In the Netherlands, we have this week the week of loneliness. Then they organise all kind of things so people can come out and connect with others. Is a week when we have to stop and think about all those people that are lonely, no families or friends. But then again, you might have family and friends and still can feel lonely.
There are about three and half million people lonely in the Netherlands, that is about 30% of the Dutch people. Of that group feels one million very lonely. The last few years I read articles in the news about people that have been dead for days, weeks or even months. There was even a woman dead for 10 years in her home! She died of natural cause. She was only found because constructers needed to be in her apartment and she didn’t open it. They called the police. She was a loner. And they thought she has no family but she did had one daughter. They haven’t spoke with each other for 20 years, how sad is that!
There are moments that I feel lonely, but then I know I am not. Is just a moment that I feel very down and more emotional. Sometimes I reach out to text or email with my friends, because I know I am not lonely. Sometimes I just do nothing and let it pass. That is not very often because I honestly love me-time. Sometimes I plan whole weekend as me-time weekend, that means, reading, watching tv, reading, no social media (except for texting), reading, walking (depend what kind of weather is), reading (did I mention that before?).
There are people who just love to be alone, so don’t force them to socialise! Just respect their wishes. I used to work in care home for elderly. There was a woman who loved, loved to be on her own and being busy with crocheting and stuff. Now and then I went up to see her and for a talk. She knew very well want she wanted or not. While the nurses were trying to convince here to go to activities I was like, let her be. She was perfectly happy with her life. Eventually she did attend two activities because she liked it. The fun part was, she didn’t really interact with others but came to learn about new techniques or to get some new ideas. Eventually my colleagues and nurses accepted her the way she was.
We have to learn to see the difference between wanted to be alone and loneliness. Most introverted people like to be alone, that doesn’t mean they are lonely. If they want to socialise they will, but only when they want to. And there are people who are lonely but don’t know how to socialise, reach out, help them but don’t force them. Just let them socialise on their own pace but be there and help them.