Difference Between Alone and Loneliness

aloneOf the many clients I have worked with using the Yuen Method™ / Personal Transformation, I have found the topic of loneliness being discussed time and time again. A lot of this is due to past traumas, events, and experiences that need to be shifted so that awareness could be brought into view. Personal Transformation is powerful and life changing if you are up to becoming a seeker of who you are in the present and not a victim of your past.

Loneliness is a deeply, unpleasant feeling; one that often triggers depression and damages self-esteem. Experienced for years on end, it can even lead to physical illness, increasing your risk of everything from cancer to heart disease. It can occur at any period of life, from infancy to old age. And it is not experienced only by the isolated. Indeed, you can live alone and not be lonely, just as you can be surrounded by friends and family yet feel desperate.

Understanding Loneliness by Keith Hillman

Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Lonely people feel the way they do because they lack a deep bond with another human being. Some do not want, or need, that bond and are content within their isolation. Others lack this sense of deep connection even though they have a partner, children, and plenty of friends.

The problem with loneliness is that people aren’t always the solution. This may sound odd, but it is true. You can fill your life with people and find that nothing has changed. On the contrary, fill your life with the wrong people, those with whom you have nothing in common, who do not share your sense of humor, or interests, or view of the world, and it may intensify your sense of loneliness and isolation.

Many people never admit just how lonely they really are. This is especially true of the young. It is as if they feel that by doing so, they are admitting to being unlikeable. Loneliness is a complicated beast. You might be beautiful, witty, and popular and yet still feel dreadfully isolated. Remember, if you do feel lonely, it probably has nothing to do with how likable you are.

How to Overcome Loneliness

If you are sure that loneliness is the problem, try overcoming it in stages:

1) Find the right sorts of people

Consider the sorts of people you wish to meet. Make a list of hobbies and interests. Now look around for any local clubs or groups. Nothing bonds people quicker than a shared passion.

2) Have something to offer

When young and single, people have more time to form shallow, casual friendships. As they age, pursue a career, and raise children, they become far more choosy, seeking to form friendships only with those who have something to offer. Take an interest in as wide a range of subjects as possible, and learn to empathize with other’s problems. You need to offer more than a wish to be liked! If people sense that you are lonely and desperate for a friend, they will avoid you.

3) Arrange to meet somewhere different

This is where it gets tricky. Anyone can join a local sports club or reading group, and get chatting to people. The hard part is turning such casual acquaintanceships into deep, loving friendships. First, you must move the relationship to a new setting. For example, if you have joined a book club and each week you chat to the same person, find a reason to meet outside of the class. If they mention that they need to get fit, tell them you have also been meaning to get in shape and suggest joining a gym or yoga class together.

4) Let them in

Those who spend a lot of time alone often find it difficult to allow other people to get close to them. However, in order to establish a true, lasting friendship, you must first establish intimacy. But this will only flourish in the right setting.

Many people succeed with the first four stages, then allow the relationship to falter. Don’t lose your nerve. If they agreed to walk their dog with you, or they have been giving you a lift to the new exercise class, they must like you. Exchange phone numbers, add them on social media and introduce them to your family and friends. Again, you must use your judgment. A tightrope must be walked between neglecting the friendship and becoming a pest.

The world owes you nothing. Many lonely people literally sulk at home and blame others for not reaching out to them. But you cannot expect other people to ride to your rescue. You must go out there and seize hold of life. Above all, you must be patient and determined. Don’t allow a couple of bad experiences to put you off. Finally, remember that all human relationships are based upon “give and take.” If you want a good friend, you must be a good friend.

silence-1426251_960_720What is Normal?

This is a common topic where nobody really knows the meaning, less what it suppose to look like or how it is supposed to feel.

Loosely described, “normality” is the state of being “normal”, as opposed to being deviant, eccentric or unusual. Normal is also used to describe individual behavior that conforms to the most common behavior in society. Someone being seen as “normal” or “not normal” can experience social ramifications, such as being included or excluded or stigmatized by larger society.

The problem lies in our individual perception of what “normal” really is. And this sometimes paralyzes us because we focus on what is “wrong” with us, rather that what is “right.” However, who exactly are we comparing our “normal” too? Are we judging ourselves based on what other people depict as “normal” or are we creating our own diagnosis?

As an example, for some people, normal means living “without the symptoms of their disorder” should they find themselves relieved of health issues that are severe and debilitating toward living their everyday life. However, there are people without a diagnosed health condition who still don’t feel “normal” due to daily stresses, struggle with relationships, and so on. So which scenario has merit, and which does not?

The point is simple — there is no “normal.” Rather, it is a homeostasis we try to maintain in our constantly changing environment. None of us live a “normal” life because there’s no such thing.

It is best to think of “normal” as a range of life experiences where we can live the life we want, without significant health or mental health impediments. It still has its ups and downs and it still has moments where we question our own sanity, but it’s relatively predictable with routines that feel familiar but not necessarily suffocating.

“Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.” — Whoopi Goldberg

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be..”  — Maya Angelou

If you are interested in seeking to understand yourself more, and where this loneliness started, please contact me for more information or to start your journey.  https://timeforself.net/contact/


Heather Young, owner of Time for Self
Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) / Yuen Method™/ Holistic Practitioner
Certified Personal Transformation Coach / Alternative and Energetic Medicines

403-358-2362 — Red Deer, Alberta, Canada