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  1. #1

    Default What characterizes the mindset of loneliness? and how does one change this?

    I am pretty sure loneliness has nothing to do with being alone, but rather feeling alone.

    What characterizes this mindset, and how does one change it?

    I should add that I have been feeling profoundly lonely for the past month, and have many times in the past felt just as lonely.

    I should also add that I've gone and done a lot of things to try to get rid of this loneliness: talking with friends (IRL), trying to deepen relationship with current friends, volunteering, going dancing, playing games, talking with family, chatting with strangers on the internet, I've even gone to clubs and been physically intimate with a woman.

    None of this has alleviated the profound sense of loneliness. The only bright spot was when one of my friends called out of the blue to try to cheer me up. She laid on the complements pretty thick, but I know her to be a very sincere person, so I know at least part of her believed what she said.

    What is going on?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Do you hold back a lot of yourself (or your true self, whatever that is) with others? That seems to be one thing that guarantees loneliness.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Do you hold back a lot of yourself (or your true self, whatever that is) with others? That seems to be one thing that guarantees loneliness.
    I am not sure. Often, I forget myself when I am with others. If I don't forget myself, I become quite anxious.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #4
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    Since I've had this feeling for a much of my life, allow me to illustrate. Its something that stays when with people and sometimes removes itself when alone. All and all, it means that you feel peerless. If you have someone who has similar likes and values to talk to and spend time with, then you aren't lonely. But if a vital part of your thoughts and mind aren't piqued and challenged or provoked by another consistently and intelligently, then loneliness is what you have.
    I N V I C T U S

  5. #5
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I am pretty sure loneliness has nothing to do with being alone, but rather feeling alone.

    What characterizes this mindset, and how does one change it?

    I should add that I have been feeling profoundly lonely for the past month, and have many times in the past felt just as lonely.

    I should also add that I've gone and done a lot of things to try to get rid of this loneliness: talking with friends (IRL), trying to deepen relationship with current friends, volunteering, going dancing, playing games, talking with family, chatting with strangers on the internet, I've even gone to clubs and been physically intimate with a woman.

    None of this has alleviated the profound sense of loneliness.
    All your attempts to alleviate loneliness have involved making yourself interact with other people. I suggest you try the opposite, and learn to enjoy your own company more. I would think as an I this would come naturally, or at least not feel like an imposition. Indulge in whatever solitary hobbies or interests you have, whether artistic, athletic, etc. Also use some of this time to reflect on what exactly is unsatisfying about the social encounters you do have. Can you imagine what would have to be different about them for you not to feel lonely when with others? This may help you achieve a better balance between productive socializing, and comfortable, restorative alone time.

    Consider also what Thursday writes below. This is an important factor in meeting your deep, inner needs for meaningful connection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thursday View Post
    Since I've had this feeling for a much of my life, allow me to illustrate. Its something that stays when with people and sometimes removes itself when alone. All and all, it means that you feel peerless. If you have someone who has similar likes and values to talk to and spend time with, then you aren't lonely. But if a vital part of your thoughts and mind aren't piqued and challenged or provoked by another consistently and intelligently, then loneliness is what you have.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #6
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    All your attempts to alleviate loneliness have involved making yourself interact with other people. I suggest you try the opposite, and learn to enjoy your own company more. I would think as an I this would come naturally, or at least not feel like an imposition. Indulge in whatever solitary hobbies or interests you have, whether artistic, athletic, etc. Also use some of this time to reflect on what exactly is unsatisfying about the social encounters you do have.

