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What is the difference between isolation and loneliness?

303 Answers
Last Updated: 08/07/2020 at 6:55pm
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United States
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Alison Humphreys, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

During the therapeutic process, individuals will learn to manage transitions, overcome obstacles and work towards their full potential .

Top Rated Answers
June 14th, 2018 10:36pm
Isolation is when you are happy being alone, loneliness is being isolated, while wanting to feel love and support from others
June 15th, 2018 1:54am
Isolation is the act of being alone. Loneliness is the feeling you have when you either become isolated or in a state of mind feel that way.
June 24th, 2018 5:34pm
Isolation is an actual state of being and loneliness is a feeling of perhaps being isolated but it could mean a lot of other things like not feeling understood, included, or not feeling useful. Isolation can occur for many different causes such as drug/alcohol abuse, social anxieties, depression and other psychiatric disorders. Isolation can also be induced by the environment and the feeling of lack of safety and support
June 27th, 2018 7:07pm
Isolation means you get isolated like a ice for example you keep your self away from others and loneliness means that you are alone and have no one to express your emotions.
June 28th, 2018 1:27pm
Isolation is an act of cutting yourself from socializing, whilst loneliness is a feeling where you feel like you need company of another person, you can also feel lonely while being surrounded with firends.
June 29th, 2018 4:22am
Isolation is being completely cut off from everything, you don’t talk to anyone, you don’t do anything. It’s basically sitting in bed all day playing video games and maybe getting up to go the the bathroom and eat. Loneliness is still doing those activities, and interacting with people, but having an emptiness because you don’t have anyone whose company you enjoy a lot to share your experience with.
July 4th, 2018 4:28am
Isolation is being away from everyone and everything Loneliness is being without friends and being alone
July 4th, 2018 9:59am
Isolation is the physical separation with someone or something. whereas loneliness is a emotional state that can be the result of isolation. Loneliness might also be the result of not having close emotional attachment to everything that's around you.
July 5th, 2018 2:20am
To isolate yourself is something you decide to do, you decide to be alone by yourself. To feel lonely is not something you decide, it’s a feeling and sometimes you can feel lonely even when you’re with people.
July 5th, 2018 10:06am
The difference between isolation and loneliness is the cause. Isolation is a form of bullying—the victim is avoided by bullies, and it’s subtle and hard to notice. That’s why it’s a common bullying method in schools when the bullies have a target, but don’t want to get caught. Their excuse could just be not liking the person. Loneliness is more of a personal concept. An emotion. You could be surrounded by people, but you can still feel lonely. That may be because you feel no one actually understands you. One thing isolation and loneliness have in common is the feeling that you don’t have a friend. That’s why 7 cups is here. To support you through times of isolation and loneliness. We are here for you.
July 5th, 2018 11:32am
Isolation is a state of feeling alone without any friends or help. Loneliness is unhappiness caused by not having anyone to talk to or having no friends.
July 11th, 2018 4:26pm
Loneliness is when you want to be with others but have no option and isolation is when you choose to not to be others.
July 11th, 2018 5:24pm
Isolation is a choice of people concerned, friends, classmates, society, coworkers, family and other groups you do belong. While loneliness is the feeling of an individual like the person can never relate to someone whether alone or with someone.
July 14th, 2018 2:55pm
Loneliness is feeling actual hurt from being alone... Isolation can be a self-imposed choice...for times of meditation, quiet reflection or thinking.
July 15th, 2018 6:46pm
Isolation is when you are either isolated or isolate yourself from your surroundings.. you are forbid or restrict yourself to explore all around you.. you can't experience things even if you wanted to.. While loneliness means, you can (and not forbid) explore your surroundings (like eg. Make friends, go to school, socializing) but just still felt lonely.. you felt like you're alone all the time.
July 22nd, 2018 6:18pm
While these two words can be synonyms, generally, the difference between them is this: isolation is a state of being, while loneliness is a feeling. You can be isolated from other people by a situation or circumstance—a busy job, an illness that keeps you housebound, a demanding partner, a move to a new city, etc. You can feel lonely when you're not feeling loved or supported, which can be in a state of total isolation or when you're surrounded by people but don't feel connected to them for whatever reason. Often, loneliness and isolation have a lot of overlap, but it's important to identify how they're affecting you specifically.
July 25th, 2018 9:24pm
Isolation is a self-inflicted process of removing oneself from social interaction while loneliness is a feeling caused by multiple factors.
July 26th, 2018 11:25am
Loneliness is feeling that nobody understands you and that you are alone WHEN you are surrounded by people. Isolation is to stay alone, and avoid meeting and talking to other people.
July 26th, 2018 3:57pm
Isolation is something that happens when you want to be alone and you alienate yourself from others. Loneliness is when you're alone, or you feel alone, because nobody's around, or maybe you've lost people that will never come back in your life, and that makes you feel like there's no one around you in this world. Isolation is something you do yourself, from my personal experience, after you've been abandoned by someone you cared about a lot. There are other reasons why you could isolate yourself: maybe you just want/need to be alone, maybe someone has disappointed you so much you don't want other people to do so, or maybe you're just having a bad moment and you require being alone. Otherwise, you could suffer from the "Hedgehog Dilemma". By this, I mean that you're like a hedgehog, you have needles (sadness, emptiness, bad behavior or anything else you don't like about yourself) and you're scared you could hurt yourself and/or other people with them. So, since you're scared of hurting and/or being hurt, you prefer to alienate yourself and be alone. But worry not! Remember that isolating yourself for short periods of time could really help you if you're going through a lot, but never think that you're alone and nobody's there to help you. In your city, between your relatives, on this site, around the world... there will always be someone willing to talk to you and help you feel loved and appreciated, because that's what you deserve.
July 26th, 2018 10:18pm
