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Forest Road

Loneliness Awareness Week Blog

To mark Loneliness Awareness Week (10-16th June), Archway CEO Angelo shares some thoughts and inspiration about the loneliness:

"It’s wonderful that you have joined me to read my blog for Loneliness Awareness Week! Inspired by the theme of 'Random Acts of Connection', I thought I would write a series of daily posts about the following:

  • What is Loneliness?

  • What is the impact of loneliness?

  • Who does it affect?

  • What can you do about it?

  • What does Archway do to tackle loneliness?

What is loneliness?

Loneliness is a common feeling-it’s something we all feel at times in our lives. Loneliness is different to being alone, however.

Loneliness is about whether or not we feel we belong, not just with others, but also with ourselves. Loneliness is a mismatch between the sense of belonging we would like to have, or what we might imagine or hope for, and what we actually experience. This subjective mismatch is experienced as an unpleasant feeling.

Conversely, being alone is an actual, objective, absence of social connection which can be measured and may not be experienced as a mismatch in expectations and experience. For some of us, some of the time, solitude can be a positive experience. It can be an opportunity to explore ourselves and our relationship with those around us. We can even experience connection or belonging to others on a deeper level.

We satisfy hunger by eating. Loneliness is in many ways a similar human reaction, this time to the hunger for connection. The paradox with loneliness is that it affects our ability to solve the problem of connection ourselves. We can become more avoidant of social rejection in response to loneliness, less confident, and less willing to be ourselves in a social context. As a result, we become lonelier.

And when this feeling of alienation is prolonged or intense, it can have significant negative effects on our wellbeing. There is concern that for a range of reasons this is becoming an escalating problem in our society, especially for young people, but also for society as a whole."

Read more on about Loneliness Awareness Week here, and you can find how more about how you can Volunteer or Support Us to help us tackle loneliness, one conversation at a time.


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