Millions Of Us Feel Lonely – But We Won’t Admit It To Family Or Friends

A study shows we're affected by loneliness almost daily

Loneliness – real loneliness – can be the most all-consuming, horrible, scary experience in the world. Yet according to a new study, two thirds of us wouldn’t tell family or friends if we ourselves felt lonely.

In a survey conducted by Co-op, 2,000 adults of varying ages were asked about loneliness. One in 10 said that feeling lonely affected them daily, while two thirds said they’d never ask for company due to the stigma of loneliness.

The research by Co-op, which has launched a campaign to tackle the issue of loneliness in partnership with the British Red Cross, also found that people were more likely to spot loneliness in others than themselves, bringing up important questions about why we want to hide our loneliness.

Could it be that the more connected we get, with Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp and everything else, the more lonely we get?

Perhaps the constant social media updates we get of everyone else out having fun, going on holiday and getting promotions makes us more likely to question our own achievements and feel more lonely in the process.

Co-op Group chief executive Richard Pennycook said: ‘Loneliness is one of our biggest social issues, but gets little public attention. Our members overwhelmingly chose it as our campaign issue this year, illustrating how pervasive it is.

‘From young people struggling to find their identity, to single parents bringing up kids, to carers coping with dementia, to the elderly left on their own, it does not discriminate.

‘In partnership with the British Red Cross, we intend to highlight the impact loneliness has on people’s lives, whilst raising millions of pounds to help tackle it.’

Do you ever feel lonely? Would you tell a friend? Let us know @marieclaireuk

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