Loneliness When Around Others

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dannydawiz
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Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dannydawiz » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:20 am

Hey guys its Danny here again. As some of you may know, I was homeschooled last year and just went back to high school my senior year. I love it a whole lot and have met plenty of new people.

The question that I'm having though is regarding feelings of being alone.

I'm not afraid to be alone. After living that way for such a long time it's almost like I've become a bit more numb to it than most others. The problem that I'm having though is that even though I have friends and talk to people at lunch I still feel alone...

I don't really tell anyone because I don't want to be seen as weak or needy. But it's been bothering me a lot and I feel like there is something that I'm missing in regards to interpersonal skills... It's not like I have trouble talking to people. I'm not socially awkward or anything and I don't have social anxiety. I've had plenty of people both guys and girls tell me that I'm a really fun person to talk to.


It's weird because I actually feel more alone going to school than I did when I was just being homeschooled. I have friends in mostly all social circles at school. I don't just stick to one group. Usually I'll stay in a group for 15 minutes and then I'll leave to enter another one.

Does anyone know what my issue may be?

Phil2
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by Phil2 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:16 am

Why worry about this ? ... why make a problem of it ?

Is aloneness a problem ?

??
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Onceler
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by Onceler » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:52 am

I'm glad to hear you're doing well in high school and having a good year. According to Erikson's developmental model, your main job as a teenager is to find your identity. Of course this takes a curious turn if you are contemplating a larger identity, ala Tolle and others. Your sense of alienation around people wouldn't seem to be uncommon, given the clash of your developmental task and spiritual task.

You are moving into young adulthood where, again according to Erikson, your main task will be to develop relationships and intimacy with others. So you may feel between purposes, identity vs. intimacy and the rest of your peers may simply be working on the identity thing.....who am I with others, rather than how can I be intimate with others. So there may be a developmental gap there.
Be present, be pleasant.

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dannydawiz
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dannydawiz » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:06 pm

Phil2 wrote:Why worry about this ? ... why make a problem of it ?

Is aloneness a problem ?

??
Hey Phil!

Thanks for responding. I'm just observing my feelings and accepting them the way they are. Just because I am trying to discover the reason why I'm feeling the way I do doesn't mean i'm turning it into a problem. I do admit that I used the word problem in my previous post for lack of a better term so excuse me for my mistake. Even Eckhart notes that its better to accept things and then make an effort to change them rather than spend all day complaining about things in your head.

I do my best to clear myself of any sort of psychological suffering because it simply isn't necessary. At least nowadays it isn't.
Last edited by dannydawiz on Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dannydawiz
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dannydawiz » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:18 pm

Onceler wrote:I'm glad to hear you're doing well in high school and having a good year. According to Erikson's developmental model, your main job as a teenager is to find your identity. Of course this takes a curious turn if you are contemplating a larger identity, ala Tolle and others. Your sense of alienation around people wouldn't seem to be uncommon, given the clash of your developmental task and spiritual task.

You are moving into young adulthood where, again according to Erikson, your main task will be to develop relationships and intimacy with others. So you may feel between purposes, identity vs. intimacy and the rest of your peers may simply be working on the identity thing.....who am I with others, rather than how can I be intimate with others. So there may be a developmental gap there.
Hello Oneceler! Thanks so much for responding. I do at times feel a bit disconnected from the other kids at school because I understand things that they don't really understand. I am familiar with Erikson's work but it seems to clash with my own interpretations in a sense. It's true that being an adolescent most of the time we are simply developing our beliefs and mental interpretations about the world. The identity however only exists to me as a mental concept in the mind. Your own mental interpretations of yourself. I do my best to not TRAP myself into any sort of identity because I feel that you can prevent yourself from learning new things.

Perhaps I need to spend more time developing relationships with other people. Even though I have a lot of friends and know a lot of people I don't really feel connected to any of them... Maybe thats the reason why I feel alone even around all these people. I'm really trying to figure these things out still. I make it my goal when I talk to other people to make them feel good about themselves. Perhaps this isn't the correct approach...

Do you have any thoughts on what makes relationships with other people rewarding or pleasing? What should I be focusing on more do you think?

dijmart
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dijmart » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:17 pm

dannydawiz wrote: Even though I have a lot of friends and know a lot of people I don't really feel connected to any of them... Maybe thats the reason why I feel alone even around all these people.
I was going to say while reading the other posts that it seems like the relationships may be superficial and that's why you feel alone, then I read what you wrote above and now I'd say for sure that's what the issue is, you even said it yourself.
Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dijmart » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:25 pm

dannydawiz wrote: I do admit that I used the word problem in my previous post for lack of a better term so excuse me for my mistake.
You don't have to be excused! and you didn't make a mistake either. You said how you are feeling and you have a right to your feelings, even if others may not think so. Some people on this board live in lala land, I swear!
Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by KathleenBrugger » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:16 am

Danny, I wonder if perhaps you have seen too deep to be able to connect with people superficially anymore. What I mean is...maybe it's not you with the "problem," it's the other people. They are living in a dream world and have no clue they're asleep. In my experience, most people's idea of "friend" is someone they hang out with, but they rarely let their true self appear. I can't tell you how many times in the last 20 years, since I've been on this spiritual path, that people I barely know have told me something and then said, "I've never told anyone that before." I knew some of these people well enough to know they had lots of friends, more than me, and yet not one of those people were the kind of friend that someone could feel safe enough to divulge a secret to.

