Loneliness vs Solitude
There is a substantial difference between these two concepts.
Loneliness is something that meets us, we don't choose it and we usually don't want it, while solitude is
something that we choose, we need and want in our lives. What I often see in patients is that they find it
difficult to take control and feel the inner strength that will move them from a condition they do not
choose, to start deciding for themselves about their lives and to follow their wants. Usually loneliness
has a negative feeling, it is a condition that evolves gradually over the years as one moves forward in
one's life with different choices and new decisions. So, gradually, one’s social circle begins to shrink to
the point where it is completely limited. In other cases, loneliness can come as a natural result and as
evolution, through the transitional stages of life.
Central elements of loneliness:
On the other hand, solitude is an inner need for everyone to isolate, create personal space and time and
can come either by having a social circle or not. Essentially, it concerns a personal need for introversion
and spending time with oneself. In some cases, people seem to avoid it and deny it. This shows that the
underlying issue is in how one perceives a situation and what stance one holds towards it.
Central elements of solitude:
• need for time with oneself
• a sense of completeness
• spending time in what really interests someone
The way we see and deal with what is happening around us, also affects how we feel about it.
Depending on how one perceives some situations, one can either adapt easier to them or with greater
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