Project goal: To analyze the problem of loneliness among adolescents, to find ways to overcome the problem.
1. To study theoretical material.
2. To find out the causes of teenage loneliness.
3. To find out the statistics of loneliness among teenagers.
4. To suggest ways to overcome loneliness.
The urgency of the project lies in the fact that the study of teenagers’ experience of loneliness is of practical importance, since these experiences influence the formation and adaptation of their personality in society.
The problem of the project is that nowadays there are many researchers who claim about the positive influence of this phenomenon exactly at the adolescent age, but there are studies that reveal severe consequences of experiencing loneliness in adolescents.
Hypothesis: A large proportion of adolescents 15 – 16 years old experience a deep sense of loneliness.
The object of the study is teenage loneliness.
Subject of the study: peculiarities of the experience of loneliness in adolescence among ninth-grade students.
Practical significance of the project is that the conclusions and results of the work can be used to prepare and conduct a class hour, parent meeting, when planning preventive work in the educational process of the general education institution.
1. to study the literature on the topic.
2. Conducting a survey among the teenagers.
Analysis of the obtained data.
Research timeline: October 2019. – February 2020.
Main part. What is loneliness?
Loneliness is a social and psychological phenomenon, an emotional
human condition associated with the lack of close, positive emotional ties with people.
Loneliness is a special emotional state of a person, in which he feels his uselessness and does not feel himself. A lonely person loses the sense of self due to lack of contact with other people, he falls into a void in which he, as a person, does not exist. This emotional state occurs when the person does not receive full attention from other people, when he or she does not feel a positive emotional connection with people or is afraid of losing it. At the same time, there may be many people around him and they may even communicate with him. It is all in the form of this communication – the person may simply not be listened to, not heard or understood, and so he or she begins to feel lonely.
Loneliness is an experience that evokes a complex or acute feeling that expresses a certain form of self-consciousness and shows the destruction of the foundations of the real network of relationships and connections of the inner world of the individual.
Many adolescents experience feelings of loneliness: their alienation from the world, their uselessness, their inability to become happy in this world. Sometimes these thoughts are accompanied by sadness, resentment, and fears.
In the life of teenagers, the feeling of loneliness occupies a large place: the teenager isolates himself, learns to be independent, looks for new forms of relationship with other people. Difficulties in finding these forms, rejection, in turn, are reflected and manifested in the experience of loneliness
In modern society, the number of adolescents experiencing the feeling of loneliness increases, which often leads to personal deviations with such socially dangerous consequences as depression, alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide attempts. Almost every adolescent goes through periods of loneliness, insecurity and defenselessness. This is exacerbated by the fear that the teenager thinks he is alone in the whole class, in the whole school, in the whole universe. It seems to him that he is separated from everyone by an invisible wall, that he is surrounded by an impenetrable cloud. And no one understands him. He envies some of his peers, who at first glance have never encountered and will never encounter this problem. But even the most popular teenagers doubt themselves.
The problem of loneliness
The problem of loneliness dates back to antiquity and is still relevant today. Currently, there is no exact definition of what loneliness is. The problem of defining loneliness is associated with a variety of interpretations of this concept by different researchers: feeling of loneliness and social isolation; painful experience of forced isolation and voluntary seclusion. Feeling of loneliness performs a regulatory function and is included in the feedback mechanism that helps an individual to regulate the optimal level of interpersonal contacts. However, a person’s physical isolation does not always lead to loneliness.
Such scientists as Z. Freud, G. Zilburg, G. Sullivan, C. Rogers, F. Fromm-Reichman, K. Moustakas, K. Bowman, D. Riesman, N. Slater, R. Weiss, K. Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, A.G. Ambraumova, G.P. Orlov, I.S. Kon, A.A. Leontiev and others studied this problem. Considering loneliness as a mental phenomenon, the majority of researchers emphasize its difference with such concepts as “solitude” and “isolation”, supposing that loneliness has some specific internal context. Isolation is more related to the physical, spatial and temporal location of the person in relation to the social environment and is an externally caused situation, rather than an internal mental experience.
