Loneliness After Being Betrayed
9 Steps To Dealing With Betrayal And Getting Over The Hurt
This 5-star rated book can help you get over a betrayal.
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You’re feeling betrayed. Someone you care about, perhaps even love has broken the bonds of trust and done something that cuts deep at your heart.
What do you do? How can you get past this betrayal and heal? Will you ever be able to forgive them for what they have done?
Whether it’s a betrayal by a family member, best friend, partner, or someone else entirely, the steps you might take to get over the hurt caused are roughly the same.
1. Name Your Feelings
Betrayal is an act. The emotions that result from it are what we mean when we say we’re “feeling betrayed.”
In order to start recovering from the act, you must be more specific about the feelings it has given rise to.
Some of the more common ones you might encounter are:
Anger – you’ve been hurt and one of the most natural feelings in such situations is anger. “How dare they?! How could they?! They’ll pay for this!”
Sadness – you might become very low, weepy even when you discover a betrayal. This might be because you feel a sense of loss; a loss of trust, a loss of the person you thought they were, a loss of the happy memories you have of them, a loss of the future you saw with them.
Surprise – yes, you are probably shocked to find out that this person or persons have betrayed you. You might not have had any inkling that this was ly.
Fear – you may worry about the consequences of this betrayal. It might mean major upheaval in your life and these unknowns scare you.
Disgust – you can’t even bear to think about it or them because it makes your stomach churn.
Insecurity – you may question yourself and doubt whether you are worthy of love and care. After all, the person who betrayed you clearly felt you weren’t.
Shame – you may blame yourself and feel ashamed by what has happened and how others may now see and treat you.
Loneliness – this is your betrayal and nobody else’s. “How could they possibly understand?”
Confusion – you may simply not be able to comprehend what’s happened? None of it seems to make any sense to you.
It is an important step to identify what it is you are feeling at any given time. You may feel many or all of these after a betrayal – most ly a few at a time and swinging back and forth as you process them.For instance, surprise and confusion might be the first things you feel, which then give way to anger and disgust or sadness and fear. You may then return to surprise tinged with shame.
There won’t be a clear or uniform progression from one to the other, but rather a turbulent maelstrom of emotion.
2. Resist Retaliating
With some betrayals, you may experience an overwhelming urge to retaliate.
You may be feeling angry about what happened and you may feel they deserve punishment, but rarely is this ever a productive endeavor.
If there’s one way to prolong the hurt and delay the healing process, it’s by plotting and planning your revenge.
Consider the analogy of betrayal as a cut or gash in your bodily flesh. A scab soon forms over the wound, but there is often a desire to prod it and pick at it. It’s itchy, it’s sore, and you feel the need to do something about it.
Yet, you know from experience that the more you touch and pick at a scab, the longer it stays and the more ly it is to leave a scar.
Retaliation is a bit picking a scab: it’ll only uncover the wound once more and cause you further pain. And the more you do it (even the more you think about doing it), the more ly you are to carry that pain with you for the rest of your life.
Resist the temptation to get your own back. The feelings will eventually fade and pass and you’ll be glad you held off from inflicting similar suffering on your betrayer.
3. Take Time Away
When you’ve been betrayed by someone, the best short term solution is to avoid them as much as physically – and electronically – possible.
That means not seeing them, not messaging them, not checking their social media every 5 minutes.
I know y’all love an analogy, so here’s another one for you: think of those feelings we talked about above as being fuelled by a fire. At first, the fire burns strong and the feelings glow white hot in the flames.The most combustible fuel for that fire is contact with the one(s) who betrayed you. Thus, in order for the fire to burn out, you must stop adding fuel to it.
You must take some time away and break ties with that person.
Now, if they try to contact you (and they probably will), you can just tell them in a calm manner that you need some time and space to deal with what they’ve done. Ask them to respect your wishes and leave you be.
Your emotions will eventually begin to fade as the fire becomes mere embers. Now you’ll be in a much better position to think clearly and process the events and decide what to do next.
