I watched a programme on loneliness and I thought perhaps I should start a discussion where advice could be given to those who are feeling lonely and I am quite sure there are a lot of people on SFN who are lonely but may not care to admit it (especially if surrounded by family). We have all felt lonely at some time in our lives.
So here goes my tip: How to join a "living" group or class (paid or unpaid) of strangers
Enter room quietly but be polite, see what others are doing e.g. finding a seat, and do the same.
Quietly observe and do any jobs, chores, exercises etc. asked of you directly.
Leave quietly, perhaps saying goodbye to the person closest in the room and/or teacher.
Return promptly for the following get together/lesson/game.
Repeat this method of integration for as long as it takes for OTHERS to realize you are polite, friendly but most importantly RELIABLE - very few people are.
You will then be worth their while befriending and keeping in their group. People are like animals, they are curious, do not like to be intimidated by a stranger but are reliant on others being there.
Result: Either you get really good at what you do e.g. artwork and will have something to occupy your time because you have worked quietly on your own and/or more likely you will have made acquaintances and may even be able to eventually refer to one or two as friends or even find a solemate.