Being Alone Vs. Feeling Loneliness

Being alone and feeling loneliness are two very different concepts. This may seem like a paradox, but the two statements are very different in nature.

One of these phrases seems to denote a simple choice involving the way someone lives their life.

The other phrase is directly related to a person’s state of mind and their ability to achieve happiness.

Being alone is a life choice.  The phrase has nothing to do with a person’s mental state or their ability to lead a happy life. Many people go through life without what they would consider a ‘life partner’ and they are perfectly happy and content to do things by themselves.

On the contrary, loneliness is a frame of mind. There are people who are surrounded with support systems who feel bouts of loneliness despite the supportive friends, family, and even significant others who support them.

Being Alone

Being alone can happen for a variety of reasons. Our society values independence, and many people choose to live their lives on their own. Most of these people still have a system of family and friends who support them in a variety of ways. So, while these people are alone in the sense that they do not share everyday life with someone, they are not all alone in the world by any means.

There are also people who wind up being alone due to a death. Statistics show that wives, more often than not, outlive their husbands. Either way, when a spouse dies, the remaining spouse is left to figure out how to be alone. This does not always equate to loneliness, though. There are plenty of life choices that could lead someone to be alone without necessarily feeling lonely every day.

Loneliness

Loneliness is a relatively normal feeling that can happen even when people are surrounded by a crowd or in a loving, committed relationship. Experts describe loneliness as an epidemic that is affecting more people than ever before, but this is likely due to an increased awareness of mental health issues, and the increased focus on these issues that comes with more understanding of the field.

One common question is whether or not the recent obsession with social media has made more people feel lonely than ever before. This may seem a bit counterintuitive since the purpose of social media is to make us feel more connected than ever before. However, those connections we make on social media are superficial and often do not involve any real human connection.

Social media users have a tendency to only share the most flattering moments in their everyday lives. This means that when we look at social media, and inadvertently compare our lives to these unrealistic pictures shared by others, it can make us feel a bit isolated from the rest of the world. But we have to remember that what others share on social media is likely not their reality.

Overcoming loneliness is easy, simply reach out to some friends, family, or your significant other. Make an effort to create some human connection with someone in your life to battle the feeling of loneliness.

Final Thoughts

Being alone and loneliness are two very different concepts. Someone who chooses to be alone can feel emotionally fulfilled without needing anyone else to validate their lives. Being alone is actually healthy, and the ability to be alone without feeling loneliness is a life skill that everyone should aim to achieve.

On the same token, loneliness is not a permanent state and it can be overcome. Think long and hard before you decide to judge someone who is living out either one of these concepts in their own lives.

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