“Loneliness,” writes Abigail Van Buren, “is the ultimate poverty.”
As humans we are social beings, but sometimes we lose touch with that social part of ourselves—or we don’t have enough chances to exercise it. When this happens, we may feel lonely and isolated.
What Loneliness Is—and Isn’t
Loneliness is the feeling that we would like more connection, community and companionship than we think we have.
The curious thing about feeling lonely is that it has roots in a measurement. When we feel lonely, we are measuring the amount of social interaction we have against our ideal of desire for how much we would like to have. That “ideal” differs with each individual and can change over time.