In a recent article I read entitled “Isolation and Loneliness: What’s the Difference?” featured on GoodTherapy, they explore these two concepts in a way to get to understand their differences.
“Isolation occurs when a person has little or no contact with other people. It can occur over long or short periods of time and is a distinctly physical state. Isolation may be characterized by staying home most of the time, refusing interpersonal interaction and avoiding social situations…….Loneliness, on the other hand, is an emotional state. It’s defined as feeling alone or separate from others, or as feeling empty. Loneliness may accompany social isolation but can be caused by other things, such as breakups, moving to a new location, or the death of a close friend or loved one.”
Although a person can experience both isolation and loneliness and they most often feed off of each other; it would seem that isolation is perhaps more centered around behaviour whereas loneliness focuses more on feeling. Exploring the differences may be a first step in moving towards alleviating the feelings of emptiness that tend to be created from either state.
Regardless of what is causing either our inclination to isolate ourselves or our feelings of loneliness, we are a relationship species and need connection in order to feel well rounded and whole. Challenging ourselves to “make our world a bit bigger” might be an important step in trying to manage either isolation or loneliness.
To read the full article which includes symptoms and causes: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/isolation-loneliness-whats-the-difference-0312197
Photo credit: http://Photo by George Bonev on Unsplash
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