The Difference Between Being Alone and Being Lonely

Being alone means being in solitude- being by yourself. When you’re alone, you’re without the company of others. Being lonely, on the other hand, means having feelings of abandonment- being sad due to being isolated and alienated from others.

Alone is a state of being. Whereas, loneliness is a state of mind. An emotion. You can be in a room full of people and though you may not be alone, you can be lonely. It’s not about the number of people around you, it’s about how you feel.

When you’re alone, you can be happy. When you’re lonely, you can’t.

Being alone is sometimes beneficial because it allows you to focus on a project without disruption and makes concentration so much easier. So, you can be alone without necessarily being lonely. And everyone needs a little bit of “me-time” every day!

Being alone is being at home by yourself and enjoying a good book.
Being lonely is that dull ache in your chest after you’ve lost a family member or been thrown under the bus by your friends.

Here’s how to beat that awful feeling of loneliness:

1. Concentrate on your hobbies. Do something you enjoy doing- preferably something that takes a little concentration and consumes some time.

2. Get up and move. Exercise works wonders and has a way of producing endorphins that make you feel good. Dancing to some good music is a great picker-upper!

3. Do a home-improvement project. Clean out your garage or declutter your closets.

As you know, I was bullied for six long years in school. But I also had hobbies that distracted me from some of the loneliness.

My writing and art projects at home were one of the ways I survived those lonely years. They made things a lot more bearable and when I’d finish a project, that feeling of accomplishment I’d get would always supersede any feeling of abandonment I felt!

Never fear being alone. Too many people think that because you’re alone, it means you’re lonely. It doesn’t!

31 thoughts on “The Difference Between Being Alone and Being Lonely

  1. This is a great post and one that kind of kicks me in the gut because of my history. There have been so many times in my life that I made poor decisions because I am lonely. So many times I have been in relationships where I dealt with jealousy if I ever spoke to opposite sex friends. I dealt with not getting support when it came to my career or my goals and dreams. And I have tolerated it because I would convince myself it beat being alone. Then sometimes I have stayed in situations because frankly it was about money. I liked having their check and that is all kinds of wrong in me. I convinced myself that I would stick it out instead of financially struggle not realizing that things aren’t going to get better for me until I embraced my own frankly low income and went out and made things happen and stop making excuses are finding a crutch. When you lean on someone else you are never going to have the success you should and that was a hard lesson for me to learn and i am still learning it.

      • Nothing feels worse than being with someone yet feeling more lost than ever. The bottom line is why would anyone be with someone that constantly makes them feel like crap. So many times I would be in a bad relationship and then if it got better for a few days convince myself things were going to change, only to see the same behaviors repeat themselves. And I would get mad, tell myself I was going to leave, and then not do it because I didn’t want to give up the extra income, the roof, the having to do things on my own and the single life again. Then I ultimately realized I already was single and I shouldn’t be depending on someone else for my livelihood, I need to be an adult and depend on myself.

  2. My problem is that most of the things I used to do to not feel lonely have been shut down with COVID, and my governor keeps saying and doing things that indicate that he wants to keep us locked down pretty much forever.

  3. “Alone is a state of being. Whereas, loneliness is a state of mind. An emotion. You can be in a room full of people and though you may not be alone, you can be lonely. It’s not about the number of people around you, it’s about how you feel.”

    When you’re alone, you can be happy. When you’re lonely, you can’t.

    It’s really amazing how we take words for granted…

    Alone has never meant lonely!

  4. This so steps on my toes. I have felt alone in a crowded room many times. In terms of lonely, loneliness has made me make bad decisions in my life. I have been in so many relationships where I wasn’t getting support from my partner. They would be jealous of my opposite sex friends, question me on everything, and even felt threatened by my career and projects. It was all about them and not any of my needs. And sometimes I would stay in a dead end relationship because and I hate to say this but I either wanted their money because I hated having to struggle (which is a sad reason for me to stay) or just not wanting to be out on my own but that is settling and that ultimately catches up with you.

  5. Great post! We all suffer from loneliness from time to time. It’s something that can sometimes be unavoidable. But something that has helped me is reading articles about what I’m going through, http://www.jw.org. This is a site for parents children and young adults which I agree I love when it’s not only about parents but everyone. Thank you

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