People who feel a constant emptiness in life often display these 7 behaviors (without realizing it)

“Why do I feel numb inside? It’s as if I’ve lost my way and I’ve detached from the people around me, but I can’t understand why I feel so empty.” 

Emptiness is difficult to describe because it’s not a specific emotion such as sadness or anger. It’s a hollow feeling that creates despair and discomfort, leaving us disconnected from the world around us. 

For those dealing with prolonged emotional numbness, something is lacking in their lives, but they just can’t put their finger on what it is or how to overcome it. They feel incomplete, and this often leads to negative behaviors such as a lack of motivation, impulsiveness, and pursuing meaningless relationships in an attempt to feel fulfilled. 

It’s a painful experience, and while most of us can’t explain why we feel the way we do, we tend to behave in a certain way when we’re hollow inside. 

Whether it’s you or someone you know, people who feel a constant emptiness in life often display these 7 behaviors (without realizing it). 

Let’s take a closer look at these signs below. 

1) They gradually withdraw from people and hobbies. 

Feeling hopeless leaves us without motivation. We fail to see a bright future ahead of us, or we lose a sense of faith that our situation will ever change. Ultimately, hopelessness makes us feel defeated, like there’s nothing we can do, so we give up. 

Despite getting up every morning and performing their routine, empty people tend to pull away from friends and family, and they stop doing the things that they love. 

Without even realizing it, they slowly withdraw and detach from loved ones. 

They’ll spend less time with people they visit quite often, and gradually they will quit hobbies or activities that they previously enjoyed. 

Their lives become an empty shell. 

The problem with feeling numb is an inability to connect with others. You don’t want to be in the company of those closest to you, let alone people you don’t really know, when you’re disconnected from life in general.

2) They become needy. 

Someone who’s experiencing emptiness can develop needy behavior. Neediness can filter into one’s personal and professional lives, wreaking havoc on their stability. 

It’s not something that happens overnight, but the more they feel stuck and confused about their purpose in life, the more it creates uncertainty in their abilities and self-esteem. 

Take someone who was once independent.

Their growing emptiness increases their reliance on the people around them. They need constant reassurance at work or validation from their relationships that they’re wanted and loved. 

In romantic relationships, clinginess becomes apparent in people because they feel insecure and have low confidence. This might lead to an anxious attachment style, which is a very toxic dependency on another person. Because you’re so scared of being rejected, you cling to your partner, always looking for approval and acceptance

It’s a relationship recipe for disaster! 

Placing pressure on one person to fulfill another’s needs creates imbalance and resentment. 

But not everyone who feels empty turns into a clingy individual. In fact, some people go out of their way not to appear needy, but there’s a major pitfall in doing so. 

If you make every attempt to appear independent and self-reliant when you’re falling apart inside, it increases anxiety, and you might find yourself turning to food, substances, and even relationships to fill the void. 

3) They become jealous. 

People who go through constant emptiness in their lives wish they had what others have. When they see someone happy and motivated in life, they question why they can’t experience the same joys and pleasures in their own lives. 

But their jealousy can also rear its ugly head in their relationships. 

When they believe that they’ve lost a sense of themselves, any change in the attitude or behavior of their significant others creates insecurity and suspicion. 

Their emotional void means that they rely on someone else to provide stability and support, so they may start checking in with their partner through constant texts or questioning them if they’ve arrived late after work. 

Jealousy is a destructive emotion that affects our behavior and outlook on life in different ways. It creeps up on you and might not be something that you’re aware of, but wishing for what others have, hoping for a different life, and keeping tabs on your partner are only a few indications that your emotional difficulties are negatively impacting your life. 

pic2091 People who feel a constant emptiness in life often display these 7 behaviors (without realizing it)

4) They suffer from impulsiveness. 

Imagine being in a state of constant emotional turmoil and struggling to find a way out

Chronic emptiness is distressing, and it can lead to unpredictable behaviors because of instability. When you can’t understand your emotional absence, and you experience this for months or years, it takes a hefty toll on your mental health. 

Those who battle with feeling broken and empty have difficulty maintaining their moods, and when they feel really down, that’s when their impulsive behavior comes to light. 

Without any real awareness, they find themselves looking for fulfillment, but not in constructive ways. 

Sudden shopping sprees or purchases of things that you don’t need or can’t afford are impulsive. Overindulging, poor diet choices, gambling, and road rage are all indications of a lack of control that stems from a life void of emotions. 

These behaviors become a pattern without any real awareness of it. 

Let’s take binge eating as a typical example. It starts with one slab of chocolate or tub of ice cream to self-soothe. The next time, it doubles in volume, and healthier meal choices fall by the wayside. 

Eventually, you’re using food to cope, and it’s a habit that is hard to quit. 

5) They become very negative. 

It can happen to the best of us, but when your innermost thoughts are overcome by sadness and hopelessness, it’s hard to see the positives in life. 

I recall a friend of mine who was going through some struggles in their own life. I noticed that they weren’t the same cheerful person they were before, and every interaction felt like they had a dark cloud hanging over their heads. 

This is when I realized that everything he interpreted and experienced was viewed in a negative light. 

This skewed perspective creates self-doubt, and when things don’t go their way or they make a mistake, it’s the end of the world. 

Emptiness affects their self-esteem, and their negative attitude leads to fewer people wanting to spend time in their company. 

They develop behaviors such as self-criticism, and they lose their identity. 

If you don’t have a sense of who you are and can’t connect to the people and things around you, it leads to bitterness. 

6) They struggle to form close relationships. 

If you’re feeling disconnected from your own emotions, it’s impossible to connect to someone else. 

I know of many people, including myself, who would best describe this type of emptiness as “merely existing.” You go through your daily paces, but there’s no purpose to life. If you don’t feel purposeful, then you can’t share any real part of yourself with another person. 

But what exactly does this mean?

It means they can’t develop intimacy, creating frustration and despair. As a result, they might pursue one relationship after another in an attempt to fulfill this emptiness, which it never satisfies. 

This slew of meaningless relationships reinforces a negative self-belief because nothing seems to work out or bring happiness into their lives. 

7) They lose compassion for others. 

Most people describe feelings of emptiness as internal numbness and detachment from others. 

Unable to detect or make sense of their own emotions leaves very little room to feel for others. This lack of empathy comes across in their interactions and ways. 

You might tell them a story about someone who experienced recent trauma and describe how they’re battling to overcome it, only to get a blank stare or a few words to make you think they’re interested. 

They might not realize that they’re coming across as indifferent, impatient, or irritated, but it’s the people around them who pick up on their change in behavior. 

It’s not because they woke up one morning and decided to be rude and uncaring; feeling empty and numb makes it incredibly challenging to have compassion for others. 

Final words

It is possible to work through chronic emptiness and to feel stable and fulfilled again. It may take some time, and you might not be able to do it alone, but even when things seem impossible, there is always hope. 

Whether you’ve suffered from sudden loss or trauma or you’ve lost your path in life, don’t continue to struggle with emptiness. You’re robbing yourself of a rewarding life, and that means feeling happy and confident

If you or someone you care about is affected by constant emptiness, it’s time to re-evaluate your emotions. 

Are you confused about how you feel, or do you fear your emotions because they force you to face reality? 

Taking the time to reconnect with your feelings is the first step to becoming whole, and if you need help along your journey, reach out to a mental healthcare provider who can guide and support you.

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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