Everybody feels lonely from time to time. When we have no one to sit next to at lunch, when we move to a new city, or when nobody has time for us at the weekend. But over the last few decades, this occasional feeling has become chronic for millions. In the UK, 60% of 18 to 34-year-olds
say they often feel lonely. In the US, 46% of the entire
population feel lonely regularly. We are living in the most
connected time in human history. And yet, an unprecedented number of us feel isolated. Being lonely and being alone are not the same thing. You can be filled with bliss by yourself and hate every second surrounded by friends. Loneliness is a purely subjective, individual experience. If you feel lonely, you are lonely. A common stereotype is that loneliness only happens to people who don’t know how to talk to people, or how to behave around others. But population-based studies have shown that social skills make practically no difference for adults when it comes to social connections. Loneliness can affect everybody: money, fame, power, beauty, social skills, a great personality; Nothing can protect you against loneliness because it’s part of your biology. Loneliness is a bodily function, like hunger. Hunger makes you pay attention
to your physical needs. Loneliness makes you pay attention
to your social needs. Your body cares about your social needs,
because millions of years ago it was a great
indicator of how likely you were to survive. Natural selection rewarded
our ancestors for collaboration, and for
forming connections with each other. Our brains grew and became more and more fine-tuned to recognize what others thought and felt, and to form and sustain social bonds. Being social became part of our biology. You were born into groups of 50 to 150 people which you usually stayed with for the rest of your life. Getting enough calories, staying safe and warm, or caring for offspring was practically impossible alone. Being together meant survival. Being alone meant death. So it was crucial that you got along with others. For your ancestors, the most dangerous threat to survival was not being eaten by a lion, but not getting the social vibe of
your group and being excluded. To avoid that, your body came up with ‘social pain’. Pain of this kind is an
evolutionary adaptation to rejection: a sort of early warning system to make sure
you stop behavior that would isolate you. Your ancestors who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to change their behavior when they got rejected and thus stayed in the tribe, while those who did
not got kicked out and most likely died. That’s why rejections hurt. And even more so, why loneliness is so painful. These mechanisms for keeping us connected worked great for most of our history, until humans began building a new world for themselves. The loneliness epidemic we see today
really only started in the late Renaissance. Western culture began to focus on the individual. Intellectuals moved away from the collectivism of the Middle Ages, while the young Protestant theology stressed individual responsibility. This trend accelerated during the Industrial Revolution. People left their villages and fields to enter factories. Communities that had existed for hundreds of years began to dissolve, while cities grew. As our world rapidly became modern,
this trend sped up more and more. Today, we move vast distances for new jobs, love and education, and leave our social net behind. We meet fewer people in person, and we
meet them less often than in the past. In the US, the mean number of close friends
dropped from 3 in 1985 to 2 in 2011. Most people stumble into chronic
loneliness by accident. You reach adulthood
and become busy with work, university, romance, kids and Netflix.
There’s just not enough time. The most convenient and easy thing to sacrifice
is time with friends. Until you wake up one day and
realize that you feel isolated; that you yearn for close relationships. But it’s hard to find close connections as adults and so, loneliness can become chronic. While humans feel pretty great about
things like iPhones and spaceships, our bodies and minds are fundamentally
the same they were 50,000 years ago. We are still biologically fine-tuned
to being with each other. Large scale studies have shown that the stress that comes from chronic loneliness is among the most unhealthy things
we can experience as humans. It makes you age quicker, it makes cancer deadlier, Alzheimer’s advance faster,
your immune systems weaker. Loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity and
as deadly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. The most dangerous thing about it is that once it becomes chronic, it can become self-sustaining. Physical and social pain use common mechanisms in your brain. Both feel like a threat, and so, social pain leads to immediate and defensive behaviour when it’s inflicted on you. When loneliness becomes chronic,
your brain goes into self-preservation mode. It starts to see danger and hostility everywhere. But that’s not all. Some studies found that when you’re lonely, your brain is much more receptive and alert to social signals, while at the same time, it gets worse
at interpreting them correctly. You pay more attention to others but you understand them less. The part of your brain
