In 2007 I wrote a blog post titled “Help for when you feel lonely and clingy.” That post received dozen’s of comments over the next few years. That blog is currently off line. Several of the comments were so encouraging I wanted to re-post portions of it here tonight on my active blog. DM
This will be very short. I NEED your participation on this post.
Most of the time my life is packed; Work, e-bay, parenting, husband, orchardist, correspondence, etc. I don’t have this problem . I love down time.
Currently, due to the weather, I am not working. I’m spending hours on the computer, experiencing periods of loneliness and feeling emotionally needy. My wife and I have a great marriage. We talk all the time about stuff.there are only so many needs she can meet…so that isn’t the issue….But I still battle with this inner poverty….do you have any suggestions??????????? I don’t want to be a clinger, I don’t want to be a emotional sponge….what are some real suggestions you use when you feel this way?…I am not going to give any suggestions..because that’s the problem…A “clinging person tends to suck the energy out of a relationship…you can only spend so much time w/ them…talk to me. give it to me straight. I promise I won’t “cling” 🙂 I suspect many people self medicate or do other non-healthy things to quench these feelings.
Do you ever wrestle with this sort of thing?
Have you noticed a pattern?
What are some good, practical ways to keep from being “clingy”? DM
Hope this helps.
Says:Hi DM, well as a christian I don’t recommend drinking at all :I do think you should find a new hobby just for those particular times. A new hobby that is challenging, it will take your feeling of loneliness away in a heartbeat. I used to be this way before I found the Lord, but since my walk with God is relatively new it is challenging to me. So get out there get something you NEVER done and throw yourself in it.
Thats all I know to do! Andre
Kate Johnson says:
Yes, I struggle with this. First, I use my therapist for ‘talking about me’ and about all the problems that concertn me and lead me to feel so socially and emotionally needy.Second, I call several different people when I have a problem I am wrestling with, only keeping them on the phone for a short period. After calling five or ten people and bouncing it off of them I feel better.
Third, I call my several different people on good days and just ask how they are doing, you know, just to talk.
Fourth, I work on something–anything.
Fifth, I go to a support group, which meets many social needs.
Sometimes none of this works. Sometimes I still feel needy. Then I just have to distract myself with more work. I do something that keeps my mind occupied. If I feel grumpy I might do manual labor. If I feel sappy I may write or read. If I can I try to do something to help someone.
Sometimes I am still feeling needy—bottomless pit that I am. I just accept it; I don’t approve, I just accept that sometimes I am going to feel in danger of being clingy. I don’t have to act on it. I do have choices here. I may feel needy, but I can do the opposite of cling. I can choose to let go and help someone else–even though I may feel I am dieing inside.
All for now.
Sorry so Long
I am not a Christian but I am a human being and we all feel lonely and clingy at times…and what’s wrong with that?
You have already began to resolve your problem by reaching out to others for help. But you can take self-help further by using the opportunity your feelings have given you to identify what is lacking in your life.
You are not simply the victim of chemicals in your brain, you feel the way you do because of an event. Perhaps, you recalled an unpleasant memory but can not now remember doing so. Such memories linger and cause pain until we come to terms with them. Or perhaps you have a need for something which you are unconsciously denying yourself. Guilt, shame, all the ‘negative’ emotions, can prevent us from discovering our true needs. Or perhaps you quietly fear something but have not identified exactly what.
Take some time to think things over. And be completely honest with yourself and brave enough to accept what you find, even if you don’t like it. Whatever is causing these feelings need not be anything big or important, you might simply be bored or in need of a change of some kind. Whatever it is, it’s best to know rather than not know.
In any event, the unpleasantness will pass. Until then, make yourself something good to eat, get a good night’s sleep and try not to be so strict with yourself.
You’ll be okay
Thank you Jodi,Andrea,Kate and Juke for commenting… All good stuff. I appreciate you taking the time to comment! ..I heard from four other people via e-mail… Wanted to add their comments here as well: (these next three know me pretty well hence the candor of their comments)….“Dear DM, I do have such feelings sometimes. My life isn’t as busy as yours, being a stay-at-home wife whose husband travels each week, and whose only child lives on the other side of the world..and requires no care from me.
