I’ve looked this up in the dictionary and other word books but there doesn’t seem to be a definition of the opposite of lonely.
I suppose the first question should be what is lonely? And then from there work out the opposite, but then that isn’t as straight forward as it seems.
lone•ly ?[lohn-lee] Show IPA adjective, lone•li•er, lone•li•est.
affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.: a lonely exile.
lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak: a lonely road.
standing apart; isolated: a lonely tower.
1600–10; lone + -ly
lone•li•ness, lone•li•hood, noun
1. See alone. 4. uninhabited, unpopulated. 5. secluded.
You see it isn’t really that straight forward at all is it.
I have always thought of being lonely as being separated somehow-emotionally, so although you may be surrounded by people you can still feel lonely as there is no connection felt with the others. Perhaps the opposite then would be ‘connected’ ’intimate’ ’belonging’.
The flip side of that or course is that you may live remotely or separate from other individuals and be perfectly ok with that. Perhaps being described as ‘contented’ or ‘self-sufficient’.
However, by working with many clients I now believe that the opposite to lonely is more likely ‘whole’ or ‘complete’ and nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else-only you!
I think that when we are our ‘own best friend’ we will never be lonely and by that I mean that when we are feeling ‘at one with ourselves’ or ‘authentic’ we do not suffer with the symptoms of loneliness because all of us, all the parts of us (fear part, confident part, practical part, for example) are all working together in unison, so that we can live as ourselves, no pretence, no added effort.
Being comfortable in your own skin is a gift that many have yet to experience, we are not perfect by the sheer fact that we are human, but we all deserve to live and be what we really are and not what others think we should be.
So if you are feeling ‘cut off’’alone’’separated’ then I suggest that you look within rather than outside for your remedy. Someone may come along who looks like they have all the answers but in truth the only person with the answers you seek is you.
Start a journal to recognize the times when you start to feel symptoms of loneliness, what’s happening? who are you with? what are you thinking? What are you saying to yourself? What are you doing? Ask yourself is this really what I think or is it judgment or words from others? What would I tell my best friend to do if this was happening to them? What can I do to make things different for me? What could I do now to love and accept myself more? Do I need to forgive myself for anything?
You see once you take responsibility for your own feelings and actions, instantly you feel more empowered, gain more self-esteem and confidence and start along the path to becoming ‘whole’ again.
Once you have a wonderful relationship with yourself then you can quickly expand that and bring people into your life that make you feel that way too.
Lonely or loneliness is a tag that can be put on you like wearing a badge but that’s not who you are – it’s just a feeling or a process of thoughts and feelings that make you think, feel and act in a certain way. Become your own antidote, befriend yourself, be as kind to yourself as you would your best friend and above all BE yourself.
I know that can be a challenge as we don’t want to acknowledge or admit to our darker sides but they are there and they are a part of you and without them you wouldn’t have the sides or parts to you that shine out in contrast!
In closing I will say this, if you are feeling lonely – find out why? What is it you are looking for? If its love – do you really love yourself?
If its connection-do you feel connected within yourself? If it’s belonging, why? – Who do you want to belong to and for what reason?
Remember: everything starts with you!
If you don’t love yourself then what makes you think you’ll attract someone who will love you for being you? If you’re disconnected with your emotions then for what reason do you think you’ll find the answers trying to be connected to someone else? And if you feel you want to belong perhaps think “If I am going to commit to someone, shouldn’t that someone be me……..”
When you are your own best friend, you’ll never be lonely!