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Define Loneliness

Updated on May 15, 2017

Most People are Lonely and feel Lonely

Sitting alone doesn't necessarily mean lonely
Sitting alone doesn't necessarily mean lonely | Source
The fear of being alone
The fear of being alone | Source
Loneliness shows in her
Loneliness shows in her | Source
The worst moments can make you feel lonely
The worst moments can make you feel lonely | Source
She is lonely
She is lonely | Source

What is Loneliness?

Loneliness is defined as having a smaller, or less satisfying network of social and intimate relationships than one desires.

  • In understanding loneliness

You must keep in mind that loneliness is a subjective experience, reflecting what one feels, and thinks about the interpersonal life.

It is not the same thing as solitude or being alone.

You can spend long periods of time alone without feeling lonely and you can feel terribly lonely in a crowd.

The lonely and non-lonely person does not differ in the quantity of their social interaction, instead in the quality of such exchanges.

Lonely people spend more time with strangers and acquaintances, and less time with friends and family than those who are not lonely.

Similar to social anxiety one can experience loneliness as both a short-lived state and a chronic long-term trait.

As when you arrive on campus in your freshman year, you must have experienced a temporary sense of loneliness until you integrated into college community.

  • Age, Gender, and Loneliness

Who suffers the most from loneliness?

The young adults, and adolescents are the loneliest group.

As people get older and pass their adult age they become less lonely when other relationships develop.

  • Why do adolescents and young adults become the loneliest?

They fall in and out of love, leave family, friends, and training and move to other places in search of better jobs and living.

All these can cause loneliness to most individuals.

Loneliness decreases with age, when one gets older and mature, one tends to have long relationships and marriages.

There are clear age differences in loneliness.

Gender differences are not as clear-cut.

Women have greater loneliness than men, however men and women are lonely for different reasons. Women are lonely if they lack one-to-one emotional sharing, the different pattern of loneliness reflects a difference in the friendship patterns of males and females.

  • Casual Attributions for Loneliness

Shyness

Don't know how to start new relationships

Unstable

One hasn't tried hard enough to meet others

Change is not for you

You feel other people don't want to mingle with you

You don't know anyone but hope things will get better when you meet other people

How often do you feel unhappy doing so many things alone?

How often do you feel you have nobody to talk to?

Can you tolerate being alone?

Do you feel nobody understands you?

Do you wait for people to call, write or email?

Do you feel completely alone?

Do you feel a lack of communication?

How often do you feel starved for company?

Is it difficult to make friends?

Do you feel excluded from others?

What makes social lives for most people so difficult?

A low self-esteem

Withdrawal

  • Anxious individuals

People experience the unpleasant emotion, social anxiety due to their concern with interpersonal evaluation.

Social anxiety is not good for you, occasionally the individual avoids social interaction.

One can experience social anxiety even when alone, by simply anticipating an interaction in which you have a vested interested.

When socially anxious you are less likely to initiate interactions and when in an interaction you talk less. Sometimes stammer and stutter when speaking, one discloses less about themselves and sometimes withdraw from the anxiety producing situation altogether.

Most people have problems with social anxiety the unfortunate consequence of chronic social anxiety, or social anxiousness is that it can trap a person into increasingly unpleasant social exchanges.

The fear of negative thoughts from others

One avoids eye contact

Appears nervous and jittery

Those who have well-developed social skills find it easy to talk to strangers are perceived by others as friendly are not easily angered and possess high self esteem.

  • What makes a person socially skilled?

One of the most important factors determining social skills is the amount of personal attention given to one's partner in interaction.

People who are judged to be socially skilled direct more questions toward their conversational partners and make more positive personal statements about them.

On the other hand the unskilled are more self-focused and less responsive when conversing people habitually turn conversational topics to themselves without showing interest in their partner's topics.

That may be more prevalent in individualist cultures than in those with collectivist orientations.

The second factor related to social effectiveness is the ability to recognize and confirm to social norms.

People who have social skills problems often engage in situations improper behavior, like they may make new acquaintances uncomfortable by disclosing very personal details about their lives.

Although this sort of self-disclosure is important and valuable in intimate relationships it is considered inappropriate when interacting with strangers and new acquaintances.

Such norm violations generally discourage future encounters.

If you are having dinner for one that can be most lonely.

You can have a friend if you are a good friend.

  • How does loneliness affects people?

A feeling of being isolated, not wanted in society and the worst of all is when you are down and out. Loneliness can drain your energy.

When you are angry being lonely can make you insecure about life, the lack positivism becomes rare.

You can lose yourself and won't even know it.

The inner you fades and loneliness gets deeper, making you less powerful.

  • How do you feel when you listen to music during loneliness?

One can feel pain, and deep disappointment, something that can hurt very much from the inside.

The majority of young people of today experience loneliness, it is sad to see such aspects of life going down in mysterious ways.

However if people can create stable communities the issues of loneliness can be cured.

Life can be miserable if you let it be, loneliness causes misery, and lots of pain.

Most people are failures when they take to drugs and making it their comfort zones, thinking that it is the only way to cure their loneliness. Such individuals worsen these moments.

You can't say ''It is all I have'' be smarter and look else where for comfort, you must have family and friends somewhere to help you pass the bad times.

The easy way out, to get numbed and feel nothing of what you are going through. In the process you are only ruining your health and life.

Married, or single you can still experience loneliness. The way you choose to go about your life to prevent loneliness is up to you.

Define loneliness however you wish to but the truth is you can't avoid being lonely.

It is understandable for everyone to know what it is like to be lonely. Remember loneliness is part of your ability.

Loneliness comes with life you got to accept part of your life as lonely.

Individuals can be with everybody everyday, but deep down there is that lonely feeling that you just can't escape.

