“Loneliness is a problem that can become serious. In fact, it is known to go hand in hand with many other problems, such as the weakening of the support networks that society provides, and the adoption of unhealthy lifestyles.”
In this article we will see what the main types of loneliness are, and in what ways they manifest themselves.
The main types of loneliness
This is a brief summary about the types of loneliness that we may encounter throughout our lives. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive categories, so some may overlap each other.
1. Contextual loneliness
Loneliness does not always extend to all areas of life; sometimes, it is limited to a single context.
For example, someone who does not have friends or acquaintances in the faculty that he attends classes or at work can experience loneliness there, although in any other place he feels the closeness of many loved ones.
2. Transient loneliness
It is important to consider the time factor when analyzing the types of loneliness that people experience. In the case of the transient, it appears in specific situations and does not last much longer than a day.
For example, when a conflict arises in a relationship of love or friendship, the feeling may arise that there is a barrier that separates us from the other, or that has revealed a facet of his personality that makes us rethink if we know it.
3. Chronic loneliness
This type of solitude does not depend on a specific context or situation, but rather it perpetuates itself in time, staying in different areas of a person’s life. Of course, that does not mean that it will never disappear or that we can not do anything to make it vanish; given the right conditions, it may weaken until it disappears, but this costs more than in other more circumstantial kinds of solitude.
On the other hand, we must bear in mind that the difference between chronic and transient loneliness is only a matter of degree, and there is no clear separation between them.
For that reason, for example, we can find cases in which a person is subjected to an extremely monotonous life that only consists of one type of environment, and feels alone: in this case, it would not be very clear if it is chronic or of the transient, given that we can understand that it has been stuck at a time in its life that is repeated again and again day after day.
4. Self-imposed loneliness
There are cases in which loneliness is the consequence of an isolation that oneself has decided to use as a defining element of their own life. For example, people who are afraid of being disappointed by friends or loved ones, and who develop misanthropic attitudes or, in general, of distrust towards others.
In some cases, this form of solitude may also appear for religious reasons, such as the desire to devote oneself to a life of dedication to one or more gods, without embracing feelings of hostility toward other people.
5. Imposed loneliness
The imposed solitude is the consequence of a series of material deprivations to which the person is subjected, against the will of the latter. The inability to have normal relationships and in a sustained manner makes it appear that the feeling of isolation, a feeling that corresponds to objective facts, such as lack of free time or the fact of living in a very small place and just leave it.
On the other hand, that loneliness is imposed by others does not mean that the existence of this emotion is the objective of the measures imposed on those who suffer them. For example, it can be caused by very demanding work days, in which the important thing is to make money.
6. Existential loneliness
The existential loneliness is very different from the other types of loneliness, because it influences relatively little quality and quantity of interactions we have with other people. It is rather a state in which the emotion of loneliness is mixed with the existential doubt of what is lived and what exactly connects us to others.
If the consciousness of oneself is a subjective experience, private and that can not be shared, our existence can come to be perceived as something radically separated from our environment and those who inhabit it.
On the other hand, the absence of a meaning for one’s life can contribute to our feeling disconnected from the rest of the cosmos. That is to say, it is an experience that usually generates discomfort or restlessness, and that can not be faced trying to make more friends or getting to know more people.