“Lonely, I’m so lonely,
I have nobody
To call my own…”
… goes the over-a-decade-old song by Akon. And if you think about it — it’s true. We often mistake being single or simply alone with the painful reality of loneliness. But is this always the case?
There are so many people who are very happy being on their own, surrounded by a handful of great and treasured friends. And there are others who are in a relationship, and with many people around them, but still feel the unbearable burden of loneliness.
So what’s the difference?
What does loneliness actually mean?
Being lonely can be an overwhelming feeling, and it’s often connected to depression.
It’s that feeling you get when you think no one understands you, and what’s worse, that no one cares about you. And it can be further amplified if you’re in a relationship.
According to a new study, loneliness is deadlier than obesity, because it increases the risk of heart failure. It’s important to remember that we all have that feeling sometimes, and it’s alright to ask for help. So talk to your partner, a good friend or even a psychologist. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in doing that; in fact, it requires bravery.
Oh, then what about being alone?
Being alone means just that — being by yourself. There are some activities which you typically do alone. For example, it’s difficult to enjoy a good book in the company of friends, right? But some people prefer to take on things such as travelling, going to the movies, or even going to dinner by themselves. And they are usually the kind of people who feel happy even when they’re not in a relationship.
Doing activities alone can give you a sense of freedom. It allows you to get connected with your inner self, and that can be a tonne of fun!
So there is a huge difference between loneliness and being alone. We need to be able to tell them apart. While one can be deadly, the other is a pause in our hectic lives that leave us refreshed and ready for a new day.
Have you experienced both loneliness and just being alone? Share with us your thoughts below!