I’ve heard it said that being lonely is not the worst thing, but staying lonely is – and it can be harmful to your natural health. One really is the loneliest number, whether it’s sung by Three Dog Night, Harry Nilsson (who wrote the song), or Aimee Mann in the movie, “Magnolia.” Few things are worse than being alone day after day and night after night.
When being along becomes an integral part of your life, it’s not so easy to get up and get going and find people to be with. Sometimes being in the midst of a crowd of people is what makes you feel the loneliest, especially if you are the only lone person in the room. No matter whether there are a hundred people at the party or two, if you are there by yourself it can get pretty lonely.
There is a basic, human need to connect and when those efforts are frustrated, “we connect artificially” by befriending non-humans. Much as we love our pets and as much pleasure as they might give us, it’s not the same as a human connection. And all the “friends” we make on Facebook cannot take the place of a real live human being. We need to find a way to reach out to people, even if it seems an unreachable goal.
It’s not the number of relationships, it really is the quality of those relationships that determines whether you feel socially isolated. You may have people around you throughout the day or you may even be in a lifelong marriage, yet you may feel a deep down loneliness. Being by yourself is a miserable lot, but being in a relationship and feeling alone is even worse.
See next post – O is for Overcoming LOneliness for Older Women