4. Examine The Betrayal
People do hurtful things for all sorts of reasons and it might help for you to think about how this betrayal came about.
Was it carelessness? Was it caused by weakness? Or was it a deliberate, conscious act?
We all sometimes say or do something in a split second and instantly regret it. A careless act of betrayal such as revealing personal information someone told you in confidence is no doubt hurtful, but it is somewhat forgivable.
It can be easy, when involved in a conversation, to not be 100% focused on the importance of what you’re saying and things really can “slip out” by accident.
Of course, the greater the significance of the information, the less easy it is to believe that your betrayer revealed it by mistake. Some secrets just don’t come out naturally in conversation.
The next level up from a careless betrayal is one that comes about due to someone’s weakness.
Some people find it incredibly difficult to control certain urges, even if they have promised you that they would.Addictions are a good example of this. You may, for example, feel betrayed that a partner or family member has said they will give up drinking, only to find out that they’ve been doing it behind your back and lying to you about it.
Other people may find it almost impossible to keep what you tell them confidential. They just have to talk to someone about it, perhaps as a means of processing their own emotions on the matter.
It still stings when you find out, but perhaps you can have some sympathy.
Then there are betrayals that are plain and simple deliberate acts, either of malice or of heartless indifference.
Perhaps the office gossip overheard you talking about a particularly difficult time in your life, and they proceed to tell anyone who will listen about your private business.
Or maybe your partner cheats on you, a family member belittles you in front of your children, or a business partner reneges on a deal you had agreed.
These acts are taken consciously with little consideration of how you might feel.
Understanding which of these is most true in your case can help you to overcome the negative emotions and move past the incident.
You may also (article continues below):
5. Examine The Relationship
Someone you care about has hurt you, but just how much emotional pain are you in?
It all depends on the closeness of that relationship. After a betrayal, you’ll probably find yourself asking just how much that person means to you.
Betrayal by a friend who you’ve drifted apart from and who you now see no more than once or twice a year is going to feel very different to betrayal by a spouse or parent who is very much a major part of your life.
How much you value the relationship will determine whether you choose to keep that person in your life or ditch them for good (which we’ll talk more about later).
6. Talk To A Third Party
In these situations, it can help to talk through the incident and the feelings you have about it with a trusted confidant.
It can be cathartic to express your emotions outwardly and tell another soul what is going on inside your head and heart right now.
The crucial thing, though, is to talk to someone who is able to remain fairly, though not entirely, neutral.The reason for this is that they will be able to offer honest advice and constructive feedback about your plan for dealing with the situation.
What you don’t want is a yes man or woman who will gee you on as you bitch about your betrayer and add fuel to that fire we spoke about earlier. This may feel good at the time, but it will not help you work through your feelings.
7. Reflect On Things
When the dust has settled a little bit and your feelings are less raw, you might benefit from a period of introspection.
This is a time when you look inward and try to understand the betrayal, the aftermath, and the longer term consequences in your life.
You might want to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, immediately after you were betrayed and consider how you might try to avoid similar situations in future (or act differently if you do encounter one).
To get the most benefit from this, some psychologists suggest that you focus not on asking why-based questions, but what-es instead.
The theory, as summarized nicely in this article, goes that asking why something happened or why you felt or acted in such a way, keeps you trapped in the past, ruminating over events.
It may also instill a victim mentality whereby you focus on what has been done to you and who is to blame for it.
What, on the other hand, is a more proactive question: what am I feeling, what are my options, and what will really matter most 5 years from now?These are all forward thinking questions that can lead you away from the betrayal and toward a place where you can heal and recover.
So reflect, by all means, but try to make it productive reflection that doesn’t dwell too much, but seeks to move on.
8. Speak To The Person Who Betrayed You
This is a big step and one that requires some guts and determination to take. But what do you say to someone who has betrayed you?
Well, when you feel ready, it is worth speaking to them and communicating how their actions made you feel then, and how you still feel about it now.
