If you ever come across ‘the feeling of being sad and unhappy about being socially isolated then that’s loneliness’. But we all know that there is more to loneliness than just feeling sad and unhappy.
All of us have experienced some degree of abandonment, if only for a short time.This can happen among a crowd of friends or even after making love. Firstly, let me clear that it’s possible that you do not have any peers or social life whatsoever and you are feeling lonely but on the other hand there also exists a case where you may have a lot of friends and might even be the centre of attention in social life but you still feel lonely.
When you are feeling lonely, it is because something has triggered a memory of that feeling, not because you are in fact, isolated and alone. The brain is designed to pay attention to pain and danger, and that includes painful scary feelings; therefore loneliness gets our attention.
When people are going through this feeling they try to interact with other people to fill the void or the emptiness in their heart but they usually seem to be misunderstood by their friends. As a result people start doubting their friendship and ask themselves questions such as “Is he really my friend or just acting?”. In easy words you may call those people your friends but deep down you couldn’t accept them as your friend.
Reasons of loneliness can include:
- Upbringing/Childhood– Upbringing or childhood of a person has a huge effect on his personality. There are cases where parents don’t allow their child to be social and friends as it will disturb their studies thus making the child feel alone, unloved and isolated.
- Loss of someone important– Loss of someone always affects our lives but sometimes the impact is so huge that people cannot overcome it and lose hope.
- Relationship Issues- Sometimes our family members become the cause of our problems. It’s natural for a child to have trust issues if he has seen it with his parents. Due to this, the child will always have difficulty in trusting people surrounding him thus resulting in having a tough time while making good friends.
If we talk about loneliness in brief then people may experience:
- transitional loneliness when they move to a new city or job and there is a disruption in their previously satisfying social network. Such feelings continue until they form new friendships.
- emotional loneliness if they lack an intimate relationship in their lives, such as a very close friend, spouse or partner.
- social loneliness if they lack a friendship network
- chronic loneliness when they have not been able to develop a satisfactory interpersonal network over a period of years. Factors such as shyness, inadequate social skills or a self-defeating attribution style may play a role.
At this point a person needs to recognize the effects of loneliness so he can combat them.
“Being self-aware is the only real starting point for a loneliness cure,” says Dr Vijay Mehtry, consultant psychiatrist, Mindful TMS Neurocare, Bengaluru. There are lots of other ways through which a person can tackle loneliness, like;
- Be Kind to Yourself: Sometimes, when we feel alone we start to blame ourselves for everything. Show some kindness to yourself and remember it will definitely get better. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”- Victor Hugo
- Explore: Nowadays, it’s easier to connect with new people. Empower yourself by getting out and realizing that you don’t need someone else to do things with. You have yourself. Consider going alone to movies and to other places as an opportunity to make new connections.
- Have a Plan: Develop a plan to identify your “trouble times” for loneliness. It might be evenings, weekends, or holidays. Have a plan in advance for these times. You can watch videos or listen to music or take up a hobby. Make sure that what you choose has some social aspect to it. So what’s your plan?
- Talk to a Therapist: Just sharing painful feelings with a therapist and feeling understood can also be helpful in itself. A therapist can help you explore the factors behind your feelings and other issues surrounding your loneliness. Having an experienced person support you through the healing process can make all the difference. Manashta is a good choice to find a therapist.
- Open Up: You might feel that you have plenty of connections, but you don’t feel close to them, or they don’t give you the care and attention you need. In this situation it might help to open up about how you feel to your friends and family.
Loneliness is a state of mind and you are the master of that mind. Talk to your parents about this and if you think they are not able to help you out then seek professional help.
You should never let go of hope, and by that we mean hope of finding the right person. Once someone great said, “we sometimes think that we want to disappear, but all we really want is to be found.” Reach out because loneliness is painful and can confuse you into thinking that you are a loser, an outcast.