How Highly Sensitive People Can Avoid Feeling Lonely
By: Robert Christopher
How Highly Sensitive People Can Avoid Feeling Lonely
What exactly is it and how do each of us define it?
When I was much younger and didn’t know I had the HSP Trait, being alone was just an everyday, normal way of living for me, at least more so when I was a teenager.
Having moved to Pennsylvania from New York at an age that was already transitional and awkward, I felt like I’d been thrown into a new life, where I had to create a world without friends and the familiar.
If any of you have read my past blog posts, you know how much I love nature and immersing myself in places filled with constantly changing miracles.
Although I didn’t experience a typical non-HSP social life, and yes, at times, I wished I was like others, but in my way, I was naturally molding myself to a world filled to the brim; a nonstop, real-life, motion picture.
I chose to dive into the unknown, although it was the natural world I was starting to discover and couldn’t absorb it fast enough!
Looking back, I can almost see myself adapting and trying to make the best of a situation I never asked for or wanted.
For the first time, I had what I thought was an endless gardening palette. Coming from New York, the only space I had to garden in was an opening of about 3’ by 25’ in our concrete yard along a 6′ foot tall fence.
Now I had a ¼ acre yard and my mind was spinning!
What originally started as deep feelings of loneliness and loss somehow started to evolve into excitement and friends of another kind. These days I often hear people speaking of trees being their friends or the like, and for me, the Forest was my guardian angel.
I believe having been an HSP child, having a boundless imagination, and seeing everything as though under a looking glass, I cured myself quickly of what most non-HSP’s may not have been able to resolve.
As an HSP, we have an infinite number of possibilities as we dissect everything around us and make the best of our life circumstances.
As I matured and gained more life experiences, I used the foundation of my childhood and built on those building blocks.
As relationships came and went, changes from where I lived, to leaving a job, and then gaining a new one, loneliness was always a factor to some degree.
I always knew after I got through an awkward transition period, I would be fine.
But during that period, I had to quickly adapt, keep myself occupied, and avoid falling into a world of isolation and loneliness.
As an HSP, we see everything in layers, almost like peeling back an onion, and with each discovery gaining the curiosity and excitement to see what is to follow.
I am all about the details, what lies beneath the surface, why things are the way they are, and how they work? At least in my experience, I’ve found most non-HSP’s deal with life by viewing things from the surface, the most obvious perspective.
One aspect of peeling back all these layers can also be a painful one, like uncovering those old scars. Why are we the way we are? What pushes our buttons, good and bad? Our likes and dislikes, belief systems, e.t.c.?
So a primary element in keeping oneself from being lonely would be making the conscious choice to live our lives in Truth.
Truth being who we are, and being at peace with that person, not worrying about what others think, and allowing them to take up space within us.
I have found after years of diving deep within myself, truly knowing as much as I could uncover about why I am the person I am, the more content and at peace, I was with spending time just in my own company.
Once we have uncovered some of the mysteries of ourselves, we can then control these feelings of loneliness, or at least eliminate them the majority of the time.
During this process, things will start to rise to the surface, some negative which we will need to face and learn to overcome but many new and positive components we never knew existed.
I have always been a very creative person, but it wasn’t until my mid-40’s something just pulled me towards creating art, from drawing and then on to painting!
I’ve always expressed my creativity in garden design and doing projects in my house, as I love home restoration and design.
When we discover our hidden talents that lay just below the surface, dormant, waiting for the right ingredients to germinate that seed, what happens is, our fear of loneliness fades.
These talents, hobbies, and constant desire to learn more about oneself can keep you so occupied we become our own best friend.
I consider myself an Extroverted Introvert, as I am very social in small groups of people that are familiar to me. I do need that aspect in my life, but at the same time, I easily fill up on that and am fine with spending most of my evenings away from any level of social interaction.
I’m sure many of you are quite similar, those layers are there, the good and bad, and we must face one to uncover the other.
I’m not saying we should only learn to enjoy being with ourselves but that this is a powerful gift we have and should take advantage of it!
At this point in my life, I choose to have a small handful of close friends, visit family on my terms and try to be in control of my life, which is living in one’s Truth.
This is not being selfish, as we begin realizing we’re just as important as everyone around us.
We must go through this process to grow and be able to get to the center or at least close to the heart of that onion.
This is only my personal experience, but it has proven successful.
We each need to custom design our own unraveling, at a comfortable pace, yet the process must create change to grow.
How have you adapted to loneliness, and what techniques have helped you to overcome?
Interested in a similar topic? Read How Highly Sensitive People Can Manage Anxiety