COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged loneliness

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6 Types of Loneliness

There are 6 main types of loneliness:

1. Interpersonal loneliness: This is the result of losing a significant, or intimate, relationship.

2. Social loneliness: This is where a person is on the fringes of a group, excluded from a group, or is actively rejected.

3. Cultural loneliness: This is where a person belongs to a different culture and feels that they don’t fit, or belong, in the new culture.

4. Intellectual loneliness: This is where a person feels intellectually, or educationally, out of synch with their peers, their family or their social group.

5. Psychological loneliness: This is where a person has experienced a trauma that separates them out from others around them. That is, it’s something other people can’t fully understand.

6. Existential or cosmic loneliness: This is an isolating loneliness experienced by a person who is facing death.

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Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself.
Janet Fitch

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5 Ways to Beat Loneliness

1. First, don’t isolate yourself – When you’re feeling lonely it is hard to go out and be with others who seem to be OK, and don’t really notice how lonely you feel. But putting up a wall and withdrawing from your friends will only intensify that sense of loneliness, and will further undermine your self-esteem.

2. Second, keep yourself busy – Do things that you normally enjoy with others. For example, listening to a band or maybe going to watch a game … or you could always try something that’s new, but interests you! That would allow you to connect in a non-threatening way … as it takes the focus off talking, and off you.

3. Third, be kind to yourself - It’s likely that you regularly beat yourself up, criticise yourself and are unrealistic in the kinds of expectations that you have for yourself. So what, if it goes wrong? You can always try again – just learn what you can from the experience. And notice your successes and the times when it goes well. It’s likely that this happens a lot more than you think!

4. Fourth, recognise that we ALL battle loneliness at times - You’re not some kind of freak – it’s actually quite normal. It something we’ve all known and understand.

5. Fifth, talk to someone you like and trust – It can really help to talk about your feelings with a family member, a friend or counsellor. It relieves some of the painful sense of isolation – and help to get your life back in perspective again.

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When You’re Fighting Depression …

1. Remind yourself that thoughts and feelings aren’t facts. Often we think extreme and negative things – which are not completely true in reality. Try to get perspective and to be more balanced – and try to counteract accusing, negative thoughts.

2. Be patient, understanding and gentle with yourself. When you’re fighting depression or are feeling overwhelmed then that uses up a lot of your energy. Accept that today is going to be harder and put fewer expectations and demands upon yourself.

3. Do one small thing as it will help you to get moving - and you’ll start feel more hopeful as you see yourself make some progress. Also, keeping yourself busy will interrupt your thinking, and will help stop your feelings from getting even worse.

4. Although it’s not usually helpful to isolate ourselves, be wise in the people that you choose to be around. If other people are too happy – or too harsh and critical – it will compound your feelings of negativity. Instead, try and spend time with people who are gentle and calm, and who help you feel accepted and more positive.

5. Remember that tomorrow could be a better day. You just need to find the energy to make it through today.

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How to Care for an Introvert

1. Respect their need for privacy and to spend time on their own.

2. Be careful never to embarrass them in public.

3. When they are in a new situation, allow them to stand back, and watch what’s going on.

4. Allow them time to process what you’re asking or saying. Don’t demand an answer right away.

5. Be patient if they hesitate to find the right words – and never interrupt while they are speaking.

6. If you are going to change or cancel plans, give them plenty of prior notice.

7. Allow them to practice and perfect skills alone.

8. Correct or challenge them privately – never in front of an audience.

9. Don’t force them to hang out with a crowd of people, or expect them to amass a lot of friends. A few good friends is more comfortable for them.

10. Don’t try to turn them into an extrovert. Respect them for being exactly who they are.

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Signs of a Wounded Heart

1. A wounded heart struggles with feeling accepted.
2. A wounded heart is constantly trying to protect itself from further pain.
3. A wounded heart feels it must always be perfect.
4. A wounded heart finds it hard to trust.
5. A wounded heart finds it hard to receive love.
6. A wounded heart feels inferior and inadequate.
7. A wounded heart expects rejection and abandonment.

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