You might know the feeling of not feeling connected to other people. You might feel like you are on your own. Someone who experiences loneliness has this feeling constantly. When you are lonely you have little or even no contact with others. Loneliness is more common than you might think; more than one million Dutch people feel very lonely. There is a lot of attention for loneliness among the elderly, but the number of young people who feel lonely is greatly underestimated.

What is going on?

The millennials are often described as a social and creative group of young people, but over 70% of these young people feel lonely sometimes. The causes of loneliness can differ. Some young people find it difficult to make contact with others. Many are afraid of being rejected and others simply do not know where to start. In addition, you do not have to be alone in order to feel lonely. Some young people are surrounded by others, but still feel lonely. Also, young people often think that they are the only ones who have to deal with loneliness, and because of this the topic won’t be discussed.

Social or not so social media?

The millennials grew up with technology and through social media such as Facebook and Instagram you can easily make contact and stay in touch with others. You might wonder if we are replacing personal and profound relationships with relationships that are distant and superficial. It is all about finding balance though so for example you can invite a Facebook friend for an event on Facebook and attend this event together (in real life)!

How can you deal with it?

Of course it is easier said than done, but if you want to get in touch with people you will have to go out and surround yourself among other people. This is of course very exciting if you have been on your own for some time. You can decide yourself in which way you want to get in contact with others, make sure it feels comfortable for you. Nowadays, there are apps on the market which make it easy for you to get in contact with others. You can find a buddy online to play sports together or you can find someone to make nice trips together. If you are not a fan of apps, you can for example try volunteering. In this way you are helping others, but you are also helping yourself because you are exposing yourself to other people. In addition, many free courses are offered on the internet. For example, a cooking course seems to be a win-win situation: you prepare a delicious meal and you get to know new people as well!

What can you do about it?

Humans are social creatures: we are not made to be alone all the time. You can not tell by looking at someone’s face if they are experiencing loneliness, but do you know someone who could use a helping hand or have you not spoken to a certain person in a while? Take this person to a cool event, grab a coffee together or have a nice walk in the park. The smallest things can make so much difference!

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Britt Stoker

Hi! My name is Britt, psychologist coach at NiceDay. Through online coaching I can guide and help you with what’s on your mind. Loves animals, traveling, photography and delicious food.

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