The greatest of people are lonely as they choose to lead and can only do this alone. Everything in such cases are experienced alone.

Whether you are in love or out of love loneliness can still be experienced, never think no part of you is lonely.

  • When do you feel the most loneliest?

Mostly when you need to be alone the feeling of loneliness creeps up. So ironic.

  • Do you think loneliness is the human condition?

You can never outgrow loneliness, and not many people will understand your loneliness.

Loneliness makes you feel unloved. If you are alone it can won't feel right or do right.

  • How can such things make loneliness go away?

  • How would you define loneliness?

Coping with Loneliness

How would you define loneliness?

See results

Loneliness

The open-minded writer who enjoys sharing her interests.
The open-minded writer who enjoys sharing her interests. | Source

© 2013 Devika Primić

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    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Au fait so agree with your valuable comment have great day.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Just as I seldom experience boredom, I also rarely if ever know loneliness. There is too much to keep a person occupied and I can never seem to get caught up. As a result I think there is little time to reflect on the fact that I do spend a lot of time alone, but that is my choice. I think loneliness may result more when people are alone and do not wish to be.

    • profile image

      krushnach80 4 years ago

      thank you madam and I reciprocate the same for you in short wish you the same.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      krushnach80 thanks for commenting have a lovely day,

    • profile image

      krushnach80 4 years ago

      You are partly Indian so I wish you Madam Namaste and this hub about loneliness is great ,I have experiecene of being alone for days or even weeks,so I know the feeling

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      tobusiness thanks for commenting I always appreciate comments from all my followers.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      tillsontitan thanks for the positive votes up, useful and interesting glad you shared your thoughts here.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Devika, a very interesting write!.....I agree, one can feel alone in a crowd, I've only ever experienced a sense of loneliness when I was simply missing a loved one; Loneliness can hit particularly hard, when people become old and isolated.

      Great article.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Another informative hub DDE! I have been very fortunate and can say I have never really felt lonely. I've been homesick, or I've missed a particular loved one (when my soon to be husband was in the Army), but I don't think I've ever been lonely.

      You have made very interesting points here and I voted this hub up, useful, and interesting.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      James-wolve thanks for the vote up, and comments have a nice day

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 4 years ago from Morocco

      Interesting and informative.Thanks for this perspective.Voted up

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      ahorseback such a great thought and thanks for that.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      I just wrote and published a poem -inspired by YOU ! Thank you for yours ! We are never alone , I'm still learning that !......:-}

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      ahorseback yeah so true life can be lonely if you don't know how to live, thanks for commenting, so glad you did, have a lovely day

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      So glad you stopped by and read Define Loneliness at some point in ones life they do experience loneliness thanks so very much Made, you are one of my regular supporters have a lovely day

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      DDE , Now almost 60 , I wish I had understood these attributes early on in life , I swear some people are born lonely ! Or that it's in our blood , hereditary ? Who knows , there is definitely a difference between a lonely mood and a lonely person , that's all I know ! Awesome hub ! Perfect !............Ed

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I experienced loneliness when I was 19 years old and moved away from home. I didn't know anybody in the new place, but I wrote letters to my friends all the time. I made some new friends and since then I've been surrounded by good people.

      Now I think the most lonely people are the very old people, living alone in their homes. I meet them every day in my job. They are not strong enough to go somewhere to meet other people, and most of the time, everyone they used to know have passed away. It's so sad.

      This was a great hub that gave me much to think about.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Vinaya Ghimire Thanks for commenting on Define Loneliness, An Abused Teenage Girl and on A Trip To Bosnia-Herzegovina-Mostar it was so nice of you to stop by have a good weekend.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Loneliness is a feeling and has nothing to do with people being around you. You can be lonely even in a crowd, where are people may visit in your memories when you are alone.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Joy56 so glad you stopped by thanks very much for reading my hub have a good day

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 4 years ago

      I enjoyed this, and agree with your wise words. I have lonely times, but mostly they are not planned. Your work has made me think....... Loneliness has a depth to it, that needs understanding.....

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Mhatter99 thanks for commenting time alone is good for individuals if when needed

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Faith Reaper , so glad you stopped by thanks for the vote up and have a great weekend

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I am alone when I want some time for myself; otherwise I do not have the time to feel lonely.

      Interesting write, Devika.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. As a public figure, I enjoyed my moments alone. Now... ?

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent hub here on loneliness. I think we can become lonely when we feel disconnected from people, even when we are in a room full of people, we can still feel lonely.

      I think it is so important that we no socially isolate ourselves and real human contact and interaction with others.

      Voted up ++++

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      lovedoctor926 thanks so good to read a comment from you, have a nice one yourself

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Great hub. As an extrovert, I enjoy being in the company of other people, but I love my alone time too. I have too many hobbies to worry about feeling lonely. Have a nice weekend:)

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      rose-the planner loneliness can ruin a person's life if they don't choose to be lonely and don't know how to make friends thanks for the votes up and sharing have a lovely weekend.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      This was a very insightful article. I found your observation about how an individual can feel lonely even amongst a crowd of people interesting and true. I myself have watched people at gatherings look like fish out of water. You can tell they felt lonely and uncomfortable. This was a great article. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      billybuc, thanks and you too

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      soconfident thanks for sharing your thoughts here

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good reflections my friend. I have rarely experienced loneliness, but when I have it was exactly as you described.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

    • soconfident profile image

      Derrick Bennett 4 years ago

      Well put as a young adult you begin to branch out and try new things and sometimes you can find yourself alone. I been though that for 4 years.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thanks fro stopping by have a lovely weekend

    • shreya agrawal profile image

      shreya agrawal 4 years ago

      very true .)