9 Secret Signs of Loneliness

Have you ever felt lonely? Maybe a little disconnected from the world around you? It can be hard to put into words what loneliness is, but it's something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Loneliness can manifest itself in many different ways, from physical signs to emotional and mental ones. But there are subtle, secret signs of loneliness that aren't always obvious. We'll look at nine of these secret signs so you can better identify when you or someone else may feel lonely.

What is Loneliness?

When we think of loneliness, we often think of being alone physically. But you can be lonely even when people surround you. Loneliness is a feeling of isolation, disconnectedness, and not belonging, and it's an internal experience that external factors can cause.

External factors that can lead to loneliness include −

Physical isolation − living alone, being the only person in your social circle, or being geographically isolated from others

Emotional isolation − feeling like you can't confide in or connect with others or feeling like no one understands you

Mental illness − symptoms of mental illness can make it hard to connect with others or make you feel like you're not part of the world around you

Loneliness can also be caused by changes in your life circumstances, such as retirement, divorce, or the death of a loved one. And it's not just adults who feel lonely – children and teenagers can feel isolated and alone too.

Nine signs that you might be lonely

Lack of Social Interactions and Connections with Others

Social connections and interactions with others are vital to our mental health. Without regular contact with others, we may struggle with loneliness, feeling disconnected and isolated from the world around us. People who lack social interactions often disconnect from activities they once enjoyed, and their overall mood can suffer significantly. They may become despondent or apathetic, withdrawn and uninterested in life.

Warning signs that indicate a need for connection with others –

  • decreased enjoyment in things you typically love doing

  • feeling gloomy despite there being nothing discernibly wrong

  • becoming less involved in conversations or quiet during group activities etc.

Difficulty expressing emotions or connecting with others on an emotional level

This can manifest itself in many ways, from avoiding personal conversations or withdrawing from involving oneself in meaningful relationships to having trouble finding motivation for activities or feeling generally disconnected from friends and family. Reaching out to loved ones and speaking openly about feelings can be difficult steps towards seeking help if needed - connecting with others is essential to overcoming loneliness.

Avoiding Social Activities or Gatherings

When someone is a little too eager to avoid social settings, it may be a sign that they are struggling with feelings of loneliness. This could be a result of anxiety or depression, but whatever the reason, feeling disconnected from other people can become further entrenched due to avoidance. Although it really depends on the individual and their situation, avoiding social occasions could be an attempt to protect ourselves from further rejection or uncomfortable interactions with unfamiliar faces. Unfortunately, it is usually not the most productive way to combat deep-rooted issues and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of fostering even deeper isolation.

Feeling Isolated, even when Surrounded by People

People can be surrounded by other people but yet, still feel disconnected and lonely. This condition is what doctors refer to as subjective loneliness: feeling emotionally isolated despite being physically surrounded. It is often due to a lack of meaningful relationships; it goes beyond simply not having someone to talk to or to sit with at dinner. Furthermore, people may not be aware that they are feeling lonely as its often easier for individuals to focus solely on the physical aspects of their lives, such as work and family, rather than their emotional well-being.

Difficulty Forming and Maintaining Close Relationships

One sign of loneliness is having difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships. When the ability or desire to connect emotionally with people is lacking, it can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of fulfilment in life. This kind of disconnection may be a result of shyness, social anxiety, trouble expressing emotion, incorrect assumptions about what others think about you, or other factors preventing you from feeling comfortable enough to connect with others in meaningful ways.

Difficulty Sleeping or Insomnia

When we feel lonely, we may have a hard time sleeping, and we may have trouble falling asleep, or we may wake up frequently during the night. This can be because we are ruminating about our loneliness or feel unsafe in our own bed.

Increased Feelings of Sadness or Depression

Lonely people may feel sad or depressed more often than others. They may feel like they have nothing to look forward to and that their life is going nowhere. They may also feel like they have no purpose or meaning in their life.

Increased Stress and Anxiety

Lonely lads feel more stressed and anxious than others. They may feel like they are constantly on edge or in a constant state of alert. This can be because they feel like they are in a dangerous situation or worried about the future.

Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach problems due to emotional distress

If you're lonely, you may often experience physical symptoms as a result of your emotional distress. They may experience headaches, stomachaches, or other physical symptoms because they hold in their emotions.

It's important to remember that everyone experiences loneliness differently, and the signs and symptoms of loneliness can vary from person to person. It is also important to remember that loneliness can be treated, and there are many helpful aids available to beat loneliness and move beyond with ease. All you have to do is to reach out to a professional to get going in the right direction.

How to Cope with Loneliness

Loneliness can be a difficult emotion to deal with. However, it's not impossible to fight it. You can take the help of various resources to help you cope with loneliness.

First, it is important to recognize when you are feeling lonely. This can help you to better understand why you are feeling this way and what you can do to change it.

Second, try to connect with others. This can be done by spending time with friends and family, participating in activities that interest you, or volunteering to help others.

Third, meditate regularly. Meditation can have a profound effect on your capacity to control emotions. You can better hold yourself up despite many adverse situations in life just by learning how to focus on your breathing for 10-15 mins per day.

Finally, make sure to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This includes switching to a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

If you still struggle with the negative traits of loneliness, please reach out for help from a mental health professional.


Loneliness is an emotion that can be hard to recognize and accept. However, understanding the signs of loneliness can help you become more aware of it in yourself or others and take steps to combat it. If you want to help someone close to you struggling with loneliness, reach out in a kind and supportive way – sometimes, all it takes is one person's genuine kindness for another person to feel less alone.

Updated on: 02-Feb-2023


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