Lonely: What's The Opposite Of Being Lonely?
By: Danni Peck
Updated November 17, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers
Here is an excerpt from this essay:
The Word "Alone" May Indicate A Desire For Something Deeper
And yet, for something that we want so badly, we find that articulating feeling alone difficult to put into words. It's almost as if this elusive state of feeling alone escapes our words as easily as it escapes our way of life. As with any goal, the inverse of loneliness is easier to achieve if you know exactly what you're striving for. But the reality is that loneliness can mean different things to different people; and so its flip-side also affects individuals in diverse ways, making it an even more challenging concept to define.
What Does It Mean to Be Lonely and to Feel Alone?
Let's begin with a basic understanding of the various meanings of the word "lonely."
According to Merriam Webster, there are several definitions of the word. They are:
being without company
cut off from others, solitary
not frequented by human beings, desolate
sad from being alone
producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation
Loneliness: Five possible antonyms of the word lonely
Antonym of The Word “Alone” or Lonely #1: Companionship
- Is it possible to feel lonely or alone even when you are in the company of others?
- Can feeling alone affect the health of your relationships?
Can you feel lonely or alone even while surrounded by a group of friends or your children?
Can feeling lonely affect your health?
Can you feel lonely even if you have children or a family?
A 2007 study found that loneliness was directly related not to the number of social contacts you have, but to their quality. So, as you have probably experienced, you can very easily feel lonely when accompanied by a group of friends, or even loved ones.
You can feel lonely if you are not investing enough quality time in your relationships. Perhaps you have a large friend group, but your interactions with these friends are mostly superficial. Maybe you spend a lot of time interacting with people on social media, but you're missing that deeper connection. Maybe you need to take some time out to enjoy a family vacation, or just a quiet dinner alone with your spouse to reconnect to feel less lonely.
And that brings us to our next possible loneliness opposite.
Antonym of The Word “Alone” or Lonely #2: Connectedness
At the most basic level, the word "connectedness" simply means to be united or joined together.
But this word also has significant emotional connotations. When we feel securely attached and emotionally in touch with another person, we say that we are "connected."In fact, we can even feel connected to strangers, if they smile at us, greet us, or acknowledge us in some way.
Conversely, the experience of disconnectedness brings us emotions of emptiness and despair, akin to true loneliness. If we are in a group situation, the experience of being "disconnected" can be so profound as to make us feel as if we don't exist. Our personalities, emotions, wishes, and fears—in short, everything that makes us who we are—seem to be disregarded by those around us. If we feel disconnected in our relationships, then our basic need to be acknowledged and cared for is not being met.
If you are in this situation, don't hesitate to reach out to a counselor to guide you to reconnecting with your loved ones and overcoming these feelings. But the direct opposite of "connectedness" is not "loneliness," but rather "disconnectedness." This reflects the fact that connections are not about individuals and their emotions, but about relationships and group dynamics.
It is possible, however, to feel lonely as an individual, without necessarily relating to other people. So, while the word "connectedness" functions well as a loneliness antonym, it falls short in some ways.
Antonym of The Word “Alone” or Lonely #3: Habitation
The simplest way to think about loneliness is the state of being alone.
In its purest form, the word "lonely" can describe places just as well as it can describe emotions.The loneliest places could be an empty street at night, an abandoned house in the woods, or a vast stretch of bare desert.These places are lonely not only because they are devoid of people, but because of the feelings of loneliness that they evoke within us.
For that reason, a place that is inhabited by a bustling throng of people could be considered as the inverse of being lonely. A busy town square on market day, a house full of family for a holiday celebration, or a beautiful park full of joggers and happy children might be some well-inhabited places that evoke the "opposite of loneliness" for us.
The problem is that the true emotion of loneliness also encompasses sadness. And as we know all too well, you can feel sad as easily in a busy town square as you can on an empty city street. So, this antonym also falls a bit short.Is loneliness just another word for sadness then? If so, let's explore the next potential option.
Antonym for The Word “Alone” or Lonely #4: Happiness
However, there is a problem with this antonym as well, as you can probably already tell; namely, that sadness and happiness are both too general. Sadness can be brought about by many other causes besides loneliness. There are many occasions during which you might feel unhappy, but are not lonely. For example, you may feel deeply connected to an important cause, yet you are exhausted and emotionally burned out. Or you may be spending all your time with a beloved family member who is suffering a chronic illness. In these cases, you are experiencing "the inverse of loneliness," yet the chances are that you're not feeling very happy.
Antonym for The Word “Alone” or Lonely #5: Congeniality
Another definition of loneliness describes it as a trait rather than an emotion. In other words, a person, place, or thing might be considered "lonely" if their influence causes other people to feel emotions associated with loneliness.
Are the Antonyms for the Word Lonely Indefinable?
Although we haven't made much headway in coming up with one word that entirely sums up "the opposite of loneliness," some options can get you thinking about what loneliness is for you, and what you can do to nail down its opposite in your own life.
Overcome Being Lonely Through BetterHelp
Recent research shows that online therapy is an effective method of treating mental health issues that can produce loneliness. One such study found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can alleviate feelings of loneliness in those who participate. In the study, researchers noted the serious mental and physical health effects loneliness can have on individuals, including reduced sleep, increased anxiety, and an overall impact on quality of life. They then outlined the results, which were positive for the majority of metrics, including those indicating decreased feelings of loneliness and increased overall quality of life. These findings are in line with a good deal of existing research pointing to online therapy as a beneficial alternative to face-to-face counseling.
With online therapy, you’ll be able to reach out to your therapist any time, day or night. If you are feeling lonely, want to make a note of something, or just want to talk, message your therapist, and they will get back to you as soon as they can. The licensed professionals at BetterHelp can help you overcome feelings of loneliness. If you're interested in online therapy or want to learn more about it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read below for counselor reviews, from those who have dealt with similar issues.
“Yolanda is a wonderful therapist. She helped me with my anxiety and to helped me cope with the loneliness. and stress I was feeling due to the Covid lockdowns. Yolanda is very attentive, positive, and considerate. I highly recommend her!”
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