I suffer from crippling loneliness. I feel it most days of my life. I’m going to tell you how I achieved crippling loneliness all my life so that you can learn what not to do from my mistakes.
Avoid Eye Contact
Eye contact is the opposite of loneliness. Eye contact is two people seeing each other in the present moment. Seeing each other together is connecting with each other. And connecting with someone is the opposite of loneliness, which is the feeling and state of being disconnected from everyone. So if you want to stay lonely, avoid eye contact.
Ignore as much as possible
* Did someone greet you? Ignore it.
* Did someone try to make eye contact? Look away.
* Did someone say something directly at you in person, over text, over any form of communication? Ignore them.
* Did someone ambiguously say something that might be targeted to you? Don’t ask for clarification. Don’t check if they meant to talk to you.
Let the fear of responding to people win, so you can make them feel like you don’t care about them and send the message that you don’t want them in your life. This creates the alienation and space necessary for them to leave you alone so that you can be lonely.
Deny their opinions. Deny their requests. Deny them as a person by rejecting characteristics that are core to who they are.
* When you disagree, don’t acknowledge their point of view and don’t start from common ground. Just disagree.
* When you say no to a request, let your fear manifest in body language that communicates disgust, and let that disgust be misinterpreted as disgust towards the request and the person, and don’t clarify that it’s really disgust directed at yourself because you’re feeling uncomfortable. Also don’t explain, because if you explain why you’re saying no then they can get to know you, and that would build a bond which isn’t what you want when you’re trying to stay lonely.
* When they do something you dislike, don’t engage in a healthy conversation around how their actions make you feel and what together can be done to address both people’s needs. Let it grow into resentment and hatred, and let those negative emotions permeate your relationship through passive aggressive behaviors, and also take out your rage on other people not involved with this relationship, because anger and rage can push people away, and that’s what you want when you want to be lonely.
Put others down
Joy, happiness, and celebration are stupid and sick and a product of ignorance and selfishness and cruelty. There is so much wrong with the world, and it’s insulting to those who suffer for those who don’t to be happy. So find the negative in everything and make that the focus of everyone’s attention all the time. Making others feel bad is the key to ensuring they don’t enjoy being with you and so you can be left alone.
I’m going to pause here to mention that many of these principles are captured in other resources. The value I can add that is unique is the psychological reasons for this behavior.
Before I get into that, I want to speak to two audiences who might be reading this post. If you’re lonely, I hope reading this post helps start you on the path to building better habits to be less lonely. If you’re healthy and reading this post, I hope this helps you understand people you don’t like and I hope this empowers you to rescue and save the lonely people, so that you can work to make the world a better place by addressing the needs of the lonely people and teaching them how to have a better life.
Why I learned to avoid eye contact
I grew up in an abusive household. My mom would come home angry and punch, smash, kick, hurt and destroy whatever she saw. She couldn’t do this at work, so during the day she would accumulate hatred and rage, and then come home and unleash it. The last thing I wanted was for her to see me and for me to be the target of that rage and anger. Never make eye contact with a troubled person unless you’re there to help them unload their negative emotions and heal them to a better state of being.
Why I Ignore as much as possible
My mom engaged in a lot of illegal activities and forced me to participate too. As a result, a large part of my life is a lie. And the more I talk about myself the more I have to lie. And I don’t like lying. So rather than lie, I just ignore conversations so that I don’t have to say anything. This doubles as a defensive mechanism because the more you lie the more you have to keep track of and so it’s harder to get away with the lie, so you avoid saying much.
Every time I told the truth in public where my mom was there, she would go home and beat me. Punish me dearly for telling the truth.
Then she would take me to church and force me to understand that lying is a sin and sinning gets you eternal punishment in hell. So ignoring people is a mild option compared to my alternatives.
The way you can use this knowledge is to understand that if someone is not responding to you, it means they don’t feel safe. To make them safe enough to talk, you have to put in work. You have to build trust and be trustworthy such that you won’t ruin their life when they tell you the ugly and possibly illegal truth.
(Side note: everyone has details of their life they want to keep private. For some it’s 10% of their life. For others it’s 90% of their life. Have compassion and empathy for what might be keeping them from telling you the whole truth. And take everything they say with a grain of salt and a filter based on the strength of your relationship together.)
Why I deny others
I had an abusive mother. When I tell people that my mother mistreated me, 99% of people I tell this to will deny me and say I’m a shitty kid who doesn’t appreciate, understand, respect their mother, and insult and label me as immature and a bad son. They will then point out the good things that are in life, as justification for why I am wrong and why I should continue to suffer abuse because it’s not abuse.
Other people comment about my experience without any validity to their statements because they don’t know my experience. Abstracting this: they are focusing on their own positive experiences and neglecting the possibility of a reality outside of their own where things are different.
When I deny others, it is a plea for help. Please get out of your f***ing head and see the pain I’m going through and help me.
Why I put others down
This is a more extreme version of why I deny others. It’s already hard enough for me to be suffering abuse while no-body cares. It’s even harder to see people celebrating while I’m suffering abuse. All those energy and resources and time could be spent ending my pain, and instead it’s spent on increasing the happiness of people who are already happy and in a much better place.
One view is: we should work to ensure that everyone has a certain standard of living. Under this view, rather than celebrate, they should help me.
Another view is: selfishness, fight and compete antagonistically with each other for resources, so that the strong and happy can get stronger and happier.
To me, seeing others celebrating while I’m suffering means they believe in selfishness and antagonism. So then I give them the antagonism and selfishness they want. I compete by tearing them down to my level, so that I have a chance to fight and get the resources I need to survive. Either I win and they experience the pain I’m experiencing, or they become enlightened and less ignorant to the pain that is going on right under their nose, and they can become more caring and helpful to provide a safe community with a quality of life for all.