- Being accepted even though we make mistakes. We all make mistakes at some point. How people we care about react to these mistakes either helps us learn to accept who we are or learn to hate who we are. When Elsa made a mistake and hit Anna with her frozen "ray", her parents reacted by trying to make her deny part of who she was. You often see in lonely folks the belief that they feel not lovable or worthy. Who could ever love someone so damaged and broken, who has made so many mistakes in the past? Learn to love ourselves and others despite our faults is a step out of loneliness.
- Overcoming childhood abuse. Usually there is a story of abuse with individuals who feel chronically lonely. Taking Elsa and locking her up for a significant portion of her childhood, I would consider child abuse. It reminds me of the old days when families would lock up their children who had mental disabilities in the attic or basement. That's not how you treat children who are different. Being isolated all those years, being told to suppress who you are, having you live in fear, eventually that takes a toll on your psyche and you are taught not to trust anyone, because the ones you love hurt you and you hurt the ones you love.
- Discovering our inner, magical power. There is a magical power in all of us. Deep inside all of us is a magical power that is ours and ours alone. It is an inherent part of who we are, and to deny it, is to deny our very existence. Despite Elsa's attempts to suppress her magical powers, it came out anyways. If you try to fight it, it comes out in ways that are often dangerous to others. But if you embrace it, you can make things that are truly beautiful. Lonely individuals are often taught self-loathing and try to suppress the powerfully, magical, creative sides of themselves, instead of letting it come to the surface for everyone to see.
- Finding our inner child. There remains in all of us, our inner child. Everybody loves Olaf, maybe perhaps because of his childhood innocence and his caring. There is a little Olaf in all of us that likes warm hugs. When we are lonely, there is a little Olaf in us begging to get warm hugs and not getting any. When we can't satisfy our Olaf, we may often try to bury Olaf and forget about him, but he's always there, looking for a way to make things right.
- Controlling our Marshmallows. Similarly all of us have a Marshmallow. Marshmallow comes out when there are those around us who are hurting us and we want them to go away. We become mean, monstrous, and wild. And we don't stop until the threat is completely removed, even if it sometimes means we can potentially hurt the people we love. In chronically lonely individuals, there is usually a Marshmallow guarding our fortress, and whoever comes to visit has to get past a Marshmallow first. More times than not, people just give up and go away instead.
- Giving love instead of taking it. Often we think that to help thaw our cold heart, we need the love of someone else. When Anna's heart got frozen, the immediate assumption was that she needed to receive the love (aka a kiss) from the person she loved. Lonely people often think similarly that the way out of loneliness is to receive the love of another. But the real secret to breaking the curse, to melting a frozen heart, is to give love, selfless acts of love.
- Someone does care about you. There is at least one person who is one your side and trying to help you. Lonely people often think that there is no one that cares for them or loves them. Like Elsa, the goal is to isolate themselves from everyone else. And like Elsa, she fails to realize that some of the same people you push away is the people that can help you, really help you overcome your feelings of loneliness. But it means letting your guard down means opening the possibility of being hurt or hurting others. You have to take the risk in order to gain the reward.
- You cannot run away from your problems. Sometimes lonely people think that if I isolate myself, if I surround myself with an ice fortress, then no one will be able to harm me, the problems I created outside my ice fortress will not affect me any longer. But you cannot run away from your problems, if you do not stand up and deal with them, they will come looking for you. You cannot run away from loneliness, it will come looking for you wherever you are.
- Just cause they like you, doesn't mean it is a good idea. When you have been isolated for a long time, any prospect of a romantic relationship looks really good. Anna wanted to marry the first guy that showed any interest in her. She was desperate to love and to be loved and she opened herself up to be taken advantaged of. She ignored any tell-tale signs that the person she was interested in was dangerous and not good for her. Very often when we fall in love, we often ignore the signs that that person may not be right, we pin all of our hopes and dreams on this one person. Famous loneliness researcher Robert Weiss called romantic relationships the "anti-loneliness pill" because at even the mere prospect of getting involved in a romantic relationship seemed to make loneliness magically disappear.
- Animals are great company and can help us feel less lonely. (See here for example). In that spirit, Kristoff had wonderful companionship in the form of Sven. Even though he talked for Sven sometimes, it seemed like his animal companion kept him company on a many lonely night.
If you have not already had enough of Frozen here is a list of ways the movie, Frozen is the story of loneliness:
4/29/2014 08:53:50 pm
That was an excellent article. I have not seen the movie yet but I want to.
12/28/2014 08:01:38 am
I know this is a few months old, but thanks for this. From my first viewing, I saw I was so Elsa, and, in the past, very Anna about love. If you don't mind, here is my very modest take on my struggle. http://mrsmariposa2014.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/pebbles-in-the-pond/
10/24/2018 12:40:53 am
Just browsing through this and other articles and the main remedy seems to be to go out and give love to someone else. The funny thing is I have been doing this all my life especially as a nurse. The caring didn't stop at work. If I knew a friend was in need they always knew I was there for them. To me it"s nothing to drive in the middle of the night to help a friend in dire straits. Yet time and time again i have found that this is mostky not reciprocal, and one can argue that one needs to give unconditionally. However I am going to refute this advise due to personal experience. This year I broke my arm followed by a severe flu that lasted 2 months, making the total time I was out of action approximately 6 months. I was incapacitated with the broken arm and not able to do many things like chop veges to make something to eat, so I ended up living on toast. Within that time I only heard from 'friends' and family when they wanted something, which is still happening. Not one 'friend' bothered to txt me to ask, 'how are you going"... not one. Going out and helping others isn't going to solve loneliness, it's just going to compound the fact that the only value I have is what I am able to do for others and after that I don't exist. By the time I was able to use my arm again the loneliness was so incredibly chronic, I thought my brain was going just fuzz out. I feel stricken that no one actually cares at about my wellbeing. None of the feel good remedies will help me get over the fact that I am non existent unless I can come and do something for someone else. Giving is good however one needs to receive too.
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