Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)

Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)

Being married or a relationship will not rid you of loneliness. I was engaged for years to a guy who was very self absorbed, and we did not connect emotionally.

As the relationship with this guy dragged on, I would sit in the same room as him and yet still feel all alone.

And I’ve read many online testimonies by married women who say the same thing – that though they are married, they still feel all alone, because their husbands make no effort to spend time with them, or for whatever the reason.

I’m just putting that out there, because American culture has this terrible tendency to act as though if you can just find the one right person and marry him (or her) that you will be instantly happy, fulfilled, and your loneliness will go away.

(Link): Why Do We Feel So Lonely  by Laura Petrecca 

Excerpts:

….There are more ways than ever to connect with others — yet many of us know the hollow ache of loneliness.

Loneliness isn’t constrained by age, gender, marital status or job title. CEOs feel it. So do cubicle dwellers. As do new moms, granddads, recent college grads and elementary school students.

…And yes, some of those Facebook friends who continually post photos of bar outings and extended family gatherings may be quite lonely, too.

…The prevalence of loneliness “is surprisingly high,” says John Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, who has studied the topic extensively.

Loneliness can have negative effects on one’s mental and physical health. (May is Mental Health Month.) As a society, we’ve put increased emphasis on emotional well-being, yet loneliness remains a major issue.

…What is loneliness, exactly?  Most of us have felt it in some form or another. It’s the feeling that arises when there is a gap between social interactions you want and reality. It’s feeling separated, even alienated, and can last for a short stretch or a prolonged period of time. It’s important to note that you can feel lonely “even when you are around other people,” Cacioppo says.

…That scary future of loneliness is a reality for many older adults. Almost half of Americans age 62 and up  experience some degree of loneliness, (Link):  according to a new AARP Foundation survey. Two in 10  say their loneliness is frequent.

…Technology and social media can play a part. We are (Link): increasingly adopting digital devices, and (Link):  social media use has skyrocketed.

Though these tools can be helpful, digital communication often lacks the connection-building nuances that come with face-to-face interactions, says the University of Chicago’s Cacioppo.

… Risk factors for perceived or actual social isolation include living alone, being unmarried and having few friends, (Link): says Brigham Young University psychology and neuroscience professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad.

Other factors include chronic health conditions and mobility impairments.

Lonely people can automatically put up their guard, which in turn can make it difficult to establish those longed-for connections, Cacioppo says.


Related Posts:

(Link):   Lonely People’s Brains Work Differently

(Link):   Why Lonely People Stay Lonely

(Link):   Sick of Being Single / Sick and Tired of Being Single Alone Unmarried Lonely

(Link):   The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness

(Link):   When You Are Lonely In Your Marriage by K. Parsons

(Link):  Asking Too Much Of Marriage – Married People are Lonely

(Link):   Married Woman Says She’s Lonely Because Her Husband Works All The Time

(Link):   When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

(Link):   Settling Vs Being Lonely (letter to advice columnist)

(Link):   Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis

(Link):   Women Who Dump Women Friends As Soon As They Get A Spouse or Boyfriend (Letter to Advice Columnist)

(Link): Dear Abby: Teen Gets a Boyfriend, Snubs Her Old Pal 

(Link):  Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

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