Understanding Loneliness

What makes us happiest in life? Some people may point to fabulous fame and fortune. Yet hands down, surveys show that friends and family are the real prize. Even though our need to connect is innate, some of us always go home alone. You could have people around you throughout the day or even be in a lifelong marriage, and still experience a deep, pervasive loneliness. Unsurprisingly, isolation can have a serious detrimental effect on one's mental and physical health.

Recent posts on Loneliness

7 Ways the Insecure Try to Seem Important

Some people will go through extreme and perhaps ridiculous efforts to seem important. These seven behaviors may be covering up their feelings of loneliness and inferiority.

Pure Solitude, Away from Devices, Is Calming: New Research

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Living Single
Four new studies show that pure solitude, away from electronic devices, is calming. They also help explain when time alone is and is not experienced as sad, lonely, or boring.

Saving Silence: Finding Quiet in a Chaotic World

By Anna Akbari Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Startup Your Life
When is the last time you were truly in just one place and not on-call to the rest of the world?

On Your Own

By Barbara Klein Ph.D., Ed.D. on November 16, 2017 in Twin Dilemmas
Does twin loneliness come to an end?

Managing Diabetes in Festive Times

Are you worried about managing your Type 2 diabetes as the holidays approach? Are you anxious about going to social gatherings? Talking about your concerns and planning can help.

You Just Got Dumped – Nice Timing, Right?

By Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Attention Training
These 5 energy changers can help heal your broken heart.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife/wikimedia commons

What Suicide Grievers Don't Say

By Elizabeth Young on November 11, 2017 in Adaptations
"There won't be another son," I say quietly.  There's a long silence, and then Jack says. "No. There won't be another son." 

Will Online Shame Prevent You From a Holiday Romance?

By Sue Scheff on November 10, 2017 in Shame Nation
A new survey reports that over half of Americans will search for information online before dating you.


By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about people’s veneer.

Young and Cueless: Thinking about the Big Rise in Anxiety

By Scott M. Stanley Ph.D. on November 07, 2017 in Sliding vs. Deciding
Anxiety and depression have increased sharply for teens and young adults. Why? Does cuelessness about relationships play a role?

The Joy of Solitude

By Neel Burton M.D. on November 05, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Loneliness as a subjective state of mind.

Alone No More: How to Fill the Emptiness in Your Heart

By Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. on November 02, 2017 in Making Change
Feeling alone in the world is incredibly painful. Though this is not an easy problem to solve, there is a way forward—a way to connect with others.

Why Solitude Is Good and Loneliness Is Bad

By Ray Williams on October 31, 2017 in Wired for Success
While loneliness is becoming an epidemic, the value of solitude is unappreciated
Microsoft images

Are You Lonely in Your Marriage?

Emotional abandonment happens when the other person is lying right beside us.

Is There an Epidemic of Despair in the Rural Heartland?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on October 26, 2017 in Talking About Men
New research shows a sharp increase in premature death rates among rural less educated whites; mainly due to suicide, overdose, and substance abuse. What are the underlying causes?

One Simple Trick for Attracting Your Perfect Partner

By Kira Asatryan on October 23, 2017 in The Art of Closeness
A simple envisioning exercise can help you find someone who wants you to be more yourself.
Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Domain

When Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is Not Really a “Choice”

When these mostly well-educated women were asked why they were not working though they wished to, by far the most common response was, “I can't get decent childcare."

Why Is It So Hard to Separate from My Twin?

By Barbara Klein Ph.D., Ed.D. on October 22, 2017 in Twin Dilemmas
Helpful tips for dealing with separating from your twin.

What Happens When We Are Too Self-Protective?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on October 22, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Reflections on emotional vulnerability and risk-taking.
Kristen Fuller

Practicing Empathy in the Dating World: A Long-Lost Skill

On the romance merry-go-round, many people will keep others in their lives until they find the next best thing, while others may choose to "ghost" last night's date.

Harvey Weinstein Proves Sex Addiction Doesn't Exist

By Marty Klein Ph.D. on October 11, 2017 in Sexual Intelligence
Labelling Harvey Weinstein a "sex addict" allows us to confidently say "I'm not like that," rather than encouraging us to look at our own pain.

Why Do We Need Friends? Six Benefits of Healthy Friendships

True friends:"Lots of people will want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will ride with you in the bus when the limo breaks down"—Oprah Winfrey

4 Road Signs You're in The Land Where Love Dies

By Kevin D. Arnold Ph.D., ABPP on October 01, 2017 in The Older Dad
Has your love been crushed by the weight of loneliness? Here are 4 things that can help revive your love.

Making Friends: There’s An App For That

By Miriam Kirmayer on September 30, 2017 in Casual to Close
With the success and ubiquity of online dating, it’s not too surprising that friendships are now making their way into the virtual world.
Luke Porter/Unsplash

When You're Lonely Inside Your Relationship

The simplest way to ease loneliness...that you can do alone.

What Drives Our Loneliness?

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on September 28, 2017 in Compassion Matters
Our fight against loneliness is more of an internal struggle than we may imagine. It is primarily a matter of standing up against our inner critic and challenging our core defenses

The Paradox of Confiding in (Near) Strangers

By Lydia Denworth on September 28, 2017 in Brain Waves
Think you only discuss important matters with your closest confidants? A new book suggests your inner circle is bigger than you imagine.

Dating with Mental Illness: What Is It Like?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on September 28, 2017 in Talking About Men
Researchers interviewed a range of people with mental illnesses to learn more about their dating and romantic experience. Findings were surprising, poignant and insightful.

Why Your Dog Is Good for Your Health

Can your dog help you deal with stress? Some surprising research

Combatting the Loneliness of Transition

Five strategies to feel less lonely even in the midst of transition.