Social isolation - "The outsider"

"Why do I feel so alone?"

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Ever felt like an anomaly in a world of “normal”? That’s the crux of the social isolation schema - a deep sense of solitude. While those around you appear seamlessly integrated, you feel like you're just sat on the fringes, looking in.

This feeling of separateness can cause high levels of anxiety. Simple everyday conversations become nerve-wracking ordeals. Thoughts of doing or saying the “wrong” thing are a constant companion. Over time, you start to distance yourself from social interactions, protecting yourself from potential ridicule. It's easier, right? To be on the defensive, feigning indifference.

Yet, deep down, you still long to “fit in” and be like everyone else...

Why do I feel so alone and sad?

At our core, we’re hard-wried for connection. Our ancestors thrived in communities - it was synonymous with survival. This innate desire to bond is why the loneliness you feel is so jarring.

Ideally, our younger years sow the seeds of belonging, with school friendships, family gatherings, or extracurricular activities. However, if you have the social isolation schema, you may have grown up in a way that hindered these connections. Maybe your family seemed starkly different from those around you in terms of finances, ethnicity, or social standing. Or maybe you moved around a lot, and you were always the "new kid" at school. Or possibly, your parents were reserved, never truly showcasing the beauty of social bonds.

These experiences left you feeling like “the outsider”. Over time, if you've felt like a misfit, chances are, you've mirrored that role. Social scenarios feel terrifying, and so, you withdraw, hang back, too nervous to really show your true self. All these things distance you from receiving the connection you so desperately crave. 

But, here's the truth: you're not alone. Many of our experiences and emotions are more common than we think. Recognising this can help dispel your anxiety. As you tread this path of self-discovery, you'll learn to embrace your commonalities as well as the things that set you apart… In other words, you’ll join the tribe.

Signs you have this schema:

  • You suffer from social anxiety and feel self-conscious around others
  • You feel different/inferior to the people around you
  • When you feel isolated or lonely you withdraw instead of reaching out
  • You often worry that you’ll say that wrong thing, behave in the wrong way etc.
  • You avoid dating because you don’t believe anybody would be attracted to you
  • You avoid socialising because of your anxiety
  • You feel lonely when you’re with people


What you get from our Relationship Report

Deep relationship insights - uncover hidden patterns shaping your connections, rooted in evidence-based therapy.

Personalised guidance - get tailored strategies to improve communication, understand behaviours and fulfil emotional needs, all backed by research.

Actionable steps for growth - gain practical advice and steps to reshape relationship patterns and build a more satisfying love life.

Unlock your Relationship Report