Loneliness: fear of losing friends and family


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Many people are very afraid of loneliness. The causes of social difficulties and fears are often deeper. It is important to recognize them in good time.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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Teenagers in particular are afraid

The fear of loneliness increases more and more in our society. This is proven by numerous studies. A survey shows that one in five Germans is most afraid of being lonely without friends and family. This fear is apparently particularly pronounced among Germany's teenagers. In the current survey, more than one in three young people between the ages of 14 and 19 (34,4%) named the possible loss of friends and family as the greatest fear.

It was the same with Sarah Peters, who wrote about it in her book “The outside remains outside: How I didn't leave my apartment for years because of fear - and hypnosis healed me”, published in 2019 by MVG:

Suddenly divorced child

Then that day came, I was twelve. It was a Saturday morning and we were all sitting at the breakfast table. The mood was strangely depressed, mom, dad, nobody spoke, everyone ate in silence. After breakfast, my then eight-year-old brother was sent to my room and I racked my brains about what was going on. Did I do something? Why did they look so seriously? I looked at my parents with a pounding heart. My father explained to me factually that I would have noticed that something had changed recently. No I did not. I sat there, completely clueless, and with the best will in the world didn't know what he was getting at. He said that he and my mother had only been on friendly terms for some time, would no longer live together like a husband and wife and now wanted to separate. My first thought: Oh! Is that why I have to sit here now? I didn't feel any feelings, after all, I had no family life together, so what was going to change? The next question that crossed my mind: How do you behave in such a situation? Shouldn't I cry now? Ready to go, just like I knew it from the many children of divorce in my class? Being a child of divorce, how does that even work? My parents then told me that nothing would change for my brother and me for the time being, except that my father would move into the basement first. So, basically everything as usual, we would continue to live past each other and give the perfect family to the outside world. My only concern was: What do I do if Dad moves out at some point? Then I'll be alone with mom.

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Living in the patchwork family

My father moved in again with a new partner. A dark chapter began in my life. It was a quick change: my mother out with her boxes and her stuff, my father with his stuff, new partner and her three-year-old son in. It was a bustle! There she was, the new woman in our house. The new woman at my father's side. She was eight years younger than my father, always perfectly styled and thoroughly modern. With her blonde hair and her open, funky manner, she was so very different from my mother. At first we got along wonderfully. I want you. She was caring and kind. However, until then I had only seen her every two weeks on the weekend when I had visited my father. Now it was there! In our house. In exchange for my mother. "We are now a blended family," it said. Lively, lively, full of power, she ran through the house. Reallocated the rooms. A tornado that swept through my home. She wanted to dispose of the old furniture, they were too dark for her, too unfashionable. Another kitchen was needed, everything had to be redesigned in order to build a new nest for us - the blended family. My father was completely enchanted by his new wife. He was euphoric that the family model had now returned to us. He was so happy to have found a replacement for my mother. That's how we stood - with all our wounds. My father, the abandoned husband who had toiled stupidly and stupidly for the family for years, with his image of a family and a concept that had failed. Who now put all his hope in the patchwork model. His new wife, who from now on was no longer a single mother in a small apartment, but had a new husband, two new children and a big house. And my brother and I, the newly separated children. In addition, I was in the middle of puberty. Alleluia! We all had our own emotional hurts. It could only go really wrong. And it worked.

Important: balance between job and private life

The survey also shows how important the balance between job and private life is for people who do not want to be completely lonely. Perhaps this is the overriding reason for the success of social media and mobile technologies. It is precisely these fears that make it more important to integrate social contacts into everyday working life.

It is also problematic that many people maintain private contacts even during working hours and that bosses do not like to see it. Another, often practiced alternative: colleagues become a social group with which you also spend your free time. If you lose your job, it becomes difficult because you suddenly lose the entire circle of friends.

When self-chosen loneliness becomes a problem

A problem in our society, however, as I know from my own experience, is that everyday working life leaves less and less time to maintain their private social contacts: job-related moves, overtime and job anxiety make it difficult to maintain social contacts constantly. This soon creates a vicious circle from which it is difficult to get out of it yourself.

