People who experience loneliness fit into a minimum of two categories: One, those who have too many connections but not feeling linked to most of them; Two, those who have many connections but feel that there are not enough people to connect with within their lives. The feeling of loneliness is not correlated towards the number of connections an individual has in everyday life. It relates to if the person feels connected to most of their connections.
People might have social friends, work friends, online friends, in-person friends, a large family, a little family, and still feel lonely. Different people react to loneliness differently. They may withdraw more and be isolated, or they may try to fill the requirement for connection with other distractions. It's mainly about feeling isolated. That isolation can look to depression and additional withdrawal. Or, an individual can attempt to connect in a manner that doesn't actually fill the necessity but sabotages connection through other means.
The Cycle of Shopping
Shopping is an illustration of one of the other means to attempt and fill the hole that loneliness leaves. Shopping and loneliness appear to be a common connection within our modern lives. It’s so accessible to shop, through a lot of mediums. Lonely people usually have a strong urge or impulse to purchase possessions to fill a void. It may temporarily lift the mood to get new things or to have something new to do to fill up time and space, however it doesn't provide anything lasting. Shopping doesn't solve loneliness. We do know this, but we seek it like a temporary comfort. It can truly bring about an adverse cycle of not resolving the core issue, but creating a bigger issue, trying to use retail like a type of therapy and then overspending. The negative loop culminates in regret for having tried it. It's the loop of loneliness. Sadness causes us to be shop to lift our spirits, and shopping could make us sadder (especially when we obtain the bills).
The Disconnection of Loneliness
Shopping is certainly one method to make an effort to resolve loneliness. Obviously, there are other methods to escape that feeling. “Escape” may be the operative word. Escaping something is really a temporary release that eventually ends. You may escape in to the world of binge-watching TV and/or movies. You might escape right into a wine bottle, or into delicious comfort food. These escapes can feel like temporarily entering into another reality, forgetting or not feeling the loneliness, and becoming lost in a time-consuming distraction.
Loneliness is both an underlying cause and effect of becoming disconnected. Loneliness and social isolation have a relationship using the feeling of the signs of depression coming on. Feeling isolated causes us to be anxious which makes us less likely to work up the energy to create and keep connections to create us feel less alone. So shopping turns to instant gratification. But, with time, we discover that what usually comes from shopping doesn't form a meaningful relationship or connection. Rather than escaping, let's consider a few options for working towards solving the loneliness with steps that may be beneficial.
Finding Authentic Connection
When loneliness is the problem, searching for connection (authentic connection) is often the solution:
- Get outside! A small dose of outdoor time can make us happier. This alone can provide us a lift to reach out to others. Better still than being outside is being in a place where there are others – whilst being safe, obviously.
- Reach to family or friends via phone call or text or email. Send a card to a person to show them you are thinking of them.
- Hand make something and give it to someone else. Bake something delicious and share it with others.
- Volunteer or offer to assist another person. Even small gestures to give help to someone else provide a boost of happiness and connection.
Small gestures can give us a dose of happiness that consequently, open us up to and including small reference to another person. It has an optimistic ripple effect which will make a difference. Loneliness is really a difficult feeling to deal with. If you find yourself in the shopping loop, you may be lonely. There may be a fundamental sense of something missing in your life. Impulsive buying might feel good at the moment, however it doesn’t connect us meaningfully with other people.
Loneliness is triggered by a deficit that's felt because of dissatisfaction with relationships within their lives. It's about your feelings concerning the relationships you already have in your lifetime. There is no set number. Many people are extremely pleased with just one or two good friends. Others wish to have a room filled with friends. Pause to consider if it's something you really need. When you feel connected, it provides happiness that simply can’t be replicated by anything other than authentic relationships.