You stated it well. feelings that “inner poverty” and not knowing how to quench the feeling. You’re right about your wife (or any other person) not being able to quench it either. Don’t you think it is another facet of that “longing for our heavenly home”…? So what helps? Probably nothing on a permanent basis. I think God wants us to long for HOME, for Him, for our real dwelling place. I don’t think He wants us to love this old earth too much or have it be so desireable that we don’t want to leave it. the whole aging process of loosing our looks, losing our strength, losing our energy (in my opinion) is part of earthly life so that our focus changes from earth to heaven, so that we long for eternity….Have you read “Heaven” by Randy Alcornn? You would be blessed by it and excited about what is coming for believers…
So what helps? Being grateful for what hs been given, not concentrating on what isn’t there any more. Reaching out to others. Finding new places to serve. Listening to Godly music. Exercising vigorously to get those good endorphines going. Taking long prayer walks. Listening in those prayer walks to the voice of the Lord. Memerizing Scripture (takes so much time and hard brain concentration that the time flies by)
By the way, I don’t think “self-medication” is always a “non-healthy thing.” Who knows better than you?
A last suggestion: sometimes sitting for hours at the computer is not the best way to fill up that area of “inner poverty” Most of the stuff on the internet is pretty impoverished itself.”
“Hey DM. I definitely can relate to your feelings. I, too, am usually so busy that I don’t have time to think about being lonely or needy. I am not going to be very helpful with suggestions thoug because I think I would be in your boat if the madness ever slowed to a crawl. …it’s hard when you’ve been the strong leader type and had lots of responsibilites to step back and take a look inside yourself to see what YOUR needs are and how to mee them. Sorry this hasn’t been the most helpful advice, but wanted you to know I hear you!!! take care.
Thanks for expressing that feeling so well, DM. You are not alone and it is a struggle we all wrestle with. It made me think about how I deal with that issue myself. Lately, I have been trying to channel that emptiness into writing/blogging (something that I am new to). Reading is another good way to engage your mind and spirit in more productive ways. Last night I spent some time perusing the resources on Crosswalk.com. Ultimately, it comes down to that dissatifcation with not being united to the one who we were created to be united to…our great God. Might I suggest worship during these times. I found that listening to some good worship music lifts my spirit and allows me to focus less on my small life and more on my life in connection with my loving savior. I know that sounds a bit polly-anna-ish but it helps. Blessings to you….
Total Transformation Says:“Currently, due to the weather, I am not working. I’m spending hours on the computer, experiencing periods of loneliness and feeling emotionally needy.”
Been there bro.
Karen K says:
Hi DM, I can relate to your feelings. I have definitely been through times like that. My relationship with God is what has pulled me out of some of those places. Sometimes when I couldn’t pray or do anything I would just lay on the floor and listen to some encouraging music that reminded me of the truth of the “big picture.”
For a season you have the gift of time. What creative and imaginative things you could do with your time. One of the best things that I found that helped, in addition to focusing on the big picture of what God wanted for me, and also getting out and getting active, is to focus my mind on others.
There are some great relationships you could build with other people in need. Like foster kids who need mentors, etc.
I recently moved here – my son graduated, then married – never lived here before, so starting all over. I am outgoing; but, at a loss as to where to begin.
