You might be feeling really alone as you read this.
It’s why you clicked on this article, right?
But here’s something important to remember: even in your aloneness, you’re not truly alone.
Feeling lonely is something all humans go through at some point.
It’s a regular emotion, and it’s okay to feel this way, especially during big life changes like moving to a new place or losing someone you love.
However, if you’re feeling this way for a long time, it can affect both your body and mind negatively. So if you’re wondering if you’re becoming lonely and isolated, here are seven warning signs to look out for.
1) You feel a lingering sense of emptiness, even when you’re around people
Loneliness isn’t just about being alone; it’s about feeling alone, even in a crowd.
Imagine you’re at a lively party or a family gathering.
People are talking and laughing around you, but deep down, you feel like something is missing. There’s this subtle ache inside you that no amount of small talk or friendly hellos can cure.
Having this persistent void within could be a sign that you might be disconnected from the people around you because you’re not truly connecting with them on a deeper level.
You see, it’s not just about being in the same room; you’ve got to have something to talk about, something that can make you forget time or just have a genuine heart-to-heart.
It’s in those moments when you really open up and share your thoughts, dreams, and maybe even a few fears. When those elements are missing, the emptiness settles in, making you prefer isolation over pointless chatter.
But recognizing this feeling is the first step.
It’s your inner self nudging you to seek out your “soul tribe”—people who truly understand you, care about what’s going on in your head and in your life, and simply value your presence.
2) You start to feel like an outsider
You might notice this feeling in social gatherings, at work, or even among your own friends.
It’s like being in a room where everyone speaks a language you don’t understand, and you’re left out of the conversation.
It might start with feeling unheard or misunderstood, and over time, it can escalate into loneliness and isolation. This sense of being an outsider is your mind’s way of telling you that your need for meaningful connections isn’t being met.
As human beings, we thrive on social bonds and understanding, and when those connections fade, we can start to feel isolated.
Having experienced this firsthand, I can tell you that it’s one of the worst experiences ever.
Sometimes, I’d still have vivid dreams of my 18-year-old self trying her best to fit in at university. Then I’d wake up feeling relieved that I’m already this 30-year-old woman who has come a long way since those awkward days.
But that little voice from my younger days is still there, reminding me how crucial it is to understand others and truly understand myself, so I could finally stop looking for love and validation outside of myself.
If you feel this way, don’t dismiss this feeling as insignificant; it’s your inner self prompting you to reach out, find like-minded individuals, and be true to your core values.
3) You constantly reminisce about past connections, often to the point of idealizing them
It’s natural to hold on to moments that feel like pure magic.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to look back on that amazing trip with friends, those warm nights filled with heartfelt conversations with a partner, or that heart-to-heart talk that made you feel truly valued and understood?
But sometimes, in our desire to relive those memories and feel less lonely in the present moment, we make them seem even better than they were.
We might end up smoothing out the rough parts, making it all seem flawless. It’s like looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses, where everything appears perfect and wonderful.
And that’s when the problem creeps in.
When we see these memories as entirely perfect, we can’t help but compare them to our current relationships, which can make us feel dissatisfied or unhappy.
It’s almost as if we’re looking for a movie script or a storybook ending.
But real life isn’t like that.
It’s not always perfect, and neither are our connections with others. There are ups and downs, misunderstandings, and even moments of frustration.
But see, it’s in those little imperfections and quirks that real connections are strengthened and become special.
4) You find it hard to trust new people or open up to others
According to The Holistic Psychologist:
“Many of us carry an unresolved abandonment wound from trauma, childhood emotional neglect, or any part of our past where we needed connection, but the people involved betrayed us or denied us love.
“When this happens, our egos tend to create many stories to make sense of the loss, like:
I’m not good enough.
I’m not lovable enough for someone to stay.
I’m never chosen.”
If a part of you resonates with this, you might unconsciously begin to build invisible walls around your heart, preventing you from letting others in.
That’s why acknowledging these wounds and understanding that they exist is the first step towards healing.
Realizing that these stories our minds create are just that—stories, not truths—can gradually dismantle those invisible walls.
It takes time, patience, and a lot of self-compassion, but with each brick removed, you might find it a bit easier to trust again and allow new connections into your life.
5) You over-rely on social media for social interaction
You end up spending hours scrolling through social media, liking posts, leaving comments, and sending messages, making it your primary way to stay in touch with the outside world.
Sure, social media offers a glimpse into others’ lives, but it can also create a sort of digital illusion of being socially active.
Don’t get me wrong; I love social media. In fact, I use it every day.
However, there’s no denying that it can create a false sense of belonging if you over-rely on it for social connection. The more you depend on these digital interactions, the more isolated you can become in the real world.
It’s a paradox of our modern age: the more connected we are online, the more disconnected we can feel offline.
It’s a constant reminder of the connections you desire but struggle to establish beyond the screen. That’s why recognizing this pattern is crucial.
Your loneliness is your inner self signaling that you need genuine, face-to-face interactions.
Because, let’s face it, social media has its place, but it can’t replace the warmth of a smile, the comfort of a hug, or the depth of a real conversation.
6) You start to neglect personal grooming or self-care routines
When you’re feeling down or really lonely, it’s easy to neglect taking care of yourself, just like ignoring a garden lets weeds take over.
You might start spending more time alone, and as you withdraw, personal grooming routines can seem less important.
In your solitude, you might lose the motivation to make an effort for yourself. This change in behavior is your body’s way of reflecting your emotional state.
The truth is, loneliness and isolation can sap your motivation to take care of yourself.
It’s like your body sending a quiet message, hinting that you might be feeling disconnected from the world and needing some support.
However, this neglect of self-care is something you can still turn around.
When you notice that you’re slowly letting yourself go or spending too much time alone, take it as a chance to reach out and find support.
Connecting with others and being open to their help can be the first step to feeling better and taking care of yourself like the valued person you are.
7) You struggle to relate
This struggle often happens when you spend less time with people. Maybe you’ve been alone a lot, and the lack of shared experiences makes it tough to find common ground.
But did you know that feeling lonely and isolated are also symptoms of spiritual awakening?
According to Aletheia Luna, in her article “Spiritual Awakening: 23 Major Signs + Symptoms,” she states, “Going through a spiritual awakening is one of the most confusing, lonely, alienating, but also supremely beautiful experiences in life.”
When I experienced my first spiritual awakening back in 2017, I also witnessed how I began to outgrow certain people in my life.
Not everyone realizes this, but when our frequency changes as a result of our spiritual ascension, we just vibe differently from others, thus making it hard for us to relate.
That doesn’t make you more enlightened or superior to others, though. It simply means you’re evolving as a person and as a soul, and that’s perfectly okay.
In fact, one of the most healing parts of my own spiritual journey is liberating myself from trying to force connections that are no longer meant for me.
But if you don’t believe in spiritual concepts, that’s absolutely fine as well.
What matters is how you feel and how it impacts your daily life. So whether it’s loneliness or a spiritual shift, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings.
Feeling lonely can be really tough, but it’s also a journey that can teach us important things about ourselves and what truly matters in life.
I know it might sound like a broken record, but if you’re feeling lonely, please understand that you’re not alone.
There are countless people worldwide who feel just like you do. And guess what?
There are people out there who genuinely care about you and want to lend a hand.
So, don’t hesitate. Reach out. Talk to others. Share your feelings. And most importantly, give yourself some grace.
You deserve love and belonging, and there are people who would love to be a part of your life.
Don’t give up on yourself.