Many people with autism feel lonely in a world that wasn’t made for them, so when people try to change them being themselves, it only fuels more feelings of isolation.
Being alone is a state of being and feeling lonely is an emotional response. There are some who want more solitude in their lives and some who fear being alone. Being alone, and feeling lonely are also not mutually exclusive.
Trying to be yourself in a society that doesn’t speak the same language can bring about loneliness, thus why people with autism mask to feel a sense of connection. Loneliness can come about when we don’t feel our real selves are being seen and many autistic people feel like this because of the pressure to mask as a solution to fit in. This portrays a false sense of who they really are and only creates more isolation and sensory overload.
We can feel lonely in a crowd because we may feel disconnected from other people around us. Some people thrive on being alone, while others may need to be in the company of people to feel connected. The most important relationship we will ever have is one with ourselves and people who are comfortable spending time alone have a good relationship with themselves.
It isn't rocket science that we all walk our path alone as no one else can walk it for us. However, those that support us in discovering who we are can help us fulfil that more peacefully. Those that want to interfere with us following our hearts are best distanced from, as their intent is to fulfil their best interests rather than for our highest good.
We have a lack of humanity in the world as many are leading self-centred selfish lives which makes accepting ourselves even more important. The many who have tried to source acceptance primarily from others will already know how that really works out as expectations only lead to more suffering. Learning to accept ourselves creates a strong foundation of not feeling lonely. Of course, this does not mean we shouldn’t advocate and educate others on how to treat others with acceptance, compassion, and kindness.