If we took a survey of HSPs, how many would say they are lonely? Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Being alone and enjoying it come from our full engagement with life. Loneliness is something else.
Loneliness often feels like we have been graded and found wanting. It feels like a suffocating prison to which we do not hold the key. When we experience loneliness, we often experience it as a form of rejection. Sometimes it feels like we are in a different place from everyone else, and so we feel the loneliness of our difference. Our inability to find or share common ground can give rise to feelings of loneliness.
Being a highly sensitive person inevitably invites lonely feelings just because of who we are. Because we perceive and experience differently, we are often at a disadvantage in our relationships. On an interpersonal basis sharing differences in perception and experience is not so difficult. The greater difficulty comes from not really sharing the language of the competitive culture; our basis for interpersonal exchange is not there. The sensitivities and values difference that come from holistic perceptions and living from energetic experience are hard to integrate into an us vs. them culture.
Highly sensitive people have much to give in a world that often does not want what we have to offer. Our hearts are so big but they are often big by themselves. It can feel like you are out on a limb in a world that wants to chop it down at any moment. Very risky! Yet you cannot do otherwise because you would then be betraying yourself. So you, therefore, carry the torch even if no one can see it, even when you feel foolish, hoping that at some point the world will stop long enough to see that there is no them and that then you will not be lonely anymore.
The COVID pandemic has exacerbated feelings of loneliness. That may be a good thing for sensitive people who are very familiar with and have often mastered the benefits of being alone. It is possible that the pause created by this difficult time will promote a greater appreciation for the benefits of community and interdependence, which we need to embrace if we are to manage the issues and consequences of overconsumption and overpopulation.
If may be then that the heart-based torch carried by sensitive people will find more people sensitive to the value of communal over compatitive thinking. It may be that gradually sesitive people will find more who are receptive to their values and will feel more welcome in the world. Heart-based thinking is one of the foundations of a saner, safer, healthier world. We need it and as a result we need the participation of sensitive people. Seeking like-minded people can help sensitive people find the enriching social life that sensitive people want.
The world can benefit from our presence and participation.