People who are lonely in life often display these 11 behaviors (without realizing it)

Everybody has experienced loneliness at some point. Even the most social of us can feel a deep sense of loneliness sometimes.

In this article, we’ll talk about those folks who keep their emotions to themselves. 

People who are lonely in life often display these 11 behaviors (without realizing it). 

So, read on to recognize the signs in someone…or in yourself.

1) They’re social butterflies, but only when they’re in a crowd 

Being around other people won’t keep anyone from feeling alone. Although, as a society, we have let ourselves be fooled into thinking that social butterflies or talkative people are not lonely. 

It’s easy to believe that someone who talks to others at a party or draws a crowd to themselves has a fulfilling social life. However, this is not always the case.

Loneliness can’t be measured by the level of someone’s socializing skills. When it comes to feeling connected to your fellow human beings, quantity is nothing compared to quality.

People who are lonely in life are usually really good at being social butterflies, but they struggle to form deeper one-on-one connections with others.

So, even if small talk or making jokes comes easily to you, you’ll feel isolated from the people around you if you can’t hold an honest, personal conversation with someone. 

It’s hard to create genuine human connections when you don’t even let yourself be seen. 

Maybe it’s time to open up to others?

2) They’re wallflowers

It’s no surprise that people who are wallflowers are likely to feel lonely. Connecting with others can feel like an impossible task when all you do is avoid interacting with others. 

Becoming isolated feels almost inevitable when you don’t know how to connect with the people around you.

Wallflowers may struggle to make the first step, and therefore, they are always left feeling like no one is interested in them.

It creates a sense of a deep, almost painful loneliness that’s interconnected with a feeling of inadequacy.

If you feel this way, listen to this–you are surrounded by other people who may struggle to make the first step as much as you!

Don’t take everything personally, and learn to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. Try to talk to people around you, and you’ll be surprised how many of them would be grateful you took the first step!

3) They’re homebodies…but fake ones 

People who experience loneliness aren’t necessarily lonely because people don’t want to talk to them. They surely receive some invitations to parties or even hangouts, but there’s something that makes them decline. 

There is just a certain type of fear or self-hatred that keeps them caged up in their room. They think that they’re alone because it’s their choice and not because they’re afraid to connect to others. 

More often than not, there’s an inner conflict going on. On the one hand, these folks would love to be with others; on the other–they are scared to death to open up and go deep.

This is where they start to feel the weight of feeling alone.

It can become very hard to get out of this shell, but it’s necessary if you want to feel better about yourself and avoid this unnecessary inner dialogue–should I go, or should I not?

4) They are always online

As convenient as it is to use, social media does not always equate with social connection. In fact, if you find yourself constantly on your phone or computer, you can realize that you are missing out on your relationships with the people around you. 

Sometimes, the internet is used to try and cope with loneliness.Lonely people will use it to try to connect with others in ways they have trouble doing in real life.

For example, they’d be active on forums or online communities and it’ll give them a sense of fulfilment and belonging.

When putting all their attention on cyberspace, they start to neglect their friends and family. This is especially true when we remember how addicting games and social media can be. 

It is possible to connect with people online. However, it is not the same as real-life interactions. 

If you find yourself online too often, and it’s your main source of social interactions, it can worsen your feeling of loneliness. 

It might be a good idea to start visiting a local social center or sign up for an art class to get to make friends in real life.

5) They aren’t connected with themselves

The quote “You can’t love others without loving yourself” holds a lot of truth to it. Being disconnected from yourself gives you a shaky foundation for your relationship with others.  

It muddles your understanding of how you affect other people. When your self-perception is blurry, your view of others can also become unclear. It can influence your understanding of other people’s feelings and motivations. 

Ironically, things like self-hatred can make you self-centered, fear socializing, or both.

So, if you feel like you lack connection with yourself, try out some courses or listen to a few master classes that teach on how to connect better to your core and your personal values.

You’ll notice a big difference in how it’ll make you feel about other people, too.

Justin Brown shares a way to get connected to yourself when you’re struggling with loneliness in the video below.

6) They’re always rushing somewhere

People who are lonely in life would often turn away from hangouts or get-togethers because of their busy schedules.  They’re the ones who’d look like they’ve sold their soul to their jobs.

