“Why do I feel so alone? Do I have poor social skills?”
These questions have become so common in the modern world. We live in bustling cities, meet a lot of people online and offline, yet we feel lonely inside. We used to think that poor social skills or refusal to marry were the causes of loneliness. However, loneliness roots on more complicated reasons, and we must address it as a serious problem.
Common Reasons for Loneliness
If you feel lonely, search into your daily life and state of mind. One of these could be the reasons you feel lonely:
Loneliness can be the direct consequence of an isolating environment. You may feel lonely when starting a new life, job, or study in a foreign country. You may live in an isolated or quiet area, without any opportunities to leave. Some conditions, such as being in prison or hospital for a long time, also directly cause loneliness.
· Painful/negative circumstances
Negative or painful circumstances can cause loneliness. Divorce and death are common reasons why someone feels lonely. However, it can also be the departure of dear friends, the death of pets, or neglect by parents.
· Poor social skills
Poor social skills can inhibit someone’s ability to connect with other people, despite wishing to do just that. Social skills are shaped by various factors, like childhood rearing and past experiences. The inability to socialize can lead to loneliness, even if you live in a bustling area.
· Traumatic past
Traumatic experiences in the past can trigger loneliness in the present. They can erode your trust level, trigger anger or hatred, and lower your confidence. These factors can stop you from forming meaningful relationships with others, no matter how hard you wish for them.
· Attitude and personality
Thinking and behaving certain ways can trigger loneliness, directly and indirectly. Negative attitudes can drive people away or cause you to develop wrong conceptions about the world and other people.
Heredity may play some role in how loneliness affects you. Prof. John T. Cacioppo from the University of Chicago stated that heredity can determine how a person responds to loneliness. Some people have better adjustment levels than others when it comes to coping with loneliness.
Mental Attitude to Avoid Loneliness
Have you ever heard the phrase “lonely in the crowd?” This is a common problem among people who live in busy, fast-paced, impersonal cities. On the contrary, there are people who feel fulfilled and happy even when they live in a small town or quiet village.
External factors may increase loneliness, but the state of your mind determines the severity of the effect. Having the right attitude can help you going through lonely periods or making connections. The mental attitudes include:
· Having empathy
Empathy encourages you to find your humanity. Having empathy helps you to think in a less selfish way. When you are being selfish, you become frustrated easily, especially when things don’t happen according to your way. Empathy connects you with your humanity and reduces self-pity. This positivity will help you feel less alone.
· Practicing mindfulness
Mindfulness means you acknowledge any signs of weakness and negativity and work to fix them by taking care of yourself, without judgment. A mindful person recognizes negative signs but solves them, instead of being swept by the worries, anxieties, and self-judgment.
· Practicing self-compassion
Self-compassion means to avoid being judgmental and harsh toward yourself. Loneliness happens when you feel isolated, inadequate, and unworthy compared to others. With self-compassion, you can cope with all the negative feelings, and take more positive approaches to feel worthy.
Accepting the fact that you need help can also cure loneliness. If the root cause lies in your psychological problem, going to therapy and looking for a support group can be a solution.
Tips to Break Loneliness Pattern
Tired of being lonely? Start breaking the pattern to reduce the negative effects. Recognize the moments when you feel loneliest, and work to break the sadness, frustration, and anxiety that develop from them.
Make a list of people you trust enough in your social circles. If you have family members of relatives, contact the one you trust the most. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call or a simple message to reach out. Make plans to talk or spend more time with them. Having one person you can trust for talking will reduce loneliness effects hugely.
Start thinking about new activities, especially the ones that you must do in social settings. Look for volunteer opportunities around you and dedicate your free time to work with others. Doing positive activities that help certain causes can reduce the effect of loneliness.
Loneliness: Cope and Work on It!
It is hard to avoid the symptoms of loneliness in this modern era. When you start asking “Why do I feel so alone,” it is time to cope and change the way you think or interact. The root of loneliness could bloom from past traumas or experiences. Coping ability and positive attitudes can help to reduce the loneliness effect.