The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Colors of loneliness

A blog post by Shau Chung Shin made me aware of a blog parade started by Claudia Kielmann. Loneliness has many colors. It can be, that people remain attached to a relationship out of fear of loneliness as Claudia describes it in her article “Einsam muss nicht sein: deine Tipps gegen Einsamkeit” (No need to be lonely: your tips against loneliness).

But there are many colors to loneliness.

It can also be a sensation that appears while being in the middle of a crowd. For whatever reasons, communication and connection suddenly seem inaccessible and loneliness emerges. As with many sensations, it is actually data one can use to choose one’s reactions. It’s a sensation, not a statement.

Another color to loneliness is the sense that one has a topic one would want to discuss but doesn’t seem to find any discussion partner for. Here again, one’s interpretation of the situation may transform the situation.

Leaders, innovators, or jesters easily find themselves subject to loneliness too.

Jesters need to find a way to tell a truth that can’t be easily said and will use irony, fun, or wise provocation to do so. Jesters highlight truths that can’t be easily discussed, their approach allows everyone to do “as if”. That is as if it had never been said. It allows whoever has been challenged to act on his terms and initiate resolutions should they be inclined to do so.

Innovators have ideas others have not yet heard and may find hard to imagine. It often makes it hard for them to share their enthusiasm and have others follow their ideas.

Leaders have to make decisions. Some of these may not be popular, others imply living up to one’s responsibility without being able to share or delegate it. It’s a situation in which others may not be easily made aware of the context and the reasoning behind the decision.

In all three cases, the person can be perceived as a troublemaker. They seek to change something and don’t know how much support they will be able to gather. Loneliness then is a sense they have to deal with when choosing their action. Whatever they do it may lead to being rejected or to being invisible in the group. That is lonely due to a felt opposition to the group despite the desire to help the group, strengthen it, or protect it.

What often happens is that leaders, jesters, and innovators mainly see opposing views and fear conflicts that may emerge. It is a moment in time when it is difficult for them to explore what is shared, or what they can learn from others that may amend their own opinion.

In this case, loneliness may result from being attached to seeing others as a threat or fearing conflict with them.



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