I struggle with loneliness and recently heard a pastor speak about how it stems from being too self-centered and stuff like that. While I do agree, I think for me my loneliness comes from not being able to connect or “click” with others. It’s caused me to be very insecure in social settings because I feel the need to be funny/loud/impress others to be accepted..but that’s just not who i am. Do I just lack social skills? & does this tie into placing my confidence in Him? What does that even mean?
So I don’t mean to be one of those pastors that disses another pastor: but just, I mean come on man.
Loneliness is NOT your dang fault.
Loneliness is NOT a sin.
Loneliness does not somehow mean that you’re doing things wrong with God.
I suppose I could blame you for the weather or the axis of the earth or the phases of the moon — but that would make too much sense. As in, none.
I understand what some Christians are saying here: that within loneliness or depression or anxiety, we can become selfish if we cope by hurting ourselves or hurting others. But it’s almost never your choice, and even saying that still doesn’t even help you. It’s not a solution to just describe the water you’re drowning in.
The major thing is not to feel bad about feeling lonely. It happens to all of us. Loneliness is like a fog that squeezes our vision until we no longer see the hope of companionship. Very often it’s a lie that isn’t held up by reality. Of course there are times when we are alone, rejected, abandoned, or left behind. It’s natural to feel lonely then — but there’s still no point to beat yourself up over it.
The cure to any kind of loneliness isn’t just to “fit in” and conform. Trying to fake your own personality to gain friends will only increase the loneliness inside, because you’ll be burdened by knowing you’re not really yourself around others. That’s why people with tons of “friends” at a party can be the loneliest people of all.
Do you know what God probably wants?
He wants you to be you.
I know that sounds obvious, like those pseudo-intellectual coming-of-age indie films with the hipster soundtrack and color-coded themes.
But God really does want you to be more human, and not less.
He made you a certain way to breathe a certain personality into existence that was not there before. Seriously.
Part of trusting God is trusting how He has made you uniquely you.
If you’re an awkward introverted gangly indoors sort of person, then you don’t need to fake “social skills.” Everyone can tell if you’re trying really hard. So be okay with the awkwardness. It’s much better to be awkward than to correct yourself with all kinds of self-punishing pressure.
Confidence is found when you receive peace about how God has made you. Confidence, perhaps ironically, is found when you quit worrying about confidence. As long as being an introvert is not an excuse to be antisocial and mopey, then praise God and be silly.
You’ll find that when you grow more comfortable with yourself, then even when you have less friends you’ll be less lonely anyway. At this point in my own life, I have less friends than I’ve ever had — but I am more content with who I am and less lonely because of it.
It doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It just means we don’t feel so desperate trying to be someone that we’re not. And that sort of confidence of non-confidence is actually attractive in itself. So hey: embrace who you are in Christ and let yourself out to play.
“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
— C.S. Lewis