People who feel deeply alone in life but never talk about it usually display these 5 behaviors

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People who feel deeply alone in life but never talk about it usually display these 5 behaviors

Loneliness can be a conflicting, cutting feeling.

It has this peculiar dual ability—it can leave you feeling completely and utterly alone, while still feeling like you need to remain alone.

Confusing, right? You crave the company of others, but sometimes, when you get it, it still isn’t enough. Not even close.

The writer Tahereh Mafi speaks to this feeling in a beautiful, resonant way.

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart,” Mafi said.

It’s in this way that loneliness can leave you longing for connection, but not just any kind, the tangible kind of connection—one that you can grasp in your hands.

It might also manifest in a multitude of ways, from taking up new solo hobbies, to making jokes at the expense of one’s own pressing loneliness.

Let’s dig a little deeper, and talk about the signs of a person who is likely to be experiencing loneliness in a deep way.

1) They lose themselves in music, usually emotive or even classical music

Do you know someone who appears to be losing themselves in the haunting melodies of a classical symphony or the soulful notes of a heart-wrenching power ballad?

Maybe it is a silent cry for connection, a desperate plea for understanding in a world that feels increasingly distant.

Author and poet Maya Angelou once spoke of the effect of music: “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”

Think about it—when life gets difficult for us, we often turn to music to express what words cannot. 

Music becomes a refuge, as Angelou says, a safe space where emotions can flow freely. 

But when someone consistently appears to be seeking comfort in sad songs, it might be a subtle indicator that something is not right.

After all, loneliness is more than just the feeling of physical isolation—it’s a profound emotional state.

So, it pays to think again about that person who spends hours immersed in classical songs. 

Classical music, with its timeless depth and complexity, can serve as a companion for those grappling with solitude. 

It’s as if the melodies become a bridge, connecting us to our own emotions and, indirectly, to the wider human experience. 

In those musical moments, the lonely listener might feel somewhat less alone.

2) They crack jokes about being a loner, in a self-deprecating way

This one might surprise you a little, however it is a good one to know—as it can be really tricky to spot!

Ever had that one pal who turns being a loner into their very own stand-up comedy routine?

They might crack jokes about them being a lone wolf, or even a one-man army, but look closer and you might realize what they are really trying to do is sidestep the vulnerability they are feeling deep down.

By cracking these jokes, they create an impression that forever flying solo is a choice, or their preferred state, not something that’s gnawing at them.

When someone makes these jokes, it could be their way of looking for some understanding or acknowledgment.

As fantastic and healing as laughter can be, it doesn’t always repair the wounds concealed under the surface.

3) They are choosing more opportunities to spend time on their own

If you know a person who used to absolutely love social gatherings, and eagerly awaited every invitation, who is now suddenly opting for time on their own, it could be a red flag—and a prompt for you to look closer.

This might also come in the form of holidays, once marked by togetherness and fun, now spent fully alone, or hobbies that once brought joy in the pleasant company of friends are taken up solo.

It might look like a retreat or even a withdrawal from a social world that feels increasingly unfamiliar to them.

Of course, this might simply be a newfound appreciation for peace and quiet, or even a bit of soul searching.

Whatever it may be, it could be worth starting a casual conversation with them in order to dig a little deeper.

Loneliness can be hard to read, as it can be a silent battle, rather than just a solitary existence.

If a person is aching from emotional disconnect, opting for solitude can serve as their shield—a kind of defense mechanism or coping mechanism in the face of fear of rejection, judgment, or disappointment.

4) They have become fixated on friendships or relationships that aren’t necessarily serving their best interests

Loneliness might not be easy to read—it isn’t exactly etched on the faces of the people it touches.

But here is one particular thing I have learned: loneliness can strangely be etched in the company you keep!

Might you know someone who is clinging desperately onto friendships or relationships that clearly do not serve them?

Maybe these folks are toxic, draining, or even abusive with them.

Why would anyone want them for themselves?

You see, when someone is alone, they might be afraid of that loneliness to the point where they cling to other people like a life raft.

And these other people might be causing them more harm than good.

Seriously, it’s almost as if they have begun prioritizing quantity over quality in their relationships, surrounding themselves with people who may not necessarily have their best interests at heart. 

It’s a sad attempt to fill an emotional void with superficial connections.

It is in this way that loneliness can cloud over us, obscuring our judgment and urging us to seek solace in any form of human connection, wherever we can find it. 

They compromise real, genuine connections just to have someone, anyone, around them at all times.

You might like to take a peek at your own life.

Are you building up relationships like they are trophies, or are you nurturing bonds that genuinely serve you well?

5) They have begun more expressive hobbies

When someone begins leaning more into their art, it might mean they have something they desperately need to say, to express, to unburden themselves of.

This might take the form of an expressive hobby like poetry or painting.

Let’s try and shed some light on this artistic inclination. 

When someone is suddenly furiously funneling their emotions into their art, it usually isn’t just about painting a pretty picture.

It goes deeper. Historically, the arts have been a safe haven for loneliness, just as Maya Angelou said of music.

When words fail, there is color and music and form to step on up. 

Such interests can be a way for the lonely person to articulate their internal struggle without necessarily saying it aloud.

Final thoughts

The signs of loneliness sure can be subtle.

You might have that one friend who loses themselves in their classical music, possibly even shedding a tear over a particularly moving symphony.

Then there is the sudden surge in expressive hobbies. Your friend, who once barely doodled, is now pouring their heart into poetry or painting.

It goes beyond just nurturing a newfound interest, rather, it’s a way to articulate the unsaid.

And let’s not forget the humor. More jokes about loneliness slipping into conversations? This is not just for giggles, but a way to mask the dull ache of feeling truly alone.

The next time you spot these subtle shifts in someone’s behavior, don’t just ignore them—they might be secretly wanting you to step in and lend an understanding ear.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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