Adolescent loneliness is one of the most serious problems of modern society. The dynamics of the modern world is reflected in the sphere of personal perception of the world and the construction of a subjective line of behavior in it by each person. To form a socially stable, socially independent, responsible, mobile personality, a modern teenager must go through the process of socialization completely, not stopping at a certain stage and not withdrawing into himself. Otherwise, the teenager may face such, even more serious problems as: alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, suicide attempts.
Almost every teenager goes through periods of loneliness, insecurity, and defenselessness. This is exacerbated by the fear that the teenager thinks he or she is alone in the whole class, in the whole school, in the whole universe. It seems to him that he is separated from everyone by an invisible wall, that he is surrounded by an impenetrable cloud. And no one understands him. He envies some of his peers, who at first glance have never encountered and will never encounter this problem. But even the most popular teenagers doubt themselves.
The teenager, seeking to prove to himself and others his independence, the value of his personality, its uniqueness and uniqueness, inevitably faces a state of solitude, “talking to himself,” which in turn helps him in this isolation, individualization, development of his personality.
In adolescence, the child has a keen sense that he or she is discovering many new things in life, in people’s relationships, in himself or herself. And, on the one hand, there can be a withdrawal, a desire to be alone, but on the other hand, a thirst for communication, a desire to be understood, to be open with the person to whom one could open oneself. Hence the desire for friendship, the desire to have a friend. Therefore the teenager needs constant support not only from adults, but also from friends (reference groups he or she is a part of). He is looking for a peer in the company of one who could be a support for him, with whom he could share all his secrets. The main reason for this desire is the desire to find someone who understands you. Many researchers point out that it is the lack of understanding, understanding person that causes the feeling of loneliness.
For each teenager loneliness has personal significance, and sometimes value, allowing to make sense of their inner world.
Thus, when analyzing the problem of loneliness two tendencies can be discerned. The first is treatment of it as a mental condition or subjective experience. When a person does not receive full attention from others, and there can be many people around the teenager and they can even communicate with him or her, but he or she feels lonely. The second is the treatment of loneliness as an exclusively positive state of experience. If a person is alone even for months, does not maintain any contacts with anyone, but feels great and does not need any help, he or she is not considered to be in loneliness.
Causes of teenage loneliness
Adolescence is accompanied by the fact that the child is trying to assess and understand himself and often looks at himself from the position of a chosen ideal or generally accepted norm. Because of the lack of experience of self-knowledge, children often cannot evaluate themselves, their inner world, and doubt that someone else can do it too.
The main causes of loneliness in adolescents are:
– Incomplete communication with peers, non-acceptance into a social group or interest group, lack of people who share the interests, needs and hobbies of the child. Often occurs due to insufficient communication skills, the ability to listen and empathize with other people.
– Age crisis of identity. The child should find a balance between detachment (“I”) and identification (with others, society). If identification prevails, the child loses his or her “I” and feels worthless; if isolation predominates, it may be difficult or impossible to build relationships with other people.
– Age crisis of self-esteem. Adolescents tend to constantly evaluate and analyze themselves, sometimes making higher demands. Teenagers notice many of their shortcomings and are dissatisfied with themselves. And they believe that others also see these shortcomings. Teenagers react acutely to criticism and remarks, and this also leads to seclusion and refusal to communicate.
– Exaggerated requirements for other people who are not worthy of communication with the teenager, who are too underdeveloped, poor, etc.
– Unrealistic ideas of friendship, relationships between people, and love.
– External social factors: change of residence, transfer to another school, loss of a friend, absence of a circle of acquaintances (the child does not attend circles and sections, he has no hobbies).
– Example of a family. If in the family of the child abnormal relations, frequent scandals, physical violence, etc., the child is convinced in advance that communication will not lead to anything good and intentionally avoids them (especially with the opposite sex).
– Lack of full-fledged, trusting relations with parents, inflated requirements of parents to the child, frequent criticism, not accepting the child as an independent person. This leads to the child developing low self-esteem and not believing in himself or herself or in others, that anybody can understand and love him or her.
