Here's a great quote by Hannah Arendt about the difference between solitude and loneliness:
"The lonely man finds himself surrounded by others with whom he cannot establish contact or to whose hostility he is exposed."
The solitary man, on the contrary, is alone and therefore "can be together with himself." In solitude, in other words, I am "by myself", together with myself, and therefore two-in-one, whereas in loneliness I am actually one, deserted by all others.
All thinking, strictly speaking, is done in solitude and is a dialogue of thought.
1. Loneliness is a painful, negative state.
2. It is where we feel alone, and cut off and estranged from other people. Thus, we may feel as if we are excluded, unwanted, unimportant or unnoticed.
3. We can be surrounded by people we know and love and still experience feelings of intense loneliness.
4. Loneliness feels like punishment or rejection. It is rooted in a sense of deficiency or inadequacy.
5. It is something that depletes us, and is imposed on us.
6. Loneliness can lead to self rejection, and even to self loathing and despair.
1. Solitude is a positive state.
2. It is where we are perfectly happy to be by ourselves, and relish and enjoy our own company.
3. Solitude can help us get in touch with, or engage with, our true self. It allows us to reflect on ourselves, others, our life, and our future.
4. Often, solitude is a springboard to greater self-awareness, greater creativity, fresh insights, and new growth.
5. Solitude is something we choose. It is something that restores and builds us up.
6. Solitude grounds us in who we are – and that enables us to reach out and give to others.