When you picture a lonely person, who springs to mind? Maybe it's an elderly man grocery shopping for one or a solo teenager.

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From friends moving to new phases of life to connection meaning going on Instagram or Facebook instead of meeting in real life to longer working hours — there are so many reasons why we as a culture feel lonely. The most disturbing part about this for me is that we can be surrounded by people all day long, but still feel lonely. Search for a group on facebook, find one on the website, MeetUp. You can even -up for a class at a local community college. Take, for example, one of my closest girlfriends who has twin boys.

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Whether you're feeling down about the of comments on your latest Instagram post, or just have that sense that no one else really gets you, you've experienced it. Feeling lonely is, perhaps ironically, universal. But, what is loneliness, exactly?


You might already recognize that alone time boosts your imagination and allows creativity to flourish. We break down the definition and offer…. Some people want nothing more than to gather a circle of friends and enjoy their company.

But your boss seems to be insisting, so you make an effort to be more social. But concern for others can sometimes affect you negatively when it prevents you from supporting yourself. Many people discover this when trying to divide their time between too many friends. Learn about the history behind these terms, which one to use, and a few better options.

3. be realistic.

Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. You might see this impact in minor ways: the TV shows you watch, activities you participate in, or the types of exercise you choose. You start feeling anxious as lunchtime approaches and dread the break instead of looking forward to an hour of peace.

At work, you talk with co-workers occasionally, but feel no need to make friends. Losing that time to recharge makes you feel more stressed at work and irritable at home. Spending time alone not only gives you more time to focus on what you really want to do, it also helps protect you from stress.

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Before long, you start to resent your boss and co-workers and dislike a job you ly felt very satisfied with. And often, they can just leave you feeling drained and slightly annoyed. Talking and interacting with others can distract you from attempts to brainstorm or contemplate possibilities. Sometimes, though, the impact is more ificant.

While research and the work of activists have long highlighted just how grave the impacts of our planet's worsening climate crisis are on communities…. If you do desire more emotional support and companionship, a better goal is to find a few close friends to share your time with. If you already interact with people at work or school, you may not want to dedicate more time to social pursuits once your workday ends.

It makes sense, then, to prioritize your relationship with yourself.

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Perhaps your ideal evening involves a favorite hobby or craft, cooking a fancy meal for yourself, or a long workout. The next time you start to feel bad about not being a social butterfly, keep the following in mind. Having fewer friends, in turn, may sometimes allow you to be more in tune with yourself. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Solitude can promote creativity. Whether you realize it or not, your identity is partially shaped by the people in your life.

No friends? why that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Fewer social commitments leaves you with more time to pursue your own interests. Solitude can help you see things differently. The bottom line. Maybe well-meaning loved ones regularly encourage you to break out of your shell and meet new people.

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No Friends? With a loud, outgoing friend you might find yourself similarly energized. Maintaining relationships with others and paying attention to their needs can occasionally detract from your ability to take care of yourself and achieve positive self-growth. Read this next.

Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. You spend your lunch break reading or listening to music. It really comes down to what you want. Not sure whether to say "Native American" or "American Indian"? You might notice spending time with other people sometimes brings out different personality traits.

You might turn to one friend when you have something difficult on your mind, another when you want to do something adventurous, and a third for movie nights when you want to enjoy some company without necessarily having to interact.

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Introverted people often have few friends simply because they thrive best without constant companionship. Companionship needs vary from person to person.

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Not everyone has or needs a best friend. If you write, draw, make music, or engage in other creative activities, you probably need plenty of time to sort through ideas and pursue sources of inspiration in order to develop your work. The result?

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Time alone can lead to a better relationship with yourself. Forced friendships benefit no one.

Helpful apps for times when you are feeling lonely

These concerns can disconnect you from what you think and feel, making it harder to stay fully present in a given moment. People need at least a little human contact in order to thrive, and true isolation can take a toll on your overall well-being. According to research frompeople who spend time alone due to unsociability tend to report higher levels of creativity.

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Spending more time alone — not out of anxiety but because you enjoy solitude — can lead to greater self-compassion and a stronger motivation to meet your own needs. Introversion is simply one part of your personality, not a flaw you need to address or anything to feel bad about.

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Yet simply being in the presence of others can somewhat alter your experiences, even your self-awareness. Being alone grants you the freedom to stay fully present with your true self and experience things as you truly see them. Messages from loved ones or society in general might make you feel as if you should spend your free time engaging in social activities.

Therapy can offer a safe space to cope with feelings of loneliness and get compassionate guidance on strategies for building meaningful connections with others.

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Sure, healthy friendships are good for your physical and mental health. Two Black transgender artists speak about the roles that art, self-care, and healing play in their lives. That said, loneliness can contribute to mental health symptoms, including anxiety and depression.

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Consistently turning to just one person for friendship and emotional support can put you both at a disadvantage when you struggle to fulfill that role. Solitude allows you to tune out chatter and other background noise and heighten your awareness of your own thoughts. Too much socializing likely drains your energy and leaves you in urgent need of solitude.

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