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Loneliness – where did the stigma begin?

According to a survey by the Red Cross, one fifth of the UK population are always, or often, lonely. When it comes to voicing our emotions however, two thirds of us feel uncomfortable admitting to feeling lonely.

Where did this stigma begin? And more importantly, how can we break it?

Ask a child if they have ever felt lonely and they are likely to raise their hand in earnest. Ask an adult and they will likely shy away in embarrassment.

It seems that this stigma begins in adulthood. Society expects us to lead fulfilled lives, with successful careers, families and friendships all in tow. As a result, many people fear that expressing that they feel lonely, will lead to them being judged.

Therein lies the problem. Bottling up emotions will only make things worse, not only for individuals, but for everyone. The best way to break the stigma attached to loneliness is to talk about it freely and openly. Only once it’s in the common dialogue, will things change.

We are striving for a future where saying you feel lonely is as normal as expressing hunger or tiredness. To help us make this a reality, join us for Loneliness Awareness Week 2019 – there are over 500 events taking place across the UK where people will be coming together to break the stigma surrounding loneliness. Click here to find an event near you.


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