In fact, most people’s loneliness is cut into the psychologist repeatedly mentioned, the most common characteristic: lack of intimate people, lack of satisfactory social relationships. Psychological researchers Peplau and Perlman define loneliness as the difference between an individual’s actual interpersonal relationships and those subjectively desired. Another prominent lonely psychologist, Cacioppo, has also said that humans need not only to interact with others but more importantly to have important people present. Such a person can make you trust and be able to open your heart to him when you need it, and he will listen to you, understand you, and help you as much as you can
“30 days no contact—-feel lonely without contact”
1 Loneliness is an epidemic of our time 99% of the many messages we receive label loneliness negatively. Once you feel lonely, it’s like you’ve entered a negative state and you’ll find a way to escape. This kind of labelling, want to escape the mood, in fact, we humans for thousands of years, evolution and evolution of the psychological mechanism. As early as ancient times, to survive, our ancestors deeply understood the importance of group life: group living meant survival, while being alone meant death, because they could not cope with wolves and leopards, could not ensure safe sleep, and had no time to reproduce. As a result, our ancestors evolved a “lonely pain signal”: when loneliness came, they felt disgusted and even heartache (social pain, also translated as social pain). This pain caused by loneliness, similar to physical pain on the body’s skin, activates the same brain region.
This lonely sign of psychological pain, and the pain signal that our bodies can feel, is the same principle: when our bodies feel pain, we are the first to notice the dangers we face physically, telling us to act quickly and avoid threats, such as running away. The pain sign of loneliness is a warning that people are suffering from an existential threat: people who don’t listen to their company when they need it, or who are isolated or ostracized by others, make it difficult to survive. This is the time to take action to reduce loneliness and thus increase your chances of survival, such as trying to integrate into others, maintain your current relationship, or build new ones. Ancestors who evolved this heartache signal were more likely to survive. As a result, their genes, psychological mechanisms, and behaviour patterns are preserved in our companies and passed on to this day. So here’s the problem: Since loneliness can make people feel heartache and prompt us to reach out to others, why do some people resist relationships and fall into long-term, persistent loneliness? There are two main reasons for this.
“30 days no contact—-feel lonely without contact”
First, it has to do with our own psychological mechanisms. Loneliness not only gives people motivation to connect with others but also makes people socially withdraw, that is, avoid contact with others, contact. This may seem contradictory, but in practice, it helps to escape loneliness, as this temporary retreat gives people time to assess how easy it is to connect with others, build new relationships, and then decide whether there are other ways to re-interact with others. However, this temporary retreat, uncanonically extended, leaves you in a situation where you want to connect with others and avoid contact with others.
If you pay too much attention to this threat, you may experience a sustained social retreat for fear of being rejected again and clearly recognizing that you have no close friends at all. This can be seen as a defence against more heartache. However, often such behaviour will give loneliness a chance to live on for a long time.
In one study, Angie S. LeRoy and others from the University of Houston recruited 213 healthy adults and gave them nasal drops containing rhinoviruses, a common flu virus that is very harmful to humans, for five days in isolation to measure their self-reported cold symptoms and objective cold indicators. Five days later, the researchers found that lonely people had more and more severe cold symptoms, i.e. their immune systems were weaker and they were less resistant to the virus. Also, loneliness causes twice as many deaths as obesity, and the long-term damage to physical and mental health from loneliness is no different from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. That is, loneliness slowly erodes your body and mind without your knowing. Loneliness by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell is not actually the most dangerous.
First, because of a chronic lack of ideal relationships, most of your experiences may be rejected, isolated, and insensitive, so loneliness can make you extremely sensitive to threats in relationships and even make the worst interpretations and assumptions about other people’s attitudes and behaviours. For example, someone else’s frown, a dry cough, may be understood as “the other person is expressing a friend to themselves is not good, do not agree, do not approve.” When low, if trapped in loneliness, it is more and more deep, stubborn, until the exhaustion of life inspiration. So, it creates a strange circle: loneliness → is sensitive to interpersonal threats→ negative interpretation, assumptions→ self-→ more lonely… What to do?
Three steps, break through the lonely circle The first thing you have to do is try to realize that you may have been caught in this vicious circle. For example, you can identify self-defeating behaviours: check what you care about, whether you selectively focus on negative things, don’t socialize, make negative assumptions about others, explain, and just communicate with one or two acquaintances when you’re at a party and don’t want to expand your circle?
1. Overcoming Pessimism When you think of socializing, loneliness immediately makes you think negatively about it. For example, when you’re invited to a party, you may immediately have vivid scenes in your mind of awkwardness, exclusion, disappointment, and so on. You start to feel like you can’t make friends at this party. In the face of the panic of chatting with strangers, you will feel that no matter how hard you put in, you will not be able to change the bad reality. It’s not easy to stop this negative thought from jumping out of your head completely, but the best way to overcome fear and pessimism is to practice deliberately visualizing those reasonable, realistic success scenes. For example, imagine that the people at the party are friendly and warm and willing to chat with you. Even after the party, you’ll make an appointment for your next meeting. By imagining these successful scenarios, you are more likely to recognize and exploit such opportunities when they arise.
2. Rejecting the false perception of loneliness that comes with being alone is that you tend to make the worst assumptions about others. For example, you recently lost your job and found out that your former colleague and best friend didn’t invite you to his birthday party. At this point, you might think: it must be because I’ve been fired by the company, so he didn’t invite me, he must not be going to continue with me.
Have a wonderful social relationship. At this point, you should probably use your experience with friends to challenge your own suspicions and try to find out what happened. Doing so will make you realize that your friendship is actually stronger than loneliness. It’s understandable to be afraid of rejection because you’re lonely, but being obsessed with fear can only make you more lonely.
3. Taking action (ke action) Long-term chronic loneliness can create a sense of helplessness that you don’t believe can change your current social relationships and emotional state. This strong belief and feeling are based on overly negative and pessimistic ideas.
Of course, it takes a lot of courage to take the first step. Share a few very easy-to-use exercises here, one person can complete, subtle can let you feel the change: a. open your phone address book or WeChat contacts, list those you think are friends or familiar with people; b. For each person who comes out, mark the last time you meet or communicate next to him, and then list the people you haven’t been in touch with for a long time c. Next, remember the people that exist on the list, Arrange from high to low according to the quality of your past relationships (e.g., make you feel good and be yourself in front of him). Then, you can make a plan to contact these people, such as a week to contact a d. follow some social activities of the website, app, according to their interests to filter those activities that they want to participate in. And doing so may also reveal some other inspiration.
Finally, use your list to start getting back to your old friendships and start building new social relationships! Note: If the pain caused to you by loneliness is too severe to bear, can not be solved by the above methods, and even self-injury, suicidal tendencies or behaviour, please seek help from a professional psychologist.