Loneliness is an interesting and complex feeling. It is isolating and scary, often leading people into depression and anxiety. Why is it that loneliness has this impact on us, and is it normal to experience loneliness for a while in life? Well, we’ve got the truth about loneliness for you right here, so keep on reading.
When it comes to the experience of loneliness, it must be said that it is an entirely normal experience. Everyone on the planet experiences loneliness at least once in their life – and most people experience it a lot more than that in their time. It’s normal and everyone experiences it, no matter how many friends they have and how often they see them. None of that matters when it comes to loneliness – you can have fifty friends but still feel lonely when in their company.
So, what is the truth about loneliness?
Scientifically, loneliness is tied heavily into evolution and natural selection. The survival of the fittest meant that interaction with other human beings from the beginning of time was vitally important. Humans needed each other to survive. Be it helping to bring home food, create families, tribes and build homes – humans needed each other. That meant that those who were able to survive were those who were able to fit in with their social circle and remain included. It meant that the ‘fittest’ of individuals would change their behaviour to fit in with their social group in order to survive if necessary.
This is why when we begin to feel isolated and lonely, even within our groups, it’s so damaging. Loneliness was made a feeling, just like hunger, for humans back in the early days so that we would adapt and survive. That’s why it hurts so much.
If you’re currently feeling lonely, it’s important that you don’t allow it to get the better of you. The truth about loneliness is that you will want to cut yourself off from everyone else even if you crave social interaction. Sometimes you just feel as if you can’t do it anymore. And though it’s easier said than done, you should try to overcome loneliness by interacting with people. Even if it’s people you’ve not spoken to in weeks or months, just reach out and say ‘hi’. If you’re lonely and away from home, this might help.