According to experts, there are various meanings of loneliness depending on the individual’s background and perspective.
Expert 1 – Gary R.Collins-A Renowned Psychologist: Defines loneliness as an emotional state where a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. A feeling of being disconnected, cut-off or alienated from other people. In this instance, there is a sense of inner emptiness. A feeling of vacuum or hollowness coupled with a feeling of separation or isolation from the world.
Expert 2 – Dr Robert Weiss- Respected and renowned Social Scientist- Loneliness is a “deficit condition”, response to the absence of relational provisions. Explaining, Dr Weiss stated thus- we have needs for relationship with others, and if the needs are not met, there is a lack, a deficit that makes us lonely.
Expert 3 – Fanney Howe, American Writer & Researcher- Loneliness is an “unwanted and uncreated companion” that slips in besides you without notice
Expert/Opinion 4 – According to Wikipedia- Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response to isolation. It includes anxious feelings about lack of connection or communication with other beings in the present and extending into the future.
Loneliness & Solitude
Loneliness is not the same thing as being alone. One may be alone for a long period without feeling lonely at all. One can feel lonely in a group of 300 other people or in the middle of a raging or big party. Solitude may be a matter of personal choice. To the person, it is a positive, pleasurable and emotionally satisfying experience. Loneliness is an unwilling solitude. In other words, circumstances can push one into loneliness.
Loneliness is not desirable as it has health, social, psychological and spiritual consequences
Mr. Ayodeji Olulani, MA, MSc, authored the book Coping with Loneliness: Unleashing Your Potentials for Excellence.