Too much loneliness is bad for you

Loneliness: 9 Tips On How To Overcome It

Quite a few people suffer from it lonliness. There is a lack of social contacts, you feel empty, unloved, abandoned inside. Just lonely. With loneliness, joie de vivre, satisfaction and drive are lost at the same time. We humans are social beings and need relationships. If there is a lack of community and togetherness, this creates enormous problems for the psyche. Even more: the feeling of loneliness is contagious. It makes people around us feel more lonely too. Loneliness should not be equated or confused with being alone. What makes loneliness, what different forms and phases there are and how you can overcome the feeling of loneliness ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: Being alone does not mean loneliness

On the subject lonliness the image of withdrawn people easily emerges in the head, of loners who remain completely isolated. Solitude as complete seclusion without social contact. This is certainly a form of solitude, but by no means the only one. Loneliness can complex be.

For example, loneliness and To be alone anything but synonyms or identical in content. Many people can very well be alone without feeling even a tiny bit lonely.

Also applies: loneliness is not an inevitable consequence of being alone for a long time. Those who are alone may only need a social break, the seclusion and appreciate the peace and quiet and gather strength by concentrating entirely on themselves and their thoughts.

Loneliness, on the other hand, is the negative emotion when someone is abandoned, isolated, marginalized and alone feels. However, loneliness does not necessarily mean that someone is really alone. Many people feel very lonely despite or especially in the midst of people and social contacts.

You can even in the direct presence of colleagues or acquaintances Feelings and thoughts of loneliness rise in one. Those affected then have the feeling of loneliness eat them up from the inside. You feel cut off from life or abandoned.

Thoughts such as:

  • Nobody talks to me.
  • I am never invited to dinner.
  • The others don't like me.
  • I'm not really one of them.
  • I don't deserve to be part of the group.

Reasons for loneliness

According to one study, four out of five participants feel lonely. Of the more than 1000 participants, 12 percent said they often or constantly felt lonely and abandoned. Still 32 percent of those surveyed said that sometimes they feel lonely.

Many people are also afraid of being im Lonely age. Unfortunately, this fear is not entirely unfounded. In studies and surveys, researchers have been able to identify different phases in life when people feel particularly lonely - and old age is one of them.

Anyone who loses family, friends, partner or companions, which unfortunately becomes more likely with increasing age, can turn into a real one Hole of isolation and loneliness fall. The best way to counter this is to act early and take countermeasures.

Another phase of particularly great loneliness is shortly before the age of 30, which can possibly be explained by the fact that for many this is a Time of change is. Studies or training have been completed, there may be a job change, including moving to another city. Such changes can cause loneliness because the previous comfort zone is left.

The final high phase of loneliness is to midlife around the 50th birthday, the typical time for a veritable midlife crisis.

The 3 typical phases of loneliness

There is currently a lot of evidence in science that loneliness is triggered and intensified by certain (wrong) thoughts. The causes are mainly in the thinking of those affected.

So loneliness does not allow itself external factors like mooring in the absence of friends. The problem usually lies deeper and arises from an attitude and attitude that is promoted by a lack of self-confidence and a lack of self-esteem.

For example, you believe ...

  • not adorable to be.
  • anyway declined to become.
  • no Friends to have.
  • nowhere associated to be.
  • to others unattractive or seem boring.
  • one partner to need to be happy.

The more Doubt and negative thoughts occur, the greater the loneliness and the worse the effects.

But everyone can feel lonely, isolated, unlovable or excluded from the environment. In fact, almost everyone goes through a period of loneliness from time to time. However, a distinction should always be made in order to what kind of loneliness it is about.

Scientists differentiate between three basic categories, the three phases of loneliness:

1st phase: The short-term loneliness

That first phase of loneliness often follows a change in life. Larger changes can also be a stronger trigger. Many people experience such temporary loneliness after moving, for example, when they don't really feel at home yet. Or after losing your job, when you are torn from a familiar environment and routine.

As the name suggests, however, this feeling of loneliness subsides in most of them after a relatively short time again. For example, when they have settled in and found a solution for the (isolating) circumstances. In this phase, those affected feel lonely, but they do not suffer from it.

2nd phase: the beginning of isolation

If the acclimatization does not work out or if new relationships remain, the second phase can emerge. The feeling of loneliness remains and begins to affect life and everyday life: those affected withdraw further and further, miss love and security, but still let contacts fall asleep and spend more and more time alone. This creeping path into loneliness can even mean that at some point those affected no longer feel comfortable in the presence of friends or colleagues.

This phase can last for some time and usually begins unnoticed. The further the retreat into solitude, the more more often others perceive the behavior as dismissivewhich makes the process even worse.

3rd phase: the constant loneliness

In the third phase, loneliness becomes chronic and isolation becomes permanent. Now the loneliness becomes great for those affected burden and is associated with psychological pressure and unhappiness.

The vicious circle of chronic loneliness consists in the lonely withdrawing even further until they are completely excluded from social life. After all, you no longer trust yourself to deal with others. Self-confidence continues to decline, while self-doubts grow and persuade those affected that others no longer want to be in contact with you.



You will notice: You don't get lonely all at once. Rather, loneliness is a creeping processthat can expand over a long period of time. If the emergence is recognized early on, then something can be done all the better. Ideally, this happens before the start of the second phase. So before the feeling can get stuck in the long term and start a downward spiral.

Psychology: does loneliness make you sick?

There are voices in psychology that suggest that loneliness is not just an uncomfortable feeling, it is severe consequences entail. Less serious representatives even claim that loneliness is an illness or even leads to death.

On closer inspection, many of these statements cannot be maintained. Neither the examined criteria nor the definitions fit: loneliness rather fits Symptom of a possible mental illness like depression, but by no means an independent disease.