– Hypercrusteeship. Raising a child as a family idol can generate the same problems with communication: increased requirements for others, low control of own behavior, exaggerated self-esteem, lack of criticism in relation to oneself.
Thus, adolescence is the most difficult stage of a child’s transformation into an adult. There are many reasons why a teenager may feel lonely, but the most common are the following: difficult relationships in the family, difficulties in communicating with peers.
Types of teenage loneliness
The impact of loneliness on a teenager depends on the length of the experience.
Teenage loneliness is usually divided into three types:
– short-term loneliness (temporary loneliness) – short-term attacks of experience of their own isolation and dissatisfaction with communication and interpersonal relationships.
– Situational loneliness appears as a result of some stressful events in a person’s life, such as moving or the death of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship. After a short period of distress, the situationally lonely individual comes to terms with his or her loss and partially or completely overcomes the arisen feeling of loneliness.
– chronic loneliness is characterized by the absence for a long time of satisfactory communication, as a result of which the person suffers from his or her isolation.
Chronic loneliness has the most severe consequences for teenagers; it is precisely this that can lead to emotional and behavioral deviations.
In order to escape chronic loneliness, it is necessary to become self-confident, to be able to oppose their priorities and values to social norms and expectations, which are often false and insincere. Chronically lonely people can benefit most from their condition by developing insensitivity to social anxiety and developing social and interaction skills.
According to the origin of loneliness there are:
– Involuntary (a person is involuntarily in a state of loneliness);
– Voluntary (the person wants to experience loneliness himself or herself).
Survey: “The problem of loneliness among teenagers”.
Survey: “How do lonely teenagers overcome loneliness?
I made a voluntary survey among teenagers of the MOU-Vysokovskiy school № 1 to find out the statistics of loneliness among teenagers and the most effective ways to overcome loneliness in adolescence. Age of the subjects: 15-16 years old, number: 36 students of 9 classes (Appendix №1, questions).
To the first question: “Do you feel lonely in your life?”
89% answered “no” (32 out of 36 students),
8% answered “yes” (3 out of 36 people),
3% answered “not really” (1 out of 36 people).
To the second question, “Are there situations where you feel alone?”
36% answered “no.”
60% answered “yes”.
4% answered “sometimes.”
To the third question, “Why do you think teens experience loneliness?”
25% answered “no friends.”
22% answered “don’t know.”
12% “transition age.”
6% “lack of support, attention from adults”
5% “complexes, modesty, shyness”,
4% “fear of society”,
26% “betrayal of friends, quarrels with parents; do not receive mutual sympathy; do not appreciate friends and end up alone; estrangement, etc.
To the fourth question, “How did you feel when experiencing feelings of loneliness?”
22% answered “depressed.”
20% answered “sadness, emptiness.”
18% answered “pain.”
12% responded “sadness.”
6% responded “needing to talk to someone.”
5% responded “didn’t feel anything”,
3% responded “didn’t feel like doing anything.”
14% “I wasn’t alone(s), unnecessary; frustration; misunderstanding; useless; a nasty, disgusting feeling about myself; indifference; anxiety; fear, etc.”
To the fifth question, “What does it take to not be lonely?”
38% answered “make friends.”
16% answered “socialize.”
13% answered “be positive.”
33% answered “attend social events; be easier; show desire; discover yourself, find your surroundings; see that someone needs you; love what you love; love someone for real; help others; blend in with the world around you; be yourself; take initiative, etc.”
To the sixth question, “What did you do to get out of your state of loneliness?”
22% answered “nothing”,
20% responded “made new acquaintances”,
12% “socialized more.”
9% “talked about my problems.”
6% “went for a walk.”
6% “went out on my own.”
25% “tried to do what I like; listened to music; tried to keep up with peers; did household chores; developed myself; got a cat; fixed myself; studied, etc.”
To the seventh question, “How do you help single teens?”
28% answered “communicate with them.”
22% answered “make friends with them.”
13% answered “can’t decide,
11% responded “ask them out.”
8% responded “get to know them and make them laugh.”