loneliness is when you have everyone around you but you yourself are feeling empty and broken. Isolation is when you want to be away from other people and make a barrier because of that.
July 29th, 2018 11:58pm
Loneliness can be described as just being alone, while isolation is deeper and means being affected emotionally by loneliness (feeling sad, anxious, etc.)
August 29th, 2018 9:51am
Loneliness is part of the essential human condition. Ultimately there is nobody who can live your life for you, and nobody who can make the decision for you to live your life as authentically as you can, given the limits imposed on you by your society or your community. We can give our power over to others, and allow them to decide for us what is right or wrong... but even then, this is a choice we have made; we are ultimately responsible for our lives and the way things turn out for us. Within that, we can reach out and connect with other people; this is the only way to avoid madness! To isolate is to cut off from other people; due to fear, presumptions of superiority, experience of being hurt before... there are many reasons we might choose to do this... but it is a dangerous way to live, because it means that we forfeit the opportunity to be of service to others. Some people choose to isolate as part of a religious practice, such as deciding to be a hermit or going into retreat; this is a different type of choice with different implications as to the way in which the person sees the outside world and relates to others.
September 1st, 2018 6:01pm
It is quite simple. Isolation is when somebody is avoiding you and tells your friends to do the same. It is like other people want to see you all alone because perhaps you did something wrong or who knows. Loneliness is when you feel you are all alone though you have a family, friends or maybe boyfriend / girlfriend. OR you have no one. There is no one for you whom you can talk, share your experiences, stories, ask for advices and so on. Loneliness is much terrible than isolation. Because you can change and fix things when you're isolated, but loneliness....sometimes there's no way out.
September 5th, 2018 9:25pm
Isolation put simply is where someone takes themselves away from a situation or a group of people or is taken away, this could be in a friendship group, in class or even isolating yourself from a family event. Isolating yourself means you have identified that you need space and are aware of this, therefore you remove yourself from the situation and distract yourself. Loneliness is when you are in a group of people amongst friends or family and still feel like you have no one to talk to. You may physically be alone and upset or you could emotionally feel alone and feel like you have no one to turn to.
September 8th, 2018 4:06pm
Isolation and loneliness are all most the same but there is a small "border" that divides them, and that border is free will. People who are "isolated" in most cases chose to be in that state because they found the comfort in it, if its because their daily routine is stressful and they have a lot of things to and manage with people or to take responsibility on some matters and they chose to isolate themselves from society just to take a breather and to reset the body and mind for the next day. On the other hand loneliness is not something that you chose to live by, it can just happen out of the bloom that you might feel that no one that you knew is connected with you, if its emotional or something out of interest that you had with him/her before. We feel lonely because we think people wont understand us as how we feel and act, some cases people just don't find us interested enough to try do anything socially and that's OK. We can't really go around and expect people to either like us and love us, if you will look back to your own childhood you also had kids that you didn't like and did not want to play with them. In conclusion: Isolation and loneliness are the same thing yet one of them is in our control while the other is just natural.
September 19th, 2018 11:47am
Loneliness is not a self option whereas many people choose to isolate themselves. Loneliness creeps in at times we least expect it and consumes our whole being. There are many times I'm in a room fully of people but can still feel lonely, it's more than just an action. It's an emotion that consumes everyone once in a while. Being in isolation is the action of being along but still being perfectly happy on you're own. You have you're own space to do whatever you want to do.
September 19th, 2018 8:22pm
From my perspective isolation refers to when you are actually physically alone, with no one around you - something that can be the result of social or personal isolation. Whereas loneliness can be felt when you're actually alone or surrounded by people, it can happen regardless of whether people are including you and talking to you or ignoring you - it's more of an internal feeling, often matched with the feeling of not feeling like you belong. For feelings of being isolated, I'd recommend the difficult but do-able action of trying new activities being them social or just in public spaces, this will lessen feelings of isolation. With loneliness, it can be a symptom of depression and rumination - thinking you don't belong or that your friends don't want you there when they actually do and therefore the work needs to be done on the inside out.
September 20th, 2018 9:05pm
I view isolation as purposefully withdrawing from people and not really wanting to interact, whereas when people are lonely, they do crave human interaction but can’t really seem to find it. In short, isolation is intentional but loneliness isn’t. Also, loneliness tends to be an emotion, while isolation is more of a state of being, or action. Isolation is a common symptom of depression, while loneliness can contribute to being depressed. I personally tend to isolate and wish to be alone, but I don’t necessarily feel lonely. I think both have similarities, but when you get down to it, are also very different.
September 29th, 2018 5:21am
the difference between isolation and loneliness is quite similar, but different as well. isolation is when one is all alone without having much of a choice. it can also mean that the person wants to be alone in order to feel at peace. loneliness is a feeling someone may have. it can be when one has trouble feeling like they are there, present in the moment. one may feel like they are misunderstood or out of place. it is when they feel as if no one is there for them. loneliness is when someone may have support from others, but they still feel like they are alone in the situation, not taken seriously or they are simply misunderstood.
October 4th, 2018 11:52pm
Isolation is physically being apart from someone or something. Loneliness is a mental/emotional feeling of being apart from someone or something. At times our loneliness can be so severe that we do physically feel isolated from someone or something. The mind is very powerful. But you are never alone! We can get through our tough times with a great support system. Just know that you are not the only one, we are human with you. Isolation and loneliness are feelings to be shared, there are no right or wrong ways of expressing them either. We are all entitled to our emotions.