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/chat/ - Sometimes I think about loneliness. Sometimes I r...
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96360 No. 96360 watch
Sometimes I think about loneliness. Sometimes I read about it. Sometimes I am lonely myself, other times not.

I think some of you have experience with loneliness, too.

My question is: how does loneliness work? How can it be explained and understood?
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No. 96366
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96366
Isn't it basically a feeling of longing when you're alone because homo sapiens are a social species with an instinctive need to be with others, or is that overly simplistic?
No. 96367
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96367
>>96366
>a feeling of longing when you're alone because homo sapiens are a social species with an instinctive need to be with others, or is that overly simplistic?
I think that's a good start. :) We are social creatures, certainly.

I really don't have a satisfying answer myself, which is somewhat why I'm asking, to see what ideas others may have.

I suppose in reply to your thought, I could put forward the observation that not everyone who is alone feels lonely.
No. 96373
I am it fairly often.
I think loneliness, like all of our emotions, grew out of our needs as animals, and like Cloud said, we have a need for social contact.
No. 96374
I'm lonely pretty often.
I don't think it's a very complex thing.
If we don't have meaningful interactions with other people in person, we'll be lonely.
No. 96375
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96375
I think loneliness stems from desiring a specific sort of interaction and not having access to it. If you want a friend to talk to something personal about but don't have friends/don't have available friends, you feel lonely. If you want a girlfriend or boyfriend to get intimate with but don't have one, you feel lonely. If you're in a big crowd of people and wish you had someone you knew with you but don't, you feel lonely.
No. 96377
>>96367
That's true, there's introversion (which I have - I'm generally fine on my own). An instinctive mutation, maybe!
No. 96378
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96378
>>96373
>I am it fairly often.
I'm sorry, Zeke...

>I think loneliness, like all of our emotions, grew out of our needs as animals,
Yes, I think that's true. Loneliness represents an unrequited need.

>>96374
What makes an interaction meaningful?

>>96375
So loneliness is wanting social interaction but not getting it. Do you think it's possible to manipulate whether or not you want social interaction, or is the only solution to get what it is you want?

>>96377
One of my ideas is that people have a set point -- an ideal ratio between solitude and social time. When someone get more solitude than is ideal their are lonely. When they get less, they are over-stimulated. Introverts are comfortable with a greater proportion of solitude.

But my simple model begins to break down when asking the simple question: what is solitude and what is social? Right now I'm just looking at a computer screen -- I'm in solitude physically, but I'm also interaction with the minds of others. When reading, in the same way, I am accessing the mind of another human. On a bus, I might be around others, but be in functional solitude since I can't talk to anyone. So, my nice simple model isn't so simple, I'm afraid...
No. 96379
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96379
For all people it differs on their perception of belonging in a social context, to a person, clique or otherwise, as well as any outlying factors with that perception, such as personal characteristics.

For me, I don't enjoy being alone (however sometimes a good thing if I need some space), and having that feeling alongside it doesn't help either, especially recently where it has sparked up more often. The feeling flares up when I haven't had social contact with someone in any time frame and it leads me into a general down mood.

I am more introverted if anything, so social contact for me is awkward unless it's, say, a friend or a group of friends that I have warmed up to, then it's easier for me to make conversation.

In my view, I think the best way to understand loneliness in individuals is to understand how they view it, how it works for them and the things that individuals can do for someone if they are experiencing it, whether it be giving them some company or giving them some space. Understanding someone, in short.
No. 96380
>>96378
It provides a release of pent up emotions for the speaker.
It could be something as simple as discussing a baseball game. If it means something to them, even if it's trivial, they'll feel a desire to discuss it that won't be satisfied otherwise.
No. 96381
>>96379
>For all people it differs on their perception of belonging in a social context, to a person, clique or otherwise, as well as any outlying factors with that perception, such as personal characteristics.

Belonging is one of the needs in Maslov's hierarchy. What makes a person want to belong to one group and not others? When do they feel they belong?

>being alone
When do you feel alone? Do you ever feel not alone even when no one is physically close?

>The feeling flares up when I haven't had social contact with someone in any time frame and it leads me into a general down mood.
A bit like hunger perhaps...the feeling grows more intense the longer it's been since you've eaten.

>so social contact for me is awkward unless it's, say, a friend or a group of friends that I have warmed up to, then it's easier for me to make conversation.
Would you say being slow to warm up, and introversion are the same thing?

>whether it be giving them some company or giving them some space. Understanding someone, in short.
That's an interesting perspective. I've never heard the suggestion that sometimes lonely people need to be given more space...
No. 96396
>>96378
Mm, I think you may be right there.

Also a good question with online. I think it is not necessarily a lesser type of social (I feel closer to some people online than many offline) but a different one. And really we're best off with some of both.
One could say that we didn't have online before, but in a sense, we've had letters to long distance pen pals for centuries before that...
No. 96398
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96398
>>96381
>What makes a person want to belong to one group and not others? When do they feel they belong?
I should know Maslow's since I did study it in class a while ago. Personally, I feel people belong to certain groups because of... say, shared interests, can't think of any other reason as to how to belong at the moment, sorry. When do they feel they belong? When they have gotten to know people in said group, or the group takes interest and active discussion on a topic that all parties enjoy, then it becomes an easier social environment to be in, imo.

>When do you feel alone? Do you ever feel not alone even when no one is physically close?
At a lot of random intervals during the day. Sometimes when there is no one physically around, I am not lonely but, again, the feeling sparks up after a while.

>The feeling flares up when I haven't had social contact with someone in any time frame and it leads me into a general down mood.
You could say that, yeah.

>Would you say being slow to warm up, and introversion are the same thing?
Introverts just prefer more portions of solitude if anything, which is what I experience as well - sometimes I like to be left alone for a bit, or not participate in anything social. As to warming up to people, it depends on the person. For some it's quick and for some it's slow, as everyone is different in that regard. For me it's in-between.

>That's an interesting perspective. I've never heard the suggestion that sometimes lonely people need to be given more space...
Then again we need to take in other factors as well, like personal characteristics outside the 'loneliness' thought.
No. 96399
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96399
>>96375
I think this sums it up pretty well
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