You may feel like the only person on the planet who has felt lonely while you are feeling loneliness. It can be a difficult feeling because there is a disconnect between you and others, and humans need connection to survive.
The story you may be telling yourself is that people do not care about you, and even more, you don’t care about yourself.
You may think that the only way to feel fulfilled is through external validation or approval from others. When this happens, you may set yourself up for compromise of morals and boundaries. And, it can lead to guilt and even shame.
While you are feeling loneliness, it can be difficult to take perspectives into account when they seem different than what you think and feel.
You may think the people around you have it better than you, which can often be falsely validated through social media.
The feeling of loneliness can encourage living in absolutes. This may come up in the form of conditions like if this happens, this will happen.
Fear can keep you safe, and it may also prevent you from taking a healthy risk in your life.
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If you have lived a life where you have been hurt in a romantic relationship, you may not have a perspective that healthy relationships are possible.
Grief can develop as a result of this perspective. Inviting possibility into your life can feel challenging when you don’t feel connected to others or a social connection.
And, when feeling lonely in these or any other experiences, often our brain can tell us stories that aren’t true…
3 lies you may tell yourself while feeling loneliness can include:
1. Your perspective is the only one that matters.
When you are feeling disconnected from others or experiencing a lack of social interaction, it can be difficult to see or hear multiple perspectives.
Loneliness encourages extreme thinking because you may be overthinking or ruminating on something that happened.
This can cause anxiety and feelings like sadness, overwhelm, fear, uncertainty, desperation, depression or helplessness.
It can be a vulnerable time, so you may perpetuate lies that you believe about yourself rather than being willing to listen to others. If you don’t feel like you have friends, you may not be willing to listen to what people have to say.
A trusted professional, like a therapist, can help give you a different perspective than your own.
Practicing radical honesty, perspective challenging and exploring ways of re-connecting with others with a trusted professional can help develop trust within yourself.
Usually, it’s your thinking that got you to this point, and sharing space with a person who cares about you can be helpful.
2.No one cares about you.
This is a tricky lie when you are feeling lonely because it perpetuates the cycle of loneliness and an emotional reaction within yourself, which can be addictive.
Sometimes, the people you least expect to care actually care the most about you.
You may want a relationship to work with a person who doesn’t have the ability to love you, and that can confirm that you are unlovable. This is not helpful when you feel loneliness.
Dare to look for people who do care.
If you haven’t considered caring about yourself, start there. It’s not necessary to love yourself first, and being curious about how to can be helpful.
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If you are feeling like no one cares about you, look closely at your intention.
Sometimes, this can be a form of manipulation to encourage people to treat you a certain way or to comfort your loneliness.
Relying on others for validation can sometimes push them away – further supporting the lie you may be telling yourself about nobody caring.
You can start a new pattern or go in a healthy way at any time.
Surrounding yourself with people who listen, support you taking care of yourself, encourage you to make healthy choices can be a way to develop community.
3.You will never be in a relationship.
This lie can lead to external validation from others.
When you think that you won’t be in a romantic relationship, you may go out of your way to find all the ways that is true.
This can come in the form of avoiding relationships all together; not trying to have a romantic relationship with a significant other.
This can also lead you to make risky decisions for yourself in relationships to get the love that you haven’t felt in your life.
External validation is a natural part of being a human being, and when you are consistently attention seeking in relationships, you may need to unlearn this pattern as it may not be serving you the way you hope.
Learning to manage emotions can be difficult when it comes to being in a relationship. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible.
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Being willing to change and stay open can promote a relationship in your life, no matter the difficult emotions that surface.
If a partner doesn’t match your exact expectations, it can feel risky to try.
Part of being in a relationship with a partner is understanding that you may also be your own best companion.
It can be difficult to weigh perspectives while you are feeling lonely, and in not doing so, you may be perpetuating lies in your life.
With the help of a relationship professional, like a therapist, you can start to understand patterns that may no longer serve you.
It is not helpful to stay disconnected when you are feeling lonely.
Sometimes, healing means that you do the opposite of what feels most comfortable to you. It can be a risk.
Feelings of loneliness can be all encompassing, and despite your most pervasive thoughts, you are not alone.
Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC