The problems of feeling lonely have often been discussed, maybe you’ve felt them at times. It can be as simple as you’re spending too much time on your own and you want to spend more time with others. Yes, introverts can feel lonely (that’s been seen during lockdown) and they like to socialise.
It’s also possible to feel the opposite of lonely, “alonely”. This is when you are not spending enough time on your own and too much time with others.
ScienceDirect.com explained that when your need for being on your own keeps getting continually thwarted by competing demands on your time, the result is an increase in aloneliness, which increases stress and dissatisfaction with life.
Alonely – “negative feelings that arise from the perception that one is not spending enough time alone.”
Both introverts and extroverts can feel alonely, although it’s fair to say introverts are more likely to struggle with this one.
Alonely in lockdown
If you’re “locked down” with others and need to spend time or space on your own it can be even harder than pre-Covid (do you remember “normal”?). That can lead to tiredness, stress and feeling dissatisfied.
Alonely AFTER lockdown
Having survived lockdown perhaps you’re suddenly surrounded by more people than you have become used to, leading to feelings of being alonely. A dramatic increase in team meetings, just being in the office all day surrounded by others more energetically socialising with you (good news, they missed you); let’s be honest we are now going through a big socialising change again.
3 ideas to fixing feeling alonely
Fixing the problem involves planning or scheduling time alone to avoid a “negative degenerative cycle.” If your need for solitude is having to compete with other demands on your time, and losing, the result can be an increase in feelings of aloneliness, leading to stress and life dissatisfaction.
If the competing demands on your time don’t let you get all the alone time you need, try some of these. What short periods of time can you arrange to spend alone, where you really revel in it?
- Walk to the shops on your own (if you can’t manage “a proper walk” alone. Spend that time slowly walking and allow your mind to wander.
- Arrange short periods I the day, even just a few minutes at a time where you can sit quietly. In front of the computer if needs be (as a disguise), but leave if turned off so your mind can grab a few minutes
- My favourite is just before waking up, I’ll waken 20 minutes early and lie still in bed – I find it’s a great for meditation or just allowing my mind to wander where it needs to.
None of these are as good a full fledged day on your own, but maybe little bits that can help introverts.
How do you deal with feeling alonely?
- Toilet Rolls and Introversion: Strange combination maybe, but it's a true and personal story.
- Why do introverts hate small talk? Most introverts and some extraverts don't like it
- When it’s noisy introverts find it harder to concentrate. And some things to do about it
- Curing the introvert hangover. Go on, you've had one too!
Or listening to
In this episode of "Activate Your Introvert" I answer the common question - what is an introvert?
Details of the study: