This was a question I was asked via email from a potential client.
It's an awful thing to feel, that you are alone in the world.
I'm sharing the answer I gave for anyone else who might be feeling this way.
My reply was...
Without wishing to make light of your comment and possibly your situation can I offer a thought.
Alone is a state of ‘being’ - in that there is physical isolation.
Loneliness is perhaps a state of ‘mind’ - people can feel lonely in a crowd or even a group of acquaintances.
Being Lonely in a crowd is a very painful thing.
Being Alone can also be painful.
There are many people who are alone yet not lonely.
How can this be?
Perhaps their sense of self is such that they are not looking for validation from others; that they look to themselves.
In the same way that happiness cannot be built from the expectation that others will provide it. Happiness does not come from anything external, although our willingness to be open to it creates an internal sense of ‘well-being’.
The thing about projecting ‘loneliness’ to others, even on acquaintances, is that people shy away from this projection because of the presumption that the lonely person is being needy.
People with a degree of self-confidence - not egotism - are often seen as people others want to get to know.
I know that if you are someone who is isolated, alone and lonely, this may not read as my being supportive or empathic. But I am exploring solutions.
“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper
That's an interesting idea, isn't it?
Loneliness is the result of continual disappointment in other people.
If such is true then being alone is part of a personal survival strategy; a strategy based upon the stories we've been telling ourselves.
So, one question you might like to consider is the stories you have been telling yourself about loneliness. Are they about you being or feeling "non-deserving" or that others are "non-deserving" of you and your time?
I accept that these questions are not that easy to answer, especially when sitting in the shadow of loneliness, but it is worthwhile nonetheless.
So in terms of getting a handle on things, here are some questions you might like to reflect upon.
a) What would you say are your strongest, most positive attributes?
b) What kind of friendships and relationships are you looking for?
c) Can you describe your ideal friend, partner or lover?
d) What would these 'ideal' people be interested in?
e) What are you interested in?
f) Where do you think you could go to meet people with the same interests as you?
g) How do you really think people perceive you, what kind of impression do you make?
i) How would you like to be perceived?
h) What simple changes could you make so that you can be seen as you'd like to be seen?
As I say, these are challenging questions which is why they are possibly best asked with the help of a coach or mentor. If your mental well-being is suffering because of your 'chronic loneliness' - then please seek some professional help
You might find the following self-help technique of benefit, but if you would like to have a conversation about anything that came up for you when reading this, please don't hesitate to get in touch. ((firstname.lastname@example.org)
You might also enjoy looking at this post : The Body Language of Relationships