Loneliness is a natural part of life, but too much loneliness can cause us to become numb inside.
We don’t even realize the level of loneliness until we meet somebody we connect with and are suddenly overflowing with enthusiasm:
Finally someone to talk to, share affection with, connect with!
If you’ve been feeling lonely in life then you know exactly what I mean…
Even in the middle of a crowd or with many casual friends, part of you feels totally alone or misunderstood.
Here’s a look at how to tell if you’re lonely on a deeper level even though you may not pay attention to it much…
1) You look at your phone all the time hoping for new messages
Frequent phone checking tends to be a lonely behavior.
Sometimes you’re hoping for a message from a specific person and you are looking over and over to see if they messaged yet.
Even when you don’t hear the ding, some impulse gets you to check on the off chance you look just as the message comes in.
It’s an addiction, for sure.
But it’s also a sign that you’re feeling a need for outside stimuli and fulfillment to make you feel more connected.
You’re feeling a bit lonely.
2) You hug your pillow at night to not feel so physically alone
There’s a piece of good news and that is that pillows likely never feel lonely.
Because of all the lonely people in the world, pillows get hugged like crazy and never have to feel stranded.
If you find that you cling to your pillow at night like a life raft, it’s likely not random.
This is your body (and soul) crying out for somebody else.
You feel physically (and emotionally) alone.
But you’re not ready to settle, so you reach for that Tempurpedic pillow and press its cool side nice and close, warming it up.
3) You talk about being happy being single but you’re not
Being single has no shame in it whatsoever.
Better single than with someone you don’t love or in a toxic, hate-filled relationship.
That said, it’s important to be honest:
Many of us who have been single a lot and feel lonely talk ourselves into the idea that we’re happy or “fine” with it. Happy, even.
But I know that in my case at least, I wasn’t being authentic in saying I was fine being single. I wanted a partner.
Learning to balance the desire for a partner with true acceptance of being single at this time is the key.
4) You fall in love rapidly and become interested in people right away
One issue with being really lonely is that you fall in love rapidly.
As soon as somebody gives you a look, you’re thinking what ring you’ll buy.
Their sense of humor is so amazing, they’re the perfect partner for you, it seems like they could be your soulmate!
A week later you find out they’re a heavy drug user, or manipulative or not interested in you…
You feel crushed (and victimized):
After all, your loneliness made you rush into something that you should have been more cautious about.
5) You dive into work and busy yourself with tasks to feel less alone
Work addiction is a common ploy for those looking to hide from loneliness.
I’ve certainly done this many times, diving into work at a maniacal level to avoid feeling lonely.
Did it work?
Honestly, yes. But I have the added blessing of loving my work.
Still, that inner sense of loneliness didn’t just go away, and it still remained after my work was done.
Even the short amount of time before laying down and falling asleep, loneliness would still nag me.
6) You make compulsive and impulse buys to try to fill the emptiness you feel inside
Consumerism feeds off loneliness as well.
I often have found myself making purchases of clothes or some item to feel less alone.
If you relate to this, you see something you like and it gives you an emotional buzz.
You just need to have it, and have this sense that the “real you” or the truly empowered you will emerge after you have it.
There’s a grain of truth to it in that you do need to dress and carry yourself in the way you want to be perceived and perceive yourself.
However it’s definitely also a sign of loneliness to buy to try to fill a hole inside.
7) You engage in bad habits and overindulgence to try to escape the feeling of loneliness
Loneliness occurs in people from all walks of life and in all ages.
There are celebrities who are lonely beyond belief, especially because they never know if friends or lovers are sincere or are only after their fame or money.
When you’re lonely, you often chase bad habits and over indulge in order to try to feel something.
Substances, casual sex, reckless behavior and even picking fights can all be examples of this.
People sounding off online and fighting on social media, for example, tend to be extremely lonely people.
If you were feeling fulfilled, would you be typing up a storm on Twitter at 11:33 pm on a Saturday night about some silly and polarizing political controversy? Probably not.
8) You self-isolate at home and begin feeling resigned to being forever alone
Self-isolating is one of the worst aspects of loneliness.
It’s understandable, though.
You’re feeling alone, misunderstood and even unneeded.
As a result, you shut yourself in and give up.
You figure that you must just be marked to be alone and that there’s something wrong or weird about you that makes you not fit in.
So you keep to yourself.
9) You feel disconnected from family and friends even when they do reach out
Lonely times are about so much more than not having people around.
It gets to the point that invitations and socializing just makes you feel worse.
You find that invitations from casual friends or family only annoy you, because they don’t mean a lot to you.
Work events or social activities are things you try to avoid as well.
They just don’t resonate with you on a deeper level and only leave you feeling more lonely, or like you’re just playing a surface-level role.
10) You’d rather read or stream shows and films than socialize with people
Loneliness leads to seeking connections in new ways.
For me, it led to finding friends online and eventually writing for a living in ways that helped me connect to others who shared my interests.
It can also cause you to seek out films, music and art that speaks to you.
You resonate with the art or films and you feel connected to something deeper.
As a result that feeling of loneliness subsides a bit.
11) You feel hopeless about finding or creating the kinds of connections you want in life
When you’re lonely for a long time, it feels like you’ll always be lonely.
You crave deep and meaningful connections but rarely find them.
You long for the kind of banter and humorous interplay that you see on shows or in films, but it seems lacking.
This causes you anger and sadness, and, eventually, resignation.
It seems like the kind of connection you want just aren’t in the cards.
12) You long for a life you’ve never had in terms of deep relationships and friendships
Many times loneliness becomes a pattern that’s hard to break out of.
The more it feels like you’ve missed key moments in time and special relationships that many others have had, the more you feel distinct FOMO (fear of missing out).
You get the impression that life just isn’t on your side or has marked you out as a solitary man or woman.
As the Bravery sings in their hit single “Time Won’t Let Me Go:”
“Whenever I look back
On the best days of my life
I think I saw them all on T.V.
I am so homesick now for
Someone that I never knew
I am so homesick for
Someplace I will never be”
Lonely days are here to stay?
We’re born from our mother and grow to become an individual with consciousness and our own unique experience of the world.
This includes moments of loneliness for everyone, some even more intensely than others who may have a particular mission or unique experience of the world that’s hard to communicate to others.
But ultimately the way to feel less lonely is to realize that everybody is lonely in their way.
By empathizing with the loneliness and difficulty of the experiences of others, we take the focus off our own loneliness and realize there are many more bridges to be built than we may have realized.
Life’s hard. Life’s lonely. But don’t forget we’re in this together, no matter how different we are!