Communicating Concepts

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Loneliness -
Identifying & dealing issues of being Lonely

Have you experienced being lonely?
       Loneliness is one of the most devastating feelings that anyone can experience. Loneliness is a feeling that in extreme circumstances may provoke a person to commit suicide. Suicide attempts can be  triggered by the Christmas holidays, breakup of personal relationship, terminal illness. or the anniversary of a death of a - spouse, parent, child, or pet.

What is Loneliness?
       It is possible to have lots of friends and be surrounded with people, but it entirely possible that you have not allowed them to become close. The result is that you feel isolated and the feeling of being alone continues when surrounded by family members.

What causes Loneliness?
       One of the major causes for someone to feel lonely is the lack of intimate relationships.  Superficial relationships are not a substitute as you never feel comfortable sharing your emotions with them.

       Learning how to sharing your emotions and secrets with people is a positive step that helps you in overcoming loneliness and it will also help you get closer to your friends.

       Another strong cause for the feelings of loneliness is the feeling that you are not welcomed to join a select group that you aspire to join. If you felt that people don't like you, then you will not be able to form intimate relationships with them and so you will likely feel lonely when being with them.

Circumstances that can Produce Loneliness:  
       There times when we will experience being extremely lonely, yet we may not be able to verbalize what causes our loneliness. The following a typical examples of triggers that cause us to feel sad and prefer not to have other people around us:
  • Feeling homesick caused by separation from the comfort zone of home.
  • Trouble making friends,
  • Not feeling worthwhile or valued,
  • Loneliness following the breakup of a relationship (dating or marriage)
  • Loneliness after the death of a person or pet you were very close to (parent, sibling, spouse)
  • Feeling lonely in a relationship because the significant other is always working or socializing with friends,
  • Dysfunctional family relationships,
  • Empty nest syndrome after the kids have left home
  • Anxiety or fear about meeting new people or being afraid to converse with people,
  • Loss of a social network and failure to reestablish a new network,
  • Inability to form close or intimate relationships.
       Being alone is not the same as feeling lonely. Some individuals actually need some "down time" to decompress from high stress careers and even family members. Family and work obligations can be very stressful, especially if most of the burden of organizing and preparing for the holidays defaults to you.

       Some individuals may not feel comfortable when left to their own devices and can't bear the thought of being alone as they feel isolated, abandoned, and adrift without structure in their life.

       Keep in mind that it is quite normal to enjoy your time alone, as this time alone can be very helpful in restoring your energy to deal with the normal daily problems everyone experiences.

Overcoming Loneliness?
       To overcome the feeling of loneliness, you need to first become comfortable with sharing your emotions and life experiences with other people.

       Try not to spend most of your time alone. If the nature of your daily activities makes it difficult to have direct contact with people, make a concerted efforts to plan activities to socialize on the weekends.

       Reduce your loneliness by increasing the opportunities of interacting with old acquaintances and meeting new people by going to public places or social events. The following are some practices you should take to overcome loneliness: 
  • Join a study group. The more time you spend alone the more the loneliness feelings will get reinforced.

  • Ask a friend to join you for a daily walk.

  • You need to strive to develop emotional honesty to help in overcoming loneliness. Try to be more engaged with your friends by sharing fears and worries and avoid the typical small talk of superficial conversations.

  • Someone who is afraid to share their emotions may you have a serious problem of low opinion of yourself  (self confidence),

  • It is not true that expressing the feeling of being blue or depressed makes an individual weak. Just because you feel down doesn't mean that you are bad any more than if you are depressed means that you are inadequate. It is normal to have downs that occur briefly before rebounding.

  • It is frequently touted to be one of the most effective ways to overcome loneliness - getting involved into a relationship. However, it is not recommended that a person who is at a very vulnerable stage of their life should seek someone to form a relationship to share every aspect of your life with your partner so the feelings of loneliness will disappear. The problem is that you cannot control the  lots of  variables involved, such as time, place, and circumstances when you would meet the perfect person without any undisclosed emotional baggage. 

  • For some people getting involved with some kind of a charitable project or cause that involves team work. Involvement in such a project obligates you to share your ideas, thoughts and even your fears with others, which may be helpful in mitigating loneliness. You generally have to attend regular meetings in order to discuss the project's issues and communicate your progress in accomplishing a task or assignment.

  • One of the important facts about loneliness is that when you experience a problem or a downtime, you will develop more of a dependency or attachment to other people.

Loneliness and Depression
     Loneliness can result in a severe depression if no actions were taken to resolve this condition. Advice to do something new or exercising will never help in removing depression unless the person deals with the real root cause.

     In this case, dealing with loneliness is the only way to get rid of the depression associated with it.

     Personal empowerment techniques involve Targeting the source(s) of your loneliness by:

  • Identify and targets the source of your loneliness,

  • Identify and describe the desired outcome,

  • Proposing steps that will turns your loneliness into confidence and hope,

  • Listing how you will change your anxieties and fears into strength,

  • Describing how you plan to transform your frustration into effectiveness,

  • Not attempting to make drastic changes in your life. Small, positive changes will achieve a lasting transformation!
Recommended Reading:
  • Loneliness and Mental Illness Dealing with loneliness is a very delicate balancing act. Sometimes you have to sit at home and face it, but sometimes you have to go out and try to meet people.
  • How to Deal With Loneliness  Nov. 9, 2011 ... How to Deal With Loneliness. People feel lonely for a number of reasons, such as not having enough friends, not knowing how to be close to anyone.
  • Coping with loneliness  You are not alone as a staggering amount of people suffers from loneliness. Loneliness is a feeling of emptiness and can sometimes result in depression.
References:

Developing Personality and Character Traits

Resources:


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Relationships:
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