    This. It is entirely capable to be feel lonesome in the middle of a crowd. The solution to lonesomeness is not the quantity of your interactions, but the quality. Becoming more comfortable in your own skin can help improve the quality, I think. Rather than trying to become the things you dislike about people, become the things you like about yourself. Trying to be become the things you dislike will not attract the people you like, unless maybe they're really good at reading who someone "really" is. But I wouldn't bet on that horse.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    I think the best way to beat loneliness is to find other lonely people. Then, by sharing your company with them, you alleviate their loneliness, and who knows, perhaps your own.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    [...]The only bright spot was when one of my friends called out of the blue to try to cheer me up. She laid on the complements pretty thick, but I know her to be a very sincere person, so I know at least part of her believed what she said. [...]
    It sounds like that particular interaction worked for you because your friend was “mirroring” you: She was demonstrating that she had a good grasp of you and your concerns and that she genuinely connected with you.

    If all the rest of your activities leave you dissatisfied, then it may be that you’re not getting “mirrored” properly in the rest of your activities. That is, you participate in social activities, but maybe you don’t necessarily share enough of yourself to really connect with others and feel energized by that connection. Hence JivinJeffJones’s question: Above and beyond merely participating in activities, do you make an effort to share or do you hold back?

    Your response to JJJ was that you “forget yourself with others.” That tells me that you participate and find some diversion in your activities with others: You’re diverted enough to get pulled out of your head and forget about yourself for a bit. On the other hand, it doesn’t really answer JJJ’s question. To participate and to be diverted by social activities aren’t necessarily the same things as sharing and connecting with others.

    Anyway, here is my input: I think your list of social activities that you’ve participated in lately is great; it’s a good, well-rounded list. But ISFPs can be a bit standoff-ish and shy even when socializing. So if you’re socializing but at the end of the evening you don’t really feel like you’ve connected with others (as reflected in the amount and degree of “mirroring” that you get from others), then you may want to look at your interaction style with people.

    If you want to play around with the idea of working on your interaction styles, you can check out the FIRO-B. It’s a test that measures and dissects interaction styles. But I’ll stop here to see if you have any further comments on what’s been discussed so far.

  9. #9
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    None of this has alleviated the profound sense of loneliness. The only bright spot was when one of my friends called out of the blue to try to cheer me up. She laid on the complements pretty thick, but I know her to be a very sincere person, so I know at least part of her believed what she said.
    Since the bolded made you feel better, could there be something else rather than loneliness? I feel lonely when I feel depressed, when I feel like I can't do anything right. When I feel there is someone who believes in me I tend to feel better, even if it's someone who already loves me, like my SO or family members, whose opinions tend to already be biased. For me, that deep, seemingly incurable kind of loneliness is tied pretty closely to my sense of self-worth.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thursday View Post
    Since I've had this feeling for a much of my life, allow me to illustrate. Its something that stays when with people and sometimes removes itself when alone. All and all, it means that you feel peerless. If you have someone who has similar likes and values to talk to and spend time with, then you aren't lonely. But if a vital part of your thoughts and mind aren't piqued and challenged or provoked by another consistently and intelligently, then loneliness is what you have.
    I think your might be right. But making that statement about myself seems quite self-serving. Like, I was somehow too "special" to be properly challenged consistently and intelligently. I am, for the most part, an average joe. Perhaps slightly more intellectual, and also foreign born. Both those things can be alienating. But neither of those traits are something I can change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    All your attempts to alleviate loneliness have involved making yourself interact with other people. I suggest you try the opposite, and learn to enjoy your own company more. I would think as an I this would come naturally, or at least not feel like an imposition. Indulge in whatever solitary hobbies or interests you have, whether artistic, athletic, etc. Also use some of this time to reflect on what exactly is unsatisfying about the social encounters you do have. Can you imagine what would have to be different about them for you not to feel lonely when with others? This may help you achieve a better balance between productive socializing, and comfortable, restorative alone time.

    Consider also what Thursday writes below. This is an important factor in meeting your deep, inner needs for meaningful connection.
    I do plenty of things by myself (in fact, I spend more waking hours alone than with people by a 2:1 factor, at least). These solitary things are about as unsatisfying. To be clear, all the things I mentioned were enjoyable in the moment. Some of them really fun. However, no singular event makes me feel lonelier than a drive home after a one-night stand.