that recognises faces gets out of tune and becomes more likely to categorize neutral faces as hostile, which makes it distrustful of others. Loneliness makes you assume the worst
about others’ intentions towards you. Because of this perceived hostile world, you can become up more self-centered to protect yourself, which can make you appear more cold, unfriendly and socially awkward than you really are. If loneliness has become a strong presence in your life, the first thing you can do is to try to recognise the vicious cycle you may be trapped in. It usually goes something like this: An initial feeling of isolation leads to feelings of tension and sadness, which makes you focus your attention selectively on negative interactions with others. This makes your thoughts about
yourself and others more negative, which then changes your behavior. You begin to avoid social interaction, which leads to more feelings of isolation. This cycle becomes more severe
and harder to escape each time. Loneliness makes you sit far away from others in class, not answer the phone when friends call, decline invitations until the invitations stop. Each and every one of us has a story about ourselves, and if your story becomes that people exclude you, others pick up on that, and so the outside world can become the way you feel about it. This is often a slow creeping process that takes years, and can end in depression and a mental state that prevents connections, even if you yearn for them. The first thing you can do to escape it is to
accept that loneliness is a totally normal
feeling and nothing to be ashamed of. Literally, everybody feels lonely at some
point in their life, it’s a universal human experience. You can’t eliminate or ignore
a feeling until it goes away magically, but you can accept that you
feel it and get rid of its cause. You can self-examine what you focus
your attention on, and check if you are
selectively concentrating on negative things. Was this interaction with a colleague really negative,
or was it really neutral or even positive? What was the actual content of an interaction? What did the other person say? And did they say something bad,
or did you add extra meaning to their words? Maybe another person was not really
reacting negatively, but just short on time. Then, there are your thoughts about the world.
Are you assuming the worst about others’ intentions? Do you enter a social situation
and have already decided how it will go? Do you assume others don’t want you around? Are you trying to avoid being hurt
and not risking opening up? And, if so, can you try
to give others the benefit of the doubt? Can you just assume that they’re not against you? Can you risk being open and vulnerable again? And lastly, your behaviour. Are you avoiding opportunities to be around others?
Are you looking for excuses to decline invitations? Or are you pushing others away
preemptively to protect yourself? Are you acting as if you’re getting attacked? Are you really looking for new connections,
or have you become complacent with your situation? Of course, every person
and situation is unique and different, and just introspection alone might not be enough. If you feel unable to solve your situation by yourself, please try to reach out and get professional help.
It’s not a sign of weakness, but of courage. However we look at loneliness, as a purely individual problem that needs solving to create more personal happiness, or as a public health crisis, it is something that deserves more attention. Humans have built a world that’s nothing short of amazing, and yet, none of the shiny things we’ve made is able to satisfy or substitute our fundamental biological need for connection. Most animals get what they need from their physical surroundings. We get what we need from each other, and we need to build our
artificial human world based on that. Let’s try something together:
let’s reach out to someone today, regardless if you feel a little bit lonely,
or if you want to make someone else’s day better. Maybe write a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Call a family member who’s become estranged. Invite a work buddy for a coffee, Or just go to something you’re usually too afraid to go to or too lazy to go to, like a D&D event or a sports club. Everybody’s different,
so you know what’s a good fit for you. Maybe nothing will come of it, and that’s okay.
Don’t do this with any expectations. The goal is just to open up a bit; to exercise your connection muscles,
so they can grow stronger over time, or to help others exercise them. We want to recommend two of the books
we read while researching this video. ‘Emotional First Aid’ by Guy Winch,
a book that addresses, among other topics, how to deal with loneliness in a way that we found helpful and actionable and ‘Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection’ by John Cacioppo and William Patrick. It’s an entertaining and scientific exploration as to why we experience loneliness on a biological level, how it spread in society and what science
has to say about how to escape it. Links for both books are in the video description. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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100 thoughts on “Loneliness”

