you’ll be surprised by how many of them will happily make plans—especially if you remember to:
3. Approach people with optimism. It’s perfectly normal to fear rejection, but you have to get yourself in the right frame of mind when you contact people so the vibe you put out is positive and inviting (rather than overly cautious and uninviting). Getting into a positive head-space is also important when you contact people on line. Emoticons can be very useful. “How have you been? :)” is much more appealing than “Haven’t heard from you in two months, wanna get together?”
The bottom line is that you have to recognize your loneliness for what it is—a trap that requires effort, bravery, and a leap of faith to escape. Freedom will be sweet once you do.” Guy Winch, Ph.D