    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    This. It is entirely capable to be feel lonesome in the middle of a crowd. The solution to lonesomeness is not the quantity of your interactions, but the quality. Becoming more comfortable in your own skin can help improve the quality, I think. Rather than trying to become the things you dislike about people, become the things you like about yourself. Trying to be become the things you dislike will not attract the people you like, unless maybe they're really good at reading who someone "really" is. But I wouldn't bet on that horse.
    I didn't list anything I disliked about other people. I am not sure what you are getting at there. Perhaps, I do need to value myself more. I am not sure if that was what you were trying to say. Could you clarify what you meant?

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    It sounds like that particular interaction worked for you because your friend was “mirroring” you: She was demonstrating that she had a good grasp of you and your concerns and that she genuinely connected with you.

    If all the rest of your activities leave you dissatisfied, then it may be that you’re not getting “mirrored” properly in the rest of your activities. That is, you participate in social activities, but maybe you don’t necessarily share enough of yourself to really connect with others and feel energized by that connection. Hence JivinJeffJones’s question: Above and beyond merely participating in activities, do you make an effort to share or do you hold back?
    Like I told JJJ, I am not sure. I really have little introspective recollection of my interactions with others.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Your response to JJJ was that you “forget yourself with others.” That tells me that you participate and find some diversion in your activities with others: You’re diverted enough to get pulled out of your head and forget about yourself for a bit. On the other hand, it doesn’t really answer JJJ’s question. To participate and to be diverted by social activities aren’t necessarily the same things as sharing and connecting with others.
    Well, what counts as "sharing" with others? Some of my close friends are quite aware of the way I am feeling (that is why one of them called me when she got back from a trip). But this notion of "holding back" vs. "sharing my true self" doesn't make sense to me. I don't consciously do any regulation of the sort I imagine you mean (perhaps you can clarify). I don't say to myself, "I will hold back", nor do I say to myself "I need to share my true self."

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Anyway, here is my input: I think your list of social activities that you’ve participated in lately is great; it’s a good, well-rounded list. But ISFPs can be a bit standoff-ish and shy even when socializing. So if you’re socializing but at the end of the evening you don’t really feel like you’ve connected with others (as reflected in the amount and degree of “mirroring” that you get from others), then you may want to look at your interaction style with people.

    If you want to play around with the idea of working on your interaction styles, you can check out the FIRO-B. It’s a test that measures and dissects interaction styles. But I’ll stop here to see if you have any further comments on what’s been discussed so far.
    lol, Fineline. I've been on this site since 2008. I am surprised you don't remember me.

    I've been an APT member in the past and worked out all my temperament, interaction styles, cognitive functions, enneagram, socionics style, flavor of type, life themes, and on and on... At this point, I am glad that I did it, but mainly because I understand now how little insight one gains through this process (and how much "boxing-in", self-handicapping, and self-stereotyping this process can do as well). I keep "ISFP" just for kicks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    I think the best way to beat loneliness is to find other lonely people. Then, by sharing your company with them, you alleviate their loneliness, and who knows, perhaps your own.
    You may be right. Does the internet count?

    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    Since the bolded made you feel better, could there be something else rather than loneliness? I feel lonely when I feel depressed, when I feel like I can't do anything right. When I feel there is someone who believes in me I tend to feel better, even if it's someone who already loves me, like my SO or family members, whose opinions tend to already be biased. For me, that deep, seemingly incurable kind of loneliness is tied pretty closely to my sense of self-worth.
    I think self-worth does indeed play a role. But, somehow, I think the cause and effect are backwards. I am afraid my loneliness could eventually lead back to depression.

    I don't believe I am in a depressive episode. I did have some bad days. But the persistent emotion has been loneliness--a longing to belong, and longing to find satisfying intimacy. I am not sad. I am not lethargic. I may have some tinges of resentment about the dating scene. But depression seem like a poor description of my state. Loneliness seems to fit quite well, however.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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