Most of us will experience loneliness and rejection at some points in our lives. But sometimes we land in a place where there seems to be nothing but never-ending loneliness. I know this place well, as I lived there for most of my young adult years.
This kind of loneliness doesn’t lessen when you are around people. It’s like a rain cloud that follows you everywhere. For me, it was feeling invisible no matter where I was – at work, with my partner, with the loose connections that I called friends.
And when I was alone, I would get stuck. Have you been stuck before? For me this looked like sitting on the couch after I got home from work and not being able to get up again. Decisions like what to make for dinner or watch on TV felt like way too much. If I did manage to turn on the TV, whatever channel it was on was what I watched.
If someone did seem to notice me I was so surprised that I really wouldn’t know how to respond.
In my work as a therapist with introverted, sensitive people, I see this loneliness often. And I know how hard it is to talk about. There is a lot of embarrassment and shame that comes with this deep loneliness.
Questions like, what are your plans for this weekend or what did you do this weekend, can bring up so much shame. How do you tell your co-worker or parent that you have no plans? There is nothing wrong with not having plans on the weekend but when this happens weekend after weekend, it becomes increasingly difficult to answer these questions.
As quiet sensitive people, we often feel out of place. And many of us have had the experience of being told we don’t fit in. This can be very hard to deal with.
Because we can see the world so differently, it’s hard to feel like we do fit in.
Here are three strategies that can help lessen the loneliness:
- Pick one simple thing to do. This can be washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, or clearing off a counter. Movement and doing something small that needs to be done helps with getting unstuck. Sometimes it is helpful to have a plan before you get home so you don’t get stuck on the couch.
- Go for a walk in nature. For some of us, feeling connected with nature can bring a bit of joy.
- Reach out to someone in your life that is a safe person for you. You might try to talk yourself out of doing this when the loneliness is so loud but it really does need to be interrupted. Reaching out even if it’s through texting can bring a bit of relief.