If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they probably feel quite empty in life

Recognizing the signs someone feels empty in life isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem.

Often, these signs masquerade as normal behaviors, making it easy to overlook the underlying feeling of emptiness.

But once you know what to look for, you can spot these behaviors quite easily and perhaps even lend a helping hand to those who are struggling.

So, let’s get into it – the 12 behaviors that are likely indicators someone feels quite empty in life.

1) They’re always “busy”

Some people fill every moment of their day with activities, tasks, and appointments. It might seem like they’re incredibly productive or just living life to the fullest.

But often, this constant busyness is a cover for an underlying feeling of emptiness. By staying busy, they’re able to avoid confronting the void within themselves.

It’s a coping mechanism that keeps them distracted from their own feelings of emptiness.

While being active and productive is generally a positive thing, when it becomes an avoidance tactic, it can be a sign that someone feels quite empty in life.

2) Constant need for validation

I have a friend, John. He is a great guy – charismatic, funny, and always the life of the party. But I started to notice something about John that struck me as odd.

Every time we hung out, he was always seeking validation for everything. Whether it was his clothes, his jokes, or his opinions, he needed constant reassurance that he was good enough.

At first, I thought he just lacked a bit of confidence. But over time, I realized there was something deeper at play. This constant need for validation was a sign of his underlying feeling of emptiness.

No matter how much validation he got from others, it never seemed to fill the void within him. It was as if he was trying to prove his worth to himself by seeking approval from others.

3) Lack of genuine interest in others

People who feel empty in life often struggle to take genuine interest in others. This isn’t out of selfishness or rudeness, but rather a symptom of their internal emptiness.

People who feel empty often have difficulty forming deep, meaningful connections with others. They might engage in social activities and maintain relationships, but there’s often a lack of genuine emotional engagement.

This lack of interest can manifest in various ways – from not remembering important details about others to being disinterested in their experiences and feelings. If someone seems to be going through the motions in their interactions without showing genuine interest, they might be dealing with feelings of emptiness.

4) Persistent feelings of loneliness

Even when surrounded by people, someone feeling empty in life might still experience a deep sense of loneliness. It’s as if they’re on the outside looking in, never truly feeling part of the group or situation.

This isn’t just typical loneliness that we all experience from time to time. It’s a persistent, gnawing feeling that doesn’t go away, even in the company of others.

They could be in a room full of people they know and love, and yet feel utterly alone.

5) Indifference towards future goals

Most of us have dreams, goals, and aspirations that we’re working towards. But someone feeling empty in life might exhibit a lack of interest or indifference towards their future.

They might struggle to set goals, lack motivation to achieve them, or seem disinterested in the idea of planning for the future.

This indifference isn’t because they’re lazy or lack ambition. Rather, it could be a sign of their internal struggle with emptiness. When someone feels empty, the future can seem bleak and uninteresting, making it hard for them to set or pursue goals.

6) They’re often lost in thought

pic1811 If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they probably feel quite empty in life

Have you ever seen someone staring off into the distance, seemingly lost in their own world? This could be a sign that they’re feeling empty inside.

When someone is dealing with feelings of emptiness, they often find themselves lost in thought, disconnected from the present moment. It’s as if they’re searching for something – a sense of purpose, meaning, or fulfillment – but they just can’t seem to find it.

It’s heartbreaking to see someone in this state. They’re there physically, but mentally and emotionally, they seem miles away. 

7) They hide their true feelings

I remember a time when I would always put on a happy face, even when I was feeling down. I thought that by hiding my true feelings, I was protecting others from my negativity.

But over time, I realized that this was just a way for me to avoid dealing with my own feelings of emptiness. I was using my cheerful facade as a shield, keeping people at a distance so they wouldn’t see the emptiness inside me.

So if you notice someone who always seems to be happy and never shares their struggles or pain, they might be dealing with feelings of emptiness. They could be hiding their true feelings behind a mask, just like I used to do.

8) They avoid meaningful conversations

Engaging in deep, meaningful conversations helps us connect with others on an emotional level. But someone feeling empty might avoid these conversations like the plague.

Instead, they might stick to surface-level topics, never delving into discussions about feelings, dreams, or personal struggles.

This avoidance isn’t because they’re uninterested or don’t care, but rather a protective mechanism against revealing their inner emptiness.

9) They frequently change relationships

If you examine the track record of someone who consistently experiences emptiness in life, you’ll observe a pattern of fleeting relationships.

They jump from one relationship to another, constantly seeking that ‘perfect’ partner who can fill the emptiness they feel.

But the truth is, no one else can fill this void for them.

10) They overcompensate with material possessions

Ever seen someone who constantly flaunts their newest purchases or seems to always be upgrading their gadgets?

Yeah, I know the type.

My friend John was one of those people. He always had the newest iPhone, designer clothes, a shiny new car—everything you can think of.

But behind all that glitz and glamour, John felt empty. He used material possessions as a way to fill his inner void. His self-worth was tied to what he owned, not who he was as a person.

11) They can’t stand being alone

I recall my college days when I couldn’t stand being alone. I consistently had friends over or was out and about. The idea of spending an evening alone terrified me.

Reflecting on those times, I now recognize that I was likely grappling with feelings of emptiness. The constant need for company served as a distraction from the void within.

If being alone feels unbearable for you or someone you know, it might be due to an internal emptiness that requires addressing.

12) They feel disconnected from themselves

The most telling sign that someone feels empty in life is a sense of disconnection from themselves. They may struggle to identify their own emotions, desires, or preferences, feeling as though they’re just going through the motions rather than truly living.

This disconnection isn’t about losing touch with their identity, but rather a deeper sense of emptiness that makes them feel alienated from their own self. It’s as if they’re an observer of their own life, rather than an active participant.

A final thought: Compassion is key

Understanding the signs of emptiness in others opens the door to empathy and compassion. Each behavior we’ve discussed is not a standalone diagnosis but a potential indicator of a deeper struggle.

American psychiatrist Carl Rogers once said, “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good.”

And it’s true. When we approach those displaying these behaviors with open hearts and minds, we can offer them the understanding and acceptance they may desperately need.

While it’s not our role to fix them, our compassion can make them feel less alone in their struggle. It’s a powerful reminder that human connection is a potent antidote to feelings of emptiness.

Next time you recognize these signs in someone, remember this: your understanding and compassion could be the first step in their journey towards feeling less empty.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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