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View Poll Results: Do you feel onely
Yes 77 80.21%
No 10 10.42%
Other 9 9.38%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 29th November 2006, 10:25
RichieD RichieD is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

hey folks.

I think it was Elvis who once said that he felt all alone in a crowded room, and that's a very fitting description for myself, and I suspect for many others on this site.
I have a partner, but it's the thoughts in my head that make me feel alone, not who I'm with or not with, or where I am.

My SA is related to guilt / blushing, but the "alone" feelings come from my depression. I can't understand how other people can enjoy themselves, I just feel isolated and invisible. That of course gives other people non-verbal feedback - don't talk to me! I'm miserable!

I'm trying very hard to fight my negative feelings, so I would offer up these words of encouragement.
50% of Londoners now live alone. 50%. That's one in every two people you walk past or work with. You are not alone in feeling isolated, and you're not as unusual as you may think.

Further, it's more difficult to make friends as you get older. The kind of friends I want to make aren't the kind of people you're going to meet at the local themed pub.

I've posted earlier about joining local interest groups - nature protection groups for example. That way you meet people with a common interest, and that make conversation so much more easy. Further, there is an excuse to make regular contact without having to ask someone to meet again, and running the risk of rejection.

For those of us who have been uni, you know how catty and two faced many people are, and that some friendships can be very much based on one party getting strength from putting the other person down. I don't want friends like that. I'd rather have one good friend than a bunch of people I don't think really care.

Rich
  #32  
Old 29th November 2006, 11:22
Freespirit Freespirit is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Innervision
I used to feel incredibly lonely - even though I have family and had partners at the time. Thankfully, I'm far from lonely now.
Oooh whats change?

Any tips and things you can share?
  #33  
Old 29th November 2006, 15:03
Innervision Innervision is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freespirit
Oooh whats change?

Any tips and things you can share?
Hmmm... That should be an easy question to answer, but unfortunately, it's not.

Changes I've made have been gradual, because few things just happen overnight. This means change has been spaced out over a long journey rather through any kind of easily implimented instant action of mine.

First off, I've often felt most lonely when I've had a partner, family and people around me. The lonliness came from not liking myself and not believing others could genuinely like me. This meant I found it hard to connect with many people even if they were physically close by me.

I suppose a major overhaul of how I see myself and judge myself has helped with all that now. I am more realistic now, and know my worth in life. Knowing your worth helps a lot. It brings esteem up to decent levels and stops you becoming a walkover in life.

Another thing that has implimented change has been a real effort to do things in life despite the anxiety. I went to college after 24 years of avoiding any kind of education and classroom scenarios, and went despite being terrified. I had to engage with people despite my terror of such interaction. Over time, I've become more comfortable around people.

I also used to concentrate on all those people I couldn't bear in life, but now I ignore all the negative types and just concern myself with the positive people and with people I like and respect. I connect far better with them, and get positive feedback from them too. All this helps confidence and esteem.

By reaching out to people and coming over as a warm and friendly type of guy, I've managed to vastly increase the amount of people I can say "hi" to on a daily basis, the number of people I know in passing and the number of friends I've made through college and now my work placement.

I tend to say hello to other dog walkers on the beach or in the park too. OK, no big thing in the grand scheme of things, but it does help me feel part of life rather than a passive observer who feels isolated and marginalised. I suppose it's about being pro-active rather than totally passive. I know this is not easy, and many people will choke on their tea at the mere thought of having to make such pro-active moves, but I did this over a long period of time, so persistence was the key on that one.

Sometimes I think it's up to us to opt-in to life rather than opting out, and I think we have to do it without invitation too. That's just my view though. Instead of waiting for others to include us, I think it more productive to include ourselves. Knowing your worth as a human being helps here, because if you know that, you tend not to feel like an imposter when getting on with others and constantly fearing 'being found out'. I always felt like an imposter. Sort of thinking if only they knew me properly they'd hate me. Now I think that if people actually got to know me there is a good chance they may like me, because although no great shakes, I'm not a bad person either. This realistic evaluation of myself helps me engage with others on a level playing field rather than one where I feel useless and they are somehow perfect.

All these things, and more besides, contribute to me being better able to interact with people and to feel less lonely in life. I've opted-in despite being scared and anxious. Once you do that you go on something of a journey of ups and downs, but as long as you interact and keep at it, your life can only expand as a result.

Lonliness often depends on how much of ourselves we invest in others and life in general. As RichieD also said, a person can be surrounded by people and even have a partner - yet still feel isolated and alone. I've recently been criticised for saying that relationships are not the cure-all for SA, but it is a fact. It is very possible to have a partner, work in a crowded office, have family close by - yet feel totally and utterly alone in life. This is due to an emptiness inside and a perceived inability to truly connect with others adequately.