  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell says:

    We designed a poster on this topic as well. You can find it here:

  2. Kaiyin Marcellus Emerson says:

    “Loneliness is a prison, solitude is liberating.” I find myself very happy being alone, traveling the world by myself, staying to my thoughts. I realized I am genuinely at my happiest when I am alone. Dealing with people and letting them in I feel weak, vulnerable, and exposed. At 30 I have grown extremely comfortable with the fact that I will not have children, be married, have love, and I will die alone. Embrace the loneliness it can make you stronger, and self sustaining in a modern world where people have become reliable on everyone but themself.

  3. up to the top dood says:

    0:53. 🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂

  4. up to the top dood says:

    0:53. 🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂

  5. Пикша никша says:

    Your the best

  6. Random Person says:

    The girl in the thumbnail isn't lonely, she just got donuted by DIO

  7. moustafa tantawy says:

    What a video, iam very pleased with it

  8. Trusek says:

    That „getting more defensive and hostile“ part hit me hard. Because that‘s literally what happens, you become slowly insane

  9. eleuterio elgie says:

    Why am I crying on ds video ?

  10. Zujia Huang says:

    I'm just sitting alone in a restaurant on a perfect autumn day, watching this video and crying.

  11. AnotherRandomYoutuber says:

    Now I'm worried

  12. Mohammed Abdul Majeed says:

    I thought I was alone in this feeling. There are so many like me feeling alone.

  13. Vilkas says:

    It is easy Way to escape the loneliness

  14. Munro McLean says:

    This is my life

  15. Suvi Rey Clark says:

    wow I guess I'm lonely

  16. Muhammad Mudassar says:

    Beautifull video and epic music. Thanks for the music.

  17. Tony Wony says:

    hmmm that's every day for me

  18. ManaYoshi says:

    Damn, just looking for someone to cuddle.

  19. Tim Versmoren says:

    Thank you.

  20. Naomi Simms says:

    my problem is that i crave having a deep connection with someone. i have good friends with whom i’m comfortable but it still doesn’t feel like a deep enough of a relationship.

  21. DRSReaper275 says:

    So I had to make friends so I don’t die?
    Well too late for me

  22. Terra says:

    I just feel nothing.

  23. Squidicus Pastry’s says:

    I talk so much to myself so much that my parents will think I’m having conversations with people when I’m not

  24. 우울한Emptiness says:

    I felt rejection in love, it hurts. I feel lonelier than ever. People around me feel non-existent or maybe that’s just me being a youngling.

  25. SpuzPSO says:

    Ugh, this is too much

  26. Krenjura says:

    So people who are lonelier die faster, how convienient.

  27. Mason The Ancient Nightfury says:

    I'm lonely so much I'm use to it, absolutely nobody wants to make friends with people who aren't Athletic, who isn't smart as others, and humans never pay attention to lonely people, they always get rejected by everyone and they become so isolated, no one notices them and it leads to depression

  28. Mason The Ancient Nightfury says:

    People wants to make friends but they can't ever make any because everyone keeps rejecting them and it's messed up, especially if they're rejected and doesn't have a phone

  29. d'lambofGod says:

    so that's why they always say that i should change my mindset

  30. AwaKe Nwton says:

    It's weird how most of the stuff in this video I can relate to

  31. Egg Gaming says:

    I watched it now YouTube stop REMINDING ME ABOUT LONELINESS 😭

  32. Kiro Legend says:

    It seems like there's nobody worth a damn to build a relationship with though.

  33. Bangershit says:


  34. Kevin Venter says:

    What if you can't get rid of its cause?

  35. piouppioup says:

    How are you supposed to build connection when everybody is busy all the time?

  36. 卢艺文 says:


  37. heroiina dduduu says:

    but i like loneliness

  38. Tupac Shakur says:

    Thats why womans live more. They are smarter than us when they need atention they say it and get it!