It was the same with Sarah Peters: during her studies, she developed an anxiety disorder and then continued to withdraw into herself. So she could not leave her apartment for four years, the self-chosen loneliness became a problem. In the end she found her way back to life thanks to hypnotherapy. Today, as a hypnotherapist, she helps and inspires other sufferers, and also works as a certified hypnotherapist and naturopath for psychotherapy with her own practice. She sees the reasons for these problems in her own youth experiences, as she writes in her book:

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When releasing emotions causes fear

My father tried more and more desperately and doggedly to save our "patchwork bubble". Lost in a tunnel. The move to a new house, to a new city should be a fresh start. Once we live in another house with no memories of my mother, everything will be fine. It's very clear. Of course it didn't work. On the contrary, it only got worse. Also because he noticed that his plans were not having the appropriate effect. In our new house we children were put up in the basement, and the through door upstairs was locked by my father's wife as soon as she was out with her son. She put my food for the day on the stairs that led to the basement. Family sense is different. While my father went on excursions with the wife, her son and my brother on Father's Day, I was supposed to scrub the balcony as a punishment. I stood on the balcony, saw them all get into the car - and no longer understood the world, was disappointed. My brother was only eleven years old and saw where rebellious and resistant behavior was leading me. He had his own difficulties in the constellation and found strategies for himself to deal with them. He adapted. We - who have never had a sibling relationship - grew even further apart. The emotional abuse left deep wounds. Who can I trust when I can't even trust my own father anymore? The feeling of not being right, not lovable, was always present. Rejected by my own father. Hosed down in the shower like an animal. Worthlessness. I started to split off feelings more intensely in order to endure all the shit and not to break with it. During this time I lost trust in other people more and more. I only had myself, I could only hold on to that. At some point the woman at my father's side explained that she could not go on living like this, that the current situation was too stressful for her. "Either she goes or I." You can guess who was allowed to go three times. My father soon found the perfect solution for me: a boarding school somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in an idyllic health resort in the Harz Mountains. True to the motto: »Out of sight, out of the Sense. «Nice and far, 400 kilometers. I certainly don't have to describe how I felt against my will to be sorted into a small health resort, far from my surroundings, from friends. Now my father had finally decided - for the new one, who was now in charge in our house.

Social contacts despite work - how does it work?

If you identify your fears, isolation and loneliness as a problem in good time, you can do something about it like Sarah Peters. Despite all of the criticisms, social networks and the Internet can offer a good opportunity to maintain contacts even over longer distances and when there is not enough time.

If you cannot do this on your own, you should seek professional help in good time and take action against loneliness. So that it does not end with the thoughts that Sarah Peters also describes in her book and which she luckily did not then implement:

Game over. Nothing in my head, except an occasional thought: You hit it against the wall, Sarah. Screwed up. I didn't know before or back. And for the first time in my life the thought occurred to me: You are finishing it now. Now and here. What else is this supposed to be? Otherwise I was always someone who found a solution, also saw the good in the bad. Now I had reached a point in my life where I no longer wanted to find a solution. Any solution would have cost strength and energy. I didn't want to raise that anymore. Tired of life, that was me. Killing my life seemed the easiest to me. Easy. Yes, it should just be easy! Rationally, without any emotion, I weighed up. How should I do it? The easiest and most painless option seemed to me to be to take pills. But which ones - and how many? If so, then correctly and with a plan, Sarah! Not that you end up in the trap if it doesn't work. I was too exhausted, too empty, to think through this plan myself. Do you have to think about everything again afterwards. Has time, don't run away. And so I lay there. Without thoughts, without feelings. One of the quietest moments I've ever had in my life.

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  1. Simone Janson

    Hm, funny ... Counter-question: Don't all networks generally correspond to the desire to overcome loneliness?

  2. Gunther Fehrans

    Aren't there already networking groups against (temporary) loneliness - I recently read about the “Talisund strategy” on www.einsamkeit-ueberektiven.org ...

    GF

  3. Immo Wert gmbh

    The Germans' fear of losing friends and family ...

  4. ulrich hillebrand

    The Germans' fear of losing friends and family ...

  5. Simone Janson

    Freshly blogged: Germans' fear of losing friends and family: help, loneliness!

  6. Competencepartner

    The Germans' fear of losing friends and family: Help, loneliness !: Maybe is ...

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