Lockdown diaries: Being lonely and being alone are not the same thing

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Hello Ideapod reader, Justin Brown from Ideapod here.

I read an interesting interview with the leading expert on loneliness, John Caccioppo. He said something that I’ve been thinking a lot about since going into quarantine.

He was trying to define loneliness.

It seems strange, but the way we instinctively define loneliness doesn’t actually fit with the experience.

It turns out that how lonely you feel doesn’t relate to how many people you see every day.

Being lonely and being alone are not actually the same thing.

He found that you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely.

You can also be completely alone in quarantine or lockdown without feeling any loneliness.

How can that be?

Caccioppo’s breakthrough was to understand that loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people. It’s the feeling you have when you’re not sharing anything meaningful with them.

It’s why you can feel lonely in a relationship even when the other person is still around.

This is also why you can be in quarantine, self-isolation or lockdown without feeling lonely.

As Caccioppo says:

“The brain is the organ for creating, monitoring, nurturing and retaining these social connections, so it didn’t matter whether you actually had these connections, what was important was whether you felt that you had them. There is a big difference between objective isolation and perceived isolation, and very quickly we learned that perceived isolation was loneliness, and that had not been studied.”

“I can remember exactly the year when eye contact stopped…”

For how long can you stand being unable to share something meaningful with the people around you?

For how long will you avoid eye contact with the people you love simply because you feel like you’re hiding something deep down?

I used to feel guilty for wanting to be alone. But then I came across a brilliant quote by Carl Jung, and it helped me to understand the root cause of my loneliness:

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“Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”

I created Ideapod as an antidote to my loneliness. I desperately wanted to build a community of people who think in similar ways to me.

Over the journey of creating Ideapod, I’ve learned that it’s not so much about finding like-minded people.

Rather it’s about developing the self-knowledge to know deep down inside what it is that one finds important in life.

When you know yourself deeply, the loneliness dissipates.

Know yourself, embrace your humanity

As the shaman Rudá Iandê says, fulfillment comes from inside out. It doesn’t come from chasing external things like success and money. It come from acting, putting out your best, transcending your basic selfishness and contributing to the chain of life.

Rudá has helped me to reformulate my life around a very deep understanding of myself.

Now he’s making his teachings available to everyone through Ideapod with his Out of the Box online workshop.

If you decide to enroll in Out of the Box, you’ll have instant access to a series of videos, written lessons and exercises to accelerate your path to self-knowledge.

You’ll have the tools to know yourself deeply.

For only a few more days, we have reduced the price by $500 to only $195.

This gives you lifetime access to the Out of the Box online workshop. The materials you have immediate access to are worth thousands of dollars and may change your life.

There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can give it a shot first.

Here’s where you can learn more about Out of the Box.

I hope to see you there.

All the best,
Justin Brown, Ideapod

P.S. If you want to learn more about Rudá Iandê, check out his free masterclass on personal power. This is where Rudá shares his personal story in aligning his spirituality, love, familiy and work around his true nature.



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Justin Brown

Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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