Psychological Self-Help

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Self-help methods for reducing loneliness: 
There are several helpful books that generally deal with loneliness
(Hojat & Crandall, 1989; Burns, 1985; Beck, 1989; Jampolsky, 1979).
Mental health workers tend to recommend Shahan (1981). Also, see
references at the end of this section and review the section on shyness
in chapter 5. 
Before looking for self-help methods, it is important to get rid of
your attributions that block your attempting constructive changes. If
you are blaming your loneliness on something somewhat
unchangeable, say your height or lack of education or money or some
permanent personality trait, stop using these excuses and focus on the
things you can and are willing to change. If you are blaming the other
person, say their lack of interest or time, or the situation, find things
that you can do to meet people, such as working on your shyness,
learning where and how to meet more people, learning to be a better
conversationalist and how to help others with their troubles, etc. You
have to get over this stumbling block of hopelessness before you can
optimistically attack the loneliness. Now, look for methods that appeal
to you. 
Level I (behavior): get active in pleasurable social activities
(Lewinsohn, et al., 1986), increase your competency at work, school,
and in other activities--able people have more to give others. If you
are aggressive and domineering, see chapter 7 and use several
behavior-change methods in chapter 11. If you are passive, quiet, and
unassertive, see chapter 8 and take assertiveness training (method #3
in chapter 13). 
Level II (emotions): reduce shyness and fears of interacting
(see chapters 5 and 12), reduce hopelessness and depression (this
chapter and 12), handle resentment of previous lovers (chapter 7 and
12) and dependency (chapter 8 and 13). Lonely men are more critical
of new acquaintances than non-lonely men (rejecting others first?);
you can't judge a person in just a few hours; more tolerance would
help you avoid prejudgment (chapter 7). Chapter 10 might help you
find a new love. 
Every social person must learn to accept rejection, not every
relationship works out and lasts forever, not everyone will like you nor
will you like everyone. Lonely people make two big mistakes in this
process: (a) when socializing they feel they are being evaluated. Thus,
they start to worry about the impression they are making. This makes
them uptight instead of relaxing and being fun to be with. (b) Because
they think they have been evaluated, when someone rejects them it
becomes "proof" that they haven't measured up, that they have failed
and are unattractive or no good. These wrong conclusions must be
corrected. Most people are just wanting to have a good time; they
aren't spending their evening assessing all your strengths and faults so
they can calculate your total worth as a person. Correct this thinking,
get lots of rejections, and use desensitization to reduce the emotional
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