Why can you feel lonely even when others are with you?

The feeling of being isolated from others can appear in the most unexpected ways.

The human being is a social animal, made to live in the company of his fellow men. However, one thing is the dynamics of life for which we are prepared, and another is our way of subjectively living our social life.

Because yes, everyone has a social life to a greater or lesser extent; only hermits who totally isolate themselves from others are on the sidelines. But that does not prevent millions of people around the world from feeling lonely … despite not being, objectively.

Why is this apparent incongruity due? Why can loneliness appear when surrounded by people who feel sympathy and affection for us?

Why can you feel lonely even when others are with you?

Why does loneliness appear when accompanied

Loneliness is a feeling that responds to needs for social contact and affection. Both factors have to do with the possibility of obtaining the cooperation of others when it comes to achieving personal goals, but there is something else. Affection is a source of physical contact and intimacy, elements that have been proven to be essential from birth.

Babies who grow up with access to food, water, and an environment with adequate humidity and temperature, but who remain isolated, develop abnormally and often develop serious mental disorders. Similarly, people who report a greater sense of loneliness are more prone to depression and relatively early death.

In a way, then, contact with others not only has material implications, but the psychological impact of loneliness also matters. However, this subjective aspect also adds a certain degree of uncertainty when it comes to knowing which social situations produce loneliness and which do not. That is why there are people who, despite interacting with many people, feel alone. To explain this, several hypotheses are considered.

Social skills

In some cases, people who interact with several people day after day, including friendly people, due to the demands of their day-to-day, may feel lonely due to a social skills problem. As much as dialogue is apparently two people talking, for those who feel that their public image is being compromised by what they do or say is something very different; Specifically, a test, something like an intelligence test. Something that produces anxiety, in short.

As social interactions are seen as challenges, the person with low social skills ignores the possibility of connecting with someone and concentrates on not looking foolish or simply going unnoticed. This means that what is objectively a social context ceases to be so, and becomes an annoying and stressful situation through which you have to go through suffering as little as possible.

Of course, understanding the company of others in this way makes the feeling of loneliness all that remains. Sometimes you want to have an honest relationship with someone, but when the opportunity appears, it is about avoiding that situation, making it last short, and committing as little as possible.

Lack of time for active social life

At the other extreme, it is also possible to find people who feel lonely but who, in this case, do not owe their situation to a lack of social skills.

There are people so extroverted that they live oriented towards others, making the network of social interactions that surround them flow day by day, that they stay alive. Parties are organized, friends who did not know each other are contacted, outings to the mountains are proposed … anything goes to involve several people in stimulating situations.

In addition, normally extroverted people who comply with this pattern of social behavior not only do not live in isolation, but others turn to them with the slightest excuse. This is normal since they act as energizing nuclei of groups of friends and colleagues. They are popular and highly regarded individuals by the people who know them.

So where does loneliness come from? The answer is simpler than it sounds: lack of time. The spare time of these people is occupied in relating to others, but not in any way: acting as the nucleus of a social network (beyond the solitude of computers, yes).

There is not much space for deep relationships with intimacy, since the task of energizing groups requires, necessarily, maintaining a behavioral profile oriented towards the public, what is visible to everyone. Even if you try to break this dynamic, others will continue to act as before, so it is difficult to “start over” if you do not radically change your habits in many ways.


Why can you feel lonely even when others are with you?