Photo by Lily Lvnatikk on Unsplash
What happens to people who are completely isolated from others? I’m reminded of the movie Castaway starring Tom Hanks when he befriended a volleyball (named Wilson) to talk to on a deserted island. We all need to be connected, attached, and engaged with people. I’m not referring to codependent or unhealthy connections, but connections created through mutual sharing, caring, and loving. People who are disconnected from society, community, friends, and family are more likely to have problems emotionally and physically. Without connections to others you lack feedback, accountability, support, caring, and a sense of belonging which is essential for emotional growth and development. In some cases growing up in dysfunctional households or having bad relational experiences may contribute to mistrust, fear, and difficulties with connection and emotional intimacy. In therapy people can confront, release and resolve their emotional pain and learn to be vulnerable in relationships with people. I find that people avoid dealing with their emotional pain and personal conflicts through their addictions. The addiction may be alcohol/drugs, sex, food, gambling, or rescuing others. Most often in my practice, people are addicted to work, achievement, performance, and productivity. All too often individuals function well in their careers, but are detached emotionally from personal and social relationships. Their entire identity is tied to money, power, and control. Unfortunately these same individuals lose sight of the need for relationships with people or have no clue how to connect with others. Happiness comes from healthy relationships, connection to people, and sharing life with those around you. Make new connections, nurture your connections, and deepen the level of your connections.