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Loneliness: Why We Don’t Want to Be Alone

Probably the most avoided feeling we humans know is loneliness, but why is that?

That we do not want to be alone has two major reasons. The first is that in our society we are taught everywhere that if you are alone, there is something wrong with you. After all, if we were "normal" and adaptable, we wouldn't be alone. The second reason is that we never really learn to be alone.

When we have no real goals in life to pursue, we quickly get into a state where nothing seems important. If we are exposed to this state long enough, we begin to feel an emptiness within us. This emptiness, however, can usually not be eliminated by dealing with it, but by seeking distraction through it.

This distraction rarely comes from ourselves. We are, after all, the epicenter of the void. So we try to escape the void by seeking distraction in the form of friends and family or.

Why we usually consider society better than it is

Who doesn't know it, you walk through a pedestrian zone and see people everywhere in the various restaurants and cafes, talking with others, laughing and just having a good time. Of course, we would like that too. But what we don't see is that this is only a small part of one day of these people.

Possibly, when the so happy looking couple goes home from the café, there will be a bad argument because one of them was rude to the waitress. A quarrel that you would not have if you went for a coffee alone.

I don't mean that all people seem happier in public than they actually are. But rather that when you do something with other people, you always have to be considerate of them. So you can't always do exactly what you want.

To put it more simply, when we are alone, we only have to consider our own preferences. We do not have to be afraid of hurting or wronging anyone.

Why we should learn to be alone

The person we will spend the most time with in our lives is ourselves. For this very reason, it is of utmost importance that we have a good and healthy relationship with ourselves.

This means that we train our psyche to cope well in society as well as alone.

The ability to engage with oneself is elementary. Because in the course of our lives - whether we want it or not - we will always have phases of loneliness.

Learning to be alone means being able to be independently productive, relax or challenge yourself athletically. In other words, you know what to do and when. Of course, it takes a lot of practice to understand yourself and to be able to motivate yourself. After all, there's no one to tell you to get off the couch and do the dishes.

If you are bored when you are alone, then you are obviously in bad company.

- Sadhguru

This is one of my favorite quotes from Sadhguru, as it hits the nail on the head. The uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies being alone is nothing more than our incompetence in dealing with loneliness.

Often when I am alone and think to myself that many things could be better, I think of this quote and pull myself together and go for a walk, practice guitar or otherwise find something to do and forget most of my negative thoughts.

It's not an easy path, but learning to be happy with yourself is a quality everyone should learn - but few have.

Just light up a campfire and enjoy it alone

Being alone is our own choice

We often think that we are alone because no one wants to do anything with us. That we ourselves are perhaps to blame for the situation often does not even occur to us.

We could just as well have asked this or that person if they wanted to do something with us. But we did not ask them.

  • We could have called our parents and asked if they would like to have dinner together.
  • We could have asked a friend to have a beer with us.
  • We could have asked a brother or sister to watch a movie with us.

There are very many options that would have ensured that we do not spend the evening alone. However, we have passively decided to spend this very evening alone and sulking. With the thought that no one wants to do anything with us. Even though this is at least 50% attributable to ourselves.

The fear of being alone

You walk through the city and see all around you beautiful and interesting people. You wish that you would get to know him, her, this or that one better. You almost have the feeling that you miss something if you do not get to know the person.

This can lead to thinking one might miss the perfect partner. This in turn can lead to taking the next best person as a partner instead of waiting a while longer to find the right partner.

Fear of being alone is probably responsible for more unhappy relationships than any other reason.

If we look for a partner only out of fear of being alone, then we disregard all the important criteria of a good partner. Just as the grass does not grow faster when you pull on it, you will not be happy just because you quickly find a partner. The partner must finally also fit to one.

A relationship to conceal one's own weaknesses

It is widely known that partners should complement each other. So that they can advance each other. For this, however, it is important that you want to improve yourself. If this is not the case, it can quickly happen that you use the relationship to work around your own weaknesses instead of learning to improve.

A simple example of this is when you yourself are more introverted and your partner is extroverted. Now my partner could motivate me to call the pizza delivery service this time and place the order. But I could also rest on the fact that I know that my partner doesn't mind calling there.

In the first case, I would get help from my partner to learn to jump over my shadow and call the delivery service myself.

In the second case, we would snuggle up in our nice familiar comfort zone and rest on our partner taking over.

At first glance, it doesn't matter which way we choose, because in both cases a pizza is delivered to our doorstep in the end. However, if at some point we part ways and no longer have our partner, then we have not learned to overcome our fear and call the delivery service. Then we have merely used the relationship to mask our own weaknesses.

Why loneliness sometimes bothers us more and sometimes less

As with all things, the more we think about loneliness, the bigger the problem seems. When we sit alone and look out the window, the thought creeps in that we are alone and without a partner.

This thought begins to gain in stature. We start to wonder if it's because of us that no one wants to be with us. Whether we're not beautiful enough or interesting enough. We quickly get lost in a seemingly endless flood of toxic thoughts.

In order not to allow such thoughts to build up in the first place, it helps to simply look for something to do to distract oneself. This is not about suppressing the thoughts, but rather to preventively ensure that we do not talk worse than we actually are.

Another factor why being alone sometimes bothers us less or more is the social structure. This sounds a bit far-fetched right off the bat, but let me illustrate it quite simply. It is clearly easier to reconcile with oneself to be alone on a Monday night than on a Saturday night.

Saturday night is about partying and doing something with friends. At least that's how it's largely exemplified in society. Whereas Monday evening at the beginning of the week is rather meant for sorting out one's own things.

So the next time you feel alone on a Saturday night, just try to get some of your stuff sorted out and pretend it's a Monday night. Only with the bonus that you still have the next day off.

Always connected and yet lonely

In our times, we have the possibility to get in touch with other people anytime and anywhere. We don't have to do anything but pull our smartphone out of our pocket and write to one of the thousands of possible contacts.

But even though getting a message has been proven to boost our dopamine levels, a chat to distract us is still only a lousy compromise for real conversation.

We create profiles that represent only selected content about us. We portray our lives and our personalities as much more interesting than they actually are. Now we want confirmation from just as empty and artificial Internet personalities. However, this confirmation is hardly worth anything, because it is hardly real. Neither the person who gives it to us is real in the way they present themselves, nor is it their own profile, i.e. their own "person". So the recognition we receive is not really for us and we know that deep inside.

In my opinion, it is better to face the emptiness within and befriend yourself than to run away from it and distract yourself with social media.

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