With these things addressed, and our inner issues worked through we can maybe open up and learn to interact more effectively. This can enhance the quality of relations we already have, and also help us cultivate new ones too. In short - we can learn to opt-in rather than feel left out. It's usually us who leave ourselves out rather than a concerted effort by others to exclude us, anyway. Even if we are genuinely excluded by one or two in our lives, there will always be others more accomodating of us.

So what's changed? Well I suppose it has been my outlook, my view of myself, others and life in general. A realisation that it won't change on it's own, I'd have to make it happen even with the added handicap of anxiety issues. The realisation that I had a responsibility to opt-in rather than passively remain on the sidelines. Persistence too, because in the past I'd give up as soon as anything went even slightly wrong. Stuff like that really.

I know I've not made a good job of explaining this, but it is a hard thing to put into words really. I suppose it comes down to the fact that the more open you are to others the more you attract into your life and the more opportunity there is to take good things from that. By being more open to life I managed to find a quality partner, cultivate some great new friendships and maintain a few great old ones too.
  #34  
Old 29th November 2006, 15:05
annashy annashy is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

i feel the same as u Rich about the one good friend thing.

Ppl at uni ARE very two faced. I have one genuine friend at uni...he is very loyal to me and i am to him.

I cant believe the fickleness of some friendships in my cohort
  #35  
Old 29th November 2006, 15:21
RichieD RichieD is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

That's a great post Innervision, and I actualy think you do a very good job of explaining yourself, so pat on the back - it's not always an easy concept to put into words.
I'm really pleased that you've found this strength within you, and hopefully you can show others that it is possible to come out of the other side of SA with your head held relatively high.

I have a phrase in my head that I say to myself every day, and every time I catch myself feeling down or slipping into my old ways...
"I will not be a victim to this".
It may sound corney, but it reminds me that I am on my side, and that I have to put in some work to break the pattern.

Annashy - Glad you've found that one good person. There are more out there, but there's a lot of chaff too. But we can ignore them

Take care.
  #36  
Old 29th November 2006, 15:55
Innervision Innervision is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

It doesn't sound corny, Richie.
It is easy to slip back and we do need to have realistic self-talk in order to arrest the slide back into negativity. My view is that if there is anything we can say to ourselves that helps - keep saying it.

I remember a valuable nugget of information from Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, which says... "If something works for you - do more of it. If something doesn't work for you - do less of it"

Now that is a very simple principle, but it is a valuable truth to keep in mind. So self-talk or actions that help us, we should continue with, and things that hinder us, we should drop. Your own self-talk is realistic and positive, so well worth continuing with.

Also, thanks for the positives about my post. It is sort of hard to put into words what, in reality, has been a long journey over many years. I suppose it just shows that there are no definitive answers that will work for everyone. It is very much an individual and personal thing. All I know for sure is I used to feel dreadfully lonely, but now I feel the total opposite. In fact, there is as much in my life as I can now handle.
  #37  
Old 29th November 2006, 18:03
JohnSpark JohnSpark is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Innervision thankyou for your positive post its just the sort of talk that I like to hear about these things. Good on ya
  #38  
Old 29th November 2006, 18:07
Tiger Tiger is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

I only feel lonely when I get into a depressed state, thinking nobody understands how bad I feel.

It is not so bad now I am on the anti-depressants!
  #39  
Old 29th November 2006, 18:45
scarlet_diva scarlet_diva is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

I don't feel too lonely when I'm sitting around at home but mostly when I'm out & about in the streets or at the office, cos of this bizarre 'threatened' feeling I get around strangers (even colleagues to me = strangers) which is totally irrational.

I feel like I need some kind of protection wherever I go; & if I'm not with someone who I'm friends with then I feel sad and bereft and abandoned. But only when I'm outside. It's nutty and bizarre.
I also feel lonely on occasions if I want to go out and do something I really like, cos I obviously can't bring myself to do it alone due to my paranoia, eg I missed out on Erotica and the Discover Dogs exhibition this year cos my ex was away. That sucked because I never miss out on those 2 events, I go every single year. Plus I never got round to seeing Saw III because my ex didn't want to. It sucks.
  #40  
Old 29th November 2006, 19:45
Innervision Innervision is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSpark
Innervision thankyou for your positive post its just the sort of talk that I like to hear about these things. Good on ya
You're welcome, JS.

I always hope that my positivity helps someone out there rather than annoy those who feel down at the moment. I'll always continue to post positive stuff though, because I was classed by all (including myself) as a total no-hoper. I've a long way to go still, too, but I know we can turn this thing around. We really can.

