There many reasons we may feel isolated and alone. In modern times, we're relentlessly connected through wifi but not often enough connected through the parts of our humanness that need it.
Sharing one kind of intimacy or another with people is an important part of our human experience. We're wired for connection, but sometimes that connection can feel more fraught than if we were to just go it alone.
How might we be able to navigate the difficulties of relationships in such a way that they stopped isolating us and instead empowered us to enter community, find safety in vulnerability, and create trust around being interdependent?
Get Support with Disconnection and Loneliness
Therapy for when relationships feel more taxing than they're worth.
Whether it's an old attachment wound, trauma, or low self-worth, it may be challenging to find comfort in relating to others.
We may find that it is when we try to open ourselves up to love or friendship that we get harmed the most.
This is true, in some sense, as vulnerability requires some degree of risk in order for it to make possible the rewards that come from intimacy.
Navigating your attachment style is one way to approach change in this area. What are the patterns and dynamics you tend to find yourself in again and again? You may find that these patterns are reinforcing evidence that you're unworthy or not fit for relationship, but instead they may be indicative of a wounding that needs healing.
When we get a deeper understand of the ways we attach to others, and what that means about our expectations, our fears, and our reactions, we can identify new patterns to work toward.
This isn't easy work. It requires confronting the challenging relational moments with curiosity and the willingness to try something different, even if it's scary. But over time, with a trusted partner, new patterns begin to emerge creating an entirely new well of evidence about what you're capable and worthy of with others.
When it's Hard to Simply Be Yourself
Relational wounding, codependent habits, people-pleasing, and low self-esteem can make it challenging to feel like you can even be yourself in relationship with others. Hypervigilance around rejection, fear of being seen authentically and still misunderstood, and worry that by asserting your needs you may be harming others are all dynamics that may be at the root of your struggle to relate to others.
Exploring your early attachment relationships and how they informed these anxieties is an important part of therapy.
And rejection, well, as much as we may all hate it, is an important and natural part of life. It's inevitable when you consider that not everyone is made for everyone. Depersonalizing rejection is the key to accepting it as part of the process rather than fearing it so much, you self-reject and reinforce your own loneliness.
What if you imagined that rejection was helpful? That it supported our relationships by leading us to the ones that were actually meant for us? Rejection is often not about any one person in particular, but deeper needs, and larger-scale desires. Risking rejection is the only way to find where you belong, and to find belonging is worth it.
Therapy for Times of Isolation
Of course, recent times have had an impact on our loneliness and ability to connect.
There's a collective trauma that unfolded during a widespread lockdown and a pandemic that essentially taught us that humans are a danger to each other. We may still need to unlearn these messages and begin to feel safe engaging once again.
Of course, as with any healthy relationship, boundaries may still be needed. But boundaries are an invitation in to secure closeness, rather than a rejection or start separation.
As we continue to feel impact from early pandemic days, political polarization widens, AI becomes mainstream, and dating apps continue to be the most common way human beings meet each other, it can feel even harder to find your way back to connection with others.
Therapy can help you parse through your attachment wounds without judgment, exploring the roots of your needs, expectations, and reactions to others with care while identifying changes that may be needed in order for you to grow.
You deserve to find fulfilling, joyful, and secure relationships, whether they're romantic, platonic, familial, or even more casual day-to-day encounters where you can be yourself. Therapy can help.
Ready to do the work?
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Online therapy in California from the comfort of your own home.