I had an idea to start The Lonely Series (Expat’s thoughts on surviving lonely).
I have spent quite a few years making it alone in English land where weather is grim and so are expressions 😐 but sometimes its sunny and someone nearly misses their “Sorry” quota!
Loneliness is not a one-dimensional topic. It is interlinked with so many different things. In this post, I am looking at the link between Judgemental behaviour—>Resentment—>Destination Lonely.
Loneliness is my favourite topic to speak about seen as it makes most people quite uncomfortable. I have no shame in telling people that enrolling on this PhD has made me lonely. The past few years have given me an opportunity to look at loneliness from different angles, sometimes my own, sometimes through my friends and family’s perspectives. Almost everybody I know has admitted to feeling lonely yet we continue to treat this feeling like an alien symptom to be ashamed about. I have seen people on my Facebook feed whom I can bet on to sell an arm and their first born to prove that they are far-far away from this condition that continues to haunt most humans. Their radiating smiles would suggest they are always on cloud 9, just sprinkling magical love dust wherever they go but in reality, their lack of empathy for anyone outside their bubble borders in psychopath territory.
For a long time I resented such behaviour, mostly because I know what these personalities are like in real life. From my experience I have noticed that the couples, which try the hardest to keep it together online, in real life resemble a banged up car running on 4 different sized wheels, carrying the most disturbing secrets in the backseat.
I am not here to judge. As a social scientist, I want to observe and understand human behaviour.
Many people will say I am just jealous of my Facebook news-feeders. I am not. I might feel alone on most days but I am happy. I’d call a lifetime rain-check on swapping my life with anyone elses. I used to feel angry which would lead to depression and me chewing my Mom’s brain on Facetime & my best friend Sivan’s on Whatsapp but with each day that passes by I try to change my perspective on things. Some days I do good and some days I am back to my old judgemental self but having this outsider’s perspective to my situation is very helpful.
In my cycle of judgements and resentments for not receiving adequate kindness and affection from others, I continued to fill and kill my brain cells with thoughts about others.
When I moved to Plymouth in 2013, I was looking forward to meeting exciting-fun-creative people. I didn’t. I met many nice people who played their parts and I feel grateful for all those moments with them but every relationship between any two people has its limits. I think I have seen mine with all of the people I met in the past year+.
Everyone has days when they are a 3 year old throwing a tantrum, the difference is that some stay stuck in that phase for a long time. Just like a selfish toddler these adults like to stay stuck in their self-centred worlds. No, they don’t see you as a living human being like them. When they interact with you, you might just be a body sitting next to them, walking beside them, getting a coffee with them etc. They might even forget that you too breath and shit like they do because they are thinking about themselves. But, you can’t judge them for that. No one has stopped you from thinking about YOU! That is who they are and you have to make the decision whether or not you are OK with how you get treated.
I awkwardly made many attempts to hang out with people whom I met through the University. We had a few good times but my heart was never in it because I never felt like myself. None of them share any of my interests therefore, it shouldn’t be their fault that I feel alone and rejected when they don’t respond back. May be they feel the air of misfit when I am around too.
Until a few years back I hadn’t known what it feels like to be neglected and when it started happening, I began feeling lonely and depressed. Why on earth would people behave this way? I am a sweet person. I bake shit! Bakers are sweet people.
I might never know the reasons behind why these people chose to treat me bad. May be being a foreigner with no family here puts me in the losing situation as they might already have an established comfort network while I on the other hand am looking for just some human contact. When I feel depressed with the pin drop silence from their end, I have given unimportant people too much power out of my need to desperately connect.
If you are feeling lonely and it feels as though no-matter what efforts you put in, everything comes back zilch in terms of friendships, spend some time changing your perspective. There is an insane amount of knowledge online, just waiting to be fed into your brain. There is some tiny hipster cafe, waiting for you with some strange caffeine concoction. There is a whole amazing show with 7 seasons, waiting to be watched. There is a chocolate cup-cake yet to be invented! You really don’t need a “friend” to do these things. Be grateful for these experiences, be grateful for whatever you do have and if you still feel like a lonely shit…weep, scream, punch the pillow and Start Again tomorrow.