Understanding Loneliness

What makes us happiest in life? Some people may point to fabulous fame and fortune. But 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

Make New Friends, Keep (Some of) the Old

By Wendy Paris on May 26, 2015 in Splitopia
Divorce can shake up friendships, but it also gives us a chance to connect with others, and recreate a social circle more supportive of our new lives. Sometimes ending a marriage enables us to see the value in others we've formerly dismissed.

Beyond Bread and Butter

Progressive political activists are too fixated on economic inequality and justice, reflecting a narrow and incorrect view of what people really need.

A Select Assortment of Books and More

Not every worthy book or DVD gets the attention it deserves. Here are a few you might otherwise miss.

6 Tips to Beat Loneliness for Good

Are you hungry for love? These six tips will help you create the intimacy you desire, and also show you how to avoid toxic affection.

What is Relationship Sanity?

Insanity is defined as repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. But how might we broach a definition of relational sanity? If we accept a simple and straightforward definition of sanity as "soundness of mind," could we say that experiencing ourselves as being loving and lovable is a (if not the) definition of relational/relationship sanity?

We Have It All Wrong About Lonely People

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in Living Single
A set of just-published studies shows that lonely people have social skills that are just as good, or even better, than those of non-lonely people. But certain social situations make lonely people anxious, and that anxiety undermines the skills that are there for them when they are not worried.

You Can Change Your Attachment Style

secure people create good relationships, even with anxious or avoidant partners. Secure people express their needs directly instead of playing games. They establish a dynamic that helps others feel safe expressing needs and negotiating mutually satisfying solutions.

The Six "Caring Words" that Block Intimacy

You want to empathize. But these six words can leave your partner, friend, or sister feeling terribly alone.

Why Your Old Friends Are Vital to Your Future

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Can we predict who might be at risk for becoming lonely later in life?

Suicide Alert: The Spring Season Can Be Deadly

Suicide Alert: Springtime can be a deadly season.

Why Loneliness Hurts So Much

Just we feel hunger when we haven't enough food, we feel affection hunger when our needs for connection go unmet. Close relationships aren’t a luxury, but a necessity. The need for social connection is innate, just like the need for food, sleep, and air.

Why You Shouldn't Fear Going Solo

By Sophia Dembling on April 27, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Some people fear they'll be judged and pitied if they do things alone, but it's also possible people will be impressed.

Loneliness And Death

Loneliness may reduce life expectancy more than obesity or smoking.

5 Ways to Know When to Leave the Relationship

You don't want to go home anymore. You don't look forward to seeing or being in the actual company of the person with whom you are intimately involved. You prefer the idea of the relationship to the reality of it; you have an idealized image of the beloved that is far enough removed from the everyday, authentic person that being in his or her presence undermines, erodes an

Developmental Dislike of Parents During Early Adolescence

One function of adolescence is to grow parent and adolescent apart. Dislike of parents is part of what allows this social separation to occur. Most important for parents to remember is that this loss of liking for parents does not mean any lessening of of adolescent love.

What Your Facebook Use Reveals About Your Personality

Research shows the way you interact on social media says a lot about your personality and your self-esteem.

Hoarders and Collectors

By Elias Aboujaoude M.D. on April 16, 2015 in Compulsive Acts
A hoarding diagnosis should have nothing to do with a person’s net worth or a clinician’s take on what is worth collecting and what does not deserve getting attached to.

The Joy of Distraction

Negative affect is among the most important triggers of self-control failures.

Unloved Daughters and the Pain of Mother's Day

By Peg Streep on April 14, 2015 in Tech Support
While for many children, Mother's Day is one of true celebration, it's a day to be gotten through, survived, or ignored for others. Why is it that we continue to look away from an unpleasant truth: that, sometimes, Mother's Day hurts?

Net Losses

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 14, 2015 in In Excess
A number of market research reports have indicated that many office employees spend at least one hour of their day at work on various non-work activities (e.g., booking holidays, shopping online, posting messages on social networking sites, playing online games, etc.) and costs businesses millions of dollars a year. But what can be done to prevent it?

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

Holding a Grudge Produces Cortisol and Diminishes Oxytocin

Are you currently holding a grudge against someone? Is someone holding a grudge against you? This blog post offers scientific reasons and some basic advice on how-to let go of a grudge and move on with your life.

How Do You Feel if You Can't Read?

By Peter Toohey on April 03, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
Real literacy rates in advanced economies are lower than you might expect. This reduces the accessibility of digital technology for many people whose literacy is not strong. The common claims that the Digital Revolution is changing the way people experience emotions – such as loneliness, love, jealousy, boredom - may need to be treated with considerable caution.

The Scarcity Mindset

Poverty at it very core taxes self-control capacity.

Do We Project Our Own Personalities Onto Our Dogs' Behavior?

Dogs can be a sort of psychological mirror since people sometimes use their own personality tendencies to fill in the gaps when trying to interpret ambiguous dog behaviors.

Infantasy: The Dream of Unconditional Love Never Dies Young

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Ambigamy
Romantic love and confirmation of our social worth are complexly tangled.

Changes in the Family: Impact on Sexual Development

In modern times, the family unit has been dramatically reconstructed. Regardless of the family’s formation, the behaviors observed by children of both single and two-parent families significantly impact children’s sexual development.

Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Part II

A case study illustrating comorbidity and distinctions between bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and attention deficit disorder.

My Daughter and I Are Both Depressed

Yes, depression is contagious

“Having Guts” to Harden Parents’ Hearts

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
“Do you have the guts? You’re chicken if you don’t!” Remember such taunts to do stupid things in childhood? Apparently they are common in adulthood too—most recently with a doctor advising new parents. Destructive and unethical, let’s take a look.