What Do You Do When You’re Lonely?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From São Paulo: What can I do if I have literally no friends and no social life? No one that I can talk to about how I’m feeling and a shoulder to cry on?

What can I do if I have no one to call me at night just to say: “I love you.” No one to hold me and tell me it will be ok. No one to one to cuddle with.

I lost my virginity a while ago with a guy who didn’t even call me the next day. He doesn’t care about me and I just need someone who does. I just feel so alone. What do you do when you’re 20 and lonely?

A: I’m sorry you are feeling so sad and lonely. At 20, you should be enjoying life. It must feel terrible to feel so dejected and alone. You do have my sympathy.

That being said, the only one who can change this situation is you. Sitting in your room and wishing someone would show up to be your friend and love you doesn’t help. To find friends, you have to be willing to get out there and look.

You live in the largest city in Brazil. One website lists 421 different attractions! There are lots of places to go and things to do there. If you’re not in school, start taking some classes. If you aren’t working at a job that puts you in contact with other young people, start thinking about changing your job. In your free time, volunteer at a museum or the zoo or get involved with sports, music, or theater. Start doing things you love to do that involve other people who have the same interests and friendships will follow.

No, it won’t happen instantly. But if you start making a sincere effort to connect with others, you’ll feel better about yourself. And just being more active will give your self-esteem a boost.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Mar 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). What Do You Do When You’re Lonely?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/26/what-do-you-do-when-youre-lonely/