While there are tons of lonely people in this day and age, the things that make up a lonely person are a bit broad. People you might think would be lonely are not and people you might never point out as being lonely are, but why?
I recently came across a study from back in 2018 that really got me thinking about people and their loneliness levels. This study seemed to suggest that the wiser a person was the less lonely they would feel. Sounds a bit odd now, doesn’t it? But the research is quite clear.
You see, this study was intended for looking at loneliness across adult lifespans and examining its associations with different things. The participants came from 340 community-dwelling adults in California and ranged in ages from 27 to 101. They measured these people’s levels of loneliness and looked at other things regarding just what was affecting their loneliness as a whole.
Seventy-six percent of subjects had moderate-high levels of loneliness on UCLA-3, using standardized cut-points. Loneliness was correlated with worse mental health and inversely with positive psychological states/traits. Even moderate severity of loneliness was associated with worse mental and physical functioning. Loneliness severity and age had a complex relationship, with increased loneliness in the late-20s, mid-50s, and late-80s. There were no sex differences in loneliness prevalence, severity, and age relationships. The best-fit multiple regression model accounted for 45% of the variance in UCLA-3 scores, and three factors emerged with small-medium effect sizes: wisdom, living alone and mental well-being.
The alarmingly high prevalence of loneliness and its association with worse health-related measures underscore major challenges for society. The non-linear age-loneliness severity relationship deserves further study. The strong negative association of wisdom with loneliness highlights the potentially critical role of wisdom as a target for psychosocial/behavioral interventions to reduce loneliness. Building a wiser society may help us develop a more connected, less lonely, and happier society.
As the last sentence states, the more we work to be wiser the more we may become connected as a whole and thus end up feeling less lonely as a society. With around 76 percent of those who took part in this study being quite lonely, there is no denying the presence of loneliness before us all. Whether they’re young or old, they’re at risk and being wiser might provide them with a bit of an upperhand.
Because wise people are able to have proper healthy relationships with themselves, it makes sense that they would be less lonely in their own company in comparison to those who hate being alone. The wiser we are the more okay we are on our own and that is something that cannot be denied. What do you think about these findings?
I for one cannot wait to see what else comes out in regards. While loneliness is something we often overlook it is something we need to be paying attention to. There are far more lonely people in this world than you might realize.