The 7 Types Of Loneliness and How to Handle Each Type of Loneliness
One of the major challenges we all deal with is loneliness. In this world, even with the connections we have – online and offline – loneliness remains an issue that we can’t seem to overcome.
Loneliness has always been a challenge but more so in the last year when many people were forced to quarantine and stay under lockdown for months on end. It’s easy to open Facebook or Instagram and chat with our friends online but what about having a real, intimate conversation with a friend over coffee – in real-time?
Loneliness is not about being alone or being single. A toxic relationship can also make you feel lonely. Being in a new city can make you feel lonely. Loneliness can affect you in different ways and in this article, we’ll be exploring the 7 types of loneliness and why each matter.
Let’s take a look at which type of loneliness you are struggling with.
The 7 Types Of Loneliness:
1. Situational Loneliness
One type of loneliness can be referred to as situational or transitional loneliness. When you move to a new city, change a job, or even end a long-term relationship, you might feel a little lost. This adjustment period can cause you to feel lonely.
For example, If you’ve moved to a new country, you might face language barriers that can make you miss home and your loved ones.
2. Caregiver Loneliness
When you care for an elderly parent, grandparent, or a sick sibling, loneliness can sneak in after a time. A lot of stress is involved when you’re a caregiver and this can be isolating. Many caregivers find themselves not being able to maintain a social life.
Caregiving is a tough job and can be emotionally draining if you don’t take time to care for yourself. If you feel lonely while caring for your loved ones, it is recommended that you reach out to your support system.
Related Read: Caregiver Depression: Signs and Causes | 7 Tips to Deal With It
3. Social Loneliness
Some friendships can be comfortable even if none of you engage in a conversation, however, some friendships can make you feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by others. These kinds of superficial friendships are rarely authentic and can worsen your loneliness.
One of the ways to fix this is to establish connections that are more emotional than material. It’s important to have one friend who can be your confidant and your support system.
4. Social Media Loneliness
Social media brings us together but it can also make us feel lonely or worsen our loneliness. For example, after scrolling through my social media, where I see others in relationships, I begin to feel lonely even if I wasn’t feeling the same before.
To avoid this type of loneliness, you can limit your exposure to social media and work on strengthening the bonds of your existing relationships. Make sure you spend your time more with your family and friends in real life than you do on social media.
Related Read: What Is The Role Of Dopamine In Fueling Our Social Media Addiction?
5. Work Loneliness
Five days a week and approximately 8-9 hours a day we spend our time at work and while work can keep you busy, it can make you feel lonely too if you don’t have any meaningful connections with your coworkers. Especially during work from home, loneliness has become more apparent.
If you’re a freelancer or work remotely, then try to find a way to connect with your coworkers via videoconferencing at least once or twice a week. Having work friendships or connections can even help you improve your social skills and broaden your circle.
6. Intimate Loneliness
It is not uncommon to feel lonely in a relationship, especially if you or your partner isn’t making the effort to connect emotionally. If you can’t connect with your partner, it can create feelings of loneliness and can take away the intimacy of a relationship.
One way to resolve this can be to talk to your partner about your loneliness. Maybe they haven’t realized that you’ve been feeling lonely even when you’re with them. Let them know.
7. No-Pet Loneliness
This type of loneliness is common especially if you’ve always been a pet person and suddenly find yourself without a pet. This kind of loneliness can be difficult to understand but it does not make it less valid. Pets give us unconditional love and vice versa. Not being able to care for a pet can make you feel lonely too.
If you miss the company of a pet, you can try to adopt one or if you can’t, you can always volunteer in your nearest pet shelter or volunteer to be a pet sitter for your neighbors, friends, or coworkers.
How To Overcome Loneliness?
It’s important to identify the type of loneliness you’re struggling with to get the right help. When you know why you’re feeling lonely, only then you will be able to address your type of loneliness the right way.
Here’s what you can do to overcome loneliness:
1. Do What You Love
If you find yourself lonely, then embrace the time and turn it around. Take this time as an opportunity to do what you love doing and never had the time to. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try some “me time”, so take this opportunity to embrace yourself.
2. Adopt A Pet
If you’re lonely for some reason, try to not let your negative thoughts and feelings take over. If you can, adopt a pet. Did you know that having a pet can alleviate your stress and make you feel less lonely?
3. Focus On Your Hobbies
Focusing on your hobbies can also help overcome your loneliness. If you find yourself feeling lonely, try to take your energy and do something creative. If you don’t want to focus on your hobbies, you can try doing meditation or self-reflection.
4. Join A Support Group
One of the best ways to overcome loneliness is to join support groups or various clubs. Sure, social media can make us feel lonely but social media can also help us connect with others around the globe struggling with the same as you are.
If you like doing outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or play sports, then you can consider joining your local community center in your free time. And, it’s an amazing way to meet new people!
Loneliness is one of the major obstacles we might face daily. Whether you’re lonely because you miss a long-term relationship or if you miss the company of a pet, it can be resolved. You don’t have to feel lonely if you take the right steps to overcome the type of loneliness you’re experiencing.
I hope this blog was able to explain the different types of loneliness and how you can overcome them. Remember, if you’re frequently experiencing loneliness, then it can be a sign of depression or an underlying mental health condition.
It is recommended that you seek professional help for a better diagnosis. You can connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Are you feeling lonely? Which type of loneliness are you (or have been) experiencing? Let us know in the comments below!