“When do you feel lonely?”

I was watching a show out of pure boredom when one of the characters posed this question, “When do you feel lonely?”

And that question took me by surprise. It wasn’t so much of the question ITSELF that caught me off-guard but rather how a part of me desperately wanted to answer that question, to share my answer with someone, to let it be known. And that, surprises me.

But most importantly, why was it so easy for me to formulate an answer?

I feel lonely when I see something funny or interesting and fail to find someone who feels the same way. I feel lonely when I suddenly get an epiphany about an issue and there is nobody who can discuss it intently with me. I feel lonely when the people I used to hang out with begin to find ways to exclude me. I feel lonely when I find myself spending more time on my own. I feel lonely when silence becomes a regular company.

Because it shows as if nobody wants to be around me.

As I slowly allowed these answers to naturally flow out, I began to see the common cause of my loneliness: People. How ironic it is that company, which is meant to bring happiness and comfort to individuals, can be the cause of loneliness. And this happens because we tend to be too dependent on people. On our relationship with them, the moments we create with them. A good day to us, is when we are partying with a group of people. Acceptance is when our phone is busy buzzing with messages from friends, when we are busy going out with friends. If your phone is quiet, it means that you are not wanted because your friends are not searching for you. If you are eating alone in a restaurant, it is a shameful thing because you cannot find a person who wants to spend time with you. If your friends are too busy coping with their new life, it means you are forgettable.

Suddenly, your worth is based on people. The number of friends you have. How popular you are. How socially busy you are. But here’s the thing, when you evaluate your worth based on people, you are meant to fail. It is like, deciding to test your healthiness of your body by dangling on a branch. “If this branch breaks, it means that I’m too heavy and unhealthy.” Of course the branch will break. The law of physics states so. Similarly, if you attach your worth to people, you will break because people will definitely fail you in a way or another. They disappoint you, argue with you, and break your heart.

Now, I am not saying that we cannot trust anyone. That is not my point. I am saying that we should not base our worth on people. We should base our worth on ourselves.

What kind of a person do you want to be? What values do you want to uphold? What is important to you?

If we base our worth on the amount of love and acceptance we have for ourselves, then we wouldn’t have to ask ourselves about being lonely.

-R

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11 thoughts on ““When do you feel lonely?””

  1. it took a long time for me to learn to cope with loneliness. But then I was liberated. I started enjoying my own company and that’s how it has been so far. I find ways to keep myself busy when I am alone. In fact, when I am in the wrong company is when I feel the loneliest and I save myself from such situations as far as possible.. what you have written is so true..

    Reply
  2. I think your take on lonely only considers your personality. I found myself agreeing with you at the beginning.
    “I feel lonely when I see something funny or interesting and fail to find someone who feels the same way.

    I feel lonely when I suddenly get an epiphany about an issue and there is nobody who can discuss it intently with me.
    THOSE THINGS MAKE ME LONELY. I think they have to do with the ability to connect and being understood by those I connect with.
    ON THE OTHER HAND WHEN YOU SAID:
    “I feel lonely when I find myself spending more time on my own. I feel lonely when silence becomes a regular company.
    Because it shows as if nobody wants to be around me….A good day to us, is when we are partying with a group of people. Acceptance is when our phone is busy buzzing with messages from friends, when we are busy going out with friends. If your phone is quiet, it means that you are not wanted because your friends are not searching for you. If you are eating alone in a restaurant, it is a shameful thing because you cannot find a person who wants to spend time with you. If your friends are too busy coping with their new life, it means you are forgettable.”
    I felt that that was not a definition of loneliness to me. I get upset when the phone buzzes too much. I get anxious when I can not find silence. It’s in those times when I am forced continually into crowds and no one can see that I need to be alone that I feel most lonely because I feel different. I feel like I should want the party…I should want the crowd and I don’t.

    Reply
    • Hi Joseph,
      Now that I’ve read what loneliness means to you, I kinda get it too. I love how you describe “It’s in those times when I am forced continually into crowds and no one can see that I need to be alone that I feel most lonely because I feel different. I feel like I should want the party…I should want the crowd and I don’t.” – it’s really beautifully described. It reminds me of sometimes loneliness is not just about the absence of people per se, but can be felt even in a crowd. Thanks for highlighting another perspective of this topic!

      Reply
  3. Very beautiful and thoughtful piece of writing! <3 I completely agree with you that loneliness is closely linked to people, and for me, the most painful loneliness I experience is when I'm in the company of people who make me feel alone. Being alone in a crowded room or in the company of a 'friend' is excruciating for the soul…

    Reply
  4. I am that way as well, when I think about it. I seem to depend on people to make me feel better. Recently, one of my friends found a new friend and they have been hanging out a lot. It made me feel kind of betrayed. I know that I should not feel this way, that it is selfish of me. But now that I think about it, and can focus on it, I can work on it.
    Thank you.
    -Vyvyan

    Reply
    • I can so relate to your feeling. I don’t think it’s something we can ever avoid but I guess we can work on ensuring we are not so affected by it. 🙂

      Reply
  5. It’s a bid tough to answer, and then maybe not! Not long ago, I realized that I feel lonely when I achieve something, or, when I’m successful at something and have no one to share it with.

    Reply
  6. I guess we are all social animals and like to be amongst and accepted by our ‘groups’. But sometimes, just being on our own and doing things alone, like watching a movie in a movie hall amongst the sea of other people, or just having dinner by oneself in a restaurant, is so empowering. Not sure if anyone feels that way. Its as though, I am enough.

    Lovely write up…thank you!

    Reply

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