I often feel lonely when I'm with other people when the subject matter is small-talk. The way not to be lonely around other people, imo, is to be present, be there with them, push the relationship somewhere real.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

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Onceler
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by Onceler » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:49 am

dannydawiz wrote:[

Do you have any thoughts on what makes relationships with other people rewarding or pleasing? What should I be focusing on more do you think?
No, I really don't. I think Kathleen said it best in her post. I try to be truthful with people.....and present. As you grow and change, those around you will grow and change, I've noticed. Either the actual people who have been relating to you change, or they are replaced by different people.

You've got a lot going on at a young age. I would say take it easy and enjoy high school and the superficiality of it all.
Be present, be pleasant.

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dannydawiz
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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dannydawiz » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:17 pm

dijmart wrote:
dannydawiz wrote: Even though I have a lot of friends and know a lot of people I don't really feel connected to any of them... Maybe thats the reason why I feel alone even around all these people.
I was going to say while reading the other posts that it seems like the relationships may be superficial and that's why you feel alone, then I read what you wrote above and now I'd say for sure that's what the issue is, you even said it yourself.
I wonder what it is then that makes a relationship genuine. I feel like when I'm at school a lot of people wear masks over their faces in order to protect their reputation. Even I've been a lot for mindful of this lately. The fact that people are going to treat me based off of what they think of me. It's not like I fear other peoples judgements but after realizing this i am a bit more aware of the importance of giving off good first impressions.

I think part of what makes a genuine relationship so hard is that we often hide a lot of ourselves from other people. To reveal yourself completely to another with all of your flaws, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities is scary to some people. So instead we put on "masks" in order to hide that part of ourselves from others.

Maybe thats why a lot of my relationships with other people seem a bit superficial...
KathleenBrugger wrote:Danny, I wonder if perhaps you have seen too deep to be able to connect with people superficially anymore. What I mean is...maybe it's not you with the "problem," it's the other people. They are living in a dream world and have no clue they're asleep. In my experience, most people's idea of "friend" is someone they hang out with, but they rarely let their true self appear. I can't tell you how many times in the last 20 years, since I've been on this spiritual path, that people I barely know have told me something and then said, "I've never told anyone that before." I knew some of these people well enough to know they had lots of friends, more than me, and yet not one of those people were the kind of friend that someone could feel safe enough to divulge a secret to.

I often feel lonely when I'm with other people when the subject matter is small-talk. The way not to be lonely around other people, imo, is to be present, be there with them, push the relationship somewhere real.
Thanks so much for replying Kathleen. You've helped me so much in the past and I can't be thankful enough. I used to think that a friend was someone that you hung out with as well. This definition changed of course once I left high school for a year and realized that only 2 out of my 50 "friends" made an effort to contact me. I always make an effort to be there with the person I'm speaking to. I feel that a genuine interest in other people is a prerequisite to being able to develop any sort of relationship with someone. Being present meaning actively listening to what it is they are saying and making an effort to give out thoughtful responses. I feel like a lot of people don't know how to actively listen to others nowadays. Not only regarding relationships but especially relating to teachers.

I'll take what you've said and do my best to apply it. Once again thank you so much.
Onceler wrote:
dannydawiz wrote:[

Do you have any thoughts on what makes relationships with other people rewarding or pleasing? What should I be focusing on more do you think?
No, I really don't. I think Kathleen said it best in her post. I try to be truthful with people.....and present. As you grow and change, those around you will grow and change, I've noticed. Either the actual people who have been relating to you change, or they are replaced by different people.

You've got a lot going on at a young age. I would say take it easy and enjoy high school and the superficiality of it all.
I see... I think that I should also work on being more truthful with people in regards to being a bit more open with them. I'll continue to try new things and see how everything plays out. Thanks for helping me out!

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by KathleenBrugger » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:53 pm

dannydawiz wrote:
KathleenBrugger wrote:Danny, I wonder if perhaps you have seen too deep to be able to connect with people superficially anymore. What I mean is...maybe it's not you with the "problem," it's the other people. They are living in a dream world and have no clue they're asleep. In my experience, most people's idea of "friend" is someone they hang out with, but they rarely let their true self appear. I can't tell you how many times in the last 20 years, since I've been on this spiritual path, that people I barely know have told me something and then said, "I've never told anyone that before." I knew some of these people well enough to know they had lots of friends, more than me, and yet not one of those people were the kind of friend that someone could feel safe enough to divulge a secret to.

