Even In A Crowd Of People You Can Be Lonely
If you have a big network of friends and family, you may not need to read this. But then again, you might, because even people with family and friends can feel lonely. Being lonely means being solitary, isolated, sad because you lack friends or company. When we think of loneliness, we usually think of those who live alone. But that’s not always true. Take, for example, a mum or dad at home with small children. They may feel isolated and lack adult company.
Children may feel lonely even when they have loving families. Being bullied, having a hard time at school or at home, can cause a child to feel isolated from others. Some children find it difficult to talk about how they feel. When you help your child to identify their feelings and express them, it can help to break down that sense of being isolated.
Loneliness can come when we have internal struggles, for example with our mental health, or addictions. That can cause us to withdraw from others especially if we think they will judge us. Having any kind of mental illness can be isolating as others may not understand what we are going through.
It’s best not to assume anything about people and loneliness. Someone may seem to be doing OK, have friends and things to do, and yet feel lonely. That’s because loneliness is about perception. If a person believes that they lack social contact, then it’s real for them.
It is not silly or trivial to feel lonely. It can negatively impact our health and wellbeing, and most people will experience loneliness at some point in their lives.
If you are lonely, be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like a good friend would. Take care of you because you matter. And how you feel matters too. You are not a loser because you’re lonely. You are brave for being honest with yourself. You are worthy of friendship and support.
Think about why you feel lonely. Is it because you’ve recently moved here? Is it because your home life makes you isolated? Perhaps you’ve lost your job and miss contact with your workmates. Or maybe you recently lost a partner. Think about what you need and how you can get your needs met in a safe and healthy way.
Try to see your loneliness as a time with a purpose. It can help you become more aware of what you lack and what you want from life. Some of the biggest and best changes in my life have come out of times of being lonely, for example: finding faith, meeting my husband, and changing careers.
Some Strategies For Fighting Loneliness:
- Make a plan
- Do something
- Explore your faith
- Bond with a dog
- Have realistic standards
- Think beyond yourself
- Reach out to a lonely person
- Make time for relationships
- Talk to a trusted friend or relative
- Explore therapy
By Susan Alexander
(Inspirational Writer & Local Resident)