7 Surprising Facts About Loneliness and Why it Matters

Updated on June 17, 2019

Loneliness affects more people now than ever before. Keep reading for 7 surprising facts about loneliness and why it matters.


Loneliness is a fascinating topic because it is complex, and every individual experience it uniquely. You may have heard terms like ‘lonely in a crowd’ which may sound like such a paradox. Yet loneliness is something many people suffer from. There are so many surprising facts about isolation, and not many people quite understand how potentially devastating it can be.

Some argue that it is easy to know who is likely to suffer from loneliness.

Finding an answer to what causes loneliness can be quite difficult because it is a very individual experience. The truth is that we all occasionally go through episodes of loneliness.

Surprising Facts about Isolation

We will explore and try to understand loneliness better in more detail below. If you find that you may be going through what we are talking about, it will benefit you to read on for more information.

1. Loneliness Runs High in Marriage

One would think that the institution of marriage would eliminate loneliness from an individual’s life. Statistics on loneliness will shock you, married people, and the elderly are some of the loneliest people.

The reality on the ground is that experts estimate that up to 60% of the lonely people have spouses. Once individuals feel that they cannot share their experiences or their deepest thoughts, loneliness starts to set in.

Overcoming loneliness requires that you take the necessary steps. Otherwise, it will have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Seek counseling to see if you can reconnect with your spouse. Importantly, Surround yourself with positive people, and learn to see the best in you at all times.

2. Loneliness at the Top may Just be a Myth

Often times, people equate leadership or top positions with loneliness. Apparently, this is not the case; researchers have found there is no direct link between loneliness and being at the top of the food chain.

Ironically, such individuals have better connections with people around them and do not report higher incidences of loneliness. It does not hurt to have money, power and great connections with people.

3. You Can Be Lonely Even With Many Friends

The psychology of loneliness will surprise you. Some of the loneliest people, and it may come as a surprise, are those with many friends. The experts say that loneliness is a state of mind which will make an individual feel empty and unwanted. It, therefore, does not matter how many people are around them, because they do not feel an emotional connection with others.

Loneliness, especially among the elderly, has begun to get more attention from the powers that be. In the UK, organizations that are doing their part in getting people out of loneliness can benefit from a £500,000 fund.

In Denmark, there is a program ‘The World Eats Together’ that encourages people to eat together. The national program has found much success in eliminating solitude among its citizens

Surrounding oneself with people who you share common interests with is a great step. Surround yourself with friends, and enjoy your life.

4. Cigarettes and Loneliness Have the Same Potential Effect

Loneliness has a drastic impact on one’s mental and physical health. The impact is so bad that researchers say that a smoker and a lonely person may be at the same level of risk. You are 14% more likely to die due to loneliness! Shocking right?

If you find that you’re starting to exhibit certain signs of loneliness, you should take the necessary steps to get out of the funk. It starts with the realization that something needs to change. It also requires that you get up and do something, for instance, community service, meet the people opportunities, among others.

5. Loneliness can be as Contagious as the Common Cold

You may need to be a little bit selfish on this, but you need to avoid the lonely, the same way you would someone who is suffering from the common cold. You are 52% more likely to become lonely if you hang around such people. This proposition has scientific backing, so if you need to get away, send them a link to this article and keep your distance.

6. Loneliness Will Make You Sick

Self-imposed isolation can lead to sickness. You are likely to suffer from depression, cardiovascular diseases, high-stress levels, poor memory, and anti-social behavior, just to name a few. You can also exacerbate the progression of certain diseases like Alzheimer’s.

To cope, lonely people, are also more likely to drink a lot or turn to drug use. Some individuals will also start antisocial behavior, which may arise due to altered brain function.

If you spend the better part of the day locked up in a room with the shades drawn, you are not likely to care about how you look. You will, therefore not exercise, watch your diet, and practice good hygiene, among others.
If you find that a loved one has undergone significant physical changes that do not have a good explanation, this may be one of the signs of loneliness.

7. The Internet and Social Media Take Part of the Blame About Loneliness

No one can argue about the benefits of the internet and social media. However, an individual who spends too much time online will not have time for face-to-face interactions. They will, therefore, find that the internet becomes their friend, thus making the situation worse.

Think about those individuals who get so immersed in video games, that they do not leave their houses for days on end. How is such an individual supposed to develop his/her social networks?

Are You Ready to Make a Change?

It may be difficult to describe loneliness to someone who has never gone through it. Our article on surprising facts about isolation is a clear indicator that it is a big problem.

If you are facing this difficult situation, it would not hurt to talk to someone who understands. Bookmark us if you need further information so that we can help you through the process. Do not give in to the urge to isolate yourself from other people because this could be the beginning of trouble.

You should also learn to read the people around you. Watch out for any worrying signs of loneliness in those closest to you, so you can lend them a hand.

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