It’s not all about you

When nothing seems to be going your way, our elder suggests it’s time to start focusing on others.

Dear EWC:

Hello. So, I’ve been going through a very rough patch lately. The last three months or so have been the worst period of my life so far. I lost both of my best friends, and everyone else I’m even remotely close with.

I’m a very antisocial person, so making and keeping friends is hard for me. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the longer things go on, the worse it gets. I’ve been hoping that things will eventually get better, but time and time again, I’ve been let down. I always see and hear people say ‘it gets better’, so why doesn’t that apply to me? Why is everything going so wrong? When will this rough patch end?

I have no idea what to do, and I feel completely alone. Some advice on what I could do would be greatly appreciated.

M-Sharon replies:

You are not alone in feeling this way. It’s been difficult for everyone. This will not last forever, but it is not over yet.
If you haven’t already, please confide in your family as to how you feel. Look to them for support. I would suggest you see your doctor or health care specialist. Get a good checkup, and tell him or her how you feel.

In the meantime, I suggest you adopt a more positive attitude. Ask yourself how you can help others: food delivery to the poor or elderly, or other volunteer opportunities. Helping others is a great way to improve your outlook, as you will be doing something positive. (Helping your family is a good idea, also). Everyone is struggling. Remember, you are not the only one suffering.
You claim you are anti-social, but you don’t have to be. The secret of making friends is simple. You stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about the other person. It’s scary because you are afraid of being rejected.

So, to get a friend, you must be a friend. That means meeting the other person with a smile (even if it is online). Asking questions (such as: what’s your teacher like, how are your online classes, etc. and truly listening to that person.) Then, you tell the other person a little about yourself.

In other words, you get a conversation going. The critical element is showing a genuine interest in the person. After a while, you’ll discover if you have some common interests. Friendship is built block by block. You can do this.


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