Loneliness is something most people face at one time or another in their life, and surprisingly enough it doesn't matter how many friends you have when you feel lonely. Some people are content with a few friends, and they feel happy and fulfilled. Other people might need to make new friends, while still others might have loads of friends and still be lonely.
Loneliness comes when you feel that something is missing in the connections you have with other people. Perhaps you aren't able to share your true self, or you're surrounded with people who don't know you deep down. Some of the times I've felt the loneliest are when I've discovered that my trust in people had been misplaced, and people I thought were friends were really just hanging around trying to use me, or to delight in my failures. When I saw that I had cared about and trusted these toxic friends, I felt very lonely even though I have other, really wonderful friends that are sincere.
While the circumstances that can cause loneliness may be different for everyone involved, the result is usually the same. You feel sad, alone, and like no one understands. Maybe these collection of quotes related to loneliness will show that other people understand what you're going through because they've experienced it, too.
"The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved."
I was surprised to see just how deeply Mother Theresa understood loneliness. When I think of her (and her life's work), I picture connections with others, humbleness, and love. I think Mother Theresa's mission allowed her to see the hit the human soul can take when it experiences loneliness. The pain of loneliness goes deep, and unless we take measures to correct this in our life, it can change the way we make and keep friendships.
One reason this quote speaks to me is the line about poverty. How many people have wealth but not true blue friends? I think I'd rather be poor and have a life full with friendship than to have all the money in the world and feel as if no one is really on my side.
“The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.”
There is one thing I like and dislike about this quote. First, the positive. People think that being unmarried makes you lonely. That couldn't be further from the truth. You can be in a romantic relationship for the majority of your life and still feel lonely. Or, you can be on your own romantically and still feel complete. So the fact that Brontë speaks about singleness is a positive here.
The thing I don't like about this quote is her admission that she has resigned herself to stay lonely. She seems to think loneliness is something that falls upon you or misses you, and you don't have a choice about whether or not it stays. That's not the case. You can actively take steps to banish loneliness. Never think that because you're lonely now, that that is the way your life will stay. If Brontë's quote does anything for us here, it reminds us how misunderstood loneliness is.
"If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?"
Judy Garland was a talented artist, adored by millions, and yet, she felt lonely at times. Her life is a reminder that it doesn't matter how many people you have in your life, but the way you interact with them that counts. This quote also brings up a good point, which is that having "fans" isn't the same as having true friends. Now, most of us will never know what it's like to have a "fan," but at the same time, we might try and surround ourselves with a lot of people in an effort to feel less lonely. It's only when we connect to people, however, that our loneliness will subside.
"The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself."
As a writer, Mark Twain likely knew many moments of solitude. Being happily alone is so much different than being lonely. If you have a hobby or passion that you can "lose yourself" in, you actually search out moments when you can be by yourself in order to write, paint, pray, or meditate.
Twain also said, "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." This brings up a good point, in that volunteering for a cause or thinking about another human being will automatically take the focus off of yourself. If you're feeling lonely, reach out. Volunteering is a wonderful way to not only make yourself feel better about the world but it also helps you in meeting people, other passionate people, with whom you can make a genuine connection.