Why do we get lonely?
This is a question that I’ve thought a lot about over the past few years. With each new season of life that’s come along in my twenties, I’ve noticed a few feelings that seem to come up over and over again. And loneliness has been one of them.
Even though I’ve been surrounded by loved ones throughout the last several years, I’ve still felt very lonely at times. In those moments, it wasn’t the absence of love that left me feeling alone. But there was certainly something that triggered my sense of loneliness each time.
We don’t have to be alone to feel lonely.
Have you ever had a similar experience? This time of year tends to bring up moments of loneliness for many of us. Which is why this topic is our theme for the month of December at Bold True Life. And in today’s blog post, I’m talking about a few common triggers that can cause us to feel lonely.
Being aware of these triggers is helpful because, when they come up, you’ll be able to recognize what’s going on. So you’ll have the chance to address the issue from a more informed place. While it’s impossible to avoid loneliness altogether, having this awareness can help you work through lonely experiences more quickly and in a healthier way.
There are so many factors that can cause us to feel lonely. But the ones that I’m sharing today are some examples that I’ve seen come up most frequently both in my personal experiences and with my clients. So here are 3 situations that can often trigger a sense of loneliness within us:
1. Feeling unheard or misunderstood.
Sometimes, a thought or idea can make complete sense in our heads. But articulating it to others seems so much more complicated. The words don’t come out quite right. And it feels so hard to piece them together clearly enough for someone else to understand. Especially during a heated discussion or when it’s a sensitive subject that’s come up.
These types of interactions often end with us feeling unheard and misunderstood. And having experiences when someone doesn’t “get us” can also be very isolating. So it’s natural to feel alone in these moments.
2. Feeling left out or behind.
Whenever we go through busier seasons of life or experience big changes, it gets harder to stay connected with family and friends. Sometimes our family member or close friend is the one going through a big change that makes them less available.
Whichever the case, when circumstances require us to navigate in new dynamics or circles, it usually takes time to adjust and/or find more people that we’re truly comfortable around. We all know what it’s like to feel out of place at a social event. And we also know how it feels to miss out on something that the rest of our family or friends are a part of.
Going through an experience that leaves us disconnected from people is definitely lonely.
3. Feeling overwhelmed.
Whether it’s taking care of all our responsibilities or facing the complicated emotions that come up for us, life certainly gets overwhelming.
Constantly managing everything on our plate often leads us to exhaustion or burn-out. And sometimes we can’t handle it all our own. There are so many times when we need support but aren’t sure how to get it. And this too can leave us feeling very alone.
These 3 situations are ones that we’ve all been through. We know exactly what it’s like to feel misunderstood, left out, or overwhelmed. They’re all painfully uncomfortable experiences. And each of them is a common trigger of loneliness.
Although we can’t ever fully escape these triggers, we can get better at facing them. And it’s when we realize what’s causing us to feel lonely that we can get out from under its dark, grey cloud.
Our power lies in self-awareness. And it’s our willingness to look at loneliness in the face that sets us free.
It often seems easier to run away from loneliness. But it’s when we acknowledge how we’re feeling and the uncomfortable trigger behind it that we can start working through it. When we recognize what’s causing our problem, we can come up with ideas to solve it. Maybe we need to call a loved one that we’ve been missing. Or make plans with a friend we haven’t seen in too long. Perhaps we need to attend an event that’ll allow us to interact with others. Whatever the answer may be, the first step is uncovering the root cause of our loneliness.
We can be so hard on ourselves for getting lonely sometimes. But it’s a natural part of our human experience. And there’s always a reason for us feeling this way. Getting to the heart of our loneliness gives us the chance to practice a little more self-love and compassion… and to get more comfortable in our own company. It can also be a launching pad for us to develop more meaningful connections and relationships with others too.
Even though our lonely moments are so uncomfortable, they also offer us a great opportunity for self-development. What’s one loneliness trigger that often comes up for you? And how do you usually overcome it? Share your experience in a comment below this post or in an email!
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.