Loneliness is something you can’t avoid in life. There will be times when you feel lonesome, and you can live a happier life if you learn how to deal with it when it happens. To make that an easier process, psychologists have identified seven different types of loneliness.
1. ‘New Kid’ Loneliness
Like being the new kid at school, there are times in your life when you’re in a completely new situation. Whether it’s a new job, a new city, or a new school, you’re likely to feel lonely in the beginning.
2. Not Fitting in Loneliness.
This is the loneliness that strikes when you feel different from the people around you. You may be an introvert in a team of extroverts. Maybe your values aren’t shared with the people around you. You feel separate and different.
3. Lack of Romance Loneliness
When you don’t have a partner, it can seem like everyone else in the entire world has a significant other. Or maybe you do have a partner, but you feel disconnected. That’s lonely.
4. Missing a Pet Loneliness
There’s no company like that of your pet. Maybe you’re missing your dog, cat, or gerbil. Pets can provide a special connection, and when it’s not there, you really miss it.
5. Too Busy for Me Loneliness
There are times in your life when it feels like you’re not a priority for anyone. People get busy with their own lives and leave you feeling stranded and alone.
6. Toxic Fringes Loneliness
Worse than busy friends are toxic ‘friends’ who get their energy from belittling you or making you feel inadequate. If you don’t feel supported by your friends, or you feel you can’t really trust them, they are not good friends to have in your life.
7. Lack of Company Loneliness
Sometimes loneliness can come simply from not having anyone to hang out with. Someone just to share space and be with. It doesn’t matter if you’re busy at work or are out partying every night. A lack of a quiet presence can make you feel deeply lonely.
Once you’ve worked out what type of loneliness you’re feeling right now, you can take steps to address it. For example, if you’re missing having an animal in your life, you can adopt a pet or volunteer at the local animal rescue center.
Make time in your life for meaningful relationships, not the ones that don’t feed your soul. Look for people you share values or interests with, and slowly you will make connections that will banish loneliness.