Help me out - loneliness

What is loneliness?

Loneliness is when you feel sad or low because you feel alone.

It’s not the same as just being alone; some people really enjoy doing things by themselves, and like to relax and enjoy some ‘me time’ occasionally.

There are two types of loneliness –

  • When you don’t see people very often and feel isolated.
  • When you are often around other people, but don’t feel like they pay attention to you, care for you or understand you.

Either way, the feeling of being alone or unable to connect with other people can be upsetting and really affect your wellbeing.

What can cause loneliness?

You might feel lonely if –

  • You find it hard to make friends
  • You’ve recently moved schools or to a new place
  • You have been bullied
  • Someone close to you has died or moved away
  • You feel like you don’t get on with your family
  • You feel like you don’t fit in
  • You find it hard to relate to others or get nervous in social situations

How can loneliness affect you?

As human beings, most of us like to connect with others and spend time with the people we care about, and who care about us.

So when this doesn’t happen often, it can make us feel sad, upset or low.

If you experience loneliness, you might feel like you’re missing out on activities which other people are enjoying.

Feeling lonely can also be a vicious cycle – where the loneliness knocks your confidence, and then you find it harder to reach out to others or make new friends.

There are some steps you can take if you're feeling lonely

What to do if you feel lonely?

Everybody feels lonely sometimes, and it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about.

It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong or that you deserve to be on your own.

But recognising it is important so you can take positive steps to stop feeling lonely.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to tackle loneliness and boost your happiness.

  • Think about all the amazing things about yourself – you are an awesome person with loads of unique and interesting qualities (sometimes that can be easy to forget!).
  • If you can build your self-esteem, you might find it easier to talk to others without feeling anxious.
  • If you feel like your family don’t understand you very well, try talking to them about how you feel and the things you’re into right now. You’re growing up and changing fast, so they maybe just need a few pointers to keep up with the person you are becoming. It can sometimes be difficult to talk to parents if you haven’t for a while, but it’s worth persevering!
  • Be brave and take that first step – talk to new people. Try chatting to a new person in class about homework, or give them a compliment – even a quick chat can build your confidence. And if that person doesn’t respond, don’t give up! Try chatting to someone else.
  • Join a new club or group – it could be a sports team, a music class or a book group. You will meet new people who share some of your interests, so you’ll automatically have something to talk about!
  • It starts with just one person! You don’t have to have a gaggle of friends – having just one can make a big difference, and usually that one will lead to others anyway.

If lonely feelings are really getting you down, don’t keep them to yourself – tell an adult, like a parent or teacher, how you feel and get some help.

For more information about organisations which offer advice and support, check out the Advice Helplines page.

All Lifebabble
Looking for CBeebies shows?