Did You Know? 10 Interesting Things About Loneliness

Photo by  Rachel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rachel on Unsplash

Learn something new about loneliness that may surprise you

by taking this “FUN 10-Question Quiz.”

Don’t miss out on the explanations at the end!

Photo by  Caju Gomes  on  Unsplash

Photo by Caju Gomes on Unsplash

1. According to some studies, what is the key to a happy life?

a. adequate finances b. strong relationships c. good health

2. Studies seem to show that having less than _____ people to confide in and to count on for support doubles one’s risk of dying of heart disease.

a. three b. one c. five

3. Loneliness and solitude are the same thing.

a. true b. false

4. The primary source of most people’s social interaction is . . .

a. neighborhood community b. work c. family

5. What age group is most affected by the burden of disconnection?

a. Millennials       b. elderly c. middle age     d. Generation Z (mid 90s-early 2000s)

6.  Which of these emotional states most increases the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease?

a. loneliness b. depression          c. anger

7.  The same painkillers that we take for physical pain can relieve the pain of loneliness.

a. true b. false

8.  According to Cigna’s study, using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, what percentage of Americans said they feel that no one knows them well, or that the people around them “are not necessarily with them?

a. 29% b. 72% c. 54%

Photo by  Suhyeon Choi  on  Unsplash

9. Which group of people are the least lonely according to Psychology Today?

a. Married couples        b. Millennial FB “friends"       c. Italy’s remote village people

10. What famous cartoon character tried to buy a cure for loneliness with a nickel?

a. Garfield b. Charlie Brown c. Ziggy

Answer Key:

1. b. strong relationships. Although adequate finances and good health are important in life, true joy and happiness are found in intimate bonds where we can confide, give and receive support, and feel like we belong.

2. a. three. Studies show that lonely people are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal causes, cancer, and respiratory illness. Those with fewer than three people to confide in and count on for social support are twice as likely to die of all causes, even when smoking status, age, and income are comparable. These are scary statistics! But, do not fear. There is hope.

Photo by  Suhyeon Choi  on  Unsplash

3. b. false. What is the difference between loneliness and solitude? They both involve a state of being alone. However, solitude is usually “by choice,” something that you want, desire, and initiate. Loneliness, on the other hand, is not a desired state and not “by choice.” “Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting. Desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, restorative,” according to Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project.

4. b. work. If work relationships are the primary source of most people’s social interaction, how does this affect those working from their home? According to quora.com, “Working from home is a mega trend,” with the number of workers who exclusively telecommute up 115% from 2005 to 2015. With technology on the rise, many professionals living abroad work through tele-conferencing, with limited face-to-face, physical contact with people beyond the “screen.”

5. d. Generation Z (mid-90s to early 2000s). Although all generations are affected by loneliness and isolation, those of the Generation Z seem to be most impacted. Scores on the UCLA Loneliness Scale range from 20-80, with a score of 43 and above considered “lonely.” Generation Z had an overall score of 48.3. Millennials, only slightly older, scored 45.3. Baby boomers scored 42.4, and the Greatest Generation (ages 72 and above) scored 38.6 on the loneliness scale. Studies show that the influence of technology and social media among the younger generations may be leading to deeper feelings of disconnection, as many relationships and connections are virtual, superficial, and through a “screen.”

6. a. loneliness. There is a strong correlation between loneliness and cognitive decline and dementia. Studies show that lonely people are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as the non-lonely. Research shows that depression does slightly elevate one’s risk for Alzheimer’s, but not nearly as much as loneliness.

7. a. true. There is an overlap between emotional and physical pain. Studies show that the brain activity of someone who feels rejection strongly resembles the brain of someone who is experiencing physical pain. Loneliness causes real pain, acting on the same parts of the brain as physical pain. As a result, the same painkillers that we take for physical pain can help to relieve the pain of loneliness.

8. c. 54%. The UCLA Loneliness Scale is one of the best-known tools for measuring loneliness, surveying 20,000 adults online. More than 54% of those surveyed expressed that they always, or sometimes, feel like no one really knows them well. In addition, 56% said that they sometimes, or always, feel like people around them “are not necessarily with them.” In addition, 2 out of 5 people reported that “they lack companionship,” that they “are isolated from others,” and that their “relationships aren’t meaningful.”

9. c. Italy’s remote village people. The village structure in the mountain community of Sardinia, Villagrande Strisaili in Italy forces its residents to interact with their neighbors as they walk across the town square from the post office, to the market, to the church. They are tight-knit and bonded, with a history of defending their land from invasion. They are warm and hospitable, with more people living beyond the age of 100 than any other place in the world.

10. b. Charlie Brown. The famous “Peanuts” cartoon character, Charlie Brown, suffers from the “No Sweetheart Loneliness” in the movie, “A Charlie Brown Valentine.” He goes to his “psych” friend, Lucy, and asks her if she can cure loneliness for a nickel. Lucy confirms that she can cure anything for a nickel, until Charlie Brown asks her if she can cure “deep-down, black, bottom-of-the-well, no-hope, end-of-the-world, what’s-the-use loneliness.” At that point, Lucy declares that Charlie Brown is a hopeless case, closes up her shop, and walks away. Just like Charlie Brown, where can we go for a loneliness cure?


See Beyond can help. All of our events are designed to connect you more deeply with others. We offer coaching which can help you to process your current relationships and even help you on the journey to find new relationships. Some people might benefit from counseling for an ongoing sense of loneliness that seems to be a result of rejection or negative self-talk or self-esteem issues. Our articles also address a variety of topics related to this need.