Found out about ballroom dancing locations around dfw – great fun and exercise. There are several persons who are married but spouse does not share interest – it is a nice environment, not sleezy like a club. Lots of exercise. Ladies dress up and feel like Cinderella
I was looking through the categories in your sidebar and this one interested me. I used to be clingier (if that’s a word) than a size 6 shoe on a size 9 foot. It was more about feeling incomplete. That gaping hole in my heart was like a round hole and all people, substances, activities were the square pegs. Since becoming a Christian in 2003, I have found that God is the only Round Peg that is supposed to fit in that hole. When I’m lonely, especially before it turns to feeling desperate, I begin quoting back Scripture to myself, promises that He is with me, He loves me with an unfailing love – anything I can find – of course I usually find them in the Psalms. I can’t imagine any Bible character (other than Jesus missing His Father) feeling more lonely than David. How many years he was on the run, hiding from Saul, hiding from sin, hiding from Absalom, living in caves and living with the enemy. What a better time to get to know God than when we’re lonely and feeling needy
I find this all very interesting. I have been engaged for a couple years now with tentative plans to get married next year. She is a very independent person with social ties to several family members and friends. I have moved around a lot in my life due to military postings so I don’t have the social network she has. Regardless, in our relationship I find that I require a lot of attention. I just don’t get it. I confront her.
You sound exactly like me! Exactly the situation I’m in at the moment, this guy has been persistently texting me for a couple of weeks but has been a bit quiet today, and i feel the clingy bugs gnawing in my belly! I hope i haven’t already been to clingy. I am going to try and ignore him for a while now to get myself back on track. I have until tomorrow so hopefully that will distract me long enough for him to forget any clingy mishaps today. …
Single in Atlanta says:
I experience feeling lonely at times and find myself clinging to people I adore. Its frustrating because when I initially meet someone, I show no iterests because I know how I am and don’t want to be attached to anyone to be disappointed at the end. But yet they continue to pursue me and the end result is always the same. “I’m acting to needy”…lol. So I’m done for realz this time. I have given up on love! But just be thankful you do have a wife who loves you. And I’m sure she doesn’t think you are being clingy. Cheer up! CHEERS! =)
Single IN Atlanta
Kristina Says:After meeting you:
You dont ‘really’ like down time. not a lot of it, you get fidgety when you are still for too long.
so this should be normal that you get lonely in the winter months.
know its only for a ‘season’
First of all, of course I’ve felt that way. Everyone does, but some people deal with it differently. Drugs, women (or men), some people become workaholics, and some people completely withdraw from society afraid of being hurt. Truth be told we all have a void and most people have realized that. What they don’t realize is it doesn’t have to be that way. We were created to have that void so that we would seek God. I don’t know if you are a christian, but either way the answer is seek God. The only way to cure it for good is to find your identity in Christ Jesus. Accept that Jesus loves you and that HE is enough for you. Seek to become the person He designed you to be. Then and only then will you know true joy (NoT happiness which is fleeting) and fulfillment. Being a christian isn’t easy, but having a personal relationship with my provider and savior has turned my life around. I was empty, Lonely, and had no self esteem. People are drawn to Jesus whether they know it at the moment or not. More of Jesus and less of me means people are drawn to me. I have no time to be lonely because i’m constantly surrounded by people in need of Christ. Find a good Bible based church and grow in Christ. Even if you are already a christian there’s always room to grow.
Love in Christ,
Susan says:I did a search on “what to do when you feel lonely”. This site is one that came up and I clicked on it.
I am too tired to read everyone’s contributions, but I felt better after I started laughing about somethings that were written.
My conclusion is that humor helps me feel better too.
Thank you everyone for sharing.
Lonely in the night Says:
I felt sick of myself when I found myself searching for this! “What to do when you feel lonely”
But reading through this I understand that it happens to everyone. So I am no exception.
And sorry, I cannot give any advice, I am in the exact same situation! Writing this at 2:30am, on a Monday morning.
Well I think about it – it could be because I miss someone, because I know something cant happen, and am not ready to accept it. Am ok when I am with friends, but still find a lot of lonely time in my busy day.
Currently I cant think of what to do, even after reading through this. Probably I can think of that to do, and hence do something….I know, its sad!
Friday night loner Says:*sigh* here I go..
