Scientists in the US have discovered that feelings of loneliness may be genetic. And dipping into my own gene pool, I tend to agree.
The University of California in San Diego has conducted a study to find out just why loneliness affects some people more than others, with them pointing the arrow towards the notion that it is down to genetics rather than your disposition.
In fact, psychiatrist Abraham Palmer, who led the new study, stated that it had evidence that some people are born with the tendency of feeling lonelier than others. But this case was only tested in the US, so who knows if the results would differ if conducted elsewhere.
When it comes down to it, feeling lonely is a heinous condition. Especially when it doesn’t let up. Depending on the person, you could be surrounded with people, taking part in a number of social activities and whatnot, and still feel that lonely empty feeling that won’t just be filled with a hug. Whereas someone else in the exact same situation could feel very satisfied with the above. So why is that? Why can some people feel content, and some feel like it’s never quite enough?
If I put myself in the equation, I would stand with the “never quite enough” crowd. Not all the time, but a good majority of it; I can be with my crew, but inside I just know that when everyone goes home I’m going to feel that loneliness again. I read somewhere that when you always feel lonely and have low self-esteem issues, it can come down to not being loved properly as a child. And that side of you is always searching for it. Even if it’s being shoved in your face as an adult, that younger part is stuck in lonely limbo.
It’s a bit like running away from your feelings, but I am learning to curb that. Looking at my brothers now, with partners and kids, they live different lives today than they once did. Maybe they’ve learnt to manage that lonesome feeling. That or their minds are merely preoccupied, continuing the circle once more.
Maybe it is as the study suggests, and is down to genetics. Could feeling lonelier than another person come down to your DNA? For instance, my mother is a social bee and is always the one to work the crowd, spending time with everyone. But like me, she has a restless lonely feeling when that stimulation fades away. Same with her mother, it was never quite enough. How did we deal with that restlessness? I remember as a family, brothers included, we were always on the go. We couldn’t just sit still because that lonesome feeling would creep up. In fact, even today we are the same. We always have to be doing something, and it isn’t uncommon for any of us to just take off for a 10-hour drive to another state in Australia at the drop of the hat, just because. It’s a bit like running away from your feelings, yes. But we’re taught what we’re taught. I am learning to curb that, because it can be reckless, and damaging. And who can sustain that?
But is that genetics, or is that just learnt behaviour? Are my brothers and I just doing what my mother (and hers) did? Could very well be true. Looking at my brothers’ lives now, each with their partners and kids, they live different lives today than they once did. So maybe under the influence and behaviour of their partners, they’ve learnt to manage that lonesome feeling. That or their minds are merely preoccupied, continuing the circle once more.
It could be a collaboration of all the above to explain why we feel vastly different in the same environments. Who knows? But I’ve got to say, it does help, knowing you’re not the only one feeling it.