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Feeling Lonely
Whether it's all the time or just every once in a while, it's no fun to feel like you're alone. But it's also totally normal, and lots of kids want to know how to take the bite out of the loneliness bug.
Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about Feeling Lonely:

  • GO"I need help! I feel really awkward around teens that I'm not really close to, especially guys. I just get so weird! I don't know what to do with my hands, and I don't know what to say, I don't know what to look at. Can you help me? I'm not really a shy person. In fact, I'm really outgoing with some people. I don't know what to do!"

  • GO"I just moved from China. I know English because I was taught it at my Chinese school, but I don't like my new school. No one is Chinese, and I feel like an outcast. What do I do?"

  • GO"Most of the kids I know think I'm a freak. I think reading is cool, respect the teachers, and I never know what clothes to wear. I don't know when there's a trend going on until it's almost over, and then I don't know when it's winding down. I'm starting middle school next year, and I don't know if there's anyone who shares my interests from the other schools, and I don't know if I should stop being smart. I don't want to, but should I? Please publish this to help all the other nerds out there."

  • GO"I really feel like I don't fit in. I don't wear Aeropostale, Hollister, or American Eagle; I don't like Taylor Swift, David Archuleta, Justin Bieber and other popular artists either. I can enjoy listening to a whole lot of different kinds of musicI do not own a Wii and when people find that out they are shocked and think my family is poor. No we are not poor, we just don't have new stuff. I feel left out and like an alien; I have only a few friends. I just want to be ME but I am worried about getting friends and finding a boyfriend In the future...I need help before I lose all of my self-esteem."

  • GO"See, the thing is, I've got plenty of friends, but occasionally I feel this gnawing despair as though I am totally alone and weird and rotten, and the only reason anyone likes me is because they know nothing about my inner torments and hopeless attractions. Not bad enough to get suicidal, but bad enough to make me cry, especially at night. Since I really feel like I need to pester you about every little thing and have sent you 9000 questions, what's the verdict?"

  • GOI'm a very shy person and have a hard time communicating with my parents. My parents know this, as they constantly try to make a connection with me, but I don't know why I can't talk to them.For instance, I have liked a girl for a LONG time and she likes me as well, but I don't know how to speak to my parents about this topic (girls/girlfriends). The same issue goes with friends (I lost my best friend when he moved away and I have a lot of trouble making friends because of this). How can I talk to my parents about issues like these, or who else can I talk to, because I don't have any "really close" friends/relationships with other family members and I don't like the idea of speaking with counselors. Thanks for the advice.

  • GOI feel really lonely sometimes because I don't have a best friend to talk to and tell all my problems to. So how can I get a best friend??? HELP!!!!

  • GOI am moving to Florida in about two weeks. I am going to be the new girl in a new school. Ive never been the new kid. What do I do?

  • GOLast year I started the third grade at a new school. People here are different than at my old school. They all have a lot of money and don't want to make new friends. What can I do to fit in here?

  • GOI like to study, but I don't feel like going to school sometimes, because I have no close friends in the school.
    I feel lonely. I believe this relates to my language's problem. I'm not a native English-speaker, so I have an accent; sometimes I have trouble expressing myself. I've struggled to improve my English. However, it doesn't seem to change that much. People (students) still don't like to talk to me. By the way, I'm talkative actually. (Therefore, I had a lot of friends when I was in my country.) So, according to my situation, what can I do to get more friends?

  • GOI am not very social and I need to get more friends. But
    I just don't have the courage to do so. How can I be

  • GO"I am feeling very lonely this time of year when school starts. All my friends either have boyfriends or something to do. Please, what should I do?"

  • GOGhada and Leah would like to have more friends but aren't sure how to do it.

  • GO"I feel alone in the world. Like, even though I have a family and I have friends, I still feel like I can't trust anyone. I am just so confused..."

Dear IML,
I am feeling very lonely this time of year when school starts. All my friends either have boyfriends or something to do. Please, what should I do?
--Melanie, 12

An expert responds:
From Faye Terrebonne Arco, M.Ed., Drug Prevention School Safety Specialist, PPS - School Counseling

Hi Melanie,
Sounds like you're in a tough spot. Could you arrange a get-together at your house such as a slumber party, or plan an outing like an afternoon movie? Maybe your friends have missed you as much as you miss them. Time together might be good for all of you. I think that there's room in our lives for all kinds of relationships. Friendship is one of the most important relationships you can have, but it takes effort to maintain. If you don't want to be lonely anymore, try to take the first step, make the first call, and reach out to your friends. Don't get easily discouraged; if this doesn't work out the first time you try, try again.
Good luck, Melanie!

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Melanie,
I totally understand how you feel because I'm stuck in the same situation now! I'm staying at my grandparents' home, away from my sister and my friends and I'm feeling VERY lonely too. (You probably won't believe it, but you know what? My grandparents are so protective that I can't even walk to the library alone!) Anyway, the best thing is to find stuff that you enjoy doing. When I'm lonely, I like to write poems and do some reading. Maybe that's too quiet for you, I don't know. You can try doing some sports too -- if possible, with your family. Or on the weekend, you can spend more time with your family and maybe you'll learn stuff that you didn't know about them. I tried to reach out to my grandma more this summer and I got to hear a lot of interesting stories.
--Joyce, IML Mentor