I feel to young to be having lonely nights like this, my boyfriend is downstairs having his (now) weekly Friday video game night and I stayed home because I didn’t “feel” like hanging out with my only good friends here….so WHAT DO I feel like doing? (I have no Idea!!!!!-searching for ‘why do i feel clingy and ready every suggestion) I feel like I should be having my own interesting exiting life, but i’m only 20 years old and hopefully I get to where I want to be eventually.
Of course there is plenty I SHOULD be doing but it’s not anything fun such as tidying my room…I did recently buy a guitar so I can start playing again nights like this but songs I tend to want to play are kind of depressing. Any other thing I could do at home I just lack motivation to do.
But reading this has halted my tears and actually writing this out has been theraputic-so I suggest posting here will help let any troubling thought out. I have been seeing a therapist once a week for that reason and she tells me I sound like I’m bored. EUREKA! really it did help for someone to listen to me and tell me that though. It’s hard to find someone to hear me out and I wish I could just call my therapist when I felt like it but it doesn’t work that way. I have trouble expressing these types of things even to friends and family too for the sole feeling of being clingy and emotional.
I’m glad I found this space, it was the first search result and I feel cured! hah now off to take a nice shower to RELAX and reflect.
take care everyone!
LeelandSays: Man. I did the same thing. I googled “what do to do when lonely”. Ha.
I was tired of just sitting around moping about how I have no life so I looked for a solution.
I’m I guess a workaholic. My life is my work and that’s all I do.
I am currently a grad student and working on proposing for my research and all the competition and my anal nature was really getting to me. Especially now, where I’m spending most nights early into the morning working on my research. This is what I wrote earlier tonight as I attempted to cure my blues:
It’s 2:20 AM. I’ve been working on this proposal for almost 9 weeks.
I started in the winter when I read the Giosan and Bhattacharya paper on asymmetrical deltas again. Again, again, again. I am still not done.
Everything is cool though.
So what if my advisor doesn’t really like me. So what if I hardly can catch him. So what I’m busy all the time that I’m just about to fall off the edge of my sanity.
One of J.B.’s students just finished her proposal. She spent about 8 days on it. Now she’s the star. The one with all the “tenacity” and “creativity”. Her proposal is about 10 pages.
My proposal. No real good pics. Incomplete ideas. Hitting 17 pages with only 20 references. The muscles around my neck are tense. While I spent my weekends at school, she was having fun with her boyfriend.
I’m a stressed out, sexually tense Puritan who lives in a world of conflicting ideals. Maybe I’m just not satisfied. A girl who spends most of her time trying to stretch out the importance of her studies that it muffles out everything else. Maybe I’m bored.
I want to jump of a cliff. Not literally. I’m not that stressed. Just want to do something to remind myself that there is thrill in life and you don’t need people to feel it.
Wow. That was better. It’s a lot better than writing to myself. I’ll work a little more, but I’ll head to bed soon. Thanks to whoever started this site!
Looser and Clingy Says:Sigh, good grief!
Facebook can be a real downer when all of the people you know have children, published books or are doctors in France, very successful and very happy. Sheesh!
I have just left my husband of 6 years, I’ve moved out of a home and am now in an apartment. Yesterday, I had kids vandalize my car, got a flat tire and people I’ve known since I was a child, ignore my “chat” on Facebook because they think I’m clingy, or creepy, that I must like them; when all I really wanted was to have some human contact. Just a “hi”, “hey” nothing big…..it just feels horrible when you mail someone and there is ‘no’ response. Nothing like rejection to add to the “loser” complex.
I want to start running, I don’t know do something of value! Anything! write a book (not sure that could happen, since I got put in remedial English in community college) My gosh my life is like a loser movie!
I counsel people all day on how to run their businesses and work on their patients, but I am really to scared to venture out myself.
Someone sent a questionnaire, is your glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty and I didn’t realize I was just around the corner from I’ve got nothin’ in my glass, look there’s a little dust ball down there!
Even these thoughts, these feelings, I tell myself, sound like there from a loser. Hmmmmm….I want so much to be proud of me. Some people think I have been sort of treated so poorly I’m a little brainwashed about myself, which is probably true. I have listened to so many sermons, positive speakers, motivational tapes. Now what!?