One crucial tip is to structure what you have to say in a way that focuses on you and not them. This way, you can avoid putting them on the defensive and keep the conversation amicable.
So, start your sentences with “I” and try to stick to the facts. Saying, “I felt shocked and angry when you…” is better than saying, “You betrayed me by…”
Be specific. You should have a handle on all the different emotions that you experienced if you named each one as we advised above; use these words to convey the impact this person’s actions had on you.
Not only that, but be specific about what it was exactly that hurt you the most. Is it that you no longer feel able to trust them, or have their actions caused repercussions in other parts of your life?Put it all together and you might say, as an example, “I felt very ashamed, alone, and scared when you let slip about my pregnancy to our colleagues – it has put me in a difficult position with the boss and I’m worried about my future job security.”
If it helps you to put your thoughts and feelings into words, you might also consider writing a letter to those who have hurt you. You can either give it to them to read, or read it out to them. This is especially useful if you get flustered in situations where you have to confront someone face-to-face.
9. Cut Ties With Repeat Offenders
Whether you choose to forgive a betrayal and maintain the relationship will come down to a lot of things: the severity of it, how much you value the relationship, and the way the betrayal went down (see point 4), among others.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is whether or not this was the first time they have done something this to you – or indeed to other people you may know about.
If someone has hurt you before, or if they have form that you are aware of, you should strongly consider whether keeping this person in your life is best for you (and best for other important people in your life such as children).
Generally speaking, the second strike will put so much more strain on the relationship and your interactions with each other that it is best to call time right then and there.
A third strike or more and you’re straying into the territory of enabling them. Reach this point and they will think they can betray you and get away with it.
When you feel betrayed, it’s not something that can be dealt with too quickly. You need time to process everything that has happened and this will vary depending on the specific events.
At first, you just have to do your best to cope with the storm of emotions inside while maintaining some semblance of a normal life. After all, you still have responsibilities to take care of.
In time, you’ll find you overcome the initial shock and start to heal your emotional wounds. As you recover from the ordeal, you’ll think less and less about it, and the emotions surrounding it will be fade.Eventually, you’ll be able to consign the betrayal to your past… at least for the most part. You may never be able to let go of it entirely, but it will no longer affect your life in any great way.
Heal fully from betrayal by reading this excellent book.
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25 Creative And Surprising Things To Do When You Feel Lonely
Did you know that in Korea, people are recording themselves while having dinner? And people are actually paying to watch these videos! Is this another sign of loneliness creeping up on all of us?
According to a study of more than 170,000 people published at the Psychology Bulletin in 2013, the average adult’s network of friends and colleagues have shrunk over the past 3 decades. It’s no wonder many people feel lonelier than ever.
Feeling lonely, however, is not a direct cause of being alone. It’s possible to feel lonely in a crowd.
Loneliness, in fact, is more dangerous than isolation because it increases a person’s mortality rate, according to John Cacioppo, co-author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Needs for Social Connection.
If it’s so dangerous, how do we fight loneliness then?
Wondering What to Do When You Feel Lonely? Here Are 25 Tried and Tested Tips
1. Just Show Up
Familiarity breeds attraction. A study published at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that same-sex strangers felt increasing affinity towards each other, after each conversation they had.
The same goes for online chat conversations. Don’t be hesitant to talk to people, even if you feel awkward or don’t them at first.
If you’re genuinely interested or curious about others, they’re more ly to reciprocate those feelings.
2. Go On A Solo Date
You know the problem with group and couples dates? The annoying “So what do we do?” and “Where do we eat?” questions. When you go on a date with yourself, you’re sure to go somewhere you actually and you don’t have to wait around for others to decide.
3. Know The Difference Between Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness is an emotion, mostly triggered by a sad memory. Unfortunately the brain loves to overanalyze things, so even momentary loneliness can escalate to longer spells because of thoughts “Why do I feel so alone?” and “Am I a loser no one loves?” When this happens, just acknowledge the feeling and don’t overreact.
