A nobleman is entertaining the queen and the other guests with a forced smile on his face. As he speaks, the feeling of loneliness grows inside him. Eventually, the feeling grows so acute that he can no longer keep his sadness at bay, and he sheds a tear.

''Once upon a time, there was a man who felt lonely in the company of others. He did not know that there was something inside him that he was separating himself from.''

The notion of loneliness

The feeling of loneliness arises when there is something inside you that you are separated from. That separation is what gives rise to the feeling of loneliness. For example, you may be sad without allowing yourself to embrace it, perhaps because you feel there is no room for sadness in the particular company you are in right now. Or maybe you are home alone, and you feel lonely – in that case, just as in the previous example, the feeling stems from being separated from something, not the fact that you are alone.

Table of Content

The feeling of loneliness often stems from emotions that are not welcome or ­allowed in the context where they arise or which are troubling and seem impossible to ­handle without help. Paradoxically, that may be the very reason why the emotions remain unprocessed. The feeling of loneliness can cause you to remain stuck in ­certain ­emotions – that drains your life of vitality and is not conducive to a good life. The feeling of loneliness can also be the factor that initiates change.


The nobleman in the illustration is sad, and he finds himself in a context where he feels that he has to keep his sadness hidden. The solution he chooses – to try to be entertaining, regardless – is a bad choice for him and for the people around him, since no one is really going to find his stories very funny.

The fact that the nobleman chooses that solution tells us a great deal about his self-esteem, his way of being in the world and the tolerance of the people he is with. If we assume that he has gone to the party voluntarily, his self-esteem must be quite low, since he has chosen to disregard his need/needs. His way of being in the world revolves around being loved for what he does, not for who he is. If he were loved for who he is, there would be room for him to be sad and still be included in the party. He would not feel compelled to be the life of the party but might be allowed a more withdrawn, marginal position with room for deeper personal contact.

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