Barbra Streisand sang in her portrayal of Fanny Bryce in Funny Girl? “People who like people are the luckiest people in the world.” Notice she did not sing, “People who are liked by other people are the luckiest people in the world.” Yet that is what many lonely people think. Barbra’s lesson is: You must like people first then they will like you.

There are five realities of loneliness that every lonely person must come to terms with, and there are five actions you can take to overcome it.

The Five Realities of Loneliness

First of all, loneliness is a common experience. Indeed, who has not been lonely at one time or another?

The second reality is that loneliness is not a permanent state. Just because you are lonely today does not mean that you will spend the next decade or two by yourself unless you decide to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.

Third, loneliness is a condition that you can do something about. You cannot change the fact that you are short or tall nor can you change your ethnic heritage, but you can do something about your lonesomeness.

Fourth, sometimes loneliness has value. Solitude can help an individual reflect on their goals, actions, and the direction of their life. With discernment, loneliness can promote personal growth.

Fifth, loneliness is an indicator of unmet needs. Healthy humans have healthy relationships. Extended loneliness suggests you have some vacant places in your life that need filling.

Five Suggestions for Overcoming Loneliness:

What actions should you take when you feel lonely? Here are five suggestions:

1. Identify your unmet needs. Do you need a special friend or would you prefer a larger circle of friends? Perhaps you need to learn the fine art of being alone to think, rest, or reflect. It may be that you need to improve your self-esteem so you feel worthy of having friends. Identify your needs then take action to meet those needs.
2. Take a personal inventory on yourself. Do you have personality quirks that put off people? Are you authentically you? How do you sound when you speak? What kind of words do you use? Are you affirming or critical? Are you pleasant or grumpy? Are you positive or negative? What about the way your dress or groom yourself? Someone once said, “The law of the positive attracts and builds, the law of the negative repels and destroys.”
3. Put yourself in situations or places where you can meet the kind of people you want to meet. Then reach out to others and affirm them, encourage them, or help them. Once you place yourself in these new and interesting situations don’t just show up, get involved.
4. Smile more. Author Dennis Waitley wrote, “A smile is the light in your window that tells others there is a caring, sharing person inside.”
5. Live by the law of the harvest: You reap what you sow. Treat other people the same way you want to be treated. Be a friend first, then you will get a friend or two or three or even more!

Your loneliness is cured when you learn how to be with other people while being your very best and most authentic self.

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© 2014 Ron Ross

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross, author/speaker/publisher. For more from Dr. Ross please visit