Health

Loneliness grips big cities

Some of us can feel lonely even amidst the crowd, among colleagues, in the family and tete-a-tete with a lover. What are the ways to get rid of loneliness? Read the recommendations of private psychoanalyst from Moscow Nikolay Naritsyn.  

The number of close people, friends or enemies by our side has little or nothing to do with loneliness per se. Rather, it is the structure of one's personality that actually identifies loneliness. Introverts and extraverts prove to have various estimates of loneliness. Introverts are focused on their own inner self and extraverts are inclined to stay in public. In fact, only introverts may feel lonely when staying in public. Extraverts usually can get acquainted with anyone and be quite happy with such passing acquaintance. Have you ever met a stranger who can easily talk to anyone somewhere in transport or get acquainted to people in the street? These are traditionally extraverts, as such people expect no long relations. Extraverts need more new impressions; they will never feel lonely if there are people by their side. What is more, such people feel comfortable enough when others just look at them and do not even talk. On the contrary, introverts need a couple of devoted friends of the same temper that they are. This type of communication may seem strange sometime, as these people may stay together in one room and keep silent. At that, such communication is normal for them: it is not conversation that actually matters in this case, but the feeling that your friend is close to you. So, introverts feel lonely and miserable if they for some reason lose their close friends and fail to meet new good acquaintances quickly. In everyday life, there are just few pure extraverts and introverts; majority of people are to some extent mixed types. And any of us knows what loneliness is in this or that situation.

Statistics proves that the amount of lonely people is higher in big cities: the life in a megalopolis separates people. It is a well-known fact that majority of megalopolis citizens are migrants from other parts of the country; there are just few natives who live in megalopolises from generation to generation. People as a rule keep up those traditions and principles that they had had before moving to a megalopolis from other parts of the country. These traditions pass from one generation to another. In other words, several generations of people who moved to megalopolises from smaller places still keep up traditions of their native places. It means behavior patterns, dialects, gestures and doings that are clear only for natives of this or that particular place. This is the reason why many city-dwellers have problems in communication with other people or with finding an adequate partner. As a result, big cities have a record number of lonely people.

Loneliness is particularly dangerous because we scarcely understand we are lonely until find themselves alone in an empty apartment at night. This looks very much like tooth pain which we ignore in daily routine. On the contrary, this tooth pain is gnawing in the middle of the night. People sometimes do not understand they are lonely until their workday is over. Loneliness is particularly acute as soon as streets get empty, friends make themselves comfortable in their apartments and telephones do not ring. Night clubs in cities may help people continue communication when the workday is over and for some time forget the depressing loneliness. Another specific phenomenon typical of big cities is active telephone conversations when majority of telephone lines are busy in the evenings. Telephone in a big city is an important modern facility; a telephone in every apartment is an effective instrument to prevent depressions and suicide cases.

Is loneliness always the evil? In some cases, people need to stay alone. Loneliness is a problem only when it lasts too long and contrary to people's wish; in other words when this loneliness causes suffering. Psychologists often speak about emotional and information hunger: when people have less communication that their temper demands and less impressions, they may have psychological, psychiatric and somatic problems.

These problems first of all originate from communication and information hunger, lack of visual, verbal and tactile impressions. To avert the problem, we need to first of all find out what exactly impressions we lack and compensate for this shortage. There is no use to recommend lonely people go to special clubs and find new friends; it is important to identify that particular problem that causes problems in life. It often happens that people themselves cannot define what problem they are suffering from. For instance, it may seem that women complain of loneliness because they have no sex partners and are not satisfied with their sexual life.

But in fact often people seek sex partners because they suffer from the lack of caresses, contact; people need to feel protected, some of us do not like sleeping alone and crave for passionate love. In other words, there are many other reasons why people are feeling lonely, not mere lack of sex contacts. People find themselves disappointed and dissatisfied when they are looking not for those things they actually lack and need. This dissatisfaction makes loneliness even more acute. The loneliness problem first of all demands adequate solution methods. People who hunger for tactile contacts may have dancing lessons or attend massage courses where touches are inevitable. To feel safe and protected, people may make secure doors and window frames in their apartments, or even take a dog. If you feel you need more acute and vivid impressions go to the cinema or theatre more often. It is even more effective and impressing than watching movies or performances on TV. These are just general recommendations, while every particular case requires individual approach and consideration. Sometimes, only experts may help and say what kind of loneliness you are suffering from.

Igor Redkiy

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