  39. Tupac Shakur says:

    So many lonely people here if we think smart we all would have someone to talk to when we feel lonely a kind of only internet friend which we empathy with. If anyone needs someone loke this reply to this

  40. AwaKe Nwton says:

    I used to be popular and really sociable, something changed, now I'm that guy that sits at the edge of the classroom, by myself, thinking that everyone is competition and everyone is against me. I always misinterpret what people are saying to me, thinking they are implying something else when they probably don't mean anything by it. Fuck

  41. Barbouilleur says:

    Just.. Thank you

  42. Random Guy In The Comments says:

    I didn't realize how lonely I was, until I watched this… Sigh

  43. fallen king says:

    This is why esport is the best job

  44. A -10 Thunderbolt says:

    i really really wanna die

  45. Lut Haqimi says:

    Hi. I have a life hack. The life hack is:
    1. DON'T trust people because some of them is fake people

    2. Believe to yourself

    3. Show yourself in social media and ignore comment except three first more likes

  46. KillExpert says:

    Anyone wanna be my friend? Im from Germany xD

  47. Krispy Kareem says:

    I am such a proud lonely guy I admit it. When I’m around people I instantly can talk (but I do hate every second of it sometimes) but there’s nothing wrong with being independent, doesn’t always mean your sad

  48. Manu says:

    I mean i have friends all over the school, but in freetime im lonely as fuck.

  49. Jean Pierre maximus says:

    When you surrounded by 7.7 billion people and still alone.

  50. Iolex128 says:

    And here come anti-social disorders which make people lone wolfs

  51. Jess Osorio says:

    YouTube recommended me this video, this is so sad but helpful hahaha

  52. Malanova says:

    easy way to make me feel ok even i'm lonely is thought everything is normal nothing is abnormal and do whatever i want except in work when i saw someone i just speak whatever i want if they can't accept what i'm so go on that normal for me i don't need them hahaha
    i always do all my work by myself

  53. Chickenface says:

    Watching this makes me lonley…

  54. MarekmarianRBLX says:

    I'm lonely..
    GREAT :C

  55. hank hill says:

    I don't need people just my cute lil pet rat chunko. And my cats.

  56. Your Friendly Neighbour Pikachu says:

    Only the True lonely people won't comment
    So stop acting like you are lonely

  57. Francois Viel says:

    This video made me feel very good somewhow. Thank for this

  58. Crazy_Pyromaniac says:

    This video makes me feel lonely

  59. Amber Holland says:

    I feel lonely when people don't have time to talk to you, so busy doing there own thing

  60. Ismael Ruiz says:

    Feel free to talk to me if u feel alone. Regards ppl.

  61. Q.L. says:

    Basically loneliness makes you paranoid and everyone thinks you’re a jerk and then it kills you with cancer because you stay lonely.


  62. Amogh Kulkarni says:

    If you teared up a little while watching this mere informative video, the chances are you ARE indeed lonely

  63. LPS Cloudycat says:


  64. Ikben Lunatic says:

    When you are not afraid of death, it is okay to be lonely

  65. Connor Kelley says:

    I’ve had no friends since I’ve moved 7 years ago

  66. Heleen Bussé says:

    When your best friend goes to another school and you only have your normal friends left who All have their own best friend and you always left out… that shit hurt

  67. Good ol' No Name says:

    I personally find everybody too boring to have friends, but because I'm a human I still want a life mate…. Damn biological needs >:(

  68. Shark Boy1210 says:

    There’s a scary lack of birds in this vid tho

  69. Jamer1A says:

    If that hurts, imagine adding Asperger's syndrome to a mental condition where they find it difficult to make friends, they don't understand the subtle clues needed for this. They use language in a somewhat strange way and often take literal meanings of what they read or hear. They are happier with the routines and a structured environment, when they find it difficult to decide what to do they fall into their favorite activities. They love praise, they win and they are the first, but failure, imperfection and criticism have a hard time coping. Bad behavior often comes from the inability to communicate your frustrations and anxieties

  70. despacito 2 says:

    so this just made me remember that i have a Washington DC 2 day long trip and everyone around 3 to 4 people for a room and I probably won't have anyone to share a room with. which isn't that bad for me, but I'd prefer to have one. probably won't though and will be forced.

