Self imposed isolation/loneliness

Postby Seeker7 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:09 am

Hello, I'm a new member here, all responses are appreciated. What do you think about living in a foreign country, not having friends and people you fully trust while feeling very lonely and isolated, yet you don't want to leave the house and get to know people out there. What are the steps to turn this around? Thank you.
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#1

Postby Candid » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:04 am

Seeker7 wrote:What do you think about living in a foreign country, not having friends and people you fully trust while feeling very lonely and isolated, yet you don't want to leave the house and get to know people out there. What are the steps to turn this around?


I've been in precisely this situation and found it acutely uncomfortable. I hope at least you speak the language of the country you're in!

You do know you've got to leave the house and get to know people out there, don't you?

I presume you need to shop for groceries. Practise talking to people in the market or supermarket, because it's a low-expectation environment. You're not starting friendships, you're just remarking on whatever comes into your head.

There's a lot more riding on conversations with co-workers, assuming you have a job. I remember how tough that was, people talking to each other at break times in a way that excluded me, not one of them with any curiosity as to where I'd come from.

I made friends with the woman who (with her husband) ran the small newsagency across the road from me. It was simply a matter of being friendly, and that friendship lasted well beyond the time we were neighbours -- until her death, in fact.

Rather less successful was getting comfortable with a particular pub and its denizens. It was nice to be greeted by name and to get to know bar tenders as well as customers, and I could ask about local stuff I needed to know -- but obviously the venue had its down side, and not one of those people remained a contact when I moved away.

By far my best move was joining a writers' group that met once a month. If you can find a group that interests you, and if membership is cheap or free, you're guaranteed to be able to have something with people there.

Fact is, Seeker7, you have to get out there. I wish you all the best.
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:49 pm

Seeker7 wrote:...yet you don't want to leave the house and get to know people...What are the steps to turn this around?


Because of my lifestyle I relocate every 3-4 months, going to a new country. Sometimes I don’t really speak the language. Smart phones and google translate help. Currently I’m in China. I have ample alone time, so I understand why you might feel isolated. I have days where I stay in or days where I go out just to grab a few things. Still, if I ever feel alone I force myself to get out and about. I go enjoy some people watching. It isn’t about what I want or what makes me comfortable. I force myself to get out.

Like Candid said, leave the house. What you want is irrelevant. What makes you feel the least uncomfortable, isolation verses leaving the home, is not acceptable. You know this.

Still, it is easier said than done so you start with short trips. You set small goals. You start by going for a short walk, then out for lunch, etc. You slowly build the amount of time and distance you stay out and away from the home. Find a coffee shop you can repeatedly frequent. With each repetition the discomfort will fade.
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#3

Postby Seeker7 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:47 am

Thanks Richard, I do appreciate your response. Yes, I know I have to move out of my comfort zone and force myself to do something "against" me - for me. It is very hard though when I don't have energy and am feeling so weak. I don't want others to see how "down" I am, no one likes to talk to "flat" people. When I go out I still feel alone. I do speak the language, and I receive some smile from here and there when I'm out and about but nothing changes inside of me. Somehow I'd love to connect in a deeper level and superficiality triggers me. I know Rome wasn't built in a day, I know everything - my brain works OK. It's just somehow my brain and my heart are not in sync. Anyway. I appreciate your support. I hope your Chinese trip works out well for you. You seem to be very strong and manage your feeling well. Thanks for sharing all this with me.
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#4

Postby Seeker7 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:01 am

Hi Candid, Thank you very much for your response. Thanks for sharing your story with me. I'm in the process of finding a new job for me here, so not many people I can interact with professionally speaking. My story is a bit complicated, I live with my partner here but he is very busy and I think I'm feeling some discontentment in my relationship with him too - and this doesn't help. I know that one step at a time rule, and really, this is what I have to do. I'm actually very mad at myself for not being able to be stronger and smarter. So I decided to ask for some help - I contacted a counselor, I reckon some professional support will kick me out of this state and I can be back at where/Who I was again. Thanks again for caring and the advice you've given - even if it's virtual - I appreciate you.
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