How to Cope Without Friends on a Temporary Basis

Three Methods:Occupying YourselfUsing Loneliness for Self-ImprovementFinding New Friends

Whether you are moving to a new town, heading off to college or have grown distant from a group of friends, being alone can be hard. However, being alone doesn't mean you need to be miserable. There are ways to make your time alone more pleasant and to get yourself ready and primed for socialization and new friends.

Method 1
Occupying Yourself

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    Pick up a new hobby. A big part of loneliness is mental and boredom. Stewing in your own thoughts and fixating on how lonely you are can exasperate the problem. Finding a new hobby is a great way to occupy your mind and to stop dwelling on your loneliness and funnel your energy toward something new and exciting. Many hobbies include other people but there are plenty of fun things to do alone. [1]
    • Try getting artsy. Even if you're not naturally artistic, something as simple as doodling or painting can calm your mind and divert your focus from your loneliness.
    • Write. Whether it's a journal or a creative story, writing can be a great way to express your thoughts and to be creative.
    • Take a free online class. With the rise of open online education, many major universities are offering free classes to anyone. Do a simple Internet search for "Massive Open Online Courses" (MOOC) and find something that piques your interest.
    • Read. Reading is a great way to transport yourself to another world that leaves behind anxiety. Grab a book on your shelf you've never read. If you don't have any, run to your local library and grab some free books.
    • Get creative! There are no limits on the fun activities you can do by yourself. You can learn to knit, work on puzzles or get outside to garden or hike.
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    Get in touch with family. If you are feeling really alone, it's always great to lean on family. You won't feel so lonely anymore and you'll be able to talk to or see someone who is familiar with you and cares about you. [2]
    • Technology is great to reduce the feeling of distance. Whoever your closest family members are, ask them to webcam with you so that you can see their face and talk to one another just like you're in the same room.
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    Get out and volunteer. You may not know anyone where you choose to volunteer, but it's a great way to help a cause and get around people. You can volunteer to help animals, teach people how to read, help out at a nursing home, or give your time to a soup kitchen.
    • Search a local newspaper or use the internet to find volunteer options in your area. A lot of shelters for animals or homeless people are constantly using social media and the internet to ask for volunteers. If you can't find anything, call a local animal shelter, library, or nursing home to inquire whether they need help.
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    Get a pet. Buying an animal is a huge commitment and responsibility, but also a great way to ease feeling lonely. Depending on your work and home life, you can choose the best pet for your lifestyle and expectations.

Method 2
Using Loneliness for Self-Improvement

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    Work on your confidence. Being alone doesn't necessarily mean you are lonely and can be a great time for self improvement. You might think that not having friends available means there is something wrong with you. This might also lead to critical thoughts that if you changed you may have more friends. Use being alone as a time to get comfortable in your own skin, with your own thoughts, and to become the best you. [3]
    • Replace negative thoughts with statements of affirmation. For example, replace negative thoughts about yourself with statements like "I am perfectly lovable just how I am."
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    Get healthy and active. Exercise is a great way to occupy your time and also a way to re-focus your energies on making yourself feel and look great. Also, exercising can fire off endorphins in your brain that help fight feelings of despair and loneliness from not having your friends around. [4]
    • You can find a lot of great exercise programs to do right around your home. You can follow a workout video you find online, do push-ups and sit-ups or jog around your neighborhood.
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    Learn a new skill. Time away from friends and alone can be hard, but it can also give you just the time you need to pursue new skills. Take the time you are alone to gain new skills that might help you in your job or career, or just something you've always wanted to learn. [5]
    • Take up basic computer programming using free online courses or using resources from a local library or online.
    • Learn a new language. There are a number of programs available at local libraries and book stores that help people learn new languages. You can use the time your away from friends to learn a new language that might help you in your career or that you plan on using while traveling and exploring the world.
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    Seek out professional help. Sometimes if you are feeling really badly about not having friends around and lonely, it can be a larger problem like depression, anxiety or social anxiety disorders. You can find a therapist that is equipped to handle these problems or a medically licensed professional to deal with biological symptoms. [6]
    • You can make an appointment with a physician who can further evaluate your situation or look online for a good therapist. They may use a variety of techniques like talk therapy, group therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or medicinal approaches that help you break free from depression. These techniques may not help you make more friends but they can certainly help you cope with temporary pangs of loneliness.

Method 3
Finding New Friends

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    Join a gym. A local gym is a great way to meet new friends. You will start to see the same people working out and can strike up a conversation. Most gyms also offer exercise classes like weight lifting, cycling or yoga. If these interest you, you'll meet like minded people and forge new relationships.[7]
    • If your gym doesn't offer classes, look online or in a local newspaper for online where classes may be. There are studios that offer dance, yoga and more to meet new people.
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    Go online. Whether you're looking for friends or a relationship, online sites and services have become a huge source of relationships. You can even stick to message boards and websites if meeting in person is not your thing.
    • Always be careful about who you meet on the Internet and practice caution before meeting anyone in person. Meet them in a public place where there'll be other people around.
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    Use your work or college. If you work around other people, or are attending college, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with others and find friends.
    • At work try to make plans with co-workers after work. If you click, this may become a regular occurrence.
    • Be social in class. Ask questions about the homework or maybe notice you have similar interests. College campuses are great places to meet people.
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    Attend local events. Whether it's a community you've lived in a while or one you are new to, there are lots of social events you can become involved in. If you attend them regularly you should start to see familiar faces and maybe strike up a friendship. [8]
    • Go to art gallery openings, lectures, book readings, music recitals or other community events. You'll get to do something you're interested in but also meet like minded people with similar interests.
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    Get out in your neighborhood. You may take up jogging, regularly walk your dog, or just hi to your neighbor when you get home. These are great ways to meet the people who live near you and these are great potential friends.
    • Be social when you're out. Say hello to people, introduce yourself and you'll soon find yourself striking up friendships.


  • When checking out a specific online community type, you might find it helpful to visit a few different one's at the same time as that way you'll get a better idea as to which one's you are likely to prefer posting regularly on.
  • You might discover that one hobby won't be distracting enough. Alternatively it might be worth considering multiple choices, or a different hobby which is more challenging.


  • If you're socially anxious, or extremely shy, you might find some of these tips unhelpful - but will likely benefit by checking out some alternative articles on WikiHow!

Article Info

Categories: Changing and Losing Friends