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Admitting being lonely is a social taboo in most situations - it's perceived as failure. While many people feel it, few are willing to seek help.

> "While many people feel it"

There's a useful distinction to be made between lonely and just being alone. Alone is the state of not having anyone else close to you in that moment, lonely is a negative emotion that comes from being alone.

It's quite possible to enjoy being alone, I know I do, my mind is much freer to wander, and I sure I'm not the only person that feels this way. As Byron put it...

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more"

There's also a style of alone that can be very enjoyable, which isn't so widely commented on, and that's to be part of the hustle and bustle of a big city, with lots of human activity around you, but where you're only involved as a passive observer. Buses are good for getting in this state, as is exploring a city by foot (even better in a country where you don't speak the language), but really it's a mindset that's available anytime.

Being alone when you have an obvious choice not to be is nice. I can usually choose to phone up a handful of friends, or make it out to the hackspace, and be almost sure to meet someone. Being alone and not having that opportunity sucks, on the other hand.

Obligation can suck the fun out of anything. That includes feeling obligated to interact, as well as feeling obligated to not interact.

That said, if someone wants to overcome loneliness, it's possible for them to make their own opportunities to interact. Finding people with shared interests is easier than ever, now that we have the Internet.

So it's essentially the prisoners dilemma. Two persons must admit they are lonely for mutual benefit but nobody dare to do it first in fear of being the only one being perceived as failure.

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