Abstract To discuss how each of the six personality theories view loneliness and where it comes from To understand that loneliness is a new topic to many researchers and it is currently being studied To look at what loneliness is, what is being studied, how it is studied, and how it relates to individuals
Heart of Loneliness(What is Loneliness?) Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, even in a group setting The seemingly simple, yet truly complex, feeling of being distant from those around you, physically or emotionally “…a gnawing…chronic disease without redeeming features”’ which may occur when one’s intimate and social needs are not adequately met” (Boomsma, Cacioppo, Slagboom, & Posthuma, 2006). “Loneliness is an emotional condition that affects virtually all people from time to time and which is accompanied by such intensity that people sometimes do regrettable things to offset it’s influence” (Booth 2001).
To Sum up Loneliness Richard Booth states, “Loneliness can be found in every therapist’s office, every classroom, every workplace, and every clinic and hospital. Every family system experiences it, somehow deals with it, and proceeds with the rest of life. Yet, how many people have the skills necessary to confront the condition straightforwardly in their own lives, not to speak of the lives of family members, students, clients, and colleagues? Indeed, when this vague although pervasive phenomenon pushes itself to the fore, who can identify it so readily and correctly that it is not confused with moodiness, fleeting bad temper, depression, and even anger of global negativity? What is loneliness, and is it a condition apart from the other conditions just mentioned?” (Booth, 2001).
Psychoanalytical Approach Each individual has an unconscious need to have people around them Loneliness is key to everything around us and comes about when this need is not met Men are taught to keep others at a distance, goes against this unconscious desire Depicted in literature, could be a part of our collective unconscious as first discussed by Jung We have an unconscious need to be with others but our collective unconscious argues that loneliness is a part of who we are Advantages Appears accurate; people seem to need others in their life Society tells us how to ‘have friends’ One person can change someone’s life Disadvantages Hard to test the unconscious mind Difficult to access the validity of the research because it cannot be measures with objects
Trait Approach Everyone has experience loneliness to some degree; people fall between rarely feeling lonely or severe loneliness Children experience loneliness as well as adults, appears at an early age Affects health: larger BMI, anxiety, depression, etc. Discusses the idea that each person falls on a different scale of this concept Advantages Shows a scale of loneliness, not ‘one size fits all’; no two people are the same, we are each an individual who feels and experiences different things Disadvantages Hard to measure if loneliness is specifically a trait or a relative of depression
Biological Approach Research is being done to see if certain chromosomes contain loneliness; could be genetic Men tend to either fight loneliness head on or distance themselves from people while women try to live with it There is a 48% chance that loneliness is hereditary Could relate back to people thousands of years ago who had to fight to stay alive, rejected others Advantages If loneliness is contained in a gene there could be a cure, which could help other biological issues like bipolar disorder, suicide, impaired sleep, etc. Could help further research on other emotional problems and advance the medical field Disadvantages Needs more study or research done; it is a relatively new idea that is not proven
Humanistic Approach Loneliness relates to social relationships, emotions, and the individual Being alone can be a good thing, time to relax and rest, but once loneliness is experience one chooses to no longer have those times alone Even children understood concepts of loneliness; they could be taught social skills on how to overcome this in their lives “It is perhaps in this silent loneliness that we paradoxically develop a greater understanding of togetherness” (Nilsson, Lindstrom, & Naden, 2006). Advantages People can choose to spend time alone or not; they can choose to overcome loneliness Individuals understand what they go through and can learn how it works, giving them opportunities to be responsible for themselves Disadvantages Abstract idea so it can be hard to measure how deep it goes or how social skills relate to this idea Hard to teach how to overcome loneliness in every situation
Behavioral & Social Learning Approach Being rejected once can lead to a fear of being rejected again; if it happens enough one learns to not bother with making friends The Internet teachers people to ‘be connected’ when really they are not having interactive social relationships with others Situations or environments can teach people how to distance themselves from others Advantages People do learn from experience, like this idea suggests Easier to see and measure in relation to loneliness Disadvantages More research should be done because of the relative newness of this concept in studies To understand this idea long-term studies should be done to relate social learning and loneliness
Cognitive Approach Different people view loneliness differently Hopelessness has been linked with loneliness “According to some research, lonely students are worried that they may not be accepted by other people, and therefore, they approach the relationships with wrong beliefs and cannot establish cordial relations” (Girgin, 2009). Because of beliefs one remains lonely when they so desire close relationships Advantages Studies done in middle schools and universities gave similar results showing a correlation between individuals and loneliness, despite age Disadvantages More research needed to verify reliability between people; repeat results of studies already done
Discussion Interesting topic and one I relate to because I have experienced sever loneliness Each approach made sense and apart from needed more research there were not many disadvantages that I saw I agree that loneliness has different levels and we have a need for relationships I think it is the heart of most every issue, people just don’t recognize that is what the real issue is If studied more it could help many people and what they are going through in life Lonely people should speak up when they feel alone rather than hide it and others should be willing to help them out People could help each other through this pain if they only recognized it
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