I spoke with a few people recently, and they said that although they were generally happy, there was an underlying feeling of loneliness. These feelings of loneliness are more prevalent when people are stressed, hurt, or in similar situations. Those times aside, loneliness becomes background noise. It is always there, but they must pay more attention. They pay attention when they do. It is usually because of a more severe case of loneliness. Functional loneliness is what I refer to. It is applicable because they can carry on their daily lives without being overwhelmed by loneliness. Sometimes, loneliness can get the best of them and cause them to shut down. How does functional loneliness occur? What are the triggers for it? Is it possible to continue living with available loneliness?
Functional loneliness – What’s it all about?
Functional loneliness is a condition that occurs when people have some practical ways of coping with their loneliness. Available loneliness is different from people who feel overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness. They can suppress these feelings without needing to confront them directly. It is usually because they are too busy with other things that these feelings don’t bubble up. These feelings are almost suppressed to keep their jobs, care for their families, and other similar tasks. It’s like a drowning person trying desperately to keep her head above the water. It is either a sink situation or a swim situation. Functionally lonely people can swim and stay above the water, while loneliness overwhelms others. Both cases show that the root cause of these feelings of loneliness needs to be addressed. They aren’t getting the intimacy they crave in their lives. More is required to have social interaction, friendships, disclosure, belonging, and a sense of connection. They can distract themselves from it, but they cannot ignore it. It will always remind them that they are not living a complete life.
When functional lonely becomes dysfunctional
Unsurprisingly, certain situations can cause overwhelming feelings of loneliness and shutdown. These situations require support, intimacy, connection, and connection from others. This is something that has never been fully satisfied. It is helpful to have someone to talk with when we are in an embarrassing situation, someone hurt us, or we feel overwhelmed by the work we have to do. Having someone to talk to when we are close is even better. If that person isn’t around or doesn’t exist, feelings of loneliness can arise. For those who are functionally lonely, ignoring the background noise of isolation can be difficult. This noise is becoming louder and more distracting. Ironically, they may not realize that it could be impacting their behavior. Sometimes, we feel too stressed or exhausted. Or maybe they just feel lost or depressed. These feelings could be caused by feelings of loneliness that hide behind other emotions. Even when the noise of loneliness distracts us, we can still ignore it. Our ever-present loneliness can make our lives a series of functional and dysfunctional.
Living with functional loneliness
Another question is: Is living an everyday life of functional loneliness okay with all its ups and downs? It all depends on who you are. Most people have enough motivation for change to occur. This whole cycle is not enough motivation to change. Living with functional loneliness is not living a fulfilled life. This involves trusting others and opening up to them. If we don’t allow others into our lives and let them know the truth, they can’t be a source of comfort, support, and connection. This requires taking a chance and moving out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, we become so accustomed to bad habits that we forget they are evil and hurt our lives. Patterns are difficult to change, but you can make that background noise of loneliness go away or, at the very least, a whisper you can manage, even during the worst times.