Going off of that quote, one would think ‘how can I be alone if people are around me? It’s not like I’m by myself’. Well I used to think that, but the feeling of being lonely was still present. You may have felt like this at one point; whether it was around other students, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, maybe even around family members.
Well let me to you, that there are many, many people out there who feel like this. Some tell others about this and some remain silent. I myself stayed silent about it numerous times. Being alone is one thing, but feeling lonely around others especially friends and family is way different.
I’m Around People: So Why Do I Feel Lonely?
You can be by yourself and feel lonely; we know that. You can be with someone and feel lonely. You also can be with a small or large group of people and still feel lonely. So why is this a thing?
You can be sitting next to someone and talking to them, but if they aren’t listening to you and are distracted by something, that can make you feel lonely. This can be a close friend you’ve known for years, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, even your spouse. For example, you can be in a relationship with someone and still feel lonely. You may have something that is bothering you and you need to talk things out, but the other person doesn’t want to discuss it or hear it. You feel like they aren’t paying attention to you and don’t care how your feeling. You feel lonely and may begin to think if this person cares about you like they say they do.
You can be in a a small or large group of people whether it’s friends, co-workers, family members, acquaintances, etc and if your just sitting, standing, not saying, or not doing anything, you can feel lonely. If your not making an effort to interact with people is one thing, that’s on you. If your trying to make an effort and you can’t get a word in, people interrupt and ignore you, they say they’ll come back to you but they don’t, you feel bad right?
You may feel like your not important, not welcomed, what you have to say has no value or is stupid. Your self-esteem can take a hit and negative thoughts can take over your mind. For example, you can be in a group of people (friends, family, co-workers, students, etc) and you can start feeling lonely because no one is talking to you despite you making an effort to initiate a conversation with them. You may be in an online group chat and people aren’t responding to your messages, yet they are responding to others. That can make you feel ignored and lonely and you can start thinking that you have no value to them.
Those 5 Things
- You crave some kind of closeness. This is where the closeness element can take the spotlight. You can have a lot of relationships with friends, but if most or all of them aren’t close ones, then you can feel unfulfilled and lonely. This loneliness can bring about feelings of misunderstanding and separation.
- Quality over quantity. It’s great to have a lot of friends. If you aren’t investing time and energy into those friendships, that feeling of loneliness will still there. You want to have at least one person that will be there for you whether it’s to lift your spirits up, confide to, or be a listening ear for you if you need to vent. If you have several that’s wonderful. There should be at least someone in your life who you can open up to. Once again, it’s not healthy to bottle up your emotions especially if they’re strong ones.
- Your guard is up and maybe you don’t know it. You may have been hurt by someone and you didn’t want to experience that pain and loss again from someone else. You may have built a wall up that is keeping people out from comforting and helping you. When we are in any kind of pain, our mind can go into what I call ‘survival mode’, and it’s protecting us from getting hurt again. This can be helpful for some people for a period of time, but remember you can take it down. It’s not something that be up forever.
- Too much social media may be making you feel lonely. You scroll through Facebook posts and tweets and see your friends having fun, going to places, trying new things, and you aren’t doing any of that. You may think that everyone is having fun without you. This can push you to spend more time on social media and make the cycle worse.
- Maybe you’re spending time and effort with the wrong people. You may be hanging around with people that you know a little about, but your not making a connection with them. Your spending time with them and getting to know them, but they aren’t putting in much effort to get know you. That loneliness feeling can still be present and you can feel stuck.
Here are some tips to help you beat this loneliness feeling:
- Talk to someone in the group about how your feeling. Have a face to face talk with your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, close friend and let them know how your really feeling. Be honest with them. If they are really your friend and truly care about you, they will hear you out.
- Move on. If people are excluding you in the group conversation, then maybe these people your spending time and energy with aren’t right for you. You can bring it up to them and work things out. If they still won’t hear you out, and think you’re just overreacting, making things up, and still overall ignoring you, then maybe you should forget these people and find new friends or a new person to be in a relationship or marriage with. It may be tough to do, but you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
- Confide in someone you trust. Yes you can talk to your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend about this matter, but you may be afraid of the outcome. There is at least one person who can confide to about this matter. It can be a parent, relative, best friend, a counselor if you need professional help.
- Don’t change who you are just to fit in. You are who you are. If you have a nice personality, you will attract good and the right people to interact with who won’t make you feel lonely and insignificant.
- Build up your self-esteem. Your insecurities may take over the steering wheel and make you think down on yourself. Increasing your confidence and building your independence will help give you the courage to speak out and stand up for yourself. It will also help you move on from those who make you feel and think less of yourself.
Feeling lonely in a large or small group of people is one thing; feeling like this in a group of people that you know is much different. Negative thoughts can send you into a downward spiral and make you think of things that aren’t true about your real friends, spouse, boyfriend, and girlfriend who truly care about you. Try catching yourself immediately when you have these negative and toxic thoughts and challenge them to see if they are true or not with the facts about the people in your life. I hope I was able to shine some light on this subject. It’s something that I have dealt with myself and I personally know people in my life who are dealing with it right now. Remember your not alone and you matter in this world.