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Alienation – Why You Are Feeling Lost, Alone Or Disconnected

alienation, self-alienation, alienated, self-estrangement, Karl Marx alienation, 4 types of alienation; alienated nature, others, meaning, purpose, self, alone, disconnected, isolated

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to reveal the four key areas of alienation, particularly alienation from self and how alienation leads to feeling lost, alone or disconnected.

First a quick update: 

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How To Overcome Loneliness Now In 4 Steps

Loneliness is different to being or feeling alone. You can be physically alone in a room but not feel lonely. Watch the video­­

If you are feeling lost, disconnected, or empty, alienation might be the cause.

Alienation is when you feel disconnected from life, self, nature, or others. Perhaps you feel rejected, or you are doing the rejection.

Jim Morrison of the Doors sang about alienation, summing it up as “People are strange, when you’re a stranger; faces look ugly when you’re alone; women seem wicked when you’re unwanted; Streets are uneven when you’re down ”

Alienation is the feeling of being a stranger – alone, unwanted, disconnected, without purpose or meaning.

Types of Alienation

There are 4 key forms of alienation – and they are connected to key human needs.

1 Alienation from nature

2 Alienation from other people

3 Alienation from meaning

4 Alienation from self

1. Alienation from nature

Notice the way children interact and connect with nature. Why do we lose that as adults? Ignoring, disconnecting, or harming nature causes alienation. Nature sustains us; nature creates a sense of wonder for us. Nature reflects the cycle of life – from a seed growing, blossoming, giving to the world and then slowly. Can you remember what you felt as a child when in nature? When alienation arises, spend time in nature; use all of your senses to connect with nature and the four elements – air, water, earth and fire.  

2 Alienation from other people

Connecting to others is an antidote to alienation. Alienation causes the feeling of being rejected and in turn, either rejecting yourself or others. A key human need is love and connection: relationships, friendship, companionship, trust, emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, validation, mutual growth.

Adolescents and teenagers often experience alienation as they struggle to form their identity and establish their place in society or perhaps rebel against being controlled by school, parents or society. Alienation is worsened for children if they are bullied at school or experience abuse at home. Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences cause alienation, isolation and the feeling of being lost.

Alienation is also the result from feeling disconnected from society’s values, traditions, or conventions. Alienation is the consequence of feeling like you don’t belong, are different or there is something wrong with you – even if it is a subconscious belief or emotion.

3 Alienation from meaning & purpose

Yes, it is true that we are ‘human beings’, but we still need to be ‘doing’ – to be creative and productive, and to believe that what we do makes a difference. Many people woke up with the pandemic to realize they had no meaning or satisfaction from their jobs. The jobs were not challenging, creative, meaningful, significant, or appreciated by others. Additionally, producing on a daily basis, but feeling no sense of ownership also leads to alienation. Notice the sense of meaning artists derive from creating work that they own and which is highly personal and therefore, meaningful.

A lack of appreciation or validation by others can also lead to feelings of worthlessness, meaningless and alienation.

We experience connection and significance by producing or contributing in some way to others; and that cancels out alienation.

Further, alienation is a common experience when you believe that what you do makes no difference to your life, and that you are powerless over the outcomes. This is something many people reported during the pandemic.

4 Alienation from self

This is also known as self-alienation or self-estrangement. Alienation from self is when you are a stranger to yourself; you are disconnected from yourself, from what you feel. Perhaps you have little to no idea who you are, what you need or what you want in life and what you feel. You lack self-awareness or insights into who you are, and you experience alienation in the other 3 key areas which leads to self-alienation. Additionally, self-alienation can lead to a lack of self-trust, ignoring your gut feelings or intuition and constantly self-guessing or following the directives of others while ignoring what you want and feel.

Emotions and Symptoms of Alienation

When you experience alienation you might experience or feel:





Not belonging

An outsider












Pain & Consequences of Alienation

Alienation causes emotional, psychological, and yes, physical pain. Alienation and loneliness are killers.

Alienation can lead to anxiety because you feel alone, unsafe, and as if your world is out of control.

Alienation will lead you to engage in destructive behaviors directed both inward and outward. Alienation leads to rejection of self and rejection of others. Alienation leads to self-loathing and pain. Therefore, alienation can lead to:

Addiction (workaholic, shopaholic, gambler)

Drug and alcohol abuse

Self-destructive behaviors


Criminal or deviant behaviors

Eating disorders

Body dysmorphia

Suicide ideation

Hatred and violence towards others (Read my article on common characteristics and motives of mass killers and the link to alienation and isolation)

Help Healing Alienation and Feeling Connected Again – Or For The First Time

Alienation can be the result of childhood experiences. If you experienced




No nurturing

Being misunderstood

Feelings of being invisible



Criticized, judged, shut down

Lack of empathy, compassion and forgiveness

Parents too busy to connect

Feeling as if you were not seen, heard, understood or validated (Read my article on HUV and caring – being heard, understood and validated)

If you need help to heal these experiences, to be set free from the past, and to connect with yourself and others: Resolve it rapidly and be set free of the pain with my SRTT process. Book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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