Loneliness & Isolation in Men
Many men struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation. If they are single the feelings of loneliness and isolation could become particularly debilitating. In a relationship the needs for companionship could be unfairly requested of by their partner. At the surface feelings of loneliness and isolation could be easily handled through simple ‘techniques’. Men could be asked to think of activities or personal areas of interest and join groups to break from the isolation. Ideas could be generated that could help the man to get out more and reach out. However, these techniques are generally fleeting in nature and do not address the real barrier that keeps men lonely and isolated. It takes courage for any individual to reach out as there can be at times the fear of rejection and a feeling of vulnerability. For men, reaching out can be even more difficult as healthy intimacy between men is not something that is modeled, understood or appreciated in our society. Often men are afraid of each other and their personal sense of vulnerability. Rather than support each other men tend to suffer in silence.
Potential Effects of Loneliness & Isolation
- Disturbed Sleep
- Unhealthy Eating & Lack of Physical Exercise
- Decreased Libido
- Less Productive
Treatment for Loneliness & Isolation
Why then do many men remain lonely and isolated? In many instances the choice to remain alone and isolated acts as a protection device/vehicle for the man. The individual may believe (even if unconsciously) that for whatever reason they are fundamentally flawed, unworthy or unlovable. The same men are often the one’s who will do anything for other family members, friends or acquaintances. They tend to see others much differently than they see themselves. It may be more difficult for them to do for themselves what they would do for others. They generally are not men who feel uncomfortable in social situations. Treatment for the man does eventually involve making efforts to reach out to break free from the loneliness. However, if their perceived feelings and beliefs about themselves are not addressed little will change. If a man feels fundamentally unlovable it does not matter how many individuals are around him he will feel lonely. Conversely, feeling unlovable or unworthy makes taking action to reach out very difficult.
Tips for Men Struggling with Loneliness & Isolation
It is not always easy to take the effort to change behaviour but here are some tips that men can try.
- Find a therapist to discuss the issue with
- Find a local men’s group
- Make an appointment with your family physician and ask about men’s support groups
- Visit a worship service of the faith tradition of your youth
- Open up to one trusted friend
- Open up to one trusted family member
Further Related Reading
Men Therapy Toronto
Counselling & Therapy Services for Men
” For men, reaching out can be even more difficult as healthy intimacy between men is not something that is modeled, understood or appreciated in our society.”