Loneliness Is Just A Word
All of us have felt lonely from time to time. But sometimes, things can go awry. This article will shed some light on dealing with the pain of deep loneliness.
Loneliness is not objective, it is a subjective feeling. Not necessary that you will actually be isolated but you may be surrounded by other people, family, friends, colleagues and other acquaintances and yet still feel emotionally or socially isolated and disconnected from those around you. Other people are not definite source to shield us from the raw emotional pain and the monster of isolation that loneliness inflicts.
But you know what, this raw emotional pain is merely the beginning of the damage loneliness is capable to cause. It holds the humongous impact on your physical health as well. Loneliness activates our both physiological and psychological stress responses and subdues the functioning of our immune systems. That put us at risk for developing all kinds of illness and disorders. Shockingly (or not), the long term risks chronic loneliness poses to our health could be cardiovascular disease too which effects severely on our longevity.
Surfacing from loneliness’ ocean is way more challenging than anyone comprehends.
There are many paths that leads towards loneliness: some enter gradually (friend moves away, long working hours at home, separation and the one we used to rely upon has ceases to exist) or some enters loneliness more suddenly (left for college or military, new job, new town or country, lose a partner to divorce or death, or for some facing chronic illness, disability or other limiting condition). These paths may turn loneliness from staying passenger to a lifelong companion.
Unluckily, surfacing back from loneliness is way more challenging since our psychological wounds it inflects upon us created a bird trap from which it is hard to find a way. Loneliness holds the power to distort our perceptions led us to believe that people around us care less than we do. It can make our existing relationships negative in a way that we see those mangles and unimportant to stay put.
And these distorted perceptions have massive ripple effect as it started creating and proving self-fulfilling prophecies.
Convincing our own undesirability and diminished caring of others, hesitation to reach out and feeling emotionally raw take us to there where we are likely to respond to overtures from a place with resentment, hesitance, skepticism, or desperation and not to mention – successfully pushing the very ones away who could be our helpers in alleviating us from our loneliness.
In a consequence, many lonely people withdraw and detach themselves to avoid exposing further humiliation or disappointment or rejection. When they do endeavor in to the world, their own self-created doubts and hesitation is likely to hinders or create the very reaction they dread. Now they would force themselves to attend a gathering but feel so convinced that other people would not talk to them and if by a miracle they do attend then they spend the entire party parked by the food with a scowl on the forehead and indeed my friend, no one dares to approach – but which for them merely a verification of their fundamentally belief of undesirability.
Flouting open of loneliness and healing of our psychological wounds is truly and definitely possible – but all it takes is a “decision”. A decision to override that dabbed gut or the instinct telling you to avoid or play it safe by making yourself lonely.
Instead, you should give 3 things a try that requires you to gather both courage and a leap of faith:
Action plan: behind the enemy lines. Accepting that loneliness is most definitely impacting your perception about the world and try to comprehend that people are likely to respond the way you make them respond and that could be more affirmative than you expect. If you are feeling socially isolated then goes through your mobile phone and emails, and your social media contact list by making a list of people you have not spoken ever or seen for a while. If you are feeling emotionally isolated then makes a list of people you were close and reach out to them. And quite obviously you will think about it being awkward or uncomfortable but that is exactly why it is important to:
Oh, give the benefit of the doubt already! It is quite straightforward and obvious to assume that someone who enjoyed your presence in the past might like to enjoy spending a tad more time with you now as well. But they might have been out of touch or they never really called after promise you to see you, but you need to see that their reason of being out of touch might has nothing to do with you. In all likelihood, it is a very busy life, is it not? So it could be their busy life, their compelling priorities, and stressors of their lives that led to the disconnection with you. In many and many cases, there might not even be a disconnection but the reluctance you are assuming on their part is nonexistent. So do, yes do reach out on your list but before that remember to:
Approach with smileJ. You fear rejection, don’t you? You are not in the best frame of mind or yourself so to speak, right? But this is one situation where you might for it. When you are going to approach your list of contact, just try to put yourself into a positive mind with a little smile on your face, hmm? One safe way to begin with could be a text message, so you can use smiley icon (emoticon) to bring out the smiley face on the screen and which might have been having hard time procuring on your face. “Proofread” your message before your send them by making sure that you sound “smiley” and pleasing. And oh, please do try to avoid accusing them (“you have never send a message to me in months”) or statement of disengaging (“I know right, it must be weird to hear from me after this long time”). Express positive emotions and sentiment (“was thinking about you”) or a better way, an invitation (“let’s grab a bite” or “love to catch up with a lunch”). And do not forget in being specific in terms of time frame (“how about next week”).
Yes, loneliness is extremely painful until you realize that the perceptual distortions it is inflicting and the psychological trap it is weaving, then you can master your courage by taking a leap of faith and plan your escape out of this imprisonment. And you know what freedom is sweet once you taste it.