How to be alone: the difference between loneliness and solitude
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
We use the two terms interchangeably because we’ve been conditioned to think of them as the same state.
Loneliness is being alone — and not liking it. It’s a feeling. Solitude is being alone — and content. It’s a choice. If you can master solitude, you’ll never feel lonely again.
From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the same purpose: to bring us closer together.
Today, we’ve reached peak hyper-connectivity. We can cross oceans at the touch of the button, speak to someone, anywhere, 24/7. And yet, statistics report that we’ve never felt so lonely. The technologies connecting us are isolating us.
You can be surrounded by people, at a party, or in the office, and still feel lonely to your core.
And you can be alone, millions of miles away from any human contact, and still feel joyfully connected to the world.
It’s less about our circumstances, more about how we react to them.
Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere condition of our existence. However, learning how to feel well while being alone is another skill at least as important.
The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.
As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.
Boredom is a disconnection to everything we can offer the world and vice versa. It's not influenced by external simulation, it's actually an indicator of how you engage with the world.
Ages ago, when people were busy trying to survive, boredom wasn’t a choice. They spent all their time securing food or shelter.
We are now overstimulated — easy access to infinite entertainment options is feeding boredom rather than discouraging it.
People embrace busyness because they are having a hard time being alone and enjoying it.
Being busy is a tricky form of entertainment however — we don’t feel the boredom, but it isn’t fun either.