Everyone needs friends, acceptance and a sense of belonging. That is why loneliness can be distressing and painful. Being excluded from a group is also hurtful.
The feeling of loneliness can stem from shyness or a low self-esteem or external factors, such as a strange living environment or bullying. Loneliness may also be related to depression or anxiety.
Social loneliness refers to a lack of social network or feeling excluded from every group. Emotional loneliness, in turn, stems from not having a close friend to talk to.
What to do when you feel lonely?
The most important thing is to accept who you are and be your own best friend. You can find new friends by starting a new hobby, getting to know your neighbours or at work or in school. Joining associations, clubs or volunteer work can inspire natural interaction between people. We recommend staying active and seeking the company of others, even though it is not easy.
Social media can offer new contacts but also contribute to loneliness. Peer support and talking or writing about loneliness can make you feel better.