Loneliness needs no introduction. Because we all face it, we all know its power and its pain. According to an article in Psychology Today, feeling lonely actually can have a physical impact on health as it can suppress the immune system, and it even can be as dangerous as cigarette smoking!
An article in The New Republic even goes so far as to call loneliness ‘lethal.’ But loneliness also can be quite useful. Great minds have weighed in on the usefulness of the feeling of being alone in the world.
American actor, writer, and radio host Henry Rollins wrote of it, “Loneliness puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.”
What a unique and wonderful perspective on the value feeling lonesome can bring! It can be a tool that helps us see the beauty in the world around us; it can teach us about ourselves, our lives, and our choices; and it can help us to progress toward a more affirmative and fulfilling future.
Instead of looking at feeling alone as a bad thing, consider these famous quotes about loneliness and its resulting benefits that can help lead you to a better life.
Best Quotes About Loneliness
Quotes about loneliness as a shared community
No one gets through life without feeling, at one time or another, like they’re completely alone in the world. But feelings of isolation don’t have to be overwhelming, and they don’t have to bring you down. These emotions can be a mechanism of powering your life and moving you forward. When you’re feeling lonely, remember that everyone feels lonely sometimes. Use those lonesome feelings to find your place in a community that’s right outside your window.
Quotes about loneliness as a teachable moment
As thinking humans, we can learn from anything. We can even learn from those moments when we feel most alone. Depression and feelings of being alone don’t have to overwhelm us. In fact, it’s in these moments when we can discover the most about ourselves, particularly about how to be good to ourselves. Read here about how to learn from depressive feelings of ‘aloneness,’ how to face them, and how to learn to treat yourself with kindness in those instances. It’s also helpful to look at your feelings of isolation from a new angle. Consider looking above and beyond your feelings of seclusion by remembering all the things you have to be thankful for in your everyday life.
Quotes about loneliness and how it can spur creativity
Feeling lonesome can be an effective weapon against boredom and even mediocrity. Creative people often feel alone, but the most successful creative types often are able to use those lonely feelings to heighten their inventiveness in order to garner positive results in work and personal lives.
Quotes about feeling lonely as a call to action
Necessity is the mother of invention, and the need to abolish loneliness can be a powerful and practical device. There’s nothing like sitting alone at home, feeling alone in the world, that can move a person toward success and happiness. Successful people all start somewhere.
And whether they start out with nothing or they’re born into riches, they all have one thing in common: feelings of being alone at times on their journeys toward achievement. Consider Dale Carnegie’s words on how to overcome your fears and ‘aloneness’ on your way to success.
31 Loneliness Quotes
1) “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”
2) “Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.”
–Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold
3) “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone, and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”
–Lutheran-Protestant theologian Paul Tillich
4) “We are all born alone and die alone. The loneliness is definitely part of the journey of life.”
–Video game designer Jenova Chen
5) “Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.”
–American writer Gretchen Rubin
6) “We can all fight against loneliness by engaging in random acts of kindness.”
–Scottish writer Gail Honeyman
7) “You always know. You have basic needs, and when they aren’t met, your body sends signals. Hunger, loneliness, exhaustion, thirst, and fear are all signals that something is missing, and you need to act on it now.”
–American on-air CNN commentator Mel Robbins
8) “We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.”
–American journalist and social activist Dorothy Day
9) “Loneliness is proof that your innate search for connection is intact.”
–Best-selling author Martha Beck
10) “Loneliness comes with life.”
–American singer Whitney Houston
11) “I kind of crave loneliness.”
12) “When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.”
–Critically acclaimed author Tennessee Williams
13) “Don’t try to hog loneliness and keep it all to yourself. Share it with a special someone.”
–Humorist Jarod Kintz
14) “If I’m alone in bed, I will go to the window, look up at the sky, and feel certain that loneliness is a lie, because the Universe is there to keep me company.”
–Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paul Coelho
15) “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
–French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre
16) “The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.”
–American author Mark Twain
17) “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”
–American actor Audrey Hepburn
18) “It would do the world good if every man in it would compel himself occasionally to be absolutely alone. Most of the world’s progress has come out of such loneliness.”
–American author and politician Bruce Barton
19) “When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience.”
–American author and biologist Elizabeth Gilbert
20) “People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”
–American Baptist Minister Joseph Fort Newton
21) “Loneliness is the unloneliest feeling in the world, as everyone has experienced it.”
–Humorist Jarod Kintz
22) “Why do I write? It’s not that I want people to think I am smart, or even that I am a good writer. I write because I want to end my loneliness.”
–American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer
23) “I live with the people I create and it has always made my essential loneliness less keen.”
–American poet Carson McCullers
24) “Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are, and to stop looking outside yourself for your worth.”
25) “Loneliness is better than bad company.”
26) “If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is… an opportunity to get to know you, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but you for your happiness… you will realize that a little loneliness goes a long way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful you.”
–American author Mandy Hal
27) “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
–American poet Henry David Thoreau
28) “A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.”
–German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer
29) “Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they’ve got to come. You can’t force them.”
–English novelist D.H. Lawrence
30) “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
–American motivational speaker Wayne W. Dyer
31) “If you are alone, you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself.”
–Accomplished Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci
Embracing Alone Time As a Chance to Recharge
Perhaps loneliness needs no introduction – but it does need clarification. It even needs imagination. Loneliness can be looked at from many perspectives, and the most positive angle arguably is the best.
For, as author Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness … is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.” Yes, if you live, you feel lonely. So when feelings of loneliness begin to overwhelm, use these to your advantage. Do as Audrey Hepburn would do – use it as a time to refuel.
Consider that, when you’re lonely, you’re part of a shared community, a member of the universe. Use it as a teachable moment to get know yourself better. Let it spur your creativity. And, finally, use your loneliness as a call to action.