Alone and lonely are often paired together as a couple of pretty sad words. Whenever someone pegs you down with one of those terms, they assume the second applies, too. This is some sorry misdoing and it’s probably harmful to a lot of people who just to understand themselves enough to back away from that misperception.
Alone is a state of being. It’s not a mood and it’s not an emotion. Alone is what you are when there’s no one else around you, or when you are in a situation you wish to treat as such, like being alone in a library where there are theoretically a whole bunch of other people. But I digress. The point is, alone is just alone. I’m alone right now. No biggy.
Lonely is something else altogether. It doesn’t necessarily reflect your state of being. You may be with other people, interacting and all. You may be at your apartment by yourself. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is the mood that comes out of it which is a sad feeling of being without support or affection.
A lot of people choose alone, either as a lifestyle or as an occasional change of pace. Friends often misinterpret this as a sign you need help. This isn’t the case. Worse though, is when people interpret their one aloneness as loneliness. Many of us are programmed to believe we need to be surrounded by others at all times, and that something’s wrong when this isn’t the case.
The other big issue is the flip side of that coin. It happens when people assume another person isn’t lonely simply because they have many people interacting with them. The thing is, you just never know.
Have you ever confused lonely with alone, or know someone who has? In one way or another, everyone’s done this, the question really is whether or not it happened at the wrong time. Share your thoughts on this and other things simply by adding a comment below.
Until Next Time,
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