Loneliness? Or solitude?

When Harry Nilsson wrote ‘One is the loneliest number’ he hit the nail on the head.

Or did he?

It’s true that feeling lonely can be an unpleasant experience.

But being on your own needn’t always mean loneliness.

There can be another side to being in your own company: the idea of solitude.

And sometimes when life gets over-busy and over-noisy, there’s a lot to be said for being able to snatch a little bit of ‘me time’, to sit quietly by yourself, or to do something without the distractions and demands of others around you.

Having said this, if you’re feeling lonely it’s going to be pretty tricky to convince yourself that it’s actually a good thing.

In that case, small steps are probably the answer.

Even a couple of words exchanged with a shop assistant can count towards your ‘5 a day’ social interactions.

In the same way that you should really eat five portions of fruit or veg each day, aim to get to the point where you go to bed at night having swapped a sentence or two with a handful of people – even if they’re only fleeting contacts.

2 thoughts on “Loneliness? Or solitude?

  1. I think most days I meet my “five a day” goal and if I don’t I’m ok with that. I enjoy a bit of solitude. I often thunk of those who don’t have the opportunity to interact with others, the elderly, the unwell, small children in difficult homes- .
    Having worked with the public most of my life I try to ensure that I am one of the people they can speak to. A smile a nod a few words – you might be the only one a person on interacts with that day- I try and make it a good interaction. Sometimes we feel unseen especially in today’s plugged in world.
    As always – a good post! Thank you!

  2. I need time alone but a lot of the time I’m taken as aloof or uncaring or even unsociable. There are occasions I’d like to join in but then I’m not asked because I have said no too many times and them I feel awkward and wouldn’t dream of inviting myself. But I don’t get down I just feel a little ‘fidgety ‘ is the word I use. I will go for a walk, read, listen to music but never settle. Moderation is the key I know this. Ultimately though I know who I am and I understand I need time alone. Your real friends will accept this about you IF they care.

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