They’re always answering calls, running errands, or going to another work event. However, more often than not, they’d use their work as a distraction from loneliness. 

Other times, they’d bury themselves in their work as a way to avoid forming deep relationships with others. This sense of solitude could come from something like difficulty socializing or fear of intimacy.

If that sounds like you, just think about how fulfilling it can be to have something else bringing you as much joy as your work. And meaningful connections can do just that.

7) They’re worrywarts

It’s easy to see how anxiety can feed into loneliness. Anxiety makes us assume negative things about our relationships that may not even be true. 

This type of fear can cause us to distance ourselves from people or even ghost people altogether because we think they’ve started to form a negative image of us. 

People naturally avoid things they’re afraid of. Being afraid of socializing or dreading rejection can be hard to deal with because it keeps us from the human connection we need. 

This type of anxiety can also be damaging to our self-esteem. If you’re a loner who is also anxious and unsure of lots of things–it’s a cycle that you need to find a way out of.

8) They put a lot of attention on their pets or belongings

There’s nothing wrong with loving your pets or your bottlecap collection. However, when you use these things to compensate for your lack of human connection, it can reach unhealthy levels.

It’s easy to become overly attached to these things when the attachment doesn’t come from relationships with others. The cute, pretty, shiny things look like a very good substitute for fellow ugly, cruel human beings.

People who are lonely in life would often put too much value on material possessions or pets rather than on other people.

They may reach a point where they care for these animals or objects more than themselves. 

This would be an alarming sign that something is off and it’s time to reevaluate their life values.

Having a pet or cherished possessions is nice, but they can only go so far in easing your loneliness.

9) They listen more than they talk

It can be hard to believe that good listeners tend to be lonely. After all, people tend to flock to someone who’s willing to hear them out and empathize with them. 

However, studies find that lonely people tend to be good listeners. Everybody else goes to them to rant about their own loneliness. 

This is because lonely people have heightened sensitivity. They turn the saying “hurt people hurt people” on its head by using their own sadness as a way to better empathize with others. 

They may struggle with expressing their thoughts and feelings, that’s why they’d much rather to listen to others. 

Their inability to complete the human connection by sharing a part of themselves feeds into the loneliness they feel. 

10) They tend to be submissive

It’s hard to see the connection between assertiveness and being less lonely, but they’re more connected than you think. 

Assertiveness lets you express your feelings, put down boundaries, and express your needs and wants. 

It also helps you be more honest with people, helping you form genuine connections with others. This is why submissive people tend to be more lonely. 

When you struggle with assertiveness, your inability to communicate your truth or your needs makes it hard to form good relationships with others. 

Relationships are about giving and taking. You can’t have a healthy relationship if you don’t know how to “take” sometimes. 

11) They feel like a black sheep

There’s always gonna be the person that’s labeled as “weird.” There are also people who feel “weird” even when nobody explicitly says it.

Feeling like you’re out of place or that you don’t belong can really make you feel distant from the people around you.

And that’s how lonely folks usually feel.

They falsely assume that others have not gone through experiences or problems they can relate to. They almost feel “too unique” to blend with others.

Of course, it’s not the case. Most of us are more similar than we think.

Still, loneliness can thrive on this feeling of not being like others, and the more you cultivate this difference, the more lonely you’ll feel.

You’ll feel misunderstood and like people aren’t fully connecting with you, or worse, they can’t. 

This gap can widen further when you become discouraged from trying to connect to people even when they don’t or can’t fully understand you.

To summarize

Loneliness comes in many shapes and forms. However, you can see that at its root, it’s caused by the inability to create and sustain deep connections with other people. 

Fortunately for us, by trying to ease others’ loneliness, we also ease our own. 

If you recognized some of the behaviours we talked above in yourself, know–it’s never too late to become a better version of yourself!

Anna Dovbysh

With 8 years of writing experience and a deep interest in psychology, relationship advice, and spirituality, Anna’s here to shine a light on the most interesting self-development topics and share some life advice. She's got a Master's Degree in International Information and is a life-long learner of writing and storytelling. In the past, she worked on a radio station and a TV channel as a journalist and even tought English in Cambodia to local kids. Currently, she's freelancing and traveling around the globe, exploring new places, and getting inspired by the people she meets and the stories they tell. Subscribe to her posts and get in touch with her on her social media:
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