Difference between Feeling Alone and Lonely?

Written by: Shruthi Chacko – M Sc
(Psychology)

Last updated date : March 28, 2022

Have you been happy with your own company? Has there been a time when you wished there were others around you? Well, in both of these scenarios you were alone. But, you were feeling lonely, only the second one. It is true that being alone and lonely can look very similar. In fact, being alone and lonely are completely two different things. Many people are feeling lonely during this pandemic. It is a feeling that all of us have gone through at least some point in our lives. Do you wonder what is the difference between feeling alone and lonely? Read this article to get a deeper understanding of alone vs lonely,

Chapter 1:
How Does It Feel to Be Lonely?

When a person is lonely, there is a sense of isolation and lack of something that they are missing. Perhaps, that is something which they are unable to understand. You feel very negative all time. The vibe, the energy doesn’t seem quite right. Being lonely almost feels it’s forced upon you. You never got the chance to choose this feeling in your life. You feel sort of disconnected from yourself and others in your life. It can be a very strange feeling, that you have to go through alone. You wish somehow, you could stop feeling like this. But, this feeling does not seem to go away. It is a heavy feeling altogether.


But, there is hope, this feeling is temporary. There is always support that you can reach out to when you feel like you can’t manage these feelings. Keep reading, if you wonder what is the difference between feeling alone and lonely by further looking at it from an alone vs lonely perspective.

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Chapter 2:
How Does It Feel to Be Alone?

Alone is more to do with being in solitude. The kind of solitude that makes you enjoy your own company. When you are alone, you may also feel a rush of ideas flowing into your mind. Suddenly, you are able to think clearly, with no distraction from the outside world. The times you feel like spending some alone could mean that there is some inner work that you want to do. What truly is the difference between feeling alone and lonely. The answer is very simple. When you are alone, you can be happy. Whereas, when you are lonely, there is hardly any room for being happy. When you are alone, it is almost close to self-care. In fact, is one of the wise things you can do when you feel overwhelmed living in this ever fast-moving world.


Thus, a little alone time can help you gather your thoughts. It gives you a chance to rethink, reconsider and revaluate yourself and the way you want to live ahead. Hence, it can be quite liberating when you are alone.

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Chapter 3:
Does Your Personality Traits Play a Role in Being Alone?

I really think so, it does play a major role. In fact, anything that we do or say or think is influenced by our personality traits. Hence, the way one sees being alone changes with each person. An introvert may enjoy being in their own company. They may spend their alone time reading a book, or painting. As you would already know, introverts draw energy from themselves. They are people who are deep thinkers and very good at reflecting. If you think about it, activities such as reading or even painting can be done in solitude. Also, they truly enjoy spending time by themselves.


On the other hand, extroverts may not feel very comfortable being alone. They are people who draw energy from outside. They like to go out, meet people and are more open to new experiences. But, this doesn’t mean that extroverts do not like their alone time. They too like introverts like some time off alone to gather their thoughts and ideas. It is just that introverts would prefer being alone compared to extroverts.

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Chapter 4:
Does Your Personality Traits Play a Role in Being Alone?

I really think so, it does play a major role. In fact, anything that we do or say or think is influenced by our personality traits. Hence, the way one sees being alone changes with each person. An introvert may enjoy being in their own company. They may spend their alone time reading a book, or painting. As you would already know, introverts draw energy from themselves. They are people who are deep thinkers and very good at reflecting. If you think about it, activities such as reading or even painting can be done in solitude. Also, they truly enjoy spending time by themselves.

On the other hand, extroverts may not feel very comfortable being alone. They are people who draw energy from outside. They like to go out, meet people and are more open to new experiences. But, this doesn’t mean that extroverts do not like their alone time. They too like introverts like some time off alone to gather their thoughts and ideas. It is just that introverts would prefer being alone compared to extroverts.

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Chapter 5:
How Can Being Alone Help You?

So, now you know both sides of being alone vs lonely. Let us divert our attention on how being alone, being in solitude has great benefits for you to rethink, refresh and revitalise yourself and your life.

You Need Some Alone Time

I am sure you agree that everyone needs some time alone to process one’s thoughts, life experiences and lessons. In the world we live in, we are overstimulated with so much information around us. There may be times when you wished you could stop time right? That moment is when your mind is telling you to take a break and reflect on your life. In the modern world, it is hard to listen to what your mind is saying. It can be very overwhelming and you may feel disconnected. Hence, take a pause and see what is going on in your mind and your life.

You Feel More Creative

It is true that your mind gets a lot of ideas when you are alone. When you spend time alone, you are no longer overstimulated by the constant chatter of the world. You get to hear what your inner voice is telling you. You seem to have original ideas and thoughts. A lot of realisations and answers may pop up during your alone time. In other words, you are free of other information, except your own and your thoughts. You will now see thinking clearly and a lot of thinking starts to make sense. Hence, having some alone time is the hub of creativity and novelty.

Your Relationships Improve

In fact, even your relationships will start improving. It is funny, isn’t it? Spending time alone can help your relationships. Well, it is very true. Maybe you are someone who tends to be needy, now you get a chance to be more self-reliant than before. Additionally, you start becoming more empathetic and self-aware. In fact, their time off alone will help you understand what went wrong in your relationship. That awareness helps your further relationships and how you can manage or deal with future problems that may arise.

Being Authentically ” You”

The most crucial relationship in your life is the one that you have with yourself. Think about it in this way. When you learn to love yourself and be kind to the ugliest sides, you learn to love others better. In fact, the way you treat yourself is also the way you treat your loved ones. It is with self-awareness and reflecting, you can become authentically you. Hence, take some time out for yourself and your life. Take that walk around the park, read a book, journal your feelings down or just sit quietly and reflect upon your life.

At Espychonline we have a few self-help courses including ”Low Self Esteem “ that can help you with your battle with your self-esteem concerns. Please visit our Courses page to learn more about it. You may find it helpful to read “I Miss My Best Friend & I Feel Alone” to know more about alone vs lonely and understand further the difference between feeling alone and lonely.