How Do We Make Peace with Loneliness?
In this column submission, Avi Amerta talks about how the pandemic is changing our human-relationships.
Words by Whiteboard Journal
Much as I hate to admit it, it does not look like we’re seeing a silver-lining anytime soon with this pandemic. It’s been hard, and while some of us have probably adjusted and come to terms with it, I personally still struggle to make peace with this situation.
For me, the hardest part has been to acknowledge how this pandemic is changing our human-relationships. From work, family gatherings, to socialising with our peers are mostly done online. Yes technology has come with their own perks, but between the internet delays, choppy voices, and frozen faces of our friends and relatives I felt like more and more we are also losing the bond that connected us to begin with. Well, that’s what I feel at least.
Within the past year, we’ve all spent only-God-knows amount of hours trying to socialise on Google Meet or Zoom or whatever video call app you wanna use, to connect with only the people that mattered to us. So what happened is that unconsciously we began forming ourselves a highly curated selection of inner circle. For me, the awkward part is when I began to realise that those I consider my circle have also formed their own different circles. This is the moment that I started to become aware that while I may have made people my priority, the same people may also have different priorities – and maybe that’s okay.
It sure felt lonely at the beginning when you start realising the fact that maybe some of your favorite people now spend less time together with you, or have to first click unmute to laugh at your inside jokes, or worse – only able to respond to your stories and experiences via a quick message or a fire emoji. For a bit, it did make me wonder if we ever have anything in common and bond to begin with, or were things just situational? But I know it’s not a fair game to think of others in that way, because perhaps I could be the one doing it to other people too.
Anyway, this is not a piece about losing friends, because it sure doesn’t feel like I am losing friends. It’s a piece about how everyone is shifting, probably myself included.
While we might feel like we’re ‘losing’ people along the way, I think many of us have also had the benefits of strengthening our human-relationships and connecting with others more meaningfully throughout this pandemic. That’s also a shift.
Yes the loneliness does suck, and when you’re caught in the feeling, it is sometimes too difficult to resist. But remember that it isn’t anyone’s fault. I’m sure it’s never anyone’s intention for it to be that way, and it isn’t anyone’s job but ourselves to try to make peace with it and make the feeling go away.