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Differences: Loneliness and Aloneness

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  • September 11, 2003 /
  • by Stonebriar Counseling Associates /
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In the medical field diagnosis comes before prescription. And, if the doctor makes a correct diagnosis will the patient be in a position to reap the benefits of the appropriate remedy? Every one experiences loneliness in different ways. Some may experience it as a vague feeling that something is not right…a feeling of emptiness or hollowness deep within their very being. Or one may feel loneliness by the circumstance or environment that they are in. For example, it may be a cold Fall day with nothing to do, or, going on a business trip with no companionship, working alone on a night shift missing familyand friends. This type of loneliness called “state loneliness,” usually does not last very long (i.e. a few days or a week). On the other hand, a person may experience loneliness all the time-called “trait loneliness-” the result of a very intense deprivation or deep pain. This is the type of loneliness that stays with an individual wherever they go and produces a feeling of bleakness or desolation. The difference between loneliness and aloneness is that the latter refers to an active state. A person may choose to be alone treasuring their time for personal contemplation, relaxation, or reflection. Therefore, to be alone is to be by oneself-where there is no one else around you. Whereas, to be lonely, is to suffer the feelings of being alone and feeling sad about it. Loneliness is a passive state maintained by passively letting it continue and doing nothing to change it. Even though we feel lonely, it is when we become trapped in either a state or trait of loneliness that lays out a tortuous course of pain and suffering.

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