The face of loneliness does not always portray itself openly and sometimes it is easy to pass by a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger you may meet during your day and not be aware of them to be lonely. In order to befriend someone who seems lonely you need to be able to detect that loneliness and even more so, to recognize it. Maybe their smile is not genuine, they seem to be in deep thought, or may be tearful at times. You notice and your heart is touched, so what can you do to befriend them? Your first impulse may be to support and comfort them. For some that may be all that is needed to let them know they are not alone in their struggle with loneliness.
Depending on the person and their circumstance, there are things you can do to befriend someone who seems lonely. A personal card that lets them know you are thinking of them along with an invitation to go to lunch or a trip to the museum may brighten their day. Bringing them into your circle of friendship can go a long way in chasing away the emotion of being alone. A little of your time given through a telephone call, a personal visit, or an uplifting book for them to read and then to pass on with their name and a short message of comfort and concern to someone else. Sometimes someone just needs a hug or kind words or even a listening ear so they can talk it out.
Having feelings of being alone does not have an age limit or gender attached. It can happen to anyone at anytime of their life. Feeling that no one cares or that there is no one to turn too can be overwhelming. Compassion and caring is what touches the heart, just make sure it is sincere. If after visiting someone you may know that is suffering with loneliness, you may want to suggest a support group and maybe even offer to take them to the meetings. Encourage them and support them, but most of all listen to them.
It is most important to remember that loneliness can cause a feeling of isolation, people need companionship. That is why it is most important to bring the person that feels lonely into a socialized setting where acceptance and communication helps them to open up and share their feelings. Knowing that your small acts of kindness and caring can change the mood of someone who may be lonely, can in turn make a change in how you view reaching out to those in need. Your time spent in service to , especially to someone who seems lonely, has a far reaching impact on society as a whole. A smile, a touch of the hand, or a hug helps to heal a broken heart or distraught mind.
There are many things that can trigger bouts of loneliness, the loss of a loved one, rejection, a change in lifestyle, or family matters. Most loneliness will be short in duration, but can lead to chronic loneliness if not caught early enough