8 signs that someone is lonely, but doesn't want to admit it, according to psychology

Are we all afraid of being alone? As social beings, it makes sense if we do that.

Loneliness is a painful emotion. It can make people do and say things they would never do if they didn’t feel so alone – in good and bad ways.

But even though it’s good to feel lonely sometimes, most people focus on the bad. That’s why some people will never admit that they are lonely.

Even when the signs are obvious…

If a person is lonely but does not admit it, psychology tells us that he will do certain things.

Let’s take a look at what they are…

1) They are overly talkative, especially with strangers

First, lonely people long for connection. After all, that’s what loneliness means! It means that you miss people and that you miss the connection you feel with them.

So it makes sense that you’ll make more of an effort to talk to people, even strangers, when you’re feeling lonely than when you’re not.

Like if you remember the 2020 pandemic. The first six months of that time were spent alone, with no one to see or talk to. It made me want to strike up conversations with strangers on the street so I could experience some sort of social interaction!

Likewise, when I went through a bad breakup and was alone for the first time in adulthood, I missed talking to people all the time.

I texted friends more than usual. I stayed on the phone with colleagues a little longer than necessary. I even lingered at the hairdresser’s after the appointment to have a chat with the person behind the counter!

This is not always a sign of loneliness. It may just be a signal that someone is sociable or talkative. But in my case it certainly was. And I know this applies to many others too…

2) They make up fake weekend plans

The above sign of loneliness is not so bad. But this is true. It’s actually a bit sad. But I think we can all see why some people do it.

As I said before, there is a stigma attached to loneliness. It is seen as a bad thing. Some people even find it embarrassing (even if it isn’t).

Therefore, someone who feels lonely may be tempted to lie about their weekend plans. Instead of telling you every week that they “did nothing, as usual,” they can pretend that they did something different.

They may always have an elaborate story about the things they have been up to. They may always have those exotic plans up their sleeve.

But there’s something wrong with the things they say, and you know they’re lying. You didn’t know why at first. But now they do: it’s because they’re lonely, and they don’t want to admit it, for fear of how they look.

3) They say that it ‘doesn’t bother them’ a little too often

Let’s say you’re talking about the party you went to this weekend. They weren’t invited, even though they knew this person too. Instead of saying how upset they are about it, they tell you they’re “not bothered at all” about not being invited.

They bring it up once. Then they pick it up again. And again and again and again.

If you ask them what they did on the weekend and they say nothing, they interject again with “I don’t care, I like being alone”.

Which, yes, it could be true. But it could also be a cover. In fact, they may be very concerned about their lack of social plans or party invitations. They just don’t want to admit it.

4) They always try to make social plans

Another sign of loneliness in someone is someone who is always trying to make social plans. I must admit that I have even been guilty of this!

If I’ve felt lonely in my life, I don’t like it. And I know that I need social interaction. So what should I do? I try to make as many plans as possible.

I usually text several friends to see if they are free. But if I didn’t have many friends, I might text the same people over and over again.

And that’s how I think I ended up in some group chats with people always asking, “Who’s coming for a drink?” or “Who wants to go to the club on Saturday?”. And it’s the same person who asks every weekend.

They could just be extroverts, I know. And that’s why they want to socialize all the time. But they can also be lonely, and they try to avoid that by making as many social plans as possible.

5) They keep themselves too busy

It may not seem logical, but when a person feels lonely, he or she can keep themselves busy all the time.

You wouldn’t think this means someone is lonely or sad (sometimes both). Goal psychology tells us otherwise – and I can testify!

If you read an advice column about what to do after a breakup, it will probably tell you to keep yourself busy. I know, because that’s exactly what I did.

Whenever I was free, I went to the gym. I made myself strays to run. I booked plans weeks in advance. When people asked me what I was doing this week, I always had a long, long list.

But the thing is, I made these plans because I knew I would feel lonely without them. I knew that if I didn’t book plans for myself on Saturday evening, loneliness would sneak up on me.

That said, staying busy just because you feel lonely isn’t always a bad thing. It can help you create new memories, meet new people and just feel happier, it really does!

6) They get upset when plans change at the last minute

Remember when I said loneliness can make you do good and bad things? Well, this is an example of a bad thing you can do when you feel lonely.

Loneliness is a painful emotion plus a powerful one. Therefore, it can make you feel overly sensitive about certain things.

Namely if plans change at the last minute. If you’re like me (and like the experts say we are) and want to book plans when you’re feeling lonely, you’ll probably feel very upset when those plans get canceled.

If they were canceled and it meant staying home with your family, hanging out with your partner, walking your dog, or doing something else you enjoyed, it probably wouldn’t bother you.

But if you’re lonely, and plans canceled at the last minute mean you’re stuck indoors alone all weekend without being able to see or talk to anyone, you’ll probably have a very different reaction.

I know I’ve…

7) They post a lot on social media

People post on social media for many different reasons. Some people do it to show off their lifestyle. Others do it to have a casual conversation with their friends.

And a small number of people do it because they feel lonely.

My friend was infamous for doing this. Each time she broke up, she started posting online much more often than usual.

Everywhere she went had a story associated with it. And when she wasn’t doing anything, she would post some quote. Which usually meant she wanted a friend to contact her and ask her if she was okay.

Like I said, not everyone who posts all the time is lonely in life! But if they’re always longing for a response from people online, maybe they’re…

8) They pretend to like things that everyone else likes

My partner gave a good example of this. His friend never liked golf. He’s pretty sure he still doesn’t like golf.

But he goes along when everyone else goes. Why? Because it’s fun. It’s the only thing my partner and his friends do together these days. So if this guy didn’t play golf, he probably wouldn’t see his friends as much.

I’m not saying this man is lonely, but this behavior is something a lonely person would do.

They might start vaping because they can hang out with everyone outside. Or they can pretend to like something that other people like so they can feel like they “belong.”

Sometimes they may try too hard to fit in and go along with everything anyone says. Other times it seems like their interests are constantly changing, or like something isn’t quite right about what they say they like to do…

Final thoughts

The thing to remember about loneliness is that it’s not always a bad thing.

When I experienced my first breakup as an adult, I had to live alone, without any friends around me who knew what it was like to have your life changed in an instant.

And I was lonely, I admit.

But the feeling of loneliness was powerful. It has taught me a lot about who I am and what I want in life. I made plans for the future. I started new hobbies. I reached out to old friends and made new ones along the way.

If I hadn’t felt that loneliness, I would never have reached the point I have reached in life today. And I probably wouldn’t appreciate my friends, my family, and the fact that I’m in a relationship as much as I do today!

But I think loneliness is only good if you realize that you are lonely and if you try to do something about it. Like it keep yourself busytrying new things, and putting more effort into helping people than you normally would.

So if you’re feeling lonely, and you only realize it from this list, don’t get lost in it!

Loneliness can shape you and help you rebuild your entire life. You just have to make sure it doesn’t get the upper hand…

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