Loneliness is a bit of a modern pandemic.
Although the internet allows us to stay connected 24/7, we feel more distant and lonely than ever.
But some of us hide it better than others. Do you want to know how?
Let’s find out.
People who are lonely in life, but hide this well, often exhibit these 8 subtle behaviors.
1) They are always ‘busy’
It’s one thing to dedicate your days to meaningful work, but it’s another to keep yourself busy so you don’t have to dwell on your feelings for a second.
Lonely people fall into the latter category.
Of course, they are always busy with something. Sure, they stay at work long after everyone has gone home. Of course, they always seem to have a lot on their plate.
But being busy isn’t what ultimately defines them. Lonely people aren’t busy because they enjoy it. They are busy because their work offers enough distraction.
If they always have something to do, they don’t have to face the hard truth: they feel hollowed out and incredibly thirsty for a deep and genuine connection with another human being.
It’s the hustle and bustle that keeps them going. Because if they stop for a moment and sit in their loneliness… they might have to face it.
And that is terribly scary.
2) They especially praise independence
It sounds like an oxymoron to feel lonely and praise independence, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you consider that many lonely people don’t actually want to admit how they feel.
Not even to himself.
As a result, they may show signs of hyper-independence – refusing to accept help from anyone else and relying solely on themselves – and often talk about independence in a positive light because they want to convince themselves that their loneliness is not eating them from the inside. .
In the eyes of society, independence is good and loneliness is bad.
If you’re lonely, would you rather admit it or dress it up as independence?
3) They portray themselves as the ‘clown’ of the group
Yet another oxymoron is the fact that it is often the loneliest people who make the most jokes.
Not only do they protect themselves behind independence – they also try to mask their unhappiness with a glossy display of playfulness and joy.
They love to make others laugh, pretend to always be in a good mood and even steal the spotlight for themselves to gain a little self-confidence.
When I was younger, one of my friends was a bit like that. People called her the “sad clown” of the group because she liked to make fun of herself, but she still often withdrew into herself and became quite melancholic when she thought no one was watching.
Everywhere she went there was laughter.
But once there was no audience to impress… my friend let her guard down for a moment and revealed how she really felt deep inside: lonely and blue.
4) They rarely open
Whenever we tried to ask my friend if she was struggling with something or if we could help her feel better, she would always ignore our comments and quickly sweep the issue under the rug.
She didn’t want to open the door. Unfortunately, this only created a vicious cycle of emotional disconnection, loneliness and anxiety.
I know from my own experience that talking about my feelings with someone I trust provides a great relief. It gives me the feeling that someone understands me.
Most of all, it makes me feel like I’m not alone.
If you’re having trouble opening up, try taking it one step at a time. You don’t have to vent to your friend for three hours from the start.
Sharing bits and pieces here and there is more than enough.
It’s a start. And that’s all that matters.
5) Their phones are their best friends
People have an inherent need for connection.
And if we feel like we can’t get it in real life for whatever reason, be it anxiety, depression or something else, we can turn to the one thing that is easily accessible and always available for help: the online world.
Personally, every time I’ve felt lonely in the past, my internet use has increased dramatically. I connected with others on Reddit forums, joined several Discord chats, played more games, and scrolled social media, all so I could feel like I was part of a community.
This habit eventually affected my real life – wherever I was, I would check my phone every five minutes. I became addicted to the feeling of seeing a notification pop up on my screen.
In other words, my phone became my best friend.
If this resonates with you, I want you to know that you are not alone and that online friendships can be just as wonderful as IRL friendships.
However, the online world can only take you so far. It cannot replace the richness of real experiences. It can’t help you combat your loneliness – not in the long run.
6) Their work is central
We live in a society where our jobs define us – especially if you work 9 to 5 five days a week.
When you think about it, forty-hour work weeks don’t give us much time to focus on ourselves, gain new skills, and make friends.
Chances are you just want to watch a TV show and go to sleep as soon as your body settles on the couch for the evening.
However, people who are lonely but hide it well rarely reach the bank. They prefer to stay at work when everyone is away. Their work keeps them busy; it’s what gives them purpose.
It’s what makes them feel like maybe they’re not so alone after all. If they have something to do, loneliness cannot reach them.
Wrong. Loneliness happens to everyone eventually. It washes over you when you’re in the shower; it weighs heavily on you once you go to bed; it follows you around the house as you prepare food.
Plus, working yourself to exhaustion won’t really help yourself in the long run. It will only make you feel worse.
7) They sleep too much or too little
You might think that loneliness is a feeling like any other feeling, but given that humans need to be around other people for survival reasons, loneliness actually has some drastic consequences for our health.
In fact, research even shows it that social isolation is equivalent to smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.
Yes I know. Fifteen. That’s kind of insane when you think about it.
It is no wonder that loneliness also affects your sleep patterns. While some people suffer from insomnia and sleep very little, others may sleep too much.
8) They surround themselves with pets
Not everyone who has a pet is necessarily lonely, but Some research shows that there are enough pet owners who have bought a pet to combat feelings of loneliness.
And no wonder!
Pets not only provide us with companionship, but they also give us a sense of purpose and meaning. If you have a dog to keep you company, you will find that your loneliness is much more manageable.
But then again, getting a pet is only half the battle. It doesn’t solve the root of the problem – it doesn’t provide us with deep and meaningful human connection.
Some people who are lonely in life may be good at hiding it, but that doesn’t make them any less lonely. It just means they’ve found coping mechanisms, most of which are ineffective in the long term.
We all deserve company. If you feel lonely, know that there are plenty of people who would love to connect with you.
Take the first step. Reach out.
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