What you can do
1. Focus on your strengths. (2 Corinthians 11:6) While it’s good to be aware of your flaws, you also have much to offer. Recognizing your assets will give you the confidence you need to break free from a negative self-image and overcome loneliness. Ask yourself, ‘What are my strengths?’ Think of some talents or positive qualities that you possess.
2. Take a genuine interest in others. Start by showing interest in just a few people. “
Simply asking others how they are doing or asking them about their work helps you to get to know them better,” says a youth named Jorge.
Tip: Don’t limit yourself to people of your own age. Some of the warmest friendships recorded in the Bible were between people with considerable age differences, such as Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, and Timothy and Paul. (Ruth 1:16, 17; 1 Samuel 18:1; 1 Corinthians 4:17) Remember, too, that conversation is an interchange, not a monologue. People appreciate good listeners. So if you tend to be shy, remember—you don’t have to carry the whole conversation!
3. Cultivate “
fellow feeling.” (1 Peter 3:8) Even if you don’t agree with another’s view, patiently allow that one to talk. Dwell on points that you agree on. If you feel you must express disagreement on some issue, do so in a mild and tactful way.
Tip: Speak to others the way you would want to be spoken to. Needless bickering or teasing, insulting, or self-righteously condemning others simply alienates them. They will like you a lot more if you “
let your utterance be always with graciousness.”—Colossians 4:6.