It is difficult to draw conclusions about the health of lonely people from such different approaches - especially since, as mentioned, some people, for example highly sensitive people, are sometimes quite conscious and self-determined looking for solitude.

It's not, of course, that loneliness doesn't have any effects. Studies come to the following results:

  • Loneliness is "contagious"

    This is the conclusion of an American study conducted by the head of the study and psychologist from the University of Chicago, John Cacioppo: The more lonely someone feels, the more suspicious they react to their environment, make fewer friends and withdraw from existing acquaintances. This leads to the fact that friendship finally falls asleep - so not only the lonely, but also the other person has one friend less.

    But: The decisive factor for this effect is less the feeling of loneliness and more the behavior from the people psychological conditions out. And when someone feels lonely is a matter of personality type.

  • Loneliness favors isolation

    Cacioppo also dealt with the question of why lonely people slide into isolation particularly quickly and get to the edge of society. His explanation: Loneliness can be demonstrated in the activities of the brain - and it changes the way we think and act.

    In lonely people, for example, the areas of the brain that are responsible for threats and dangers are particularly active. Cacioppo assumes that this translates into behavior aggressiveness and shows rejection. In other words, if you are lonely, you make it particularly difficult for other people to like you. Instead of doing something about it, those affected unconsciously encourage their loneliness.

  • Isolation has negative consequences

    With regard to health, the result of another study by the psychologist at Brigham Young University, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, is a bit more drastic. For years, Holt-Lunstad has been researching the topics of loneliness, social bonds and social isolation.

    She found that social isolation had the same negative effect on health as Cigarettes or obesity: "There is strong evidence that social isolation and loneliness greatly increase the risk of premature mortality", says Holt-Lunstad. But a clear distinction must be made between (self-chosen) loneliness and social isolation imposed from outside or brought about by one's own behavior.

Tips: How to Overcome Loneliness

Many people feel helpless in their loneliness. Some even react to social insecurity with arrogance and arrogance. Fatal! That actually only exacerbates the problem. We have therefore collected a few alternative ways out of loneliness and tips with which you can better overcome social isolation:

  1. Don't blame yourself for loneliness

    An important insight right at the beginning: there is no point in blaming yourself for your situation. Feeling loneliness doesn't mean you did something wrong. When you blame yourself, you are only damaging your self-esteem and adding to loneliness.

  2. See the positive sides

    Being alone now and then or not having a partner right now doesn't have to be all bad. Instead, focus on the benefits and opportunities. This is how you are, for example more flexible and independent, you can make your own decisions and you can shape your life the way you personally see it right.

  3. Learn to appreciate yourself

    Like many other things, loneliness is best combated and overcome if you get to the root of the problem: One of them is low self-esteem and lack of self-love. Realize your own worth and you will understand that others appreciate something about you too. In addition, the better you deal with yourself, the easier it will be for you to be alone from time to time.

  4. Establish contacts with other people

    The second root of the problem should also be addressed: Instead of isolating yourself, you should specifically address loneliness: Please leave, meet other people, call friends, acquaintances and family and organize (and provoke) a get-together. With every interpersonal interaction you will feel less lonely and become more secure.

  5. Don't expect too much at once

    Loneliness cannot be overcome in a very short time. The problem is usually deep, the bad habits are firmly entrenched, and it takes time to change stubborn mindsets. Are you going one step at a timeto escape from loneliness. Every day you do something to make yourself feel less lonely, things are going in the right direction.

  6. Have a hobby

    Just sitting at home and waiting for something to happen won't bring any improvement. Rather, it will add to the feeling. It may take some effort, but you should consciously pursue an activity that you enjoy and that involves other people. If you have hobbies like this, you stand up contact in a natural way to other people who share a similar passion.

  7. Concentrate on those around you

    A good way to overcome fear of loneliness is to try yours first To help others. Do these need some advice; someone who just listens or physical support? Then offer your help. By giving something to others, you overcome your loneliness and benefit from it yourself at the same time.

    Positive side effect: To be there for others, can give a big boost to self-confidence and promote the realization that you are lovable and important to other people after all.

  8. Pursue your own goals and dreams

    By focusing on your very own goals and dreams, you can Escape feeling of loneliness. Do something you've always wanted to do, fulfill a big dream, or start working towards a goal. In this way, you will find that you can find happiness and contentment without the intervention of other people.

  9. Treat yourself to something good

    A proven remedy for acute loneliness: Be nice to yourself. Do something good for yourself, make yourself happy and give yourself gifts. It doesn't have to be big, but with everyone nice gesture to yourself, you learn that you are good enough and that other people see it that way too. So they can overcome the wrong attitude and escape from loneliness.

Sayings and quotes about loneliness

  • Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the worst of poverty.mother Teresa
  • We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only love and friendship can give us the illusion for a moment that we are not alone.Orson Welles
  • What I've achieved is just a success of being alone.Franz Kafka
  • I've never said, 'I want to be alone.' I said, 'I want to be left alone' - that's a huge difference.Greta Garbo
  • It is much better to be alone than in bad company.George Washington
  • I live in that solitude that is painful in youth but delicious in the years of maturity.Albert Einstein
  • In this respect, the wise is enough for himself: not that he wants to be without a friend, but that he can.Seneca
  • On the other hand, what makes people sociable is their inability to endure loneliness and in it themselves.Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Loneliness is a prerequisite for success. You lose your creativity when you're in the spotlight non-stop.Karl Lagerfeld
  • Those who are bored alone are not very entertaining even with two people.Ben Kingsley
  • Having to be alone is the hardest thing, being alone is the best thingHans Krailsheimer

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23 September 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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