I join Claudia Kielmann’s blog parade “Einsam muss nicht sein: deine Tipps gegen Einsamkeit” (No need to be lonely: your tips against loneliness). Because you, Loneliness, are a well-known – but most of the time slandered – part of my life.
I only found out your name during a coaching session of my Executive MBA working group. We drew a poster of ourselves and our situation. When it was my turn, everyone of the group interpreted what I drew on the poster. The coach said: “I see a great Loneliness.” I was baffled. How could she tell?
Yes, she hit the mark. You were always there. Not so often at the moment. But a lot when I was a child, and during certain stages of my life, in certain situations, when I was with certain people.
Dear Loneliness, you are my old companion. I have tried to hide you for many years. Let me finally introduce you.
Events you love
Looking back, I can now clearly see, when you like to show up. You love those moments when I
- can’t connect to a person
- don’t feel understood
- have no one to talk to
- don’t share common interests and thoughts
- don’t feel valued
- can’t be myself
- feel rejected
- feel isolated
- feel excluded.
Stages of my life when you stayed with me
In these stages and situations of my life, you have moved in and made yourself at home 😊:
- when I was bullied and isolated at school
- when I lacked emotional support at home
- when I moved to a new city (e.g. Beijing, Taipei, Barcelona, Frankfurt) without having close friends there
- when I worked as a self-employed designer and as an entrepreneur without having a community of likeminded persons
- when I felt so sick during my pregnancy that I could only lie in bed
- when I lacked moral support during birth and the first years of my motherhood
- during the psychotic episodes of my brother
What you taught me
I suffered, but now I understand what you wanted me to learn. You taught me – the hard way – to
- be independent
- look for opportunities to meet people
- stand up for me
- work on my relationship building skills
- work on my communications skills
- look after myself
- do things I love on my own, such as going to watch a movie, going for a walk, to a concert, in a restaurant, travelling, doing creative stuff etc.
- accept you better
- accept myself better
- trust myself to eventually find a way to need less of your company
Dear Loneliness, I know now that each time you come, you want me to know that something isn’t going well for me. That I need to take care of myself better and try to find connections and do things I love. And I succeed most of the time. But how about people who can’t change their situations so easily? How can we, as a society support them?
What I wish
I wish that
- loneliness wasn’t such a tabu
- people would talk about their loneliness like talking about their tiredness
Does loneliness sometimes visit you? Or is loneliness a constant companion of your life? Or are you one of the heroes who help others to feel less lonely?
Leave me a comment 👇 and join Claudia Kielmann’s blog parade “Einsam muss nicht sein: deine Tipps gegen Einsamkeit” (No need to be lonely: your tips against loneliness)!
I thank Kerstin, my coach, for giving Loneliness a name!