What Is The Difference Between Being Alone and Being Lonely?

The above might sound like a very strange question but it is one I have spent most of my life puzzling over.

If you ask most people being alone can lead to feelings of loneliness if undertaken for extended periods of time.

What would you say if I told you that is only half of the story (at least as far as I am concerned)?

If I get bored of my own company I can usually find someone to speak to.

However, the times when I feel the most lonely are when I am in a group of people – usually because I end up feeling as though I have to “fit in” so I don’t cause too many headaches.

I feel happiest in very small groups where I know and trust the other people.

How can I feel lonely in a group yet be perfectly happy in my own company?  For a start I am used to being on my own.  The second thing is I know myself which means I don’t have to pretend to myself that I am something I am not.

If we could all accept each other’s limitations we would all be better off.

There would also be fewer people like me who dread joining unknown groups – merely due to the mental fatigue caused by having to try to “fit in” even when it is totally impossible.

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