4. Attend Meetups
Go to meetup.com and find a group in your city. There are tons of meetup groups catering to every interest, job, city and hobby, so it’s impossible not to find a group to your liking. People who join meetup.com are eager to meet new people, and are incredibly friendly so it’s a nice way to make new friends.
5. Watch A Movie
Watch a movie alone or call some friends to go with you—it doesn’t matter. What’s important is you immerse yourself in an interesting story that’ll erase your gloomy thoughts. Watch a chick-flick, or a super hero movie—anything but a tear jerker, really —and grab lots of candy and popcorn.
Focusing on the needs of others steers your mind away from sad thoughts. It’s impossible to feel lonely when you’re feeding the homeless, reading to kids at an orphanage, or dancing with grandmas at a salsa class. Helping the less fortunate will also fill you with immense gratitude.
7. Adopt A Cute Pet
A furry cat or dog will cheer you up. The playfulness of pets, plus the troubles (and fun) you’ll experience while training them will make you forget about your troubles. Even a goldfish or pretty parrot can do wonders for your mood.
8. Identify The Cause Of Your Loneliness
“What to do when you feel lonely?”
I can’t imagine how many people have Googled that phrase when they felt the pangs of loneliness. Unfortunately, it’s not the best question to ask. Would you ask a doctor for a prescription before they check your symptoms?
Instead of trying things randomly, hoping one solution will do the trick—losing hope and feeling worse when it doesn’t—it’s better to identify the cause of your loneliness first. If you were previously happy in your own company, what could’ve caused you to feel lonely this time?
Do your friends make you feel lonely? Is it your work or surroundings, perhaps? The cause of your loneliness will clue you in on the appropriate solution.
9. Read Fiction
Please don’t pick a Dummies book on how to stop feeling lonely. Reading self-help when you’re feeling miserable will make just you feel worse. Read a good novel instead. Losing yourself in a good story or identifying with a powerful character will boost your confidence and fill you with a sense of adventure.
10. Take A Bath
Where do good ideas come from? In the shower, right? Taking a nice, long, and relaxing bath is a great way to be bask in your alone time, instead of drowning in self-pity. Ladies, prepare a glass of red, chocolates and magazines. Gents, take a bubble bath ala Chandler by taking a manly boat with you!
11. Take A Random Bus, Train or Flight Off to Anywhere
Taking public transportation to a random location forces you to do two things—be in the company of strangers, and change your environment. Doing this will ward off loneliness and cure your wanderlust as well.
12. Dance (Naked)
Sometimes, we feel lonely because we’re actually alone. So take this chance to do the things you can only do when you’re alone, dancing naked or jumping on the bed with your shoes on. Doing crazy stuff alone will give you a good laugh.
13. Go For A Quick Run
Running is scientifically proven to make you happier. Even 30 minutes of walking can instantly lift your mood, according to a 2006 study published at Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
14. Watch Friends
Okay, it’s now obvious that I love this show! I’ve watched it 5x now and it still makes me laugh. Watch “The One with the Unagi” and “The One With the Embryos” if you’re feeling lonely and need a good laugh.
15. Get Coffee
Go to a coffee shop far from your apartment or office. Then order coffee and sit on the bar, or that big table on the center where you can talk to people. Compliment someone on their tie, shoes or bag. Start a conversation. Don’t worry if you’re bad at small talk, because chances are you won’t see that person again.
16. Practice #JOMO
Social media is helpful, but it could be detrimental depending on how you use it. When your default behavior is to keep scrolling on instead of talking to whoever’s with you, or taking a picture of everything you eat instead of just savoring it, then it’s time to experience the joy of missing out (JOMO)—a practice promoted by Randi Zuckerberg. Yes, she’s Mark Zuckerberg’s sister.
17. Make Your Bed
Making your bed in the morning, and doing a quick two-minute wipe down in your kitchen at night, will make you feel better and in control of your life. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, says her research for the book revealed that bed-making is one of the keystone habits of happy people.
