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#FriendsDay and feeling lonely

Today Facebook is running its annual #friendsday, so your feed could be filled with cheesetastic videos.

#friendsdayFriendships are a really important part of our lives, there’s no question. Having close friends greatly increases our sense of wellbeing. Knowing we have support if we need it and having people to share good times with contributes to our happiness and resilience.

Difficulty making friends

Making friends comes easier to some than it does to others. As a young person, your parents, teachers and relatives all probably assume you have tonnes of friends, but that’s not always the case.

We know at ReachOut.com that a lot of young people in Ireland don’t feel like they have lots of friends, or generally find it quite difficult meeting people.

There are people who feel lonely and are unable to connect with those around them. As great as it is, things like social media can make us feel more isolated as it looks like everyone else has big posses of friends, hanging out together all the time.

If you’re feeling lonely…

When you feel like you’re on the outside looking in, there are things to know and remind yourself.

People change

If you’re in school or college and are feeling like you have no friends in your year, remember that may not always be the case. Dynamics change, people change and you may yet have the conversation with the person who just gets you.

Don’t lose heart, there are lot of things that can change your situation.

>>What makes a good friend?

Find your tribe

When you feel you have nothing in common with anyone in your class or year, look beyond it. Join clubs, societies, volunteer, take up a hobby, find a passion. Connect online with groups who share your passions.

It can take a bit of work, but in the long run it will make you a more interesting person. Finding something you enjoy is good for your mental health in so many ways.

>>Read meeting new people for more

Best foot forward

People put the best version of themselves online. It’s well known, but when you’re sitting at home with the dog on a Friday night looking at posts of people at a party you weren’t invited to, that’s of little solace.

It’s upsetting, but we’re not always going to get on with everyone. Don’t undermine your existing relationships, just try to make an effort to develop more if you feel it necessary.

Make a pact with yourself about how you use social media. If you’re sitting in when you’re feeling a bit blue, maybe put the phone down and do something that you enjoy so that you’re not comparing yourself to others.

Work on your self-esteem

Feeling lonely can make us vulnerable and it can chip away at our self-esteem. Make sure to work on that too and along with the tips above, you will find yourself able to develop some really healthy, rewarding relationships.

02/02/2017

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