How Loneliness Kills And How To Overcome It9 min read

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Do you ever feel alone even in the midst of friends and family? Do you feel like no one understands you? Maybe because when you try to speak – to express yourself – they quickly hijack the conversation by raining down endless advice and platitudes on you.

I can imagine how you feel; all these make you feel unheard, unloved, unlucky, or maybe even ugly, unwanted, and lost. The situation makes you bitter, angry, abhorrent and sometimes, violent. You snap at every statement; nothing gives you joy.

In fact, every joke seems to be laced with insults – attempting to demean you – and you won’t take that. You build a high fence around your heart – attempting to cease to feel and care; you withdraw into your shell – but, it gets loonier there.

Isolated from others, all that is left is yourself…and you attack yourself mercilessly – you blame yourself for everything, and maybe, even begin to conceive the notion that there must be something wrong with you, something you can’t fix.

Left to seethe, loneliness can turn into a form of emotional cancer – gradually corroding the sweetness of life, leading to depression, and ultimately suicide. It kills silently, slowly, and painfully. 

What Is loneliness, and how can you cure it?

If you are feeling lonely right now, I want you to know that it would be alright. The truth is that everyone at some point in their lives, experiences this feeling. The reasons for feeling lonely can vary greatly, and some are truly tricky to overcome (we’d talk about how shortly, but first)

I’m going to make a list of things that could cause this feeling of loneliness, however, note that this list wasn’t organized in order of magnitude (because there really isn’t a measure for this kind of thing), and it is not exhaustive either. It is simply a list of very common reasons billions of people all over the world feel lonely at one point in their lives or the other:

What is the root cause of loneliness?

“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.”
― Honoré de Balzac

The reasons for feeling lonely are many; some include,

  1. Being In An Unhealthy Relationship With Family Or Friends: Friends or family sometimes tend to be ignorant or simply don’t care about the way members of their family feel. They do this by talking carelessly, not paying attention to mood change, or simply being too busy for intimate discussions. Being human, the need to always have someone caring for you is unavoidable because we are social creatures. This is why when someone makes derogatory comments about us, because of some mistakes or actions we took – even if it were in the name of a joke – causes us to feel pushed away, unvalued, and unloved. Constant repetitions of such actions tend to leave a mark forcing us to withdraw into our shells. Also read about The Laws Of Healthy Relationships to know more.
  2. Pretense At The Beginning Of The Relationship: There are times when we do find that connection with someone, maybe as a friend or a lover. They listen to us, talk to us, and spend quality time with us. But, unbeknownst to us, they aren’t really what they seemed to be. Maybe the whole care and attention they showered on us was because they were getting over a former relationship, want something from us, or just wants to show off to their friends. And because they desperately want their own desires fulfilled, they do everything possible to get on our good side, hiding who they truly are….and it all seems to work fine until they stop trying. We find ourselves in a relationship where we are actually on our own. Loneliness soon swims to the surface. Also read How To Find The Love Of Your Life for more insight
  3. Depression: Depression is an emotional feeling of sadness or rejection that could have been caused by pressure from life challenges, abuse, and the likes. Such feelings make one feel so alone even in the midst of a thousand souls. Depression is different from sadness because you can’t cheer up a depressed person – the issue is deeply rooted in the chemical balance of the brain; it is more physical than emotional. This kind of loneliness might require the help of a Therapist.
  4. Fear: Most people have a phobia of communicating with real people. They prefer doing so over the net or from a distance. Now when their primary means for discussing with people becomes unavailable, loneliness becomes their buddy. Read about How To Make Friends for guidance
  5. Moving To A New Place: This is one of the major causes of loneliness especially if you are in a situation where you move a lot. Friendship and relationships take months, sometimes years to build, and once established ending them feels like severing a part of you. If you move a lot, you may lose interest in connecting with new people when next you move. This results in having next to no friends – the perfect recipe for loneliness.
  6. Death Of A Loved One: I was almost a victim of this factor when I lost my dad. He was my best friend, he understood me, I could talk freely with him, jokes and all. When I lost him, it felt like my world was over. It took me some years to get over it and actually try building new relationships with other people. This is an uncomfortable fact of life – we are all going to lose someone we care about someday, and – that makes us feel despondent, lost, and lonely in a big scary world.

how to get rid of loneliness and become happy?

“Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named ‘not good’.”

John Milton

The major factor to consider in tackling the issue of loneliness isn’t the quantity but the quality of the relationship. That is why, your actions should be geared towards, not just attracting quality relationships, but repealing the inferior ones. Below is how you do it:

  1. Speak Up: It may seem hard. I know because I’ve been there. But you will feel a whole lot better when you share your feelings with someone you feel comfortable confiding in. Loneliness stems from feelings bottled up and shelved. Cry out! Shout! Punch something and let out that frustration because when you let it pile, you’re building a pyramid of self-hurt for yourself. Carefully go through your contact list and see if there is one person whom you’ve spoken to in the past – who seemed to care – and vent to them. This could be both relieving and the start of a meaningful relationship.
  2. Be Genuine: Let your partner or friend know who you are. You can’t change who you are. You can only unlearn some stuff that may be unhealthy in that relationship but that doesn’t mean if you’re an outgoing type, you should pretend to be an introvert because he or she loves one. Be you, be real, and if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. It’d hurt but not as much as when you keep trying hard to keep up with the pretense (which would only end up making both of you emotionally distant from one another). By being genuine yourself, you will inspire others to be genuine, and the result would be a quality relationship.
  3. Be Open: When someone hurts you most times, it’s unknowingly. It may not have been the intention of the person to hurt you that way. It might have been intended as a joke. Be open. If one hurts you, let them know. When I was still friends with my fiancée, he’d do something that really got to me and I’d bottle it up. He’d continue with life as though nothing happened; not because it is his intention to do so, but because he is unaware of the situation. Your friends, family, or partner can’t read minds or see through you. It’s best when you’re offended that you approach the person and lay out your case, but kindly. You would be relieved to know that it wasn’t intentional, and also glad to know it won’t repeat itself – you will feel so much better and free.
  4. Acceptance: Life is not a bed of roses. Things are not always going to go your way. There are bound to be ups and downs. That is LIFE. Accept this. Learn to move on after every storm. Grief when you’re supposed to but don’t wallow in it. If you lose a job, get angry, huff it out; but think of the next step. You are going to be frustrated most times, you are not going to get everything you want no matter how important, but when you accept that this is life and it’s always not going to be smooth, you figure a way to move on. Dwelling on challenges has never solved one, rather re-strategizing and re-planning have always made it better or best at most. In the case of your relationship, it may also not be sunshine and rainbows always. Sometimes the storm comes, and all you have to do is whether it or move on.
  5. Build Healthy Self-Esteem: No one is going to love you more than you. When you learn to love and appreciate yourself, you are on your way to overcoming loneliness. It is okay to crave validation and love from others, but you should first love and validate yourself. Appreciate your physique, your smile, your aura, your accent, your intelligence, your resilience, your kindness… A good way to set up such behavior can be by literally writing down things you admire about yourself. Always read them up every morning before you step out. Listen to records that stimulate healthy self-esteem and most importantly, surround yourself with positive people. Being surrounded by people that will always see the bad in you or in the things you do can only douse your flame. Distance yourself from them and grow from there. If you love you, someone else would see that and love you for that.

Remember that loneliness can be normal – as normal as feeling angry, hungry, or tired. But, you should not let it linger for long. You should quench the feeling by reconnecting with people, places, and memories that you cherish and value. Needless to say, you should seek to nurture those sorts of people, places, and memories.

P.S: This post was written with love and care because I too believe in you 😉 

I am an entrepreneur. I am also in love with music and feel at peace traveling and viewing landscapes.

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