We used to love solitude when there was hustle-bustle on the streets, but now when the whole world is isolated and the streets are not as before, solitude feels stressful.
These times of crisis and loss have made our coping mechanism become extreme and unpredictable.
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Loneliness is nothing new, but the last decade the feeling has expanded to alarming degrees. Loneliness used to mean being socially isolated, but now it means loss of connection, lack of trust, and mental isolation in between two people sitting next to each other.
The digital vortex offered by the smartphone, where we ‘doom scroll’ all the time, desperately trying to keep up with the avalanche of information and news, hasn’t made things easier.
It happens when your loved one is physically present but has gone absent in all other ways from any sort of relationship.
One can see it when a partner is half-listening to you, distracted on social media, or when during a phone conversation, you can feel that your partner is lost somewhere, and is lagging in his/her response.
Relationship problems during a crisis have only exacerbated, as people live in different countries while being under the same roof.
The current times are such that people already prone to depression, anxiety and stress are being triggered easily, and may not be aware of the internal dynamics of this behaviour.
The path to reconnection is full of hard conversations with the ego kept aside. One can initiate discussions intentionally and set a time limit so that things do not go haywire.
When in a conversation deadlock, one can take a walk together, appreciating the willingness of the partner to engage. It helps to mention the positives and discuss one issue at a time.
Someone is usually extremely angry or deeply upset because they care. But that care can be better used. It requires developing the skills and language to identify the underlying dynamics which is behind our fights.
When we together understand how these patterns came to be, we can help each other through it and create new patterns.