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How To Help A Child Who Feels Alone

By Evelina Brown

The feeling of loneliness arises when we feel the lack of social connections. It happens that people do not need anyone, even if they live alone. Others, on the contrary, constantly need more and more new acquaintances. Although, at first glance, they already have many friends and acquaintances. The essence of loneliness is the contradiction between the desired and the actual number of social connections.

Social and emotional loneliness

Social loneliness is more or less easy to recognize. A child can be physically alone during a change, in the yard and in a circle. Often, girls and boys for the view stick together with some companies, but they are very lonely. If they are in companies that are not theirs, the child's self-esteem decreases, the feeling of isolation develops and the feeling of failure.

Emotional loneliness - when there is no company, but a friend who would understand, listen, give a feeling of emotional intimacy and could find exactly the words you want to hear. The impact of emotional loneliness can be even more severe - these are mental disorders such as sociophobia, depression, manic-depressive syndrome, schizophrenia, a propensity for self-harm and suicide attempts. It is only worse if a trusted friend suddenly disappears.

About the goals of socialization

In many studies of, socialization goals usually follow two overlapping axes: vertically the extremes are "influence" and "adaptation", and horizontally they are "distance" and "proximity". Either of us can be placed at a point on this field depending on whether we want to have influence or prefer to make decisions, whether we need intimacy and close social interaction or personal space. Those who want to keep their distance are divided into two groups: those who want to decide everything for others are little dictators, and those who, instead of influencing, keep silent and take sides with others.

Gender and loneliness

Boys - both in junior and high school - are much more susceptible to emotional loneliness than girls. That is, they need a person who can listen to them and understand them. Adult men are also more emotionally lonely than women. What is the reason for this? Because boys are expected to be company, energetic and active in a new company because of stereotypes. Or the fact that the desire to talk one-on-one with someone about their dreams, hopes and sorrows is a "girl's" quality. According to some studies, 10% of boys and girls in primary school suffer from prolonged social and emotional loneliness. In high school, up to 17% of boys experience complete loneliness that lasts more than a year.

Why is it difficult to get rid of loneliness

The model of a closed circle is connected with loneliness, as well as with other problems of communication. The scheme looks like this:

  • little (or no) experience of communicating with others;
  • weak social skills;
  • lack of self-confidence;
  • negative notions about other people;
  • unfriendly to others;
  • negative feelings about others, rejection or unpopularity.

Since social skills can only be developed in communication with others, children who have been left behind are at a disadvantage in this sense: it is as if they learn to swim, but do not go into the water.

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