How to Solve the Void of Existential Loneliness
Updated: Nov 25, 2023
The Physical Company Fallacy
The increasing connectivity in the world does not mean that it will permanently solve the personal problem of loneliness. You can go to chatrooms and forums all day long, but as long as no meaningful contact has been established, combating loneliness through social interaction, will remain ineffective.
Loneliness is a result of a void that we have inside of us, and superficial communication with others, even if consistent, is insufficient to decrease our loneliness. It can be compared to a huge hole being filled by tiny amounts of earth. A thousand superficial connections cannot amount to just one deep connection with someone who truly cares about you.
Therefore, in order to be less lonely, we must not necessarily surround ourselves with people all the time. Ironically it can make you even lonelier at times. Negative. In order to reduce loneliness we must form honest, meaningful and deep relationships with people. Relationships that will allow us to be more of ourselves, and vice versa, and less of a persona we put on our identity, just to please others and to survive.
Solving the Probelm
We must create true friendships with people that will serve as safe, intimate spaces where we can truly be ourselves, without feeling guilty or ashamed of our authenticity. These spaces can be harmful only to those who fear uncomfortable emotions and who want to repress others as a result.
The desire for a nice atmosphere is in the way for authentic relationships because the truth isn't always nice, but also sad and even depressing. For the truth can be a threat on us, even if by feeling alone. Thus, we must overcome the need for a nice time in the name of letting people be more of themselves, if we can truly deem ourselves their true friends.
True friendships differ from regular friendships in a sense that the true friend appreciates you and strives to be there for you when you're feeling down. They are a shoulder for you to rest on, an ear you can lend, and vice versa. Their reliability is your key out of much of your loneliness, if not the entirety of it. Even if for a little while. They are your mind and heart's sanctuary.
As such, not everyone is capable of being a true friend as that requires deeper emotional investment. And yet, humans are emotional beings who are demanded by society to constantly repress and mask their unwanted components. A constant state of repression is unhealthy both physically and mentally, which means that a true friend is the one person that should allow you to be far less repressed, stoic and self-restricted.
We deserve to be self-restricted in the professional world, and to keep a calmer mind in there, in accordance to the demand of our jobs. Not much so in the company of true friends, lovers, and a supporting family.
While their connection to you may not be unconditional, it is far less conditional than your regular connections with human beings. Your connection with him or her is of the highest quality, second only to true love, where admiration and affection runs far deeper.
Encourage people to not work on their sensitivities, and you might indirectly encourage loneliness. How can one expect to be authentic when people are too sensitive to allow him or her being brutally honest?
How can we expect to foster deep, meaningful relationships, when many of us may fear unease and emotional pain? As long as we will not be able to find someone or even a company of people who will accept us beyond our uneasy components, we will remain existantially lonely.
Being less sensitive, or more emotionally resilient, is therefore the key to the beginning of a fruitful, deep friendship with another being, which in turn would help to reduce the suffering found in existential loneliness.
Emotional resilience is about not fearing discomfort. It can be worked on, you know.
Existential loneliness is an issue of emotional depth one has with other people; a shortage of depth and strength of connection. Public safe spaces are thus problematic if they don't let you be more of yourself, all because of sensitivity. This is where a high sense of sensitivity is, in fact, a weakness. It has positive sides as well, but increased sensitivity is essentially enhanced vulnerability to external stimulation.
Men are encouraged to be less sensitive as part of their gender socialization. Some may refer to it as an expression of toxic masculinity. In the end, being able to embrace pain and suffering as a part of human reality, can help us accept others even when they hurt or offended us. This is why being tough is a strength -- it is an imperative part to have in deep, meaningful connections, as it allows us to endure other people far better.
When no one can endure us as much as we need, how can we expect to not be lonely? The tougher person is there to contain us when we are distressed. They will rarely, if ever, flee from the adversity that is the unwanted parts of our beings. That is because they are more willing to accept us for who we are, if they truly appreciate us. With them, there is more psychological safety.
And they may possess the courage to do so as well: To look at us when we are angry, frustrated, or extremely sad to the point that we're crying loudly and honestly. The tougher person will not see negative emotions as bad. No. He or she will contain and embrace us at our hardest times, and will not seek to repress us so much in the name of their own sentiments. These too deserve their place!