I want to find successful positive people to be around. I do have some friends that fit that criteria; but people with their own families can only give you so much time, you can’t cling and suck people dry. No no…
I find solace and comfort in television. Psych, Monk, even Disney shows. Just to feel temporarily good and not in this skin for awhile.
Good grief this is embarrassing!
Well, I understand you can’t see the forest for the trees. I know the sun’ll come out tomorrow, but darn it. I feel like I’m the same place I was in the 80’s. Lonely, depressed, nothing positive or exciting on the horizon. Although, I know leaving someone who didn’t treat you very well, should be the cusp of a Brand New Begining.
All I feel is sad, hopeless, and that I’m a crappy person for leaving my husband and now he feels like sad, lonely and like crap too. My friend is smart. She said think of us being friends and when I was with you I made fun of you, or wasn’t very kind or respectful to you sometimes and you got sick of it and said that you didn’t want to be friends with me anymore. Then I said WELL YOU are the one that Left our Friendship! You made the choice to leave!!!! When all along she really wasn’t my good friend in the first place.
I have been told by family and friends they are glad I have left. They didn’t like how I was talked to sometimes, or how he chose to deal with the finances and me, or certain comments that came out when I wan’t around. It was like I was a roommate and I paid rent and split the bills in half. 50/50. I had to work. He took a year off, but he had a savings to pay his half of the bills and house payment.
I have not taken any time off. Just a month to find a job after working full time and going to school at night after work for over a year. I am very weary. I’m mentally tired, and I don’t feel that successful; and now I am alone and in a not so glamorous or impressive job.
Sorry for whining here on the internet. I don’t know if I feel better. Mabye a little better. Thanks for letting me get it out!
Gads, it does feel good to let it out!! Like in the movie with Harold and Maude, and they were having a picnic and they yelled out and did cartwheels. Oh, to SCREAM at the top of my lungs; “IT’S NOT FAIR, IT’S NOT FAIR” I know it’s not true, nothing is fair and the world doesn’t owe me anything. I think though, it might feel good. I don’t know if it would solve anything.
Well it’s perk ner’ 10pm. I need to eat “something”. Another day gone, another day ahead. Thank you to all who have good advise and kind words. I am appreciative.
Stephanie Says:Sometimes I think everyone feels a bit of loneliness. I think it is a part of us. when I feel lonely I read, take a walk, call someone I haven’t spoken to in a long time or just cry. Those things don’t always make me feel better but they do help. When I was a teenager and I was going through a tough time, my mother always said to me nothing lasts forever. Even when we think the pain will never cease, it always does in time. Time heals all wounds. So the next time you feel lonely try taking a walk, call an old friend, read a book, or just cry for a few minutes.
Lonely FishSays:Wow! So many people feeling the same way I have felt for about 7 months now. I have been with my boyfriend since 2007 October , we were amazing together , no fights no arguments, it was a bliss. as 2009 approached his intensity of attention towards me went so down that I started feeling so lonely being in a relationship ! ha look at the sadness of the situation? I can’t even talk to him about this because he thinks I am possessive about him and very emotional.I know that about myself but then if he had to change so drastically why was he so good in the previous years? His family recently moved to his house as they were living in another country , he has his attention more towards them , their needs and their orders, he is a “mamma’s boy” and literally does what his MOM and his SISTER tell him to do , its pathetic , wheras me , I am still in school , finishing up my degree and LONELY thinking why things couldnt be like before , why so much change? Its so hard for me to cope up with this change , its almost impossible for me . I have cried enough , asked the same questions in yahoo answers , thinking maybe something is wrong with me as I have become an emotional wreck not to mention a clingy sponge , I can’t be myself around him , I have to pretend to be happy or else he asks questions , when I answer his questions he gets really mad , frustrated , impatient and agitated that why the hell am i feeling this way . I love him so darn much that breaking up with him is not a solution for me , It would be much worse for me , But I have started hiding my upsetness from him so he doesent say that” we should not marry” ” you are too possessive” I wish just once god would make them feel the same way we have felt , because they would never know how it feels unless they are in our shoes. I dont know why I am typing all this here but its good to know that I am not the only one whose suffering day and night.