18. Look Through Old photos
Prepare some snacks or some tea and canapés ala afternoon high-tea, if you’re feeling fancy. Reminisce the good old days with a friend, your mom or sis. Remembering your crazy antics, and most embarrassing moments caught on camera will fill you with nostalgic memories and drive away loneliness.
19. Get A Camera
Get a camera, then go out and start taking beautiful pictures of things around you. A sunset, a barking dog, or a laughing baby—filling your life with beautiful things can take your mind off of loneliness.
20. Attend Classes For A Fun New Exercise Air Yoga, Pole Dancing, Or Trampoline Jumping
The exact exercise doesn’t matter. The point is to get yourself moving, while trying something new in the supportive environment of a group class.
21. Start A 5-Minute Gratitude Journal
It’s hard to feel down when you know that you have a lot to be thankful for. When you don’t know what to be thankful for, just write what you feel. Sometimes, it can help you identify why you feel lonely in the first place.
22. Watch Inspiring Ted Talks
Ted Talks are inspiring and informative. I don’t know why, but watching a few Ted Talks really help when I feel lonely and helpless. Some of my favorites are: “Connected, but alone?” by Sherry Turkle, and “Success, failure and the drive to keep creating” by Elizabeth Glibert.
23. Plan A holiday
Nothing beats loneliness and overwhelm planning a great holiday vacation. Looking up flights, hotel deals and stuff to do on a random faraway location will boost your spirits and steer your mind off your negative thoughts. You don’t really need to book a trip, sometimes the act of planning for one is enough.
24. Create Something New
Wondering how to not feel lonely, when you actually prefer to be alone? Getting bored is a prerequisite of feeling lonely. And what’s one of the main causes of getting bored? Having nothing to do. So keep yourself occupied! Try a new recipe. Create a scrapbook. Finish that DIY project you’ve been postponing for so long.
25. Do Something Craaazy
Dress up a tourist, and do all the cheesy touristy things in your city. Eat the local delicacy, tour the crowded tourist spots and explore new locations you’ve never heard of.
How Do You Deal With Loneliness?
Do you have other tips on fighting loneliness? Share them with me @CharleyWrites or comment below.
Photo credits: Daniel Thornton, John, Wonderlane
Feeling Alone Status, Messages and Short Quotes About Loneliness
Feeling Alone Status : Most often people fall in great depression during loneliness. Feeling alone is a reason of being isolated from others and when anyone being more self-centered. When some too close betrayed then it’s really create burden and loneliness.
Here we are going to share with you some Best Feeling Alone Status, messages, short quotes and captions about loneliness which will be your company during this kind of situation.
Just scroll down and you will find the best compilation about feeling alone which will help you to express your deep loneliness.
Extremely Feeling Alone Status
Feeling lonely, however, is not a direct cause of being alone. It’s possible to feel lonely in a crowd.
I hate when people say they miss you, but don’t make a effort to speak to you or see you.
I will wait till the day I can forget YOU or the day you realize you can’t forget Me.
Sometimes people have to cry out all their tears, to make room for a heart full of smiles.
I keep telling myself that I don’t miss you, and that I don’t love you, hoping someday I’ll believe it.
Sometimes in life it’s good to be Alone… so that No jackass can hurt you.
No one can ever take away the loneliness you left me with!
Black Friday Bowling’ Because those pins look A LOT those bitches in front of me in line this morning.
Loneliness is the human condition. No one is ever going to fill that space.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.I’m tired of everyone telling me about their special person when I desperately want one of my own.
Watching a romantic movie and getting pissed off about your non-existent love life.
Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody can make it out here alone.
Feeling Alone Video Status
Loneliness is a part of you life. It teaches us that we are not complete in ourselves.
I have taken life on the sad side, and it had helped me to understand many many failures, many utter ruins.
Loneliness is the human condition. No one is ever going to fill that space.
There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.
Touchy Feeling Alone Status
You can’t be lonely if you are in company of the person you’re alone with.
