So many of us are lonely. Loss of important relationships can lead to feelings of emptiness and depression. The ending of a close emotional relationship(widowhood ,divorce and the breakup of dating relationships), physical separation from family , status changes such as the departure of one's children , retirement, unemployment, reduced satisfaction in the qualitative aspects of one or more relationships, are all associated with loneliness. It is at the core of so many disorders and illnesses. Loneliness begins to disrupt our ability to self regulate our emotions and also our social cognitions. Loneliness can result in a severe depression if no actions were taken to solve this problem.
Another theory holds that loneliness arises from social skill deficits and personality traits that impair the formation and maintenance of social relationships. Social skills research has shown that loneliness is associated with more self-focus, poorer partner attention skills, a lack of self-disclosure to friends, especially among females, and less participation in organized groups, especially among males. Personality research has shown that loneliness is associated with shyness, neuroticism, and depressive symptoms, as well as low self-esteem, pessimism, low conscientiousness, and disagreeableness.
An axiom in the study of human relationships is that we are highly social animals..
A sense of social connectedness is as vital to our survival as food and drink, yet is so taken for granted that only the absence of that sense has been assigned a unique term.Lonely people tend to be more anxious, pessimistic, and fearful of negative evaluation than people who feel good about their social lives, and are therefore more likely to act and relate to others in ways that are anxious, negative, and self-protective, which leads paradoxically to self-defeating behaviors. Loneliness is a more intense f eeling of isolation and emptiness.
It is a feeling of being separated from everyone and experiencing negative emotions as a result. Guardia et al. explained that attachment security is associated with well-being because others are able to satisfy an individual’s innate or basic psychological needs within the context of secure relationships Loneliness is a big reason why many end up in toxic relationships , and knowingly or unknowingly think that their partner will make them feel fulfilled or at least make that annoying loneliness ache go away.. Loneliness or the fear of being alone is ripping people apart.
It is leading many to reach for anything that will maybe make that ache go away or at least dull the pain associated with it. This is one reason many struggle with addictions like alcohol, drugs, food, sex, codependence (relationship addiction), and more.
It is easy to judge alcoholics and drug addicts as people who choose to make bad choices and need to live with the consequences and repercussions. But get to know these people by name, build a decent, human-to-human relationship with them and you’ll find that they are desperately lonely people wanting companionship, love and some sort of validation of their being. They want their uniqueness appreciated.Social rejection is a potent cause of loneliness, and the lonely tend to have a heightened sensitivity to cues of social rejection and acceptance in their environment.
Time also plays a role in constructing negative “realities.” The more time that passed, the more the objective reality succumbed to the “reality” constructed by the lonely individual’s negative social cognition.
“Being lonely isn’t the same as being alone. Lonely people, he’s found, are as likely as anyone to be surrounded by coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family. They’re no less attractive or intelligent or popular.
What sets the lonely apart is a perceived isolation, the sense that their relationships do not meet their social needs. Everyone feels isolated and alone from time to time, but the majority emerge from that unpleasant state. on their own. Loneliness varies from person to person.” (Cacioppo)Many experts say that the profound loneliness stems from unmet needs in childhood. It comes from a dysfunctional family life growing up perhaps where parents did not validate their children, they were neglected, abused, and more. For some reason the child did not get what they needed and did not learn adequate coping skills or self-reliant skills.“
Many lonely people will admit to their loneliness, but do not know how to deal with it. It seems that we are masters of creating misery. We seldom live up to expectations, we are never quite good enough no matter how good we get, and we keep making the same old mistakes. After so many failures, mistakes, and broken dreams we begin to give up on ourselves and on life. Others, angry with themselves, become angry at the world. They become cranky and hostile, taking out their own misery on others.
Like fear, self-hatred is a habit of the mind, an arbitrary way of looking at life and at oneself that leads only to further mistakes, poor performance, and unhappiness. But when you attack yourself, there is no outcome but defeat. You cannot win in a battle against yourself; you only create conflict and suffering. Attacking ourselves is only a habit of the mind, a consequence of the way we learned to see ourselves as we grew up.”
Psychological loneliness is the loneliness that comes from the depths of our being, either from our chemical makeup or from our reactions to past traumas.Have you ever been trapped in a situation where you had nobody to talk to who could respond at your level of intelligence? This can cause strong feelings of loneliness.Loneliness is not the same as depression. Lonely people fear that they will always be lonely; depressed people are sure of it. The lonely feel sad and discouraged; the depressed have numbed out and just don't care any more. The lonely cry a lot; the depressed are "cried out."
“Loneliness is a subjective, negative feeling related to the person’s own experience of deficient social relations. Loneliness is an awful gnawing and plaguing sense of unease and separation from the world, and normally gives rise to ugly feelings of separation, disconnection and alienation which in turns breeds resentment, contempt for others, anger, isolation and dejection. The need for intimate and loving friendships and relationships is all too human. If you are human you have this craving, you can’t choose not to have it.
You can intellectually choose to repress this need or feeling, however it will come back to bite whether you like it or not and effect you consciously or unconsciously if you like it or not. Loneliness and depression doesn’t mean having no friends or outlets . On the contrary, you can be alone and not lonely. Loneliness is not about that at all. That’s a superficial examination that doesn’t correlate with subjective truths and actual facts. Loneliness is an inner subjective experience that’s sometimes hard to define.
All people, at one stage of life or another, would have experienced loneliness; it’s deeply part of the human connection and drives people to reach out and make themselves understood in this world. I believe a lot of human motivation and experience life hinges around being heard, understood and accepted. The experience of loving and being loved is deeply connected with validation and being understood, heard and accepted for who you really are.And remember, and this is crucial, to have a friend is to be a friend. It cuts both ways, and like any relationship requires work, effort, initiative on your part.” “I believe that a life without having somebody to keep you warm at night, to kiss you in the morning and tell you how beautiful you are, isn`t worth living. A lonely life is a wasted one, in my opinion. Love is the essence of life, as many people say, and I think they`re right. When having a relationship, people change. Some of them show their best parts and you can almost feel the beauty of their souls, while others do exactly the opposite. It`s related to the diversity of the world we`re living in.”It’s about sharing your life together, the triumphs and pitfalls together. Ultimately it’s someone who you can share your heart and vulnerabilities with without fear of condemnation, judgement and rejection. It also someone who whom can trust to criticise and speak your mind and heart too.