Chances are you’ve felt empty inside at least once in your life. The reality is that most people struggle with feelings of emptiness at times. Of course, some feel this way considerable more than others and this can lead to mild to severe depression.
But what does it mean to feel empty? Well, generally speaking, feeling empty means that you feel empty of worth, meaning, or significance. You feel down, blah, and perhaps apathetic.
It’s an awful feeling.
Healthy connection or dependency?
Feeling empty tends to lead people towards others, and this can be a great thing. We are certainly hard-wired for relationships with others. On the more unhealthy or extreme end though, feeling empty can lead to a chronic sense of worthlessness. This deep craving to get a sense of belonging can lead some to form unhealthy relationships with others, or dependency.
Call it codependency, self-love deprivation, or whatever you want, it happens all the time. It can lead one to jump into toxic relationships just to feel something other than empty. He or she will enter the relationship at a cost though, like being a doormat, being cheated on, not being emotionally connected, or abused. At the very least, it’s entering a relationship making the other person responsible for your happiness level, and that can lead to disappointment.
Other ways this intense feeling of emptiness or chronic loneliness can manifest is displaying behaviors such as sabotage, instigating arguments, emotional outbursts, and other behaviors that create drama. It’s like you’re feeling so empty that you turn on yourself. You may hate yourself for a variety of reasons or try to harm yourself (cutting, mutilating, etc.) This sense of nothingness can lead to mayhem of all sorts.
Feelings of Emptiness
If you struggle with the occasional feeling of emptiness, you can usually pull yourself out. It won’t cause a major issue. However, if you struggle with extreme emptiness, you may find yourself feeling, saying or doing some of the following things:
Fear of Abandonment – You are so terrified of “being alone”, that you’ll stay in a toxic relationship, take abuse, or continue to sabotage just to avoid feeling such an intense fear.
Engulfment – You become consumed with another person; usually your partner. You depend on him or her entirely too much.
You Use “Always” and “Never” Statements a Lot – You use these words a lot, especially in an argument or when thinking about your life and the world. They are almost always irrational statement.
Drama Creator – You find yourself creating drama in your relationship, even though you don’t really like experiencing the drama or the aftermath of such.
You work toward perfectionism – You feel you ought to be perfect and have unrealistic goals for yourself.
You Test Your Partner – You oftentimes want your partner to prove his or her love for you.
Little Identity – You really don’t have a clue who you are deep down. You look toward others to get an idea of who you are.
How To Deal With Feeling Empty
Maybe you can relate to feeling empty at times or perhaps the intense feelings of emptiness. Either way, it is through such a season that you have the opportunity to go inside and grow. Get to know yourself a bit better. Do a reality check. But if you’re feeling this much of the time, it’s time to really get serious about digging deep and getting to the heart of the matter.
1. Begin a Journey Toward Healing and Growth
Think of your emptiness as calling you to a new level of growth. Journey toward healing any old wounds and growing mind, body, and spirit. Be consistent on your journey. You may try reading some inspirational books, praying, meditating, and so on. Try various paths toward your healing, and keep in mind this is an opportunity for growth.
2. Confide in a Friend
If you’re feeling empty, maybe you’ve distanced yourself from your loved ones. Or maybe you have gotten away from spending time with your friends. Go to someone you trust and talk to them about how you’re feeling. You may just need to connect with someone at a deeper level in order to feel yourself filling up.
3. Go on a Retreat
Many people who struggle with feelings of emptiness go on a retreat for a weekend or week. Sometimes unplugging from your job, gadgets, and people can help you feel less empty and more fulfilled.
Perhaps if you give of yourself, you’ll feel more fulfilled. Many people who are in a season of loneliness or depression find that as they freely give to others, they feel better themselves.
5. Ask Yourself The Tough Questions
Maybe you’re not dealing with some issues in your life. Are there some things you’re sweeping under the carpet? Are you caught up in an addiction? How are you “really” feeling under the surface? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions. Check in with yourself honestly, and address any questionable issues that arise.
6. Reach Out For Professional Help
You may need to seek professional help. Some people turn to counselors; others may seek religion or spirituality. Do what feels right for you. At the core, you could have some old wounds that need to be acknowledged and healed. How was your childhood? Did anything traumatic happen? Have you ever really dealt with it? Do you have PTSD? There are various treatments and approaches to healing old wounds, so try one or try them all. Healing and growth is a journey.
7. Know That You Are Not Alone
If you’re struggling with feelings of emptiness, know that you are not alone. You may feel lonesome. You may feel that no one cares, but that is rarely true. Take some time to get still with yourself and consider the points made here. There is hope for those who contend with that emptiness feeling. Through mindful investigating, consistency, and help if need be, you can become fulfilled once again.