It isn’t the bad memories that make you sad, but the best ones that you can’t bring it back.
Loneliness is a part of you life. It teaches us that we are not complete in ourselves.
Why does it always have to be the one that you love the most hits you the hardest?
One day you’ll find someone who doesn’t care about your past because they want to be your future.
You May : Lonely Statuses and MessagesThe worst feeling is not being lonely. It’s being forgotten by someone you could not forget.
People say never give up, but sometimes giving up is the best option because you realize you’re just wasting your time.
It sucks how some people use you when they need you and then they put you aside you didn’t even matter to them from the beginning.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
I close my eyes, Cover my ears, I’m scared. Pinch my arms and say, It’s just a nightmare.
I hope one day you find someone who makes flowers grow in even the saddest parts of you.
sometimes it’s hard to keep on going, especially if it’s without you.
The most painful memory.. when I walked away and you let me go.
Also Read : Sad StatusI’m tired of everyone telling me about their special person when I desperately want one of my own.
Usually, people think that I’m a strong, happy person but behind my smiles they just don’t know how much I’m in pain and almost broken.I sometimes feel people enjoy me being this way, that they’ve won or are superior to me. Enjoy it then, I hope you’re happy now.
And if you lonely girl I could be your only friend. You got some shit to say I suggest you hold it in.
Short Loneliness Quotes and Sayings
Possessiveness comes when there is fear Of losing A loved One, not Because they don’t trust U.
Life changes in just an instance whether its good or bad you need to embrace the change and make the best of it.
This explains my love for books and my major perfectly…F. Scott Fitzgerald is pure perfection!
I’ve endured the worst times alone. I don’t need anyone. If you’re in my life, it’s because I value you and want you there.
When I feel truly alone, with a sense of being lost, even empty inside, it is then I realize I have unknowingly moved away from God, so I move back.
Whenever you are stressed,eat chocolates,sweets etc, because when stressed is spelled backwards it becomes ‘DESSERTS’.
Standing alone doesn’t mean I am alone. It means I’m strong enough to handle things all by myself.Never let little things such as what you were wearing that one day affect you, because in the longer run looking nice only gets you a inch of the way.
For my girls!! ?? May they ALWAYS feel Your presence but especially when they feel sad or lonely! A Prayer When You Feel Lonely.
I’m tired of getting my hopes up for things that will never happen.
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Sometimes it’s better to just quietly and privately miss someone than to let them know and still be ignored..!
Forgive me for my mistakes, I’m still a kid learning the responsibility of being an adult.
Read More : Alone Status for Whatsapp
Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.
It’s very easy to hurt someone and then say “sorry” but it’s really difficult to get hurt and then say – I m fine.Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
You always say you hate to see me hurt, and you hate to see me cry. So all those times that you hurt me, did you close your eyes?
Feeling Alone Status and Messages
No words to define my status right now!
I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is the end up with people that make you feel all alone !
Don’t trust too much, don’t love too much, don’t care too much because that ‘too much’ will hurt you so much!
A broken relationship would make you feel more lonely than when you were single.
Being SINGLE is a good feeling, no drama, and no heartaches. But, sometimes it gets lonely and you miss that feeling of being taken.
What is the point of you trying to get back in contact with me when you really have no interest or when you feel you cant be honest with me?
Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not mean you are alone.
Sometimes all you ever want is someone to want and need you as much as you want and need them.
It hurts the worst when the person that made you feel so special yesterday, makes you feel so unwanted today.
It must be really sad to not be able to do something you love as the years go by.I’m feeling a little lonely and unloved…I think I will go to the airport and go through a TSA pat down just to get a little action!
Almost every time someone hears my voice they leave, I am feeling it tonight!
Need More : Being Single Status
Why I turn on the TV: 10% to watch shows. 90% to use it as background noise so I feel less lonely while I’m on the Internet.
