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Why do I feel lonely with so many friends around?

 Why do I feel lonely with so many friends around? (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I work in a busy office and have plenty of friends. But I still have many moments when I feel lonely. How’s that even possible when I’m surrounded by other people? And what can I do about it?


Chris says,

Hi Lonely! 

Everyone gets lonely from time to time. Perhaps after a house move, or when a relationship ends. But sometimes loneliness can become long-lasting. 

Because it’s not the same as being alone. It’s feeling unable to connect with others. Because loneliness is not a lack of companionship, but a lack of intimacy.

And it’s getting more common as modern cultures become more individualistic and we feel less close to each other.

Loneliness often starts early, especially now childhood is becoming more solitary and complicated. And lonely children grow up to be lonely adults.

So, what can you do about your feelings?

If you think you’re lonely because no one likes you, or you feel insecure, or socially anxious, get professional help.

Learn to be content with who you are, and to focus on your good qualities. Because as you grow to like yourself more, so will other people.

Live more in the moment. Develop your social skills. Reconnect with lost friends. Try to make every relationship more meaningful. Be patient while making new friends, because it takes time to get to know one another and develop trust.

Try to think more about others and less about yourself. Look for opportunities to do voluntary work. You’ll meet new people, and doing something useful for someone who needs your help will give you great satisfaction. And you’ll start feeling more connected.

If you’re constantly hanging out with people just to avoid feeling lonely, learn to like being alone. It’s easy to forget how nice it is to have time for yourself. So instead of turning to the internet anytime you’re alone, spend time getting to know yourself better and thinking about what you really want in life. You’ll soon feel more self-confident, others will feel that and respond to it, and all your relationships will deepen.

All the best,


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