And our own sentiments can also be in the way of adding depth to this depth-lackluster world. It's why I bothered to be tougher myself, and not be afraid of criticism any longer. Because I know that fearing unease can prevent myself from having the interactions I need to foster strong, lasting connections with people. I also believe that encouraging toughness and the reduction of sensitivity can make people be less afraid of exiting their own loneliness, and help others be less lonely as well.
Since we live in an era where superficiality and simplicity reign supreme amongst the general public, one is faced with two solutions to the problem of loneliness: Either submit to the superficiality of others and not depend on others for our need for depth, or attempt to combat said superficiality through the attempt of creating one or more social circles that encourage and nurture the element of depth.
One may find that feeling and expressing deep emotions is pretty great as an experience. That is especially true in connections where you are allowed and accepted to be who you are. Should we cancel and dismiss our own emotions as bad, just because of discomfort, we may dismiss a great depth that is found within ourselves. Without our awareness, usually, we may only be creating a solveable shortage of depth within ourselves and, long-term, in the world.
When much of our self is rejected by the world, no longer are we as connected to those around us as we could've been. This makes the search for interpersonal depth even more difficult: When truths about ourselves will always be denied and undesired by others. We will then have to mask ourselves with everyone just to survive. Masking is there because the truth is not desired by everyone. They either don't care about it, or are refusing to accept it, no matter how hard we will try to show them the light of our own reality.
We should not be punished or condemned by our dear ones when we are honest. Honesty is a sign of trust in a world of pretense. When our honesty is rejected, no matter how brutal it is, our trust is also rejected. It is therefore important to know who is dear to you and who isn't. Your dear ones deserve to know you for whom you truly are. Otherwise, your true self will lie all alone, confined by the four walls of pretending to be someone else.
Not everyone deserve your honesty, as such, because not everyone deserves to be trusted.
I myself have mostly superficial relationships with the people around me, but because I managed to generate depth from within and through my article empire. This helps me fill the hole inside of me, the void of depth that I wish to have with other people. But people can be too cowardly to be honest, and can be too cowardly to accept honesty from me. Either way, honesty is the path and practice of the true philosopher.
If we are to accept the increasing and encouraged superficiality of those around us, then we can be on the path of creating the desired depth from within our times of our own seclusion. It can, at the very least, ease our own suffering.
Because we cannot necessarily change other people, we can't exactly change their weaknesses and traumas. Acceptance can go a long way to make them feel less lonely, too, even if it hurts our feelings. The fear of our feelings being hurt, can hurt our own acceptance of others.
We must not fear that our feelings will be hurt. It will happen either way as long as we communicate with other people.
Conclusions and Further Insights
We are facing the arrival of a new age: The Age of Solitude. The problem of loneliness is only going to be increased in a world where meaningful and deep connections with others will become less and less common due to the dominance of escapism. Such as mainstream entertainment. It is built to feed its finances on the wide notion of how easy simplicity is for many of us to remain in. It cashes in on our unwillingness to face and try to solve our real life problems. It's one of the reasons it is addictive.
We can thus conclude that loneliness is not just a societal problem, but a personal one. A problem caused by the void of depth existing in our lives, and no amount of interaction is going to solve it as long as interactions with others will largely remain superficial and away from its deeper notions.
We can become evil when the circumstances of life rejects us for who we are and/or want to be. Because deep inside, we want to be loved, accepted and respected. In the absence of either of the three, or without them entirely, we can grow dark, and crave power over others, in order to find these elements that we lack. Therefore, reducing and/or solving existential loneliness is also the moral thing to do. That is especially true when evil can cause trauma in others and in ourselves.
Another conclusion can be taken into consideration as well: The decreasing presence of philosophizing in and towards our lives can also be considered a factor into the increasing phenomenon of loneliness. Without the notion of philosophizing, our lives will be likely to remain superficial and devoid of meaning and/or feelings of accomplishment. Its lack can make us question our existence or consider existence to be meaningless altogether.
Be open with people with your true philosophical thoughts, and you can solve your loneliness even further.
In the absence of depth in others, develop and nurture yourself within your seclusion, and you may become almost like, if not entirely self-reliant machine. an Enduring Pillar in a civilization where the notion of depth is decaying. The point of that is to mentally survive in a world that develops and nurtures loneliness without even being aware of it.