I often feel lonely when I'm with other people when the subject matter is small-talk. The way not to be lonely around other people, imo, is to be present, be there with them, push the relationship somewhere real.
Thanks so much for replying Kathleen. You've helped me so much in the past and I can't be thankful enough. I used to think that a friend was someone that you hung out with as well. This definition changed of course once I left high school for a year and realized that only 2 out of my 50 "friends" made an effort to contact me. I always make an effort to be there with the person I'm speaking to. I feel that a genuine interest in other people is a prerequisite to being able to develop any sort of relationship with someone. Being present meaning actively listening to what it is they are saying and making an effort to give out thoughtful responses. I feel like a lot of people don't know how to actively listen to others nowadays. Not only regarding relationships but especially relating to teachers.

I'll take what you've said and do my best to apply it. Once again thank you so much.
So glad to know I've been of help Danny! I think Onceler was right too, in that as you progress spiritually you will naturally gravitate to new people and leave behind those who aren't interested in getting real. Lately I've been spending a lot of time with a woman who is a serious devotee of a guru in India (Advaita Vedanta) and it's actually made it difficult for me to be around other people; she and I go to deep places even without having to speak.

Thinking about this thread, a Leonard Cohen line keeps ringing in my ears: "If you're not feeling holy your loneliness says that you've sinned." (From Sisters of Mercy) To me that means when you're "holy" you know you are part of the whole--because there is, in reality, only Oneness--and when you are in that experience there is no loneliness. The feeling of loneliness is a product of the separate self, of believing that we are divided off from everything else. Believing we're a separate self is the "sin." Perhaps this is why being around people who are superficial makes us feel lonely: their strong ego-identification emphasizes separation and boundaries.

I love what you said about masks. Did you know that the root word of "personality" is the Greek persona, which literally means an actor’s facemask? In the book my husband I wrote, The Game of God, are a lot of cartoons by Arthur. He drew a bunch that show how we all construct masks--he depicts them as fortresses--as protective devices. I've never figured out how to post pictures on this forum or I'd post a couple here for you to enjoy. Here's what I wrote about it in We Are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity:

The word “personality” is derived from the Greek word persona: literally, an actor’s facemask. Visualize creating a papier-mâché mask of your face. To make such a mask, strips of paper dipped in paste are layered one on top of another, using your face as a mold. Imagine that each strip is a single belief about reality created in the mind-programming process of infancy. Each strip is an individual assumption about reality. Each strip is either a subjective belief or an objective fact.

As the strips crisscross they create an overlay: a self-image distinct from our original awareness, both concealing it and distorting its ability to see clearly. The underlying, original identity is buried alive. We begin to identify with the mask. We come to believe that who we are is the mask: a mass of dried, hardened assumptions about reality.

Our ego-mask is like a suit of armor that we wear all the time. Even when we’re with our friends we keep this suit on; with our lovers we may take off some of the armor but we retain a thinner layer of chain mail underneath.

The ego-mask is comprised of “strips” of objective facts and subjective beliefs. As I’ve said, this book is not concerned with questioning objective physical reality. Instead we want to expose the beliefs that comprise the subjective mind and its value judgments. These strips produce the craziness that is the source of most of our problems.

In Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the HAL 9000 computer attempted to take control of the mission by murdering the crew. Dave, the lone survivor, deactivated select components of the HAL 9000 to prevent further mayhem. He carefully unplugged only the section of the computer that was capable of causing more trouble, while leaving the basic regulatory circuits untouched.

In the same manner, we want to identify and unplug only that part of our mind’s filtration system that is the immediate source of our insanity: subjective beliefs.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by KathleenBrugger » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:12 pm

My husband Arthur thought of this short video when I told him about this thread: https://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks/106807552

It's a video of the movie star Kirsten Dunst being confronted by a couple of girls. It's obviously staged so the point is to show how common it is in our culture for people to avoid contact. And it also illustrates social media's role in keeping things superficial...
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by runstrails » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:43 pm

The video is hilarious (and very sad indeed).
Thanks, Kathleen.

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by dijmart » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:09 pm

dannydawiz wrote:
I wonder what it is then that makes a relationship genuine.


You said it yourself in the quote below...
To reveal yourself completely to another with all of your flaws, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities is scary to some people. So instead we put on "masks" in order to hide that part of ourselves from others.

Maybe thats why a lot of my relationships with other people seem a bit superficial...
So, it's dropping the social "mask", imho. Not saying you'll want to do this with everyone you meet though...
Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Re: Loneliness When Around Others

Post by Manyana » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:22 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote: she and I go to deep places even without having to speak.
Yes, we can feel a strong connection with someone even though there may be very little verbal communication. It can feel like we are sharing something precious.

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