I’m Says:Feel like everyone in my life has someone and there life is moving on except me. Having my lonely spell right now. A year ago my husband left me for someone he got pregnant, and he still do not want a divorce. Now he is with his girlfriend and child, but at least he has someone. I moved away from everyone and do better than I was but I feel so alone. I am so alone that I feel I need to put up with someone that I know is not right for me, and lies constantly and lives a separate life that he thinks I do not know about. I only deal with him because I am afraid of letting go and not having no one. I know I lowered my standards. I know that God can fill that void but its much easier said than to do. Just in tears right now…. hoping for a better tomorrow.
Minerva Says:Living the phase right now…boyfriend has no clue that I kind of have a black hole in my heart lol 🙂 I have a remedy (only if you love animals) get a puppy ( make sure its a cuddly character not a vicious bully) the love they give is unconditional, fills up the deepest of pits 🙂 one touch of that “I love you” wet nose and a look in those adorable eyes and you’ll want to give them all the love you have. People feel clingy for different reasons. One strange and common reason being the need to give love. If you feel like you need love, give love…makes you rise above your human needs and realize that there’s a lot more that people need…somewhere we are living a better life than most. be grateful…loneliness is the product of focusing on what we lack in life. hope this helps… by the way…he called just now and I feel better 🙂
Mary says: The ones who say “search for Christ, Buddha, Whatever else”, and on the other you have a lot of self indulgent freaks that have no clue…Mmmhh. When you feel like that, there is a problem underneath…Maybe your marriage is not as good and strong as you think, maybe you need to learn new things, art, music or sports. Whatever the case you will only come out of it if you face the root of your emotional problems…and that is a thing only you can do. Best luck.
Newf Says:To everyone feeling lonely/depressed/used/abused..you know, the way we have/are…this will help…put on a really beautiful song and sing it out loud, never-mind how much you are making the neighborhood dogs bark, SING….singing has a way to release the emotion you have bottled inside you, the things you struggle with day to day….after you have done this…take 5 deep breaths – inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth..slowly and deeply…then try to capture your first thought…is it positive? Negative? Determine this….it is your subconscious telling you how you really feel…if it’s positive, you are just having a bad day like billions of other people…if its negative…stand up, get a shower, get dressed, and go out and do something you have never done before, but always wanted to do..without thinking…rinse and repeat…don’t ever blame another soul for you being lonely, that is YOUR/OUR problem alone…if you are lonely you are bored, get out there and do something new, think back to all the things you enjoyed as a kid and revisit something, endulge in a $5 cup of coffee and a few smokes, or get out in nature…even if you are the only person there you will quickly understand that you can never feel alone when you are among the beautiful natural wonders and all of our earth kin. Say a prayer if that whats makes you happy.
In short, all you need to do is put yourself first for once, don’t mind what other people say, how they may try to bring you down…its all bullshit…if you feel it, you fix it…that is all that is required…all the rest will follow…cause if you are not truly happy, you cannot make anyone else happy. And if you can’t make yourself happy, then you are not trying hard enough to put yourself first.
Anonymous Says:About 3 years ago, I went on a silent 4 day retreat at a Buddhist forest monastery in WV. No tv, internet, cellphones, music. And no talking. By noon on the second day, everyone was smiling. I’d never felt less alone in my life. No drama, no cliques, no pretense.
It’s hard to ease that ice cold loneliness dagger. It hurts. And it never seems to melt, at least until tears finally fall. I find focusing on others only helps for a while, before it becomes self-neglect and more running away. Sometimes it’s less selfish to take care of oneself than to automatically take care of someone else. Sometimes the only thing that would help is spending a day with my best friend, silently walking through the city while holding hands.