We all feel lonely from time to time. Feelings of loneliness are personal, so everyone’s experience of loneliness will be different.
Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact. Social isolation is a lack of social connections.
Social isolation can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated.
Loneliness is a built-in feature of a complex existence. High loneliness is part of being a sensitive, intelligent human.
We face a choice between honesty and acceptability and understanding.
You may choose to be alone and live happily with brief contact with other people, while others may find this a lonely experience.
For many of us, the idea of being lonely can be terrifying. We long for community and connection, and we often find ourselves willing to compromise our core values in order to feel less lonely.
But while this false sense of community may offer temporary relief from our feelings of isolation, it comes at a cost.
At its heart, it is based on dishonesty and manipulation; it involves pandering to the needs and desires of others without ever fully addressing our own genuine desires.
And in the end, it always leaves us feeling more lonely than before.
In contrast, enduring loneliness can be an act of courage and conviction. By embracing solitude and making peace with our own sense of isolation, we can maintain our integrity even when surrounded by those who would seek to undermine it.
We may suffer the sting of loneliness now, but in doing so, we can resist the corrupting influence of the false community, to hold fast to what is truly important and valuable in life.
So while loneliness may not always be easy or desirable, it is always better than compromising with a false community.
One thing I’ve learned is the difference between feeling alone and feeling lonely – and how you can feel lonely in a crowd full of people, but quite peaceful and content when alone.
And loneliness can be a mental health issue. It often coincides with other mental health problems, like depression and anxiety.
When you’re feeling lonely, it’s easy to convince yourself that no one cares about you or that you’re not worth socializing with.
This can lead to a spiral of negative thoughts and feelings, which can be very difficult to break out of.
However, there are things you can do to combat loneliness. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling can be an enormous help, whether it’s a friend, family member, therapist, or hotline.
Joining groups or activities that interest you is also a great way to meet new people and combat those feelings of loneliness.
It might seem daunting at first, but taking those first steps can make all the difference.
But loneliness also can give you character. It makes you more capable of true intimacy if ever better opportunities do come along.
It heightens the conversations we have with ourselves and it gives you character.
We don’t repeat what everyone else thinks. We develop a point of view.
Someone might isolate us for now, but we’ll be capable of far closer, more interesting bonds with anyone we do eventually locate.
When we admit our loneliness, we are signing up to enter a place where we can find ourselves in brilliant company, regardless.
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Reach out to Nancy…