Are you wondering how to deal with loneliness? Everyone feels lonely sometimes. However, it can turn into loneliness. Then we get a feeling of inner emptiness, helplessness, shame, misunderstanding, or fear. Most often, however, loneliness is temporary and we quickly forget about it. But what if this unpleasant condition persists? Then we call it a state of chronic loneliness. So how do you deal with loneliness? If loneliness begins to enter our lives with shoes, sneak into every area of it, and eventually becomes unbearable?
What is loneliness, what are the causes of loneliness, and how to deal with it?
How to fight lonely
Unfortunately, more and more people suffer from chronic loneliness. In psychotherapeutic offices, one of the most discussed topics is about women seeking men – fear of loneliness, a sense of emptiness, and lack of love. What is loneliness really? How to distinguish between chronic and temporary? What are its causes? How to deal with loneliness?
Loneliness or being alone
Pablo Picasso used to say: Nothing can arise without loneliness. This simple truth shows that each of us needs a moment when we are left alone with our thoughts and feelings. Being alone is a time for self-development, self-discovery, creativity, and peace. So we can be alone and not feel lonely.
Solitude is another thing. We may not physically be alone and yet feel very lonely. Then comes the moment to start fighting loneliness. It is not a physical state, but a mental one, always associated with suffering, with a sense of lack of someone we need or the lack of a quality relationship with someone we have. We are then hit by various negative feelings: frustration, a sense of exclusion, misunderstanding, emptiness, and shame.
Specialists distinguish between two types of loneliness: temporary and chronic. What is the former? Temporary loneliness usually causes a certain situation, some life changes, especially those that fall on us like a bolt from the blue. Maybe you had to move. Suddenly you lose all your loved ones and are surrounded by people with whom you have nothing to do with. Or maybe you’ve lost a loved one, a person to whom you were attached, who gave you love and a sense of stability.
When our whole world collapses in one way or another, it is quite understandable that we become lonely. We experience it very intensely then, but it is a temporary situation. It takes time to get used to a new place. It takes time to grieve and adjust to a new situation. Time heals all wounds – the huge void caused by these types of events fades away over time.
It happens, however, that time flows with its own rhythm, and the feeling of lack of closeness and emptiness does not pass. We can then talk about chronic loneliness. As for temporary loneliness, we can safely say that it is something normal and inevitable, and chronic loneliness is so serious that it has a very negative impact on the quality of human life.
What happens to someone who suffers from chronic loneliness? I feel like nobody. He is ashamed of himself and it seems to him that his whole life is one big failure. He hides his desires and feelings in the deepest places – where no one will recognize them. He wants to hide from the whole world, he doesn’t want to see anyone because he is afraid of being rejected. He thinks he can’t build a close relationship with anyone because he’s ugly, weird, and antisocial. He isolates himself even more and thus closes a vicious circle from which he cannot get out.
Chronic loneliness causes enormous stress in a person, which affects the mind and body, causing various ailments and even somatic diseases. People who are chronically lonely often suffer from headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, are more prone to addiction and depression, and live shorter lives.
Causes of loneliness
Loneliness is a very complex phenomenon. It can have many reasons that affect each other. The first, major cause of loneliness lies in infancy. In early childhood, it is important for the child to feel that he can count on the mother, that the most important person is with him all the time – he reacts to crying and guesses his needs.
The child needs to feel important. Unfortunately, there are times when a mother is unable to respond to her child’s needs. This does not always mean that she is a bad mother. Despite the greatest love and desire to care for the baby, he may not be able to mentally or physically respond properly to his needs.
Paradoxically, too close a relationship with parents can also be a source of chronic loneliness. A child who is completely dependent on his parents cannot cope on his own in frustrating situations and even a momentary lack of caregivers causes him fear.
The period of infancy and childhood are obviously not the only causes of chronic loneliness. It can also be triggered by some external situations. It can be caused by, for example, the loss of loved ones or illness. A heartbreak can also lock a man in the clutches of loneliness – a shell that is supposed to protect him from being hurt again. However, it is in early childhood that we acquire certain unconscious mental patterns that have a great influence on how we cope with difficult situations that we face.
Wrong ways to deal with loneliness
People try to cope with loneliness in many ways. Unknowingly, they push her out of their psyche. And this way, we have walking supermen who are self-reliant and don’t need anyone close by. Dreamers walking with their heads in the clouds. Clowns who make a show of themselves. Seducers who change women like gloves. Workaholics who have no time for anyone. Addicts who drown loneliness in a glass. Celebrities for whom popularity is a way of survival.
However, such ways of dealing with loneliness are deceptive and ineffective. When one stops working or has too many side effects, lonely people often choose another method unknowingly.