Dear Melanie,
Now that school is starting, you shouldn't feel lonely. There are so many activities for you to get involved in. Your friends have the right idea. Instead of sitting at home, get active. If you're good at a certain sport, why not try out for your school or neighborhood team? If sports aren't your forte, then try an academic team. Most schools have a math or science club and if they don't, ask a teacher of yours to help get one started. If you still haven't been inspired, try helping out. Help at school with tutoring classmates or help a teacher who might need their chalkboard cleaned. There are so many things for you to do this time of year, especially with school starting. Actually, this is the perfect time for you to make new friends.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor

Dear Melanie,
Do you have a hobby that you enjoy? I grew up as an only child and remember countless times being bored in the house. That's when I started playing an instrument, the piano. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Mozart, but I enjoy playing whenever I'm bored. If you don't enjoy music, you could start writing or drawing. Hey, you never know, you just might have a hidden talent!
--Dexter, IML Mentor

Dear Melanie,
It's hard when your friends have people to be with and you feel a little left out. If your friends with boyfriends are willing, you might ask them if they mind spending a little more time with you without their boyfriends. If they are true friends, they probably won't let a guy stand in the way. Maybe you could also try focusing on your talents. If you like to paint or write, join a club at school to meet new people who also like those things. This will develop your talents and friendships. Good Luck,
--Cyntianna, IML Mentor


Dear IML,
I am feeling so lonely these days. I am trying hard to get a real best friend. All my friends have their own best friend. There are some feelings that we can only share with best friends, not with parents. What should I do to get a real best friend?
--Ghada, 9

Dear IML,
I don't have many friends! I don't like that either.
--Leah, 12

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Ghada and Leah,
It's a wonderful thing to have a best friend. Best friends are great to talk to, have fun with, and share secrets with. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy to make a friend who all of a sudden turns into a best friend. It takes time to build up that kind of a strong friendship. I know that you both are feeling lonely without that one person to call your best friend, but maybe you can focus your loneliness on making new friends. Try reaching out to other girls or boys around you who seem really nice and like the kind of person you want to be friends with. Try making more play dates with kids who seem friendly and fun. The more you hang out with kids your age, the more you will be able to tell which ones you get along with really well. If you really like spending time with them, hopefully it will graduate to a very close friendship. Remember, these things take time, don't expect any results right away. Try not feeling lonely just because you don't have the ONE best friend. You can get rid of that loneliness by hanging out with more friends, but you need to make sure you put in the effort. I wish you the best of luck with this, and I know it will work out okay!
--Jenna , IML Mentor

Dear Ghada & Leah,
I didn't have a really close friend until the sixth grade, so I understand what you are feeling. But not having friends taught me a valuable lesson: "always be yourself." I know you probably hear this all the time, but if you want to be friends with someone, you have to be yourself. Also, friends just don't fall in your lap, so put yourself out there and be sociable, talk to people, be nice and don't judge people by what group they're in, like if they're popular or not. Like people for who they are and they'll do the same to you.
--Elizabeth, IML Mentor

Dear Ghada & Leah,
Friends are people you are lucky to know. Before you can have a best friend, you have to have good acquaintances. Once you've been around somebody for an amount of time, friendship will blossom. To make new friends, you may need to let people know about you. Have your friends or classmates introduce you to some of their friends, introduce yourself to someone you want to get to know better, or join a club and get to know other people. If you still can't make friends, then try asking yourself a couple questions: Do you treat people like you want to be treated? Are you friendly and do you make others feel welcomed when around you? I really wish you the best with this.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor


Dear IML,
My family all has A.D.D. But my brother has it the worst. He is always mean and he puts a lot of stress on my parents. I feel alone in the world. Like, even though I have a family and I have friends, I still feel like I can't trust anyone. I am just so confused. I don't know what's right or wrong anymore. Could u tell me something that could help me?
--Becky, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Becky,
It sounds like things are really stressful right now. It's normal to feel very lost and confused despite having friends and family around who love and care about you. There isn't anything wrong with you at all. I think just about everyone goes through times when they feel lonely, confused, and lost, and everyone handles these situations in different ways. You don't deserve to feel uncomfortable in your own house. If you don't feel close enough talking to your brother about how he's making you feel, try talking to your parents. Tell them how it hurts your feelings a lot, and how much it bothers you. Maybe you can suggest that you guys see a family therapist. It is very common for families to do this. When I was your age, my family and I went to a family therapist about once every two weeks and it was really helpful! You said that your brother was also stressing out your parents a lot, so seeing a therapist wouldn't only be about you. It could benefit everyone. In terms of the other things in life that aren't making you happy, you can try many different things to bring up your mood. Try blasting good music in your room and dancing around in front of the mirror, or writing in a journal. If there's something you really like to do such as singing or dancing, ask your parents to sign you up for a class! There are many things you can do that will help you to get back into the swing of things! I hope you work things out with your family and things get easier, which I'm sure they will! Good Luck with everything!
--Jenna, IML Mentor

Dear Becky,
You should definitely talk to your parents. Tell them that you feel alone and you feel like they give all the attention to your brother. Your parents probably don't even know they're doing it, and they will never know unless you tell them. Don't expect your parents to read your mind. Communicate with them! Maybe you can talk to them about organizing some time when you're just with them. Work with your parents and be flexible, and remember your parents really do care about you and they want to help. You're not alone!
--Elizabeth, IML Mentor

Dear Becky,
I don't think there is anything that you can do to take away the stress your brother puts on your parents. Until your brother learns to control himself or has his A.D.D. managed, your parents are going to focus more on him. If you feel alone even though you have friends, maybe you should join a club. At least at a club you will have different surroundings and may temporarily forget about your problems. Also, you can go to the club and relax. If you still feel confused maybe you can talk with your school counselor. Your counselor might have good advice for you. I hope that it works out.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor


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