Why do people feel lonely?

feel lonely

There are many reasons a person might feel lonely. 

For some, it might simply be the contrast between what you have and what you want (or expect). It will depend on where you are – now and in your life in general.  

It is why you can be surrounded by friends and family at a Christmas party and still be lonely.

Lonely, understanding what an emotion is.

Emotion means “move outwards, emotions help us to move. 

Emotion is created through a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: 1. a subjective experience – the situation, 2. a physiological response – your body’s physical reaction, and 3. a behavioral response – happy, sad, or angry.  

An emotion is a set of physiological responses that are triggered by the limbic brain — they are automatic responses, organizing processes that give meaning and indicate how we live, telling us what we need and preparing us for action. 

Our emotional brain is not capable of producing analytical thinking or reasoning, so these quick assessments can be inaccurate or wrong. Just because you feel useless, it does not necessarily mean that you are useless, just because you feel offended, does not mean that the other is an offender.

Finding the root of loneliness

Being lonely has very little to do with being physically surrounded by people — many of us, myself included, used to feel lonely in a crowd. Someone may be in a loving and caring relationship and still feel lonely sometimes. Feeling lonely is frequently a sign that we have to connect with ourselves, especially if we have good friends and a family system.  

Loneliness may also indicate we have outgrown our closest friendships and relationships. We feel isolated, discontented, and left out. We feel a void and want companionship, but until we can honor and understand the root of that void, we will continue experiencing loneliness.

Working with a therapist when you feel lonely 

Therapy can help ease loneliness as you can talk about your feelings with a specialist, someone who can guide you to see the role loneliness has played in your life. Sometimes loneliness can be simply a coping mechanism that protects a deep fear of intimacy or lack of vulnerability.

But loneliness can trigger other feelings too, including worthlessness, hopelessness, and despair. And it can lead to depression. 

A therapist can help you observe the underlying thought pattern and belief system that may be making your loneliness worse, and create sustainable actions that support you, not only experiencing less loneliness but having more tools to prevent it. 

What is crucial is to recognize you are lonely. Not to suppress or push it away. Think of it as GPS that is telling you where to look.  

Remember: being alone is not the same as being lonely, and being lonely can be just a reminder that something’s off about your social environment and that you need to prioritize your happiness.

Find out more about difference of being alone and loneliness

A question to ponder:

How often do you invest time in cultivating quality relationships?


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