People who often feel lonely in a crowd usually have these 6 psychological traits

by Alexandra Plesa | February 12, 2024, 4:55 am

Have you ever been surrounded by people, but felt utterly and desperately alone?

It’s a bizarre sentiment.

Despite being among other humans, you resemble an alien sent to observe their behavior and report back.

You’re like the monster on the hill. The creep and the weirdo. Not like the cool kids.  

Feeling like this every now and then is natural.

We all occasionally struggle with shyness or think we are misunderstood.

But if it’s the norm rather than the exception, something might be holding you back.

People who often feel lonely in a crowd usually have these 6 psychological traits.

Which of these do you relate to the most?

1) Introversion

Introverted individuals prefer solitude or small group interactions over large social gatherings, which can lead to feelings of loneliness in jam-packed environments.

As an introvert myself, let me tell you: there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Everyone has their strengths.

You may not be in the mood to speak up when you’re in a large group, but you can probably debate for hours when you hang out with one or two close friends.

That’s fine.

I was never a fan of big parties or packed spaces.

The sole exceptions, for me, are concerts.

It’s the only time when I’m surrounded by people and feel like I belong because we all appreciate the same music.

Introverts find solitude energizing and rejuvenating, while excessive social interaction can feel draining.

It’s hard to find moments of solitude when you’re in the middle of a crowd, especially if there’s a line to the bathroom.  

In better news, introverts have a range of great qualities others can appreciate.

Active listening skills.

Empathy.

Self-awareness.

Don’t sell yourself short.

2) Social anxiety

Those who struggle with social anxiety may be overwhelmed or self-conscious in social settings.

Their anxiety leads them to feel isolated even when surrounded by others.

While social anxiety exists on a spectrum, here are a few signs you may experience it:

  • You constantly worry about what others think of you and fear criticism in social settings
  • You avoid events where you might be the center of attention or have to interact with unfamiliar people
  • When out and about, you experience physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, or nausea
  • You find it challenging to start or keep conversations going
  • You replay social interactions in your mind, obsessing over perceived mistakes or awkward moments

While this mental health condition can hinder your personal growth, it’s crucial to understand that it can be managed.

My advice?

Seek support from a mental health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate coping mechanisms.

With proper support and guidance comes a greater quality of life.

3) Low self-esteem

If you often feel lonely in a crowd, it may be due to low self-esteem.

It’s downright impossible to connect with others when your confidence is at rock bottom.

Plus, you may be under the impression that everyone around you is more charismatic, which only fuels your feelings of inadequacy.

You start questioning everything about yourself, from the way you talk to the way you walk to the way you look.

It’s like you’ve got this giant spotlight highlighting your flaws, and you’re convinced everyone else can notice them from a mile away.

Cue the loneliness and isolation.

You would sell a kidney for an invisibility cloak. 

Do you know how I know? 

Because, ironically, you’re not alone in your predicament.

I’ve been there.

I struggle with self-esteem, and it took me years to learn to quiet the small voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough.

I don’t deserve to connect with others. I don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation. I’m wasting everyone’s time.

Our brains can be our mightiest foes.

Next time you feel lonely in a crowd, give yourself credit for showing up.

You probably had second thoughts about getting out the door, but you made it.

And you can be sure there are others there who feel the same way.

You deserve to be there just as much as they do.  

4) Depression

Depression can cause individuals to withdraw from social interactions altogether.

It may also lead to feelings of isolation in the presence of others.

In fact, feeling lonely in a crowd is a common symptom of depression.

Others include persistent sadness, losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable, and chronic fatigue.

The condition can also make you feel worthless, guilty, or like a burden to others, even when there’s no logical reason for why you should be feeling all these things.

Again, an example of our mighty brain working against us.

The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person, and they can come and go over time.

That said, it’s important to address them sooner rather than later.

Depression is treatable.

With support from your loved ones and a skilled mental health professional, you can get the symptoms under control.

We all need a little help from time to time.

5) High sensitivity

People who often feel lonely in a crowd might be highly sensitive.

Highly sensitive individuals are more attuned to subtle social cues.

At times, this ability makes them feel drained by social interactions.

A few signs this might be why you feel lonely when there are a lot of people around:

  • You are deeply affected by the emotions of others, positive or negative
  • You are highly empathetic and can pick up on the moods of those around you
  • You are easily overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, or strong smells
  • You spend a lot of time reflecting on your thoughts and experiences, something you can’t do in a crowd
  • You have a strong sense of intuition and can read a stranger like a book

If you recognize yourself in this description, honor your sensitivity as a valuable trait.

It’s like a superpower, enabling you to forge deep bonds with others and understand exactly what they are going through.

As a downside, you need to learn how to cope with overstimulation.

Figuring out when to remove yourself from a social situation that overwhelms you should be job one.  

6) Difficulty trusting others

Difficulty trusting others might be another reason why you feel lonely in a crowd.

You can’t relax around other people if your guard is constantly up.

Additionally, you likely aren’t being yourself – and putting up a façade can be exhausting.  

For a lot of people, difficulty trusting others stems from past experiences of betrayal or rejection.

Maybe you’ve been let down by a friend, cheated on by a partner, or hurt by someone else you profoundly trusted.

The experience left you with a lingering sense of unease, and now you’re suspicious of everyone.

You’ve built a protective barrier around your heart – and letting others in is no longer in your nature.

While it’s smart to be cautious, taking this apprehension to extremes prevents you from forming meaningful connections.

Building trust takes time and effort, but it’s worth the investment.

Start by surrounding yourself with supportive folks who respect your boundaries and make you feel safe.

Once they’ve earned your trust, practice vulnerability by sharing your thoughts and experiences with them.

I know it’s hard to grasp, but not everyone is out to get you.

Give them a chance to prove it.

Bottom line

Some people simply don’t thrive in big groups.

One-on-one interactions may be more your vibe. There’s no need to beat yourself over it.

However, understanding why you feel lonely when you’re in a crowd helps you get to the root of the problem and develop coping strategies.

Experiencing a sense of belonging can be transformative.

Don’t deprive yourself.

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