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A Dozen Ways To Defeat Lonliness

12 • Offer an extra

12 • Offer an extra ticket to a sporting event or a movie; • Bring your families together for a local art exhibit; • Meet for a morning jog or round of golf; • Go together to a farmers’ market, antique fair or auto exhibit. 10 Turn Loneliness to Your Advantage Just as medieval alchemists hoped to find a way of turning lead into gold, you can become an “emotional” alchemist who can turn the lead of loneliness into the gold of benefit. One woman tells of spending most of her teen years tormented by loneliness. She was able to break the pain of those years by discovering three ways that loneliness became beneficial. “First, loneliness forced me to become best friends with myself. I began to relish long walks in the woods or hours in the library feeding my mind. Secondly, it made me get much, much closer to God as I read scripture, meditated, and prayed about my feelings of loneliness. Thirdly, having spent many years without the company of close friends, I learned to value them highly when I found some.” The lesson: even if loneliness is part of your life, it does

13 not need to be crippling and confining. Make it work for you. Turn it around so that your sadness will become gladness. 11 Apply the “As-If ” Principle Psychologist William James taught this principle when he said: “If you want quality, act as if you already had it.” This means trying to act like a non-lonely person. Greet people with a smile. Adopt a friendly, enthusiastic tone when speaking with individuals. Get on the phone and be in touch with others. Interact with people whenever and wherever you can. Think, speak, act and live like a non-lonely person. Be guided by this wisdom from Shakespeare: “Assume a virtue, if you have it not.” By acting “as if ” you were not a lonely person, you will soon possess the desired quality you are assuming. 12 Remind Yourself “It’s Worth the Effort” While strengthening your social portfolio does take some work and energy, the payoff is a richer, fuller, happier life. Lotte Prager owes her life, and much of the happiness she enjoyed during her 81 years, to friends. It was friends who helped her escape Nazi Germany in 1937 by paying her

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