What is loneliness? | Friends For Good

What is loneliness?

We know that it's bad for our health, but:

As a volunteer driven not-for-profit, Friends for Good aims to provide services that will have a wide reaching impact in freeing people from the causes and effects of loneliness in our communities.

But first we need to define what loneliness actually is.

We asked the community to tell us what they thought:

Surveys completed

Felt lonely at some point in their lives

Identify as lonely right now

Think it’s difficult to admit being lonely

The qualitative data responses were also very powerful.

We asked people to define what loneliness is; many common themes emerged such as a lack of connectivity, feelings of sadness and depression and sense of hopelessness.

Some responses include defining loneliness as:

“Depressing, want to just kill myself”

“Not sharing a life with my late husband”

“Thinking that there is no-one who cares about me thus my life must be a total waste”

“Living on my own and often not communicating with anyone else for several days a week”

“Sad, no one cares, out of sight out of mind, invisible”

“Having the feeling that you are of no use to anyone and that no one wants your company”

“Alone at home, especially in the evenings and nights. nobody to share the days experience with”

When we asked people about potential solutions for loneliness 18% left this section blank or indicated they were unsure.

Some of the qualitative answers to this question included:


“Wish I knew”

“If I knew that I'd be a millionaire”

“Talk your sorrow out .. cry whenever it makes you”

“I don’t know – it’s not easy to go out and meet people”


The survey confirmed information gained from our experience working in the not-for-profit sector.

That is, many people feel lonely and it is a difficult thing for people to talk about.

The many negative feelings and problematic experiences associated with loneliness are having a very detrimental impact on some people’s lives.

View full report