1) Don’t be lonely.
2) Item #1 is in fact sufficient, but let’s keep going because lists=clicks.
3) Bite the bullet and decide what your “hobbies” are. Find groups that take part in them.
4) Identify the one or two people you enjoyed during the aforementioned hobby-wielding group gatherings and stalk them.
5) At least legally stalk them. Add them on Facebook and essentially ask them out on a friend date.
6) Friend date them.
7) Get excited when they start texting you random life details. Level “friend” unlocked.
8) Go to lunch with colleagues who hold the potential of being vaguely interesting when away from a desk.
9) Plan get-togethers to bring “friended” people together.
10) Fail at actually holding get-togethers to bring “friended” people together.
11) Give up on making friends. You are too stressed out/ unhappy/ dark/ annoying for people to be interested in your friendship. Be sad about this.
12) Be mad at all humans.
13) Realize that this is irrational.
14) Try to understand your loneliness and figure out what’s really been bothering you.
15) Get incredibly busy with your life and your plans.
16) Understand that it was never personal. You are, and have been, just fine.
17) Stop feeling lonely.
18) Stop actively seeking friends.
19) End up with a social calendar you can’t keep up with.
20) Ignore steps 2-19.* Keep it simple: don’t be lonely.
* For the purposes of offering you high-quality, evidence-based advice, I personally tested items 2 through 19 so that you don’t have to. My findings suggest that one of the following phenomena are at play in making item #1 so successful:
a) One theory is that loneliness is a viral infection. Other humans can smell the moribund stink of it on you, and as conscientious, harm reductionist citizens, they will take the very appropriate measure of initiating a quarantine. Therefore, not being lonely will protect against a quarantine and thus facilitate friendship. The vaccine against loneliness is in development, with Facebook leading global efforts. FDA approval is pending the removal of side effects such as Facebook depression and cell phone addiction.
b) Another theory is that loneliness is an addictive drug that changes neural pathways, leads to obsessive behaviour and enhances paranoia. Those addicted will suffer from seeking comfort in their victimization and developing misanthropic tendencies. As a result, they will alienate themselves from society in order to maintain access to their drug of choice.
In conclusion, don’t seek friendship when you feel like you need it most. Instead, figure yourself out, wash off the Lonely, put on some Happiness foundation, dust yourself with Pleasantries blush, and plump your smile with Good Times lipstick.
Your friends await you.