  71. steven universe says:

    being loneley is not painful its feels great

  72. Harley Destiny Fatima Hunter says:

    Hey everybody! Little piece of wisdom that might help. I'm still working on learning myself ofc but I hope it helps somebody.

    It all stems from Fear. Fear is like a foundation emotion off of which anger, sadness, loneliness, racism, stress, anxiety, and all those other bad emotions are formed.

    At least that's what I've learned. Fear is our basic building block instinct to keep us safe. Like if u see a dark cave or steep cliff. Fear is that mechanism that forces us to think pessimistically. We are forced to imagine all the worst possible scenarios to prepare for and avoid the worst. So we see that cave and imagine a Huge Tiger! Even if nothing was there, we are safer for having avoided a potential deadly future.

    And in the same sense it makes us focus more on dwelling on the past mistakes while dreading our future. We never get the chance to enjoy the moment!

    Anger and sadness are defense techniques we learn as a strategy for carrying out that "Safe" life fear says we need. We become selfish and mistrusting. Stress actually does make us age faster and kills us. It produces the hormone Cortisol whos purpose is to help us think fast in a crisis like adrenaline but is not meant for chronic doses. Higher cortisol actually makes us more stressed and in turn produce more of it, starting its own vicious cycle. Whenever we are fearful we begin stressing more.

    So Fear is really a root source for a lot of our issues but instead we treat the symptoms while the cause goes unnoticed.

    From what I've seen, Love is its opposite. Love is growth and acceptance. Love is selfless. The ability to see somebody elses happiness and well being above your own in importance. Being able to say you would give your life for that person.

    But the catch is true love we often confuse because even when we swear to God we absolutely love somebody, we have to ask, "Am I still trying to recieve something in return?" Even if you are desiring just a hug or talking, u have failed at truly loving them. Yes u can want those things for yourself, but as long as u have that idea in the back of ur mind that maybe doing something nice will EARN those things, u don't have true love. The only true love is unconditional but it's a concept almost impossible to acheive. Even parents will abandon their children at some point. It might take a LOT but the condition exists. Just very far. And that is what we actually strive for. Pushing that confition limit as far as we can by being patient and forgiving since we can never reach perfect true love. To do this is actually a choice. One that we have to continue making each day. Stay loyal no matter how much we get hurt or don't recieve. Sometimes we even lie to ourselves and say we are in love when we honestly just can't believe how lonely our reality is. Losing sense of reality is another protective mechanism stemming from fear. The brain knows it will be in a crisis if it has to accept reality so it willingly lives its own lie.

    We should all strive to lessen our fear. Take chances and leave our bubbles of safety. And take responsibility for our own feelings. We can't keep blaming outside sources for us not being happy. Others can impact our physical lives but NOBODY can force the way u interperet it and feel. Happiness is a choice. Only then will we be able to stop being lonely as well as cure other emotional issues like anger or laziness and depression. Curing fear allows us to grow closer to true love😊

    I hope this helps some people. Idk u, but I really care bout all people! Ur not alone. Just breathe and relax into the moment. Everything will be ok. We are survivors together❤️❤️❤️

  73. Olena Strizhak says:

    Watching this when my boyfriend is gone hiking for the weekend. To be honest, I have been shy since middle school and I haven't had a friend group since.

  74. CozmicPlayz Minecraft says:

    What was there whenever you were lonely

    So kid: ur doggo cause it’s mans best friend

    Me: no gaming is mans best friend and it’s always there for you

  75. Touching Guy says:

    When you reach a point in your life where you’ve been alone for so long, you become your own best friend.

  76. skies lands says:

    I am lonely girl and I feel bored when watching this video lol

  77. Donald Pace says:

    I never feel lonely I have too much going on inside.