A thousand words couldn’t bring you back… I know this because I tried, neither could a thousand tears… I know this because I cried, you left behind a broken heart and happy memories too. but I never wanted memories. I only wanted you.
Sometimes when I say – I am okay. I want someone Too look me in the eyes Hug me tight and say – I know you’re not.
The only way is to move on, because if you don’t you’ll be suck where you are.
Dear, we hope that you have find these feeling alone status helpful. Though it’s hard to control thyself during this kind of circumstances but you may try some Inspirational Uplifting Quotes and famous motivational sayings to get relief and strengthen yourself.
Lonely? You’re Not Alone
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You know the feeling. You walk down the street and see happy groups of people talking and laughing together. You go online and see pictures of the fun barbeque your friends had over the weekend.
In today’s world, it can feel everyone’s having fun together — without you. In other words, it’s easy to feel lonely. And if you do, it’s also easy to think that you’re the only person who feels that way. But you’re far from alone. Many people, of all ages and backgrounds, are experiencing loneliness today.
Loneliness is an emotional response to feeling isolated or without companionship. There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. For instance, you could be alone in your apartment and feel perfectly content. Or you could be in the middle of a large party and feel very lonely. It’s all about how you perceive things.
Read on to learn more about loneliness and what you can do about it.
The high numbers of people experiencing loneliness raises the question — why are we so lonely? While we don’t know the answer to that for sure, there are many possible reasons, such as:
- More people are living alone now than before. This reduced companionship at home could affect how people perceive their social lives.
- People are living longer. In 1970, the average American lifespans were 75 years for women and 67 years for men. In 2014, they were 81 years for women and 76 years for men.
- We work differently. When compared to years past, modern Americans focus more on work than on relationships.
- We communicate differently. Electronic communication is now a mainstay in today’s society. This can lead to reduced interpersonal contact.
- We use social media. The use of social media can affect some people negatively. For instance, while it can provide some social benefits to teens, it can also make them less content with their social life. On the other hand, social media can actually help older adults feel more connected with others. It seems the impact of social media on loneliness depends on the person using it.
- Our social groups are changing. A 2009 Pew Research study found that our key social groups are shrinking. With smaller social networks and fewer social contacts, we can have decreased feelings of social connection.
- We may simply know more about loneliness than we have in the past. With increasing studies done on this topic, we may just be realizing the gravity of a problem that’s been around for a long time.
But these are just theories. We need more research to nail down any definitive causes.
It may surprise you that loneliness seems to serve an important purpose. Humans are social animals, and history has shown that we succeed in society when we work together. other social animals, our group networks help us to survive and thrive.
So loneliness could encourage us to join in and interact with others. That could help us succeed. Research has shown that the drive to belong is strong in humans — we long to be part of a group. The negative force of loneliness, when combined with this positive drive to belong, could help us build a strong, successful society.
the Healthline Editorial TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Feeling lonely now and again, as most of us do, may not have much effect on us. However, long-term loneliness can have serious impacts on our health and well-being. Although none of these problems are guaranteed to occur for anyone who’s experiencing chronic loneliness, they do show that loneliness is a real health risk.
A few of the health impacts that researchers have found include:
- Increased blood pressure: Older adults who are lonely have been found more ly to have increased blood pressure.
- Weakened immune system and increased inflammation: Research has shown that loneliness can lead to a weakened immune system, which means you’re at higher risk of disease or infection. It has also shown that loneliness can cause increased inflammation throughout the body. Prolonged inflammation has been linked with health problems such as cancer and complications from kidney disease.
- Increased depression: Loneliness has been shown to increase symptoms of depression in older adults.
- Negative cognitive (mental) effects in older adults: Adults ages 65 years and older experiencing loneliness have been found to have a 20 percent faster cognitive decline than other same-aged adults who aren’t lonely.
- Poor sleep quality: Loneliness may cause you to have lower quality sleep. This means that even if you sleep for an adequate length of time, the poor quality of your sleep can cause problems during the day. This includes feeling lethargic or having less energy.
