Loneliness comes in so many shapes and sizes I wonder if it isn’t like snowflakes- each unique. I suppose it’s not surprising given the descriptions of loneliness, many say that they have felt alone in a crowd, some have felt alone in a marriage, others feel alone because they are.
There’s the loner who feels alone because he or she is afraid to let anyone close.
The giver and the performer feel alone because they only feel value as long as they are offering something to someone else.
The pretender feels alone because the real person is rarely seen.
The self-sufficient feels alone because their needs always remain hidden, theirs alone to bear.
The needy feel alone because they are constantly trying to drain those around them rather than offer something of themselves.
Perhaps the lonely snowflakes are endless but ultimately they have at the root, two fundamental problems.
1. They have an inability to receive.
-receiving AND giving are the fundamental currency of relationships. They are the glue that connects. Reciprocity is essential. We receive parts of others and we return parts of ourselves. The more intimate we share of ourselves and receive from others the deeper the connection.
2. They have an inability to reveal parts of themselves due to shame (see last blog).
-It is hard to feel connected and secure in relationships when we feel forced to hide parts of ourselves.
Of course there are equally countless reasons for why a person would have difficulty in either of these areas and there are no simple solutions, but a sure fire way to a healthier and happier life is to give and receive from those around us- find people who will cherish important aspects of ourselves and who can also trust you with precious parts of themselves. These aren’t easy relationships to find, but one equals a hundred superficial relationships. The hunger to find and collect friends is never met in numbers but in quality and risk.