We know loneliness is painful and difficult to tolerate, but what is it? Loneliness, broadly, is defined as the discrepancy between one’s desired social connection, and their actual social connection. We now know that loneliness is experienced across the lifespan, and can occur in different areas in life. For example one may not feel lonely romantically, but may feel very lonely socially. Someone else might have many satisfactory friendships, but feel lonely when they are in need of practical advice regarding their professional life.
Historically, social connection was key to our survival. If we drifted too far from the group, or were rejected by them, our chances of living through an encounter with a predator such as a wild animal were slim. It makes sense then that when we feel disconnected from others our threat system switches on. As with our other emotions, loneliness is there to motivate us to act, in this case to seek connection or reconnection with others. It has to be strong enough for us to notice, however sometimes can seem insurmountable. Our team of skilled psychologists can help you act on these feelings to achieve what you desire.