Eight Causes of Loneliness

At every season in life, loneliness of some degree is unavoidable: Intransigence – change, tragedy – joy, failure – success, birth – death, love- hate, war – peace, life itself, all contribute to social interaction or social disconnect. What are the causes of loneliness? Here are eight common causes of loneliness:

Abuse (often referred to as psychological loneliness). Childhood trauma is sometimes a factor for the chronically lonely. Such things as cruelty, neglect, exploitation, bullying, etc. can cause the victims to think the people around them are not worthy of their trust, and drive them to live solitary, and what they think are, safe lives.

Rejection (often referred to as social loneliness). Those who are abandoned ridiculed or lied to often suffer from loneliness. If they are told, “You’re no good”, or “You’re not welcome here,” by family and friends, if they are frequently lied to, they begin to see the whole world as a dangerous and unfriendly place. To protect themselves from further harm they build defensive walls that shut out those who could be friends.

The following reasons for loneliness fit into the general category of social loneliness, when someone feels cut-off, ostracized, even exiled.

Misfit. For often indiscernible reasons, some people just don’t fit in certain social situations and fail to assimilate. Misfits may pretend to not care that much about their friendless lives and even glory in the fact they are geeks, nerds, or nonconformists.  Nevertheless, they are often quite lonely.

Broken heart. Poets write about it, movies are made about it, and crooners sing about the loneliness that comes because of the breakup of a romantic relationship. When a romantic relationship ends, feelings sorrow and loss and extreme loneliness are experienced.

Death. The death of a beloved mate, parent or friend is one of the most painful emotions to endure often causing the survivor to feel forlorn and bewildered. A widow described her loneliness this way: “Eight years ago, when my husband died with cancer, I was so overwhelmed with loneliness I thought the huge chasm of pain would never be filled. The days were an endless maze of meaningless routine, and my emotions ran amok like a malfunctioning roller coaster. The nights were even worse.”

Divorce. One divorcee said, “I can tell you firsthand that being alone after divorce is very scary, isolating and lonely. It stinks, actually.”

Missing Someone Special. A sense of loneliness can come when a best friend moves away, gets married or backs away from the intensity of a meaningful relationship. You miss someone who was once close to you.

Cosmic Loneliness. The sense that it’s impossible to achieve complete intimacy, true friendship with another person is called cosmic loneliness. It’s the kind of loneliness that causes the soul to search for real meaning in life and to seek a true and eternal friendship with its Creator, a kind, loving and forgiving God.

Can you identify with any of these causes of loneliness?

©2014 Copyright – Ronald D. Ross

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