  78. Adip Mahendra says:

    Dude, i'm crying right now…oh wait, who am i talking to? i'm alone

  79. riveratrackrunner says:

    Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani

  80. Indi Roque says:

    thank you for talking about this.

  81. Slasher_Foxy says:

    We are lonely. We.

  82. Abishek says:

    Loneliness sometimes makes me work harder and motivates me to convert negative feeling to positive ones.

  83. X Y says:

    I've been feeling lonely for so long that I kind of internalized it and thought of it as something normal. It doesn't feel good but probably that's just life.

  84. Kaose T says:

    The human race is shit anyway. At least i know i will die with a shitty member

  85. XxBenisweirdxX says:

    The Irony of me sitting in my room by myself watching this

  86. Gundam Magic says:

    I have some massive problems with this video. First of all the health problems from loneliness are massively exaggerated, if you are going to get cancer, have Alzheimer and heart disease just due to loneliness then you would be experiencing so many other health problems way before any of these happens, that cancer Alzheimer and heart diseases will be the last of your concern. Secondly, the way the video describes how lonely people negatively misinterprets people’s intentions seems so pathological that at that point you should be seeking counseling, it is not a problem that can be fixed from having a few conversation with people. And lastly, people become isolated because our peers deemed us “uncool” and “uninteresting”. You can bet your sweet ass that I tried to be outgoing and went to meetups to make friends, but I eventually gave up because they all turned out nil. Nowadays, unless you can fake enthusiasm you can’t even get people to care about you.

  87. miloradvlaovic says:

    Heavens I feel like I've been attacked by Naruto with his merciless talk-no-jutsu. I don't assume anything that's not basically correct. 9/10 people will harm you, and have ill intentions towards you. Competition is a far more favoured by natural selection than cooperation. The 10th person won't wish to harm you, but at some point they'll end up doing so anyway, even if by being careless. As MD Dr. Gregory House said (paraphrasing), you don't need people to like you, love you, or even socialize with you, you just need to make yourself needed by them.
    If we were all just doing our best possible to be good at what we do, and constructively contribute to the world as a whole, loneliness would be an issue only for the dreamy, inferior extroverts and needy hopeless romantics. Who deserve it anyway. So a win win. Not this rubbish new age couching, not completely unfounded (scientifically) but still pure rubbish philosophically. And ethically.

  88. Ostravská Klobása says:

    Alright, these recommendations are getting fucking creepy

  89. Hannah Robertson says:

    you are amazing I just realized that i was exspearinsing this for 2 years and im still a kid this only ended about a mounth ago

  90. Gfdx Gfdx says:

    I'm personally nearing the end of breaking my loneliness. 5 years ago bullying pushed me out of social matters, but the last 2 years I've been going back

  91. Pablo450 says:

    I feel so identificated… 🙁

  92. MooWooMoo says:

    Is my recommendation trying to tell me something?…

  93. Fc king Sg says:


  94. Hardy Raja says:

    I feel lonely around the peoples🙂

  95. Ghaida says:

    the music in the background it’s so peaceful ❤️

  96. Mazlum says:

    Big bullshit
    This video tries to let us think we need friends in our life, but i feel like most people are assholes today and most of them aren‘t loyal. So in my opinion it‘s better to have no friends or one real than having 100 but no one of them is real. Most friends wouldn‘t help you if you are in a miserable situation. For me one friend is enough but if you don‘t have anyone it isn’t a problem just learn how to love being with yourself or get yourself a dog or cat or whatever

  97. VVerlaine says:

    the animation is always so satisfying to look at.
    one of the reasons i love your videos.

  98. The cod bo3 parkour master says:

    I'm not even sure anymore. Anytime I'm on School campus in a transition period, people look at me with disgust in their eyes. I swear I see it right in there body with how repulsive I am. I've tried so hard to change myself to be more human, but I don't feel human. Haven't felt the humanity in me for over 12 years…

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