- Increased risk of death: A review of research found that people with stronger personal relationships are 50 percent less ly to die for any reason than people without these strong relationships.
Loneliness can affect anyone. And most people feel lonely at one time or another in their lives. Although no one group has cornered the market on loneliness, research into loneliness has focused on certain groups of people.
Loneliness in middle-aged and older adults
Much loneliness research has been done on older adults, and for good reason. Loneliness can have severe impacts on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of older adults.
But contrary to what many might assume, older adults seem to experience less loneliness than other age groups.For instance, a 2010 AARP study of adults 45 years and older found that of about 3,000 people studied, a whopping 35 percent described themselves as lonely.
However, when broken down further by age, the same study found that 43 percent of people aged 45 to 49 years were lonely, compared to 25 percent of those aged 70 and older.
Loneliness in teens and young adults
Other studies show that loneliness plagues young people especially. A 2010 study in the UK found that people aged 18 to 34 years were more affected by loneliness than people older than 55 years. Additional research has found that loneliness is common in 80 percent of people aged 18 years and younger.
Teens and other adolescents are at delicate stages in their personal development. They’re still forming their identities, building independence, and fine-tuning their social coping mechanisms.
As a result, they may be more sensitive to social pressures including loneliness.
Researchers are concerned that adolescent loneliness could lead to depression, anxiety, and reduced life satisfaction later in life.
Loneliness by group
Aside from age, many other factors can impact loneliness. This includes physical health. People with chronic diseases can be affected by loneliness, as their condition may set them apart from others. They may be isolated by the care they need, or physical limitations may prevent them from being social. They may also feel set apart from others by the very experience of their disease.
Environmental factors can also affect loneliness. For instance, research has been done on loneliness in veterans, particularly focusing on conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that can increase loneliness. Loneliness has also been explored in immigrants, who can face many social hurdles when joining a new culture or society.
Healthline surveyed 318 people, both visitors to our site and newsletter recipients, to get their take on loneliness. A large majority of those who responded were women (69 percent), and 62 percent of respondents were parents.
Did our survey respondents consider themselves lonely? Overall, we found that life is good for most. The vast majority of people who responded (77 percent) considered themselves less lonely than the rest of the population.
However, that still leaves one in four people who consider themselves to be lonelier than most.
It’s important to note that our survey only included a small pool of people, and thus our results don’t reflect the whole population. A much larger study pool is needed for more accurate results.
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Loneliness can be a painful and even harmful thing to experience. In addition, feeling lonely can actually lead to antisocial behavior, making it harder to connect with others. But that doesn’t mean we can’t escape from loneliness.The remedy to loneliness is increasing meaningful social connections. In other words, building relationships with people we value — relationships that make us feel cared for and understood.
The trick is to make that first move. Here are some helpful suggestions for ways to start.
- Say “yes” to social opportunities. Get out and see your friends or meet new ones, even if you’d rather stay home with a good book.
- Volunteer. Building ties to others through volunteering is a proven way to combat loneliness.
- Take a walk. Getting out in nature has been shown to ease symptoms of depression, which can be a by-product of loneliness.
- Adopt a pet. A dog, a cat, or any little critter can provide companionship that can be surprisingly beneficial. And a dog has an added benefit — it can get you walking outside, where you can meet other dog owners.
- Reach out to others in the same boat. For instance, if you have a chronic illness, join a support group for people with this condition. At the very least, you know you’ll have something in common to talk about! Healthline provides several online resources for people with chronic conditions. You can find links at our loneliness resource page.
- Realize that you’re not really alone. If you’re feeling lonely, it can be easy to beat yourself up about it. Just remember, many other people are lonely too, and nobody has to be! Just take that first step, and you’ll be on your way to finding your next friend.
And for more specific help, check out “How to Deal with Loneliness in Today’s World: Your Options for Support.” In that article, we’ve compiled an extensive list of helpful online resources. These websites can point you in the direction of connecting with real live people in real time. And that’s what we’re all looking for — human connection.