Teenagers in particular are afraid
The fear of loneliness is increasing in our society. Numerous studies have shown this. A survey shows that one in five Germans is most afraid of being lonely without friends and family. This fear is apparently particularly pronounced in 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 stays 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, we were all sitting at the breakfast table. The mood was strangely depressed, mom, dad, nobody was talking, everyone was eating quietly. After breakfast, my then eight-year-old brother was sent to the room and I racked my brains for what could be going on. Did I do something? Why did they look so serious? 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, was completely clueless and, with the best of my will, didn't know what he was getting at. He said that he and my mother had only been friends for some time, that they no longer lived together like men and women and now wanted to separate. My first thought: Oh! So do I have to sit here now? I had no feelings whatsoever, after all I didn't know any common family life, so what should change a lot? The next question that shot through my head: How do you behave in such a situation? Shouldn't I cry now? Ready to go, as I knew it from the many children of divorce in my class? How to be a divorce child? My parents then told me that nothing would change for my brother and me at first, except that my father would first move to the basement. So actually everything as usual, we would continue to live together and give the perfect family to the outside. My only concern was: what do I do if Papa moves out at some point? Then I'm alone with mom.
Living in the patchwork family
My father moved back in with a new partner. A dark chapter in my life started. It was a flying change: my mother with her boxes and her stuff out, 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 nature, she was so different from my mother. At first we got along wonderfully. I want you. She was caring and kind. Until then, however, I had only seen her every two weeks on weekends when I visited my father. Now she was there! In our house. In exchange for my mother. "We are now a patchwork family," it said. Lively, lively, full of power, she ran through the house. Redistributed the rooms. A tornado that swept through my home. She wanted to dispose of the old furniture, it was too dark, too old for her. Another kitchen was also needed, everything had to be redesigned in order to build a new nest for us - the patchwork family. My father was completely enchanted by his new wife. He was euphoric that the family model had come back to us. He was so happy to have found a replacement for my mother. So we stood there - with all our wounds. My father, the abandoned husband, who had worked his family stupidly for years, with his picture 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 new-born separation children. In addition: I was in the middle of puberty. Hallelujah! We all had our own emotional hurts. It could only go wrong. And that was it.
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:
When releasing emotions causes fear
My father was trying harder and harder to save our "patchwork bubble". Lost in a tunnel. Moving to a new house, to a new city should be a fresh start. If we live in another house for now, 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 had no effect. We children were then placed in the basement in our new house, and the upstairs door was locked by my father's wife as soon as she was out of the house with her son. She then 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 my wife, her son and my brother on Father's Day, I should scrub the balcony as a punishment. I stood on the balcony, saw them all getting into the car - and no longer understood the world, was disappointed. My brother was only eleven years old and saw with me where rebellious and resistant behavior led. He had his own difficulties in the constellation and found strategies for dealing with it. He adjusted. We - who have never had a sibling relationship - moved further apart. The emotional abuse left deep wounds. Who can I trust if I can't even trust my own father anymore? The feeling of not being right, not being lovable was always present. Rejected by his own father. Hosed like an animal in the shower. Worthlessness. I started to split emotions to endure all the shit and not break it. During this time I lost more and more trust in other people. I only had myself, I could only hold on to it. At some point the woman at my father's side said that she couldn't go on living that the current situation was too stressful for her. "Either she or I will go." You can guess three times who was allowed to go. 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. According to the motto: »From the eyes, from 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 a thought from time to time: You hit it on the wall, Sarah. Screwed up. I didn't know back or forth. And for the first time in my life the thought occurred to me: You are ending it now. Now and here. What is that supposed to be? Otherwise, I had always been someone who found a solution, saw the good even in the bad. Now I had reached a point in my life where I didn't want to find a solution. Any solution would have cost strength and energy. I didn't want to bring them up anymore. Tired of life, that was me. The easiest thing seemed to me to take my life. Simple. Yes, it should just be easy! I weighed rationally, without any emotion. How should I do it? The easiest and most painless way seemed to me to take pills. But which ones - and how many? If so, then right and with a plan, Sarah! Not that you end up in the slap if it doesn't work. I was too exhausted, too empty to think through this plan myself. Afterwards you have to think about everything in peace. Has time, don't run away. And so I lay there. Without thoughts, without feelings. One of the calmest moments I've ever had in my life.
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