Almost no social contacts and feeling lonely

Have almost no social contacts: according to CBS, more than 22 percent of people feel lonely. Social isolation is something completely different from loneliness. People who are lonely often have social contacts. Those who have few social contacts will miss having friends around them, but sometimes also family or a partner.

Difference between loneliness and no social contacts

Loneliness is something completely different from the lack of social contacts. More than 22 percent of people sometimes feel lonely. Yet most people do have social contacts. Social contacts consist of friends, family, acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues or otherwise. You sometimes talk to social contacts, you call, send a card, an email or a text message. You say more than just hello to each other.

Sometimes people lack social contacts. This causes people to become socially isolated. There is no contact with friends, family, neighbors, etc. Loneliness is feeling alone despite the social contacts that exist. With loneliness, people have the feeling that they are not being listened to or that there is no understanding.

Feeling lonely

Everyone knows loneliness. Almost every person has felt a moment of loneliness at some point, no matter how small. This is often only short-lived and afterwards the feeling of satisfaction returns when someone cares about you. There is a taboo on loneliness. Hardly anyone dares to admit that he or she feels lonely. Loneliness seems to no longer exist in our current society. Everyone has Facebook, Hyves, Twitter or uses other social media. Loneliness doesn’t seem to fit into that picture.

Yet loneliness has nothing to do with having social contacts. Anyone who feels that they are not being listened to quickly begins to feel lonely. This happens more often than expected: you are busy with a conversation and the other person cuts it off or looks disinterested. If this happens just once, there is nothing to worry about. But when this happens often, it becomes annoying and you get the feeling that the other person just doesn’t want to listen to you. Especially when this occurs in different situations, the problem becomes worse.

Loneliness is a feeling that is different for everyone. Some people have no need to be heard at all and therefore do not feel lonely. Others do have that need and start to feel lonely when that need is not met. This indicates why it is difficult to measure loneliness.

Difficulty making contacts

One of the most common causes of loneliness is difficulty making and maintaining contacts. Social skills are often lacking. Addressing someone is often possible, but keeping this conversation interesting is difficult for many. The fact that the conversation partner looks disinterested or cuts off the conversation can of course be due to the conversation partner. But often it is also the person’s fault: he or she tells a story far too long-winded, does not get to the point, tells a story for the hundredth time or tells irrelevant things. Not getting to the point in particular irritates many people. Anyone who does not notice that the conversation partner becomes disinterested and just carries on will become irritated. Next time it will be much more difficult to keep a conversation going.

Lonely due to illness

It is often older people and the sick who feel lonely. This has nothing to do with the lack of social skills, but due to the isolation in which people find themselves. Due to illness or old age, this group of people is often forced to stay at home. People around them are often too busy to come by. Many people are also quite willing to come by, but it quickly gets boring always having to go to someone without them coming to them. Staying away is often the result.

Sometimes people find it annoying when someone talks about his or her illness or age-related ailments. People don’t want to hear that ‘nagging’. After a few times, most people have had enough. This causes loneliness among the elderly and sick.

Lonely and yet in a relationship

Even people in relationships can feel lonely. There is often miscommunication between the partners. One person does not understand the other, there is irritation or no time is taken for each other. It is often thought that loneliness is broken through a relationship. But then loneliness can arise. Some people in a relationship are inclined to no longer make an effort when it comes to social contacts. While that is precisely so important. A man cannot find a good connection with a woman, nor the other way around. Things are different for same-sex relationships. Then it is often a matter of feeling what you fit in better in your circle of friends.

Loneliness becomes more common after a divorce. The person can become so full of junk that he or she shuts himself off from the outside world. Loneliness is also common after dismissal, a move, death of a loved one or few financial resources.

Social media often makes people even lonelier

Facebook, Twitter or otherwise seems to be the ideal way to drive away loneliness. It is a pastime, but not a way to drive away the loneliness. Most users feel more or less obliged to show how good their lives are via social media. This sometimes results in a strong exaggeration. This often comes across to the lonely as if his life is boring. And anyone who whines about his loneliness will quickly be unfriended. Because no one wants whiners on their friends list. It’s so easy to lose your friends these days.

Few social contacts

Anyone who has no or few social contacts does not necessarily have to feel lonely. Often, having one good friend is enough for many people not to feel lonely. Some people are also very attached to their partner. This can go well, but it can also be suffocating. Still others simply have no need for social contact.

Nowadays it is no longer so difficult to make social contacts: the internet offers plenty of options. Looking up old fellow students , colleagues, local residents, etc. is easier than ever. The secret is not in making contact, but in maintaining contact. Having a friend in the friends list is nice, but if this ‘friend’ is ignored there is a good chance that this feeling will become mutual.

Yet there are still plenty of people who have difficulty making social contacts. Not everyone is equally savvy with social media or simply does not want to get started. Meeting someone by chance on the street who will become a good friend is a small chance. It is often useful to look up contacts. New contacts are often made at a sports club or association. Every week in the same cafe or at the library gives a quicker impression of the people who also come there every week. These are often people who could use some social contact, or are open to it.

It is also not wrong at all to lend a helping hand to someone. Helping old women cross the street has long been outdated: most elderly people are perfectly capable of saving themselves. But carrying a heavy bag or picking up something that has fallen often leads to a conversation. People with dogs also do well: they generally have more social contacts when walking their dog. People with children also come into contact more often with parents of other children, especially when the children are still in primary school.

Social contacts can dispel loneliness, but do not guarantee that loneliness will not develop.