Happy Thursday, everyone!
I hope your week is going well. MIne has been very enjoyable with hikes, flute playing, and yoga.
Most people have to deal with loneliness from time to time. One might expect a single person to be lonely because, at least on occasion,by the nature of their lifestyle a portion of their life is spent in solitude or at least without a mate . I would like to suggest that there is a difference between loneliness and being alone. Most of us have experienced feeling lonely in a crowd. On the other hand, there are people who live away from others in a secluded area who never feel lonely and actually enjoy their solitude.
What is the difference? I believe that loneliness stems from a sense of rejection either real or imagined. We feel lonely because we believe we are not valued as a person. Sometimes an incident of rejection that happened in our distant past replays itself in various ways in our present circumstances. Not being allowed to sit at the ‘cool’ table at lunch in middle school or unresolved issues from a relationship that ended many years ago may cause us to experience periods of loneliness even when we have strong social circles and people in our lives.
Many single people are single by choice but many others are single due to failed relationships and divorce. Whether by choice or circumstance, all single people deal to some degree with society’s pressure to get married and have a family.To be single is to go against what has been set as a building block and cornerstone of society. That is enough to make anyone feel lonely from time to time.
The truth is that single people are strong, vibrant, interesting and very social. It just so happens that we don’t have a mate. If you find yourself feeling lonely there are some things you can do to shake the loneliness blues .
- Become a friend to yourself and enjoy your own company. Many people do not know how to be alone for more than an hour or two. Take time to know your thoughts, feelings, likes, and dislikes. Do things that you would enjoy doing with a friend.
- Realize that “This too, shall pass.” Emotions and feelings come and go. When we take a step back and separate ourselves from our feelings we are able to see that nothing is as hopeless as it seems.
- Consider looking for friends and relationships outside the circles of people already in your life. It is often the case that it is not you, its them. If you are having a difficult time making connections at work, church, or in your neighborhood it may well be that these people are not people you would have enjoy having in your life anyway. Switch churches, enroll in a class you are interested in, join a book club or a gym. Eventually you will run across people who enjoy what you bring into a group.
- Reach out to others and accept rejection. Once you are acquainted with people you find interesting make an effort to turn the acquaintance into a friendship. Some people will take you up on an offer to meet for coffee and others will politely pass. Don’t take the rejections personally. The more often you reach out the more likely it is you will make a new friend.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude. Who has time to feel lonely when you make the time to be grateful for all the wonders that surround us each day?
- Consider how to be of service to everyone you meet each day. Feelings of loneliness quickly disappear when we focus on being a good friend, neighbor, coworker, or mentor to those we come into contact with throughout the day. We live in a world in need and you have the means to change your little corner of it.
- Remember there are countless people who have to lock themselves in a bathroom for a few minutes to get some peace and quiet. The grass is always greener… 🙂
Single people spend time alone but being alone does not mean the same thing as being lonely. Embrace the solitude as a time to relax, create, dream, and work on achieving your goals in life. A time of retreat is of great value for restoring the soul and not everyone is afforded the luxury of solitude to regain a proper perspective on life. Enjoy your own company and find that quiet voice within that is your true self and you will never be alone.
As always, I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂
Until next time,
I am in a long-distance relationship and I’ve thought a lot about the differences between loneliness and being alone too. Particularly with your first point, I do really enjoy spending time by myself so during the times that I am missing my boyfriend, I try and make it into time to enjoy alone. I know that one day my situation may change but at the moment, despite the long-distance I really love having a lot of time to pursue what is important to just me rather than just focusing on my relationship. A really thought-provoking post, thank you 🙂
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Thanks for sharing, Joanna! When I was in my 20’s I was in a long distance relationship while finishing college. While I missed my fiance greatly, I really appreciated the time to finish up my degree without distractions. I am glad you are enjoying your time alone:)
I have never experienced loneliness, so the concept – experientially, is foreign to me.
It hits some people pretty bad.
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Covington, I find it very interesting that some people struggle with loneliness and others do not. You definitely enjoy life and have many interesting people in your social circles. Looking forward to reading about your next adventure 🙂
I’ve gotten the question a few times over the years as a single person “aren’t you lonely?” Or “doesn’t it make you lonely living alone?” – I can honestly say “nope! I’m not lonely, and living alone don’t make my lonely, I’m very comfortable and happy being alone!” And then they look a bit “flabbergasted” as if they can’t seem to wrap their head around the fact that you can be perfectly happy living on your own!
Being lonely is not synonym with being alone, as you mentioned you can be lonely in a crowd or you can be lonely on your own, it has nothing to do with your “civilian status”.
I for one love my single living, and I can’t remember last time I felt lonely!
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Anne Lene, you and I are a lot alike in our outlook on life and experiences. The ” aren’t you lonely” mindset is one of the reasons I thought about writing this post. Thanks for the comment:)
Maybe we are kindred spirits? 🙂
Good share ~ “being alone” is a physical state, “feeling lonely” is an e-motional response to circumstances. Thoreau loved being alone at Waldon Pond. I love solitude too.
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I love Thoreau! I think some time is solitude in invaluable for the soul. 🙂