Loneliness & How it Affects Women
The women I work with have been talking more and more about how they feel isolated and alone. They want to meet people, to date, to make new friends, or find new jobs but they feel nervous. When we dig into this a bit they say they aren’t feeling too confident about putting themselves out there. This can be connected to a few different things. Sometimes it’s about fear of rejection, feeling that they don’t have enough to offer, or maybe that no one will reciprocate their efforts. It’s also important to examine if there are any ties to past experiences that are impacting your current reality. I provide therapy for women in my Portland, Maine based private practice for a variety of issues but I find a lack of confidence is a very common concern for women who are feeling alone or disconnected.
This is important. Loneliness is becoming an epidemic that can be as bad for your health as smoking. And it’s affecting so many people. Cigna surveyed 20,000 Americans and found:
What’s worse is that women seem to experience loneliness more than men.
Women tend to be more relationship focused than men so it’s understandable that women are looking for increased connection. Men also seem to be able to make decisions quicker, go for goals they make not achieve and women tend to hold back, wait, or undersell themselves. So why is confidence a barrier?
Take stock of what’s holding you back. Really explore and examine what your thoughts and beliefs are about meeting new people. What’s the worst that could happen? Is there any evidence that worst case scenario is likely? If so, how can you make yourself worst-case-scenario resilient? Take dating for example. We know rejection is common in dating. It’s rare to find someone compatible, with similar interests and values, who is similarly interested in you, and emotionally or otherwise available to engage in a new relationship. Therefore we are going to have to weed through multiple less-than-perfect matches before finding a good fit. If you identify past situations that were hurtful and make you less sure of yourself, maybe it’s time to see a therapist about untangling how your past keeps you from your future.
As you address what’s keeping you from feeling like your best self, put yourself out there anyway. Take a class, volunteer, attend a workshop, download a dating app. Find small ways to make connections, eye contact and a smile at the grocery store, stopping to pet someone’s dog, reach out to a friend. There can be many barriers to connection, but you don’t have to be alone. Start making small changes today. And if you feel like therapy could be helpful, email me today to schedule a free phone consultation.
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