Perasaan kesepian menular

Catching loneliness from the lonely

Image caption Perasaan kesepian adalah kondisi mental yang menular

It sounds like a contradiction in terms but loneliness is catching. That's the conclusion of a detailed study into people's behaviour carried out by teams at three American universities.

Reporter: Jack Izzard

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It's a medical paradox. People who feel lonely can spread the emotion to others - much like a virus. After poring over data collected from nearly 5,000 people, the researchers concluded that loneliness is more than just a personal feeling, it's an infectious mental condition. This was a statistical rather than medical study, so it doesn't explain how the contagion happens. But what it did find was that the friends of a person describing themselves as lonely were 52% more likely to become lonely themselves, and that their friends were at an increased risk too, even if they didn't know the lonely person.

The study's authors suggest this may be down to the way lonely people behave. A tendency to be wary or mistrustful of others can make their loneliness a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it may drive friends away. This much may seem obvious, but the study also hints that this behaviour can rub off on other people, painting a rather bleak picture of lonely people driving each other into ever greater isolation. Its advice to the lonely - surround yourself with a network of friends, as long as they're not lonely too.

Jack Izzard, BBC News

Listen to the words

Vocabulary

paradox

tidak logis, tidak konsisten, tidak mungkin

poring over data

memeriksa atau menyimak dengan seksama bukti-bukti atau informasi

an infectious mental condition

perasaan atau pemikiran yang dapat mempengaruhi orang-orang di sekitar anda sehingga dapat merasakan hal yang sama

at an increased risk

resiko tertular penyakit lebih tinggi (dalam hal ini adalah perasaan kesepian)

down to

karena

a tendency to be wary or mistrustful of

kecenderungan untuk mencurigai atau tidak mempercayai

a self-fulfilling prophecy

suatu hal yang sering anda katakan mengenai diri anda, yang suatu saat nanti menjadi kenyataan (misalnya dalam hal ini seseorang yang kesepian tidak mempercayai orang lain sehingga menjadi semakin kesepian)

drive friends away

menjauhkan teman dari diri sendiri, menolak keberadaan teman

rub off on

pengaruh atau dampak yang dirasakan karena dekat atau berhubungan dengan seseorang

painting a rather bleak picture

menggambarkan situasi atau seseorang itu buruk atau menyedihkan