Empty Chair Syndrome

· June 15, 2016
While it’s normally associated with the loss of a loved one through death, empty chair syndrome can also occur among the living as the result of loneliness or abandonment

Empty chair syndrome refers to the feeling that occurs when you lose someone special to you. It could be your partner, a friend, a brother or sister, and so on.

It’s often confused with the sadness of losing someone in general, but it’s called empty chair syndrome because it takes on a special intensity when you should otherwise be celebrating and having fun.

Do not forget to read: Chronic sadness: dysthymia

Empty chair syndrome often appears during certain holiday periods or important dates, such as Christmas, a birthday, or any other time that holds special significance to you.

You’ll notice that empty chair among everyone else and feel a huge vacant space, and the anguish and suffering feels fresh once again.

The empty chair is a silent witness

An empty chair continues to be the manifestation of what or who you were before and no longer are. It’s especially noticeable when you’re surrounded by others, but suddenly realize that someone is missing.

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This strong feeling is part of the grieving process, something that perhaps you’ve experienced before.

When you’re faced with the loss of someone you love you go through a period where you have to learn to live without that person, a time of intense pain.

We recommend: 4 tips to overcome sadness

Grief will continue until you’re able to deal with your loss and return to your normal life without that awful feeling of emptiness.

It’s important to note that empty chair syndrome can occur even if the person you are missing is still alive. It can apply to other kinds of situations, such as loneliness.

When someone leaves you or abandons you, you might also experience empty chair syndrome, although it’s most commonly associated with death.

When you feel alone or lonely and it doesn’t matter how many people are surrounding you, that is empty chair syndrome.

You experience so much, but you’ll overcome it

Although you might only be able to see things through the pain of your sorrow, you still have to face important holidays and times like Christmas – there’s no way to ward off the pain. You must get through the experience, but it too will pass.

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To begin with, try following the recommendations below. They might come in handy in the future:

Don’t isolate yourself, and don’t be silent

When you’re suffering from empty chair syndrome you probably don’t want to talk about it, and might turn away from the people who most want to help you. You prefer to suffer in silence.

This is very unhealthy. Try your best to interact with others even when you don’t feel like it, and don’t be afraid to seek help if necessary. Sometimes we just need another person to listen and pay attention to us.

Change the meaning of the empty chair

Things will always mean what you want them to mean. If your empty chair is synonymous with sadness and loss, why not give it a new meaning?

Take a closer look, try to eliminate the negative feelings that you’ve allowed it to take on. Make the chair your friend, not your enemy.

If necessary, ask for help

You might think you can handle anything and that if you don’t solve things on your own, no one will do it for you. But sometimes you need a little extra push or help to move you forward.

Don’t try to self-medicate yourself to alleviate the pain you have inside – only do so at the advice of your doctor. And also try to find other ways to treat your sorrow.

Why not go to a psychologist? These people are experts, professionals of the mind. They’ll help you more than anyone else can, so don’t be afraid to seek help.

See also: How to heal emotional wounds

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It’s important to accept the fact that people are going to come and go from your life, one way or another.

Some will pass away, others will leave you, and still others might hurt you. You have no choice but to accept it all.

Don’t let an empty chair eliminate the joy that makes you feel alive.

No doubt these situations will hurt, because you’re human – you have feelings! But you must learn to accept that things will happen in life that are outside of your own ability to control them.