Why are some people prone to feeling alienated from those around them? Are you such a person yourself? If you are, then you have probably wondered where this feeling comes from and how to stop it.

I always felt somehow disconnected from the people around me. As if there was an invisible wall between me and them. Like I could never reach an ultimate connection and understanding with anyone. Sounds familiar? First of all, let’s delve into the possible causes of feeling alienated from people.

‘Why Am I Feeling Alienated from Everyone?’ 4 Possible Causes

  1. Brain structure and chemistry

It may sound surprising, but some people’s brains are wired for a feeling of detachment. While there may be many different causes associated with brain structure, we will focus on the most common one. It has to do with the production of a vital neurotransmitter – dopamine.

This neurotransmitter plays an important role in one’s ability to connect with other people. First of all, it participates in reward-seeking behaviors, and social interaction is one of those. For example, studies show that the brains of introverted people don’t rely on a dopamine release. It explains why introverts don’t find social activities as rewarding as extroverts do.

Another study showed that the production of dopamine is closely linked to the perception of personal space. Thus, people who need less space and tend to break other people’s personal boundaries tend to have higher levels of dopamine. Of course, the opposite is true too – too little dopamine equals greater needs for personal space.

A dopamine release can also be impaired in the case of certain mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. When we lack this neurotransmitter, we are more likely to fall into the feelings of being detached, misunderstood and alienated from other people.

  1. Negative past experiences

When you were hurt in the past, it’s easy to lose the ability to trust and connect with those around you. Childhood trauma, abuse, bullying or toxic relationships can distort our perception of other people and the world.

Experiences like these often make us withdraw into ourselves and isolate ourselves from the hostile and unsafe world. And the more you do this, the more difficult it gets to feel the connection again. Chronic avoidance and isolation can result in a feeling of detachment.

  1. Being in the wrong company

We all know that the people we surround ourselves with play a huge role in our wellbeing. While isolation can be harmful to our mental health, being in the wrong company can be even worse.

Are your friends or family tend to be judgmental and negative? Do they criticize you or diminish your achievements? Do you feel like being taken for granted or taken advantage of?

There can be numerous instances of negative and toxic people that might be part of your social circle. If the people you spend your time with don’t make you feel good, it makes sense why you might be feeling alienated, misunderstood and alone.

The same can happen when you hang out with the wrong people, i.e. those you have little in common with. Think about it – maybe you just haven’t found your tribe?

  1. Spiritual or personal crisis

When we move to a different level of spiritual or personal evolution, we often feel like everything falls apart. Everything you knew about life, yourself and others seems wrong. It could be that your understanding of how things work turned out to be false. Or maybe your idea of someone important in your life now seems foolish and illusory.

All this is painful and makes us feel disconnected from reality and other people. However, a crisis like this always leads to a new stage in your evolution as a person. You just need to take your time to go through this. It is an important step towards your purpose.

4 Symptoms of Feeling Alienated from Everyone

detachment feeling

  1. You are unable to feel the connection even with your closest ones

It’s like an invisible wall between you and them. You see each other, talk and do things together, but you remain disconnected. You feel like an alien in your own family. While you seemingly participate in activities with other people, in your mind, you keep thinking about your loneliness and detachment. Like nothing and no one could ever make you feel a connection with another human being again.

  1. You feel like no one understands you

You may feel the need to talk to someone about your feelings and thoughts. But yet, you think that no one will understand you anyway, so it’s not worth the effort. Maybe those around you have a completely different personality and way of thinking. Or maybe you believe that they just don’t care.

As a result, you feel alone and misunderstood. It gets more intense when you are with other people and you feel like an alien in their company. True loneliness doesn’t come from being alone but from being unable to connect with others.

  1. You focus on the differences between you and people

The feelings of detachment make you notice and even look for the differences between you and the people in your life. It’s as if you suddenly forget what brought you together in the first place and focus only on the things that separate you.

You can only see the differences, which seem so huge and deep in comparison with the similarities. It’s a lie that the emotional detachment wants you to believe.

  1. All conversations feel boring and pointless

We can’t always have only ultimately deep and interesting conversations. We should also discuss the mundane stuff and the things that interest other people. However, when you are feeling alienated from everyone, it gets unbearable. You literally can’t have small talk or discuss things that, in your opinion, don’t matter.

It feels like all conversations you have with other people lack substance, so you end up not wanting any communication. It leads to further isolation and detachment.

What to Do When You Are Feeling Alienated and Misunderstood by Other People?

being lonely

  1. Distance yourself from the wrong people and try to find your tribe

This one can be tricky because the state of detachment can make you feel like everyone around you is the wrong company. However, you should analyze your social circle and think if there are any toxic people in it. Dream killers, overly critical and judgmental people, fake and manipulative individuals and so on.

Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does this person make me feel happy?
  • Do they genuinely care about me?
  • Do they make me feel good about myself?

In the process, you may also realize that the people you surround yourself with are not ‘your tribe’. So you need to find like-minded individuals. The simplest way to do so is to follow your passion, hobby or interest. Enrolling in a class, volunteering or joining a community will help you find people with similar interests and values in life.

If you want to know who your tribe is

If you want to know who your tribe is, speak your truth, then see who sticks around. Those are yours.

  1. Focus on the things that unite you with those around you

To fight the separation illusion the feeling of detachment imposes on you, you should move your focus from the differences between you and people onto the things that unite you.

If it’s friends or a special someone, recall how you met and all the fun you had with each other. Ask yourself what sparked the attraction/interest and brought you together. If it’s parents or other family members that you feel alienated from, remember a few happy moments you had together and think about all the good traits and talents you inherited from them.

  1. Realize that ultimate understanding doesn’t exist

Just think about it. Can we really truly and fully understand another person? Everyone has a unique perspective on life and the world. Many people share similar beliefs and values, but it’s still impossible to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

We can only understand those around us from our own perspective. And our differences in perception and personality are what make life diverse and interesting.

After all, opposites attract, remember? I bet that if you meet a person who is extremely similar to you in terms of personality, behavior, and way of thinking, you will most probably get bored or irritated quickly.

  1. Fight self-absorption and cultivate empathy

Very often, the feeling of being alienated from other people comes from being overly self-absorbed. And here, I’m not talking about narcissists and sociopaths.

Anyone can focus on their own feelings and thoughts a little too much. It can stem from one’s personality traits or mental illness. For example, it often happens to introverts and overthinkers, as well as anxious and depressed people. Constant negative self-talk is a form of self-absorption too.

To deal with self-absorption, try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It means imagining how they feel and think about a situation or in general. When someone is telling you things about themselves, actually listen and try to think why it is important for them and they are sharing it with you.

For example, here is a compromise for the lack of interesting and deep conversations that you might be feeling. You could ask someone about an important event in their life and how they felt about it.

This will give you a deep topic to talk about and at the same time, will help you develop empathy and fight self-absorption.

P.S. If you are prone to feeling alienated from everyone, check out my new book The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, which is available on Amazon.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Brian

    Probably means you don’t belong in this world like me it’s because we’re different I’d look into seeing if you have any psychic abilities you probably introverted but a lot of gifted people are they just don’t know it people who are gifted also suffer from anxiety from time to time you just have to build some fitting in strategies and fit people who are like you or me

    1. Fred Carpenter

      Very good comment.

  2. JO


  3. Fred Carpenter

    It’s a lengthy article and you make a lot of good points that I’d have to go over one by one to comment on. I’m constantly doing that online. In person, I can read a person’s body language and facial expressions and such, but I can’t do that here. In person, I know when to shut up and let them talk. I’d really have to discuss this with you in person as it would involve far too much writing. On some of the headings, I have information that you don’t or different ways of looking at things. I see how words are formed at put together. I see them multidimensionally. Difficult to explain. A fragment here, a fragment there. I’ve studied qabalah, gematria, linguistics, NLP, and a lot of other stuff. I have Asperger’s and a 165 IQ. I live in a different world.

  4. Christopher D Hill

    I relate in so many ways…yet I’m more at peace with it than one would expect. We need each other, even if it’s just having roads to drive on or electricity coming into our houses. In that sense we are all attached to each other, the glue being what someone needs to satisfy their wants. The less someone wants from others, the less need for them to attach, and for deep thinkers who spend more time inside their head than outside, it’s only natural to have less need to attach to others. But thoughts alone don’t put food on the table or cloths on your back, so at some point, you have to do something to earn money to live on…but once again, if your occupation does not require attachment to others, there remains no need for it. I could keep going, but I hope you get the point, the less we need attachment to satisfy our wants, the less we are likely to do it…and what follows is a lack of social skills and confidence that shows in all we do around others.

    We need each other for the essentials in life we cannot produce ourselves, and at least a tiny part of us needs to belong and be appreciated…but when the lack of social skills and confidence make us invisible, awkward or incomprehensible, we create a barrier around us that seemingly pushes people away…and the more that happens, the more detached we become. The solution lies in the need to get what you want–if you don’t want to engage with other people, ok…but can you live a ‘good’ and productive life without people? If you can figure out how, I don;t see the problem with detachment, but if you are like 99% of everyone else, then recognize the need for social skills and confidence to attract and keep the attention of others when it is required…to get what you want.