18% responded “support them; don’t leave them; come to help; lend a helping hand, etc.”
I also conducted a survey among adults: teachers, parents, social teacher, etc. in order to create optimal recommendations for overcoming loneliness among teenagers, asking the question: “How do lonely teenagers overcome the feeling of loneliness?”, they answered the following:
1. Start with yourself. Change yourself.
2. Not to close oneself off.
3. Read classic literature.
4. Analyze my actions.
5. To want to, to show desire.
6. To do the things I love.
7. Have a pet.
8. Socialize with peers.
9. Find a common language with my family.
10. Communicate less in the virtual world.
11. Raise my self-esteem.
12. Participate in school life.
13. Be open-minded and look for different ways to communicate.
14. Talking to people with common interests.
15. To use the help of an anonymous psychologist or a telephone hotline.
16. Not to close oneself off on one’s problems.
17. To enroll in a theater club.
18. To overcome their complexes.
19. Sign up for various sections, clubs, groups, studios.
20. Apply communication skills: the ability to express my opinion, point of view, thoughts; the ability to listen to others.
21. Look around to see if anyone needs your help – this will make a relationship.
22. Not to discourage the initiative of others.
Thus, an analysis of the results shows that most of the adolescents do not feel lonely in life (88%), but almost everyone was at least once in a state of loneliness. Students and adults were able to provide many different recommendations for overcoming loneliness among adolescents.
Recommendations for overcoming feelings of loneliness in adolescence
Leo Tolstoy once wrote in his diary, “Living with people, do not forget what you learned in solitude. In solitude, reflect on what you have learned from communicating with people.
Since loneliness is a subjective experience, it is impossible to think of a single way of overcoming it that suits everyone in every case. Therefore when rendering aid to young men and girls it is necessary to adhere to the principle of “the golden mean”, i.e. to give them enough attention and understanding, to demonstrate readiness to help in a difficult situation, but at the same time to encourage independence, activity in search of overcoming of negative experiences of loneliness.
To share loneliness means: to listen to a person when he wants to tell about his pain; to understand and accept his feelings.
The most effective ways of overcoming loneliness in adolescence according to adults and children themselves are:
1. Distraction with the help of mental activities (watching TV, books, listening to music).
2. Engaging in hard work to excel in an activity.
3. Doing chores at home.
4. Doing sports, art, etc., to get rid of negative emotions.
5. Shopping to change one’s own image. 6.
6. Finding new ways of acquaintance (disco, parties, various clubs, the Internet).
7. Analysis of the reasons for their loneliness.
8. A walk in the fresh air, a trip to the countryside.
9. Appealing to a psychologist or psychotherapist to solve problems.
10. Find something you like to do, your hobby. Enroll in a club or art school, there you will find new friends who have common interests with you.
11. Develop yourself, be freer, more interesting, and then people will reach out to you.
Remember that the feeling of loneliness can be used as a positive factor: find yourself, your hobbies, develop, do things
The problem of loneliness is one of the most serious problems of mankind, when relationships for some reason do not develop, giving rise to neither friendship, nor love, nor enmity, leaving people indifferent to each other. A person becomes lonely when he realizes the inferiority of his relationships with people who are personally important to him, when he experiences an acute lack of satisfaction in communication.
Loneliness is a hard mental state, usually accompanied by bad moods and painful emotional feelings. Many people are subjected to loneliness, even strong personalities have a need to rely on someone, and human desire for communication is conditioned by his social nature. Loneliness happens in a crowd, when there are a lot of people around, but no one cares about you. There is hardly a person who at least sometimes has not experienced a state of loneliness. In the course of life, we lose friends, loved ones, loved ones. To get rid of loneliness there are two ways: either to learn to accept this feeling and cope with it, switching to other important things, for example, to find an interesting occupation, hobby, and fully go to work, or to learn to build new relationships with people in order not to feel lonely, to find new friends.
In my research my hypothesis that the majority of 15-16 year olds experience a deep sense of loneliness did not hold true. There are teens in my community who are in a state of loneliness. They are few, but unfortunately they do exist.