We all feel a little lonely sometimes.
But there are different types of loneliness and different levels of isolation.
There’s the gut-wrenching periods of loneliness when you feel like you can’t reach out to a single soul for support. This kind of loneliness is overwhelming and feels unending.
And then there’s the pockets of loneliness when you notice the brief absence of companionship in your life.
Some tips on making friends as an adult on The Well.
The author of Happiness, Gretchen Rubin, has identified seven different types of loneliness, and you could be experiencing one of them right now:
1. New-situation loneliness
When you move to a new city or start a new job, you’re going to feel lonely. Everything is new and you’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Take heart in the fact that you will start to make connections with people and these new friendships will eventually fill the gaps in your life.
2. I’m-different loneliness
Sometimes you just feel like you can’t connect with the people around you. You feel different. You feel isolated. It’s difficult to find common ground with the people around you. Maybe your faith is really important to you and the people around you don’t share that. Maybe everyone else is watching Game of Thrones and you just don’t get it. Either way, you will eventually meet people with similar interests and your interests will change.
3. No-sweetheart loneliness
Rubin says people feel this kind of loneliness when they’re surrounded by family and friends but they don’t have the intimate attachment of a partner. Or maybe you have a partner, but you don’t feel a deep connection to that person. This kind of loneliness can change, you might meet a new partner or you’ll learn to live a full life without a partner.