The Pain of Emotional Solitude

· November 11, 2015

“You stole my solitude with false companionship.” This feeling, this emptiness, may ring a bell to you. You may have experienced it at some point in your past with friends of convenience that were only in it for personal benefit and that, perhaps, never cared too much about your interests, your sorrows, or your joys.

And what about those romantic relationships that faded into failure? It happens. We open up our hearts to people that delude us and excite us, only to realize that there is no worse kind of loneliness than the one you feel when you have someone at your side that does not even see you, that has no idea how to make you happy.

When someone projects certain hopes and attachments onto others it creates a type of emotional solitude. Few feelings are as devastating as this loneliness that goes beyond the physical plane.

Emotional solitude is one of the great “evils” of our day. Many of us are surrounded by people – family, friends, romantic partners, and hundreds or even thousands of “friends” on our various social networks – and yet, we feel alone. There is no pain more agonizing than feeling those holes, those gaps that no one knows how to fill.

The loneliness that no one sees

Emotional solitude is a mixed blessing.  It is very possible that people often say to you, “You can’t really complain, you have such an attentive boy/girlfriend that loves you so much,” “You’ll never get bored with how many friends you have.” And you nod and draw an empty smile to your face, knowing that appearances are only just that, and that in reality, you feel immensely alone.

Often, we think of loneliness as a physical absence of people around us, where we go through life without close bonds and without people that listen to us or allow us to offer and give them daily affections that enrich everyone involved. Now then, is it really necessary to have someone at our side to be happy? Not at all.


Sometimes, loneliness itself is an intimate space where we can find better balance. Introspection and being with oneself is a way to strengthen self-esteem.

Serenade

So, we could almost say that all of those people that come into our lives offering only their selfishness or emotional immaturity also snatch away that precious solitude or balance where we feel protected.

How can you overcome emotional solitude?

Emotional solitude is one of the most devastating feelings that a human can feel. The feeling of having someone or even multiple people at our sides and yet being aware that we feel terribly alone can become the prelude to depression.

Girl on a ladder to the moon

So how can we cope?

Identify your discomfort, dissatisfaction, or void.

On occasion we can mask emotional solitude with other aspects, such as a low self-esteem and/or low motivation to maintain or seek out social interaction, when really what we are feeling is that “there is something beyond me that is missing.” And the wound originates from the pain of a person or people around us that do not see us or enrich our lives and essentially have no idea how to make us happy.

Reflect on and attend to your feelings.

What are you feeling? Is it sadness, and who makes you feel this way? Do you feel frustrated, and what is producing that feeling? Are you afraid, and who or what is provoking your fear?

Once you have identified the true problem, communicate. 

It is vital that you share how you feel with others, whether with your partner, a family member, or a friend. Let them know very clearly that your relationship is causing more harm than good and that you need to try something new.

Once you have put change into motion, whatever it may be, it is vital that you enjoy your own company again. Why? You have spent so much time not being yourself, expecting things and craving certain feelings, emotions. You need to balance your needs so that you can find your inner child once again and sooth the adult that demands inner peace.

Birds flying free

Emotional solitude is lived at times as an inconsistency: we have someone, and yet we feel the pain of loneliness to almost a heartbreaking extent. Fixing this, freeing ourselves or finding ourselves again can also help in our personal development.