Understanding Loneliness – What, When And How
Loneliness – The Defining Line
Loneliness can be defined on the lines of the discrepancy or the inability to achieve the desired social support. Loneliness is very subjective, and it need not necessarily be seen when we meet or talk to a person. Today, the world that we dwell in has increased loneliness because of concrete social interactions. However, it is also true that loneliness can be driven by the presence of others. It can also be defined as the inability to get the social support that is required by the individual and can differ from person to person.
Being Lonely and Being Alone – Understanding the Difference
Activity: Take some time out from your busy schedule. Go to a favourite spot, or do something that you like (creative, reading, etc.), make sure you do this willingly. Note how you feel. Compare this feeling with the times you were alone. Write down about the two feelings in detail.
By doing the above activity, you will clearly be able to draw a line between the two. To be very specific, NO – being alone and lonely are not the same. Being alone can be positive and lead to self-discovery which is why some people like having their “me time”. People volunteer to dwell in solidity because of the need to be alone. Being lonely can be serious and subjective. Loneliness as described as a feeling that social connections or support are unavailable as per the requirement of the individual. One can be in the middle of 100 people but still, feel no social connection. This can be further explained with an example – demand and supply: the demand for social support can be to a certain level; however, if the supply is mediocre, it can lead to negativity and unpleasant feelings. This is loneliness.
Why are you Lonely – Understanding the Causes:
Internal Factors - Yes, it is all inside you!
Sometimes, even though we are surrounded by people who care for us, we fail to see it. Avoiding social events or even choosing to be in the negative bubble is connected more to the “self”. Lack of low self-esteem or self-worth can drive us to push people further away which can lead to a state of loneliness.
External factors - In the hands of others!
Our environment is filled with good and bad people. This is the beauty of the external world we go about in, but it can sometimes be bitter. External factors such as those around us might fail to deliver the social support that we demand. This is very subjective, however. Other external factors can include failed relationships, death, and detachment from a significant person.
Because Loneliness is Contagious!
Yes, research has revealed that loneliness can spread depending on the people we have contact with. It was revealed that being in the company of lonely people can make you lonely too. It is important to help such people, but so is looking out for yourself!
What happens when loneliness strikes? A glance at its effects.
Loneliness is something none of us can escape, however, long term feelings of loneliness can be harmful to a grave extent.
It has been seen that the leading causes of chronic cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s are loneliness. It is said that feelings of loneliness attack the brain cells responsible for Alzheimer’s in people and can be very physically and mentally damaging. Other physical factors such as inflammation in the body can be caused due to being lonely. However, these effects can be considered as extreme.
Strong social support is one of the excellent measures to help people come out of depression and other psychological disorders. It has been proven that having quality social support can reduce stress and anxiety. On the other hand, loneliness can cause overall unhappiness and can be one of the causes of depression according to research.
Asking questions to the person in concern will allow them to understand that they are being heard and understood. They will also feel a sense of comfort that you are trying to go in depth with their issue and doing everything you can to help them. Asking to- the -point yet non-personal questions will give the helper an understanding of the speaker’s perspective while keeping the conversation analytical yet interactive.
It has been seen that loneliness can cause early death among people. Social interactions are important as it counts as one of the survival skills, however, loneliness causes difficulty in interacting with others and can also alter eating habits and other behaviors such as unhealthy sleeping patterns.
Fighting Loneliness: It Is Possible!
Try and get some company:
If you are in college or even working, try talking to your fellow colleagues. When we interact with others it is only then can we get to know how people think and feel about us. It also increases our confidence to approach others while making our observations sharper.
This only means trying to view yourself in a better way. Maintain a good self-image and tell yourself each day that no matter what, you deserve good people around you. By enhancing your self-worth and self-image you will automatically be able to have good self-esteem and approaching people will be easier.
Quality over quantity:
We often see a big group flocking together every time and think to ourselves – they are tight and are always there for each other. We need to get this right – having 100 friends does not justify not being lonely. The quality of people matter, not the number. So, choose companions wisely – the ones who see your strengths, who listen to you, and are present in your good and bad times. So, even if it’s just 1 person, it does not matter as you will never be lonely.
Spend quality time:
Read that again – there might be times where you love spending time with people who do not find you very pleasing. Realize that it is okay to be not liked by everyone, and it is all about perspectives. Instead spend time with people who love and care for you. There is no one better than your family. Spend quality time and try making stronger connections with them.
This is very paradoxical to the whole concept of loneliness. But we need to realize that we do not need people who do not need us. By being around negative people, we will only induce more loneliness within us and that does no good. Instead, try and do something that makes you complete and induces more positivity in you.
Loneliness can be a reaction or even a cause, however, what is in our hands is to improve the way we see ourselves. So, turn your loneliness into your strength and surround yourself with positivity – be it people or the things you do. But before that – begin with yourself!
The following content is for information purposes only. We, in no way claim or assure that using the information can be a substitute for any kind of medical treatment if any. If you are diagnosed with any kind of medical/clinical condition please do not avoid visiting a professional.
ABOUT THE TENDER CURVE:
Our purpose is to spread positivity and motivation by focusing on self-love and self-care. We also work towards reducing the stigma around mental health and by creating mental health awareness through our blogs.
People today have forgotten how to be happy; they have forgotten what it is to be inspired what it to be real & motivated. We all are so busy with our daily lives today that we have forgotten to take time out for ourselves. We are here to remind you that you are special in your own ways. We are here to remind you that it’s okay to not finish a task, or meet deadlines, its ok not to be ok! You deserve to be happy, you deserve to smile, you deserve to be cared and loved.
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