We’re all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life!
—Tennessee Williams (1911–83) American Playwright
We are most of us very lonely in this world; you who have any who love you, cling to them and thank God.
We enter the world alone, we leave the world alone.
—James Anthony Froude (1818–94) British Historian, Novelist, Biographer, Editor
Loneliness is the ultimate poverty
—Pauline Phillips (Abigail van Buren) (b.1918) American Columnist
Language has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone, and the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.
—Paul Tillich (1886–1965) American Lutheran Theologian, Philosopher
What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.
—Dag Hammarskjold (1905–61) Swedish Statesman, UN Diplomat
Who knows what true loneliness is—not the conventional word, but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion. Now and then a fatal conjunction of events may lift the veil for an instant. For an instant only. No human being could bear a steady view of moral solitude without going mad.
—Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) Polish-born British Novelist
No one ever discovers the depths of his own loneliness.
—Georges Bernanos (1888–1948) French Author
The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.
—Thomas Wolfe (1900–38) American Novelist
We are never the same with others as when we are alone. We are different, even when we are in the dark with them.
—Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949) Belgian Poet, Playwright, Essayist
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
It’s a terrible thing to be alone—yes it is—it is—but don’t lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath—as terrible as you like—but a mask.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealand-born British Author
All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot.
—Theodor Seuss Geisel (‘Dr. Seuss’) (1904–91) American Children’s Books Writer, Writer, Cartoonist, Animator
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.
—Bruce Fairchild Barton (1886–1967) American Author, Advertising Executive, Politician
The end comes when we no longer talk with ourselves. It is the end of genuine thinking and the beginning of the final loneliness.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.
—Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) Swiss Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Philosopher
Only in a house where one has learnt to be lonely does one have this solicitude for things. One’s relation to them, the daily seeing or touching, begins to become love, and to lay one open to pain.
—Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) Irish Novelist, Short-story Writer
The essence of this man [Richard M. Nixon] is loneliness.
—Henry Kissinger (b.1923) American Diplomat, Academician
I was never less alone than when by myself.
—Edward Gibbon (1737–94) English Historian, Politician
Lonely people, in talking to each other can make each other lonelier.
—Lillian Hellman (1905–84) American Dramatist, Memoirist
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
—Anne Frank (1929–45) Holocaust Victim
It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is as true of men as of dogs.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease… observing a spear of summer grass.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist
It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the spaces between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
—Maya Angelou (1928–2014) American Poet
Strife is better than loneliness.
Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.
—Germaine Greer (b.1939) Australia Academic, Journalist, Scholar, Writer
At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.
—Brendan Behan (1923–64) Irish Poet, Novelist, Playwright
People think they know me, but they don’t. Not really. Actually, I am one of the loneliest people on this earth. I cry sometimes, because it hurts. It does. To be honest, I guess you could say that it hurts to be me.
—Michael Jackson (1958–2009) American Singer-Songwriter
All men are lonely. But sometimes it seems to me that we Americans are the loneliest of all. Our hunger for foreign places and new ways has been with us almost like a national disease. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest, and our writers have been great wanderers.
—Carson McCullers (1917–67) American Novelist