Loneliness is not the same thing as being alone. After all, feelings of isolation can strike when you’re in a roomful of people or among your closest friends. Rather, it’s the painful experience of feeling alone. It occurs when there’s a discrepancy between what we want out of our relationships and what we’re actually getting. Sometimes, this is due to life circumstances, like losing a partner or moving to a new town. Other times, it reflects a person’s interior state. Studies have shown that lonely people often have incorrect assumptions about how other people perceive them. As a result, they have difficulty forming meaningful connections.