Why Do I Feel Alone Even When I’m with Others?
Just like happiness or stress, loneliness is a complex state of mind. Loneliness can be the product of any number of conditions in your life; how you feel lonely might look different than it does for someone else.
Whatever the cause or the manifestation of your isolated feelings, loneliness is the alarm that rings when your fundamental need of emotional intimacy is not being met. One of the most difficult aspects of experiencing loneliness is feeling hopeless to step back into connectedness. It makes sense that if you don’t know how you first became trapped, you’re unsure how to fight your way back to the surface. The good news is that reaching back out to the people around you is a fight worth fighting, and it’s a fight you can win.
So why might you be feeling alone among others?
You don’t want to burden others with your worries.
If you’re navigating a particularly tricky stretch of terrain in your personal life, you might feel like you’re overloading the people around you by talking about your struggles. Maybe you feel like you’re being selfish by sharing your heavy load. In truth, there are just some things you can’t carry alone. Leaning on the people who love you—and who would likely feel honored to walk beside you—can pull you out of your isolation.
You often find yourself among good friends, rather than great friends.
Having a wide web of friendships can be great—it feels like you always have something to do, and someone to call. Making new friends expands your world, but it doesn’t always act as the best system of emotional support. If you’re feeling alone in a crowded room, it might be time to call an old friend, or to get to know a new friend more deeply. You need to know that you’re truly cared for in your world.
You feel angry and depressed.
Negative and painful feelings like fear, anger, and isolation can come into your life as a package deal, often when you haven’t recognized or dealt with pain in your past. Events and relationships from years ago can affect how you form relationships today. An early rejection or emotionally abusive relationship can make you feel like you need to stay closed off to protect yourself from more hurt.
You want to reach out, but feel nervous or embarrassed.
Maybe you want to stretch your wings and make close friends, but you feel like you fall short whenever you try. Maybe you feel like you just don’t fit in at work or school. Loneliness often appears when you feel bad about yourself. After all, how can you open the doors to others, if you’re uncomfortable with what you might let out?
How can you start breaking free from your shell?
You truly don’t have to feel lonely forever. Since you probably started feeling isolated in the first place because you wanted to avoid the pain of opening up, breaking free of isolation can be tough. Taking small steps makes the journey easier—try reaching out to people you trust, and treating yourself with compassion, as you move forward. No matter what’s going on in your life, there are people out there who can and want to help.
Are you ready to break free from Loneliness?
Read more about Healing Yourself.
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