People who are lonely but won’t admit it usually display these 9 subtle behaviors

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Loneliness is a funny state of mind.

You can be surrounded by people – both in person and over social media – but still feel like you’re the only person on the whole entire planet.

And the unfortunate thing is that other people often view your behavior as rude or aloof, whenever you’re going through such a bout of feeling lonely and blue.

They don’t see how isolated or alone you feel. Instead, they only see the ways in which you try to cover it up and pretend like everything is okay. 

So, wondering how many of your behaviors are giving you away?

Or how to better detect whether a friend is going through a lonely dip and could use a little more company?

If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place; the 9 subtle behaviors listed below are often the most telling giveaways of someone who is lonely but won’t admit it:

1) Always being busy with something

Doesn’t have to be work or family drama. 

Hell, they might just be so incredibly busy working on their acorn collection.

Lonely people often try to compensate for their feelings of isolation by smothering themselves with to-do lists.

Whether it’s work, hobbies, or mundane tasks, they scramble to fill up their time with activities – just so they don’t have to sit alone with their silence and solitude.

This constant need for activity is a way for you to distract yourself from the emptiness and loneliness that you feel inside.

And interestingly enough, this business even gets in the way of socializing with other people. 

Loneliness works in mysterious ways, so even when presented with the opportunity of being around friends or family, lonely people still sometimes say no. 

They’re too busy. 

They have other things on.

Sadly, people might misinterpret this busy schedule as pure rudeness or a lack of consideration. 

They can’t see the dark cloud of loneliness that hangs over the person’s shoulders.

2) Social media addiction

What better way to drown out the clamoring voices telling you you’re going to die alone than to scroll for hours and hours on social media!

(Said in jest…)

Whether it’s deep diving into Reddit conspiracy theories, watching hours upon hours of Tiktok, or gazing at other people’s seemingly happy lives on Instagram – lonely people try fill that black hole by stuffing it full with social media.

Unfortunately, this tends to have the opposite effect; seeing others socializing, having fun, jet-setting around the world and laughing and dancing only reminds one of one’s own loneliness.

Studies show that social media perpetuates a nasty cycle; the more usage, the more lonely; the more lonely, the more usage.

And seeing someone who constantly has one eye on their phone is pretty off-putting for those trying to connect with that person – causing a barrier for any potential connections.

So consider how much time you spend superfluously looking at a screen if you want to remedy your own loneliness…

3) Overthinking, overanalyzing, over worrying

Someone who isn’t being honest about their own loneliness likely replays every single social interaction in their head.

Over and over.

The way the barista raised their eyebrows when they asked for extra milk?

The slightly raised voice in which their boss called out their name?

The deep sigh let out by their partner?

Loneliness can unfortunately heighten self-consciousness and therefore increase the tendency to overthink social interactions.

Others may mistakenly interpret your overthinking as being overly sensitive or even paranoid if you try voice them.

They don’t understand that this behavior stems from a place of loneliness and a desire to improve your social interactions in the hope of forming meaningful connections.

4) Chronic night-owl

All that overthinking and overanalyzing keeps you up at night, doesn’t it?

Your mind seems to kick into sixth gear when it comes to the exact point at which you want to drift off to sleep; loneliness and insomnia being psychologically interlinked.

Suddenly, you’re screeching through thoughts of why you’re lonely and what’s wrong with you.

Cue feeling exhausted the next day, unable to function or attend a social event (you can barely string a coherent sentence together).

Which means even less confidence and energy for combating your loneliness, as you’re just too tired to do so.

5) Plummeting self-esteem

There’s an unfortunate link between loneliness and self-disgust that psychology has highlighted. 

The overthinking and overanalyzing mentioned above drives a person’s self-worth downwards.

They isolate more, owing to the negative ways in which they are beginning to view themselves.

Spending hours alone, they pull themselves apart and belittle themselves, causing their self-esteem to plummet which in turn makes them even less likely to feel comfortable around other people.

6) You’re always the listener

Ever noticed that you’re often the one lending an ear to others, but when it comes to sharing your own thoughts and feelings, there’s hardly anyone around?

As someone who’s lonely but won’t admit it, you might find yourself falling into the role of the listener more often than not.

It’s not that you don’t have anything to say. It’s just that you’re so used to keeping your feelings to yourself that it becomes second nature to listen more and talk less.

People might think you’re just a good listener or that you don’t have much going on in your life.

But the truth is, just like everyone else, you have your own stories, experiences and emotions that you would love to share, if only there was someone willing to listen.

7) You’re your own date

You’ve probably become quite the expert at doing things on your own.

Going to the cinema solo.

Eating out alone.

Adventuring by yourself.

These things don’t scare you like they do your average person. You’ve become accustomed to making the most out of these solo endeavors.

Sure, you’d love someone to take along for the ride.

In fact, you yearn for companionship. But as that doesn’t feel like it’s happening anytime soon, you put on a brave face and ask for a ticket just for one, please.

8) Always the initiator

Feeling like if you stopped messaging or reaching out to a person, you’d probably never speak to them ever again sucks.

It’s tough always being the one who cares more, who puts in more effort. 

And it’s even tougher to admit that this might stem from a place of loneliness.

Others may see you as a good friend. The sort that reaches out and asks how everyone is  doing or tries to get plans going

What they don’t see is the silent plea for reciprocation, for someone else to take the initiative just for once and prove that the relationship isn’t one sided.

Because beneath all that effort, you’re just hoping someone cares enough about you to reach out first.

9) Feeling lonely, wherever you go

Finally, even when socializing, even when surrounded by friends and family and crowds, that loneliness follows.

It just doesn’t seem to take days off.

So even if you’re in the busiest of cities or the liveliest of parties, feeling disconnected from the people around you means that loneliness can still seep in.

Other people can’t see this, though.

They see you smiling and laughing and seemingly having a good time, when in reality, you still feel a million miles away.

Final thoughts

Loneliness can be a complex and challenging emotion to navigate, especially when you’re not ready to admit it. 

If you’ve recognized some of the above behaviors in yourself, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, or that you’re lacking in social skills. 

What it does mean is that you’re longing for deeper and more meaningful connections – an integral part of being human.

It’s also key to look out for these subtle signs if you see them in a friend or loved one, as loneliness can be absolutely crippling.

So whether you’re the lonely individual in question, or you want to help remedy someone else’s loneliness, know that it’s okay to acknowledge and admit these feelings.

The first step is acceptance, the next is finding the courage to find comfort with yourself, followed by putting yourself out there to forge new connections.

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