    Finally, as someone who’s purpose is to help others realize their potential, I have to attract and keep their attention, even when I prefer research and study (deep thinking). Anyone who ‘cares’ about others and wants to help them personally must obtain these skills to get what they want…so think of it as learning how to drive or type on a keyboard; it might be awkward at first and seem mundane, but once you learn how with confidence, you can drive nearly anywhere and type a wonderful message that can benefit others. Detach from people to learn the skill, and before you know it, you will be attached to people without even trying (neural programming), and don’t be surprised to discover there is a lot to learn from others, and life can be far more interesting and rewarding the more attached you become….

  5. Kanefire

    All of the above.

    I had an extremely traumatizing childhood that started with physical abuse, abandonment, ward of the state, victim of munchausens by proxy, adopted into hardcore religious home, spiritual awakening (has its own massive traumas)…

    I am a systems thinker and perceive on levels most can’t relate to. I have zero people around me who can understand me. I often get frustrated as I attempt to share what actually is, only to be drowned out by small minds that are more attached to their beliefs than truth. They think because they all think the same thing, they are right. I can actually deconstruct the thinking, where it comes from, why it exists, and what its purpose is for. It matters not, they perceive me as wrong and them as morally righteous.

    I’ve become so frustrated, I’ve deconstructed down to the level of consciousness itself.

    So fucking lonely. Even in a happy marriage with wonderful children.
    Yes, I see have messianic, martyr, and validation issues. All are wrapped tightly around my trauma and connected to my level of insight.

    1. Lee

      “I can actually deconstruct the thinking, where it comes from, why it exists, and what its purpose is for.” It seems like you can’t do that with your own thinking? That’s a bummer. It sounds like you’re extremely lonely.

  6. Dead Man

    Ultimate understanding DOES exist. But the world is brainwashed. The rest… Is perfect and accurate. Don’t take this as a pointing finger or judgement; nor like I’m selling something or trying to convert anyone into something. Thus not even going through religion… We lack humanity. Somewhere in time; someone brainwashed what is. Definitions are twisted; how we live is manipulated; what and how we are taught os limited or wrong (including lies). It is almost impossible to explain… But consider this: you are born without any information. What you perceive as real comes from the experiences you get during your life; and from what is told to you. Some things you learn and try for yourself; you can prove they are real. Others… Have just been told to you. Told by family; friends; teachers; politicians; the media. You would be surprised by the garbage we have been told; and what you’ve missed. Surprised by how many lies that you were told that you believe. And so: how you’ve stopped feeling certain things. Probably how you’ve stopped questioning. When you question everything; and how you feel towards something; you start to realise how wrong we live. How some sick mind or minds poisoned mankind. Let me give an example: Are your system laws true laws? Do laws can be broken?
    A law is immutable; cannot be contested; nor denied. A law contains perfect sense. Everyone understands and feels it. So: your system law is not a law. It is a rule. A rule can be broken. Intentionally or by need. (Etc etc)… Do you need your system laws? You do? Don’t you know how to behave?? Sure everyone makes mistakes… But if you’re punished by your system laws; how will you learn? There is way more like this example in our lives. There is the Truth within us all. And we ignore it; most of us are not even aware of it. Due to how wrong we live we suffer. We cause suffering (to us and other beings). There IS ultimate understanding! It is hard to explain in words, yet is quite simple. Human mind tends to seek complexity and for some reason I can’t yet understand we discard simplicity. Perhaps is also due to the brain washing. Imagine what is is to live in a Golden Era… (I would have to write a gigantic insight about all this to attempt to explain something quite simple – just like a religious book. Anyways: look at nature: does it need money to work? (Laughing). If only we all could understand what IS, what is unchangeable; what is common to all beings…
    But.. We are born without data; we have malware installed and believe it is true and ok. Knowing not that it is wrong. We all feel it. After roughly 33 years most people start breaking down all that crap. Many seem to not even get to the point. Some get to the point while near death doors… Finally: You can discard my comment and open facebook; watch some sport; play with your phone; do anything that will cause bugs to you and/or someone. Even tell me to go to a nasty word place.
    May someone who is living all that is said on this page find the Truth and hopefully overcome the problems and get some happiness and peace.

  7. Massimo Rowse-De Franco

    I don’t understand, I’ve been told that I am one of the most generous and selfless people they have known, but I don’t feel welcomed in their group by comments like we’re busy now, or can you please move somewhere else. How can I be self-absorbed and selfless at the same time?

  8. I feel like I am Nobody

    Doesn’t seem to have helped – I appear to have followed the advice and when I spoke my truth to see who sticks around, the answer appears to be no-one.

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