None of us are without hope, and all of us can improve things. Of that I am certain.
  #41  
Old 29th November 2006, 20:08
wobbly wobbly is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

As others have mentioned or intimated, I think there's a direct link between how you feel and your sense of loneliness. In fact being with lots of people can intensify your feelings of loneliness and only serve to highlight your sense of loss. I have a loving partner and 3 super boys who love me to bits. When I'm feeling well within, I'm happy and confident and even prefer my own company from time to time. When I'm low, I perceive how lost and isolated I am and being around people when I feel like this just makes the feeling of loneliness worse.
  #42  
Old 30th November 2006, 01:01
Deepguy Deepguy is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Innervision
Knowing your worth as a human being helps here, because if you know that, you tend not to feel like an imposter when getting on with others and constantly fearing 'being found out'. I always felt like an imposter. Sort of thinking if only they knew me properly they'd hate me. Now I think that if people actually got to know me there is a good chance they may like me, because although no great shakes, I'm not a bad person either. This realistic evaluation of myself helps me engage with others on a level playing field rather than one where I feel useless and they are somehow perfect.
Great post. This sums up how I feel a lot of the time - i.e. that I'm just getting by with being acceptable to a lot of people, and that if they knew what I was really like, they wouldn't want to know. You've mentioned the phrase 'knowing your worth' a few times, and I think you're right about it, but I don't really understand how to do that. I mean, rationally I can tell myself that I'm not a complete basket case, but it doesnt' do much to change my feelings which are obviously still there subconsciously somehow.
  #43  
Old 30th November 2006, 12:34
Innervision Innervision is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand680
Great post. This sums up how I feel a lot of the time - i.e. that I'm just getting by with being acceptable to a lot of people, and that if they knew what I was really like, they wouldn't want to know. You've mentioned the phrase 'knowing your worth' a few times, and I think you're right about it, but I don't really understand how to do that. I mean, rationally I can tell myself that I'm not a complete basket case, but it doesnt' do much to change my feelings which are obviously still there subconsciously somehow.
Thanks, Mand.

Yes, I do mention "knowing your worth" quite a lot. I also understand how people may struggle to make this part of their lives. I struggled with it for decades too.

Knowing you are not a bad person doesn't automatically make things feel ok, does it? It takes more than that.
I suppose I always knew I was not such a bad person, but knowing that never made me feel any better about myself.

I think you have to put knowing your worth into practice. Say in relationships for instance. I used to put up with some appalling treatment and violence, possibly because I never believed I was worth anything more in life. Eventually I decided I was worth more than that, so left the relationship and aimed for something I felt I deserved more. I now have a fantastic stable relationship with a very kind and generous woman.

I suppose knowing my worth now means I treat myself with more respect and expect the same from others. Just knowing your worth is not enough - you also have to act it too.

I wish I had more time to go deeper into this, but I'm due out in 25 minutes and still need to shower.
  #44  
Old 30th November 2006, 18:05
Loopy Lou Loopy Lou is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

I often feel lonely, which seems ironic somehow: I find being with people very difficult, but I don't want to feel alone. If I do pluck up the courage to socialise, I usually feel worse in a crowd of people (maybe because I feel they don't understand) than I would if I were on my own.

Before I gave up work, I think that working was actually my socialising. I was never one for office chit chat, but the contact I had working with people was enough to tide me over before I came home to my family. I never felt like 'one of the gang', but because I had spent time with people I felt more 'normal'.

I think if you are at home a lot, like many of the folks on this site, it just gives you too much time to think. My mind goes into overdrive, but it doesn't always think very positively.

Anyway, I guess none of us are alone in feeling lonely, if that's any consolation.

Lou
  #45  
Old 30th November 2006, 21:53
jontyboyoh jontyboyoh is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

Yes, I can relate to a lot of wot has been said.......I can shift it for- say- a couple of days at the most, but this is by kinda stifling it (e.g. filling my time with things/keepin mesen busy).

I can deffo relate to the feelin like an imposter/guest.

The irritatin thing is: u can't exactly tell people ur lonely all the time, for fear it will confirm ur worst fears.....

U can mention it to peeps every now and again, but I suppose someone 'moanin' bout bein lonely all the time doesn't make great company.....This is where the whole deadly cycle starts.
  #46  
Old 3rd December 2006, 01:45
Cellardweller Cellardweller is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

I could,nt give a shit.
  #47  
Old 3rd December 2006, 20:04
EnJay EnJay is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

I prefer my own company so no, i'm not lonely. I sometimes feel that i'm missing out by not have anyone really close to me but most of the time i'm content by myself.

Not happy, but content.
  #48  
Old 3rd December 2006, 20:31
yamyam yamyam is offline
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Default Re: Do you feel lonely?

I'm generally quite happy in my own private bubble, but often I wish that more people would bounce their bubbles and land next to mine.
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