February 23, 2020
Before you attended treatment, lonely was your middle name. You felt alone all the time and without friends. But now you know how important having friends can be. And you have gained skills that will help you make friends, create a whole network of friends. From now on, you do not need to be lonely.
In addition to all of the mental health care skills and tools you acquired during treatment, you learned how to communicate more effectively. Being in a group environment, you also learned social skills in real time. These skills should not be forgotten, rather you should use them in your life every day.
Communication is powerful in every aspect of your life. You are learning to speak up, to advocate for yourself, and ask for what you want. This applies to friends especially, because there are people who would lead you back down a road you just got off of, and there are friends who will respect you and support you in our mentally healthy lifestyle. We need to speak up and advocate for those people to be in our lives.
Putting Skills into Action
Knowing that too many people feel loneliness, you can use your new self-confidence to reach out to others and find the friends that you want in your life. Being proactive gives you more choices and you can find people who will be supportive of you and your new health habits.
You can also use your communication skills to be clear with your friends where you stand and what you need as a friend. Good communication will help build great friendships and be the foundation for your network of friends.
Finding New Friends
As you reach out to other people and build your network of new friends, you can figure out the people who you want to be closest to. They will be the ones who make you laugh the hardest, have the most in common with you, and generally make you want to be around them. Those will be your closest friends.
But you can have all kinds of friends. You can find friends who help you study at school, friends who you play sports or music with, friends who go to church with you, friends in your neighborhood, etc. You can find new friends everywhere you go so that you always have people around to make you laugh and cry, and you always have people to support you.
A Network of Friends
Just like you have a support network of adults in your life, you need a support network of friends in your life. These are people who offer emotional support by being there for you and having fun, listening to you when you need them to, hanging out when you would otherwise be lonely, and more.
You need a whole network of friends, friends in all of the different areas of your life. This helps you so there is no need to be lonely again, but also so that you have support throughout all areas of your life. It is up to you to be proactive and seek out the people who you can spend time with in real life, and people who you can text or call when you need a friend or even just want to share good news with. As you build your network, consider that these people may end up being your friends for life.
Reaching Out to Others
Amongst your friends, there will be those who you know you can really trust, and also know that they will be there for you. These are your closest friends, the ones you want to spend the most time with. You especially want to focus on being there for them, too, so that your friendship is reciprocal. These are the go-to friends in your network.
Your other friends will all have places in your network, often based on where they are in your life. For example, if you play a sport, you will have friends that you know primarily as teammates. Much of your time and conversations will be based on the shared experiences of being on a team together, and as you reach out to them, this will be the foundation.
Knowing your boundaries with your friends will help you to reach out to the right friends at the right times and places. For example, you would maybe not reach out to that one friend that you sit next to in that one class and only talk to in that class if you had a major event happen in your family. That friend is more of a friend to make small talk with. You would reach out to your closest friends with big news, positive or negative.
There is truly no more need to be lonely anymore. You can find new friends using your improved self-confidence, and build your network of support to have friends in any situation. You can never have too many friends, so can always be adding friends, too. By using the skills that you learned in treatment, you can be proactive in pushing the loneliness out of your life and surrounding yourself with friends who really want to be there for you. Make loneliness a thing of the past.
Remember the skills you gained at Potomac Programs. For questions call 1-855-809-0409. You can fill your life with friends and make friends to save your life.