“denying you feel lonely makes no more sense than denying you feel hungry”-John Cacioppo
Before I proceed to talk about the various types of loneliness, I’d like to highlight 3 key points:
1. Men are more likely to report feelings of loneliness than women(according to studies in America). So men may need to look into how they can create more meaningful connections
2. There has been an increase in loneliness amongst gen Z
3. being alone does not necessarily mean that you are lonely
so to dive into the types of loneliness:
- Social Loneliness
last week I wrote about (hopefully I did) how if you are surrounded by people yet you feel excluded or like you don’t belong then perhaps you suffer from social loneliness which is one of the types of loneliness
At this point I would like to chip in that I wish we would be more honest with ourselves and dive deep into why we don’t really like the idea of interacting with people
Are you a shy person? Do you feel like you are going to be judged for your thoughts or do you feel like you have nothing worthwhile to share with people?
Take time out to think about these thoughts(might come back to them when we discuss the causes of loneliness)
if at all these thoughts come between you and others(when you are in a group) then perhaps what you experience is social loneliness
2. Emotional Loneliness
If there have been moments when you isolate yourself and then you think about connecting with people. Not just think but you feel a strong need for connection but there are thoughts/beliefs that hold you back. Perhaps what you may be experiencing might be emotional loneliness
this is quite different from the former because in the former there are people around while in the latter there aren’t people immediately around
I feel like the common thoughts/beliefs we have around this type of loneliness is that “humans are hard to deal with”
3. Situational loneliness
if you felt lonely during the pandemic or when you move to a new neighborhood or country or new school. Then likely what you experience is situational loneliness.
This I feel is the simplest experience of loneliness one can have since we know it is because of lack of familiarity unlike the others that are affiliated with subconscious thoughts and beliefs
4. Pervasive Loneliness
the last type of loneliness I would like to write about is mostly when these feelings last for a long time and feels brutal. it is pervasive. Although you chose to be by yourself but the feelings of loneliness may come and go from time to time. I assume this is the type of loneliness that morphs into a mental illness like depression.
I feel it is very important we are aware of even the type of loneliness we often feel so we can know how to address it more easily
Take time out to think for yourself. Which of these loneliness do you feel describes you most?
As usual reach out to a councilor if you ever need or want to feel less alone: 08008002000
To book a therapy session: http://www.calendly.com/swwtherapysessions