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Lonely or alone?

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Sajini Chandrasekera

There is a great difference between being lonely and being alone. Many people are alone and lead happy lives.

Everyone experiences loneliness. Some humans are more socially accepted. Some who try to be social remain socially rejected, and some have difficulty even trying. Loneliness should not be equated with a fear of being alone. Everyone has times when they are alone for situational reasons, or because they have chosen to be alone. Being alone can be experienced as positive, pleasurable, and emotionally refreshing if it is under the individuals control. Solitude is the state of being alone and secluded from other people, and often implies having made a conscious choice to be alone. Loneliness is therefore unwilling solitude. Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. Loneliness is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected, or rejection from other people, so that it feels difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. Lonely people often feel empty or hollow inside.

Being alone and lonely, and even just the fear of being alone, make many people insecure, anxious and depressed. If you fear being alone you may become over needy of other people and feel as if you must be around people at all times. While we all, to varying degrees, need people in our life, if you feel you must have people around all the time then this need is controlling you. What is meant by "being alone" means different things to different people. It is critical to evaluate what makes up your fear and to what degree this fear controls you and your behavior. For example, it is important to note if there are any social elements to the fear, is the fear related to personal violence concerns, and is the focus on one particular person or type of person rather than on the need to have another human being in close proximity.

Many elderly people have developed traits or habits that help them be comfortable with themselves alone. They have found ways to keep busy mentally. Many rely on good memories of a deceased spouse for comfort while relishing the peace and quiet of a household void of too much activity. They have reached the point where their status quot is calmness. The young, however, are subject to a wide range of moods. They may be up one morning and down that evening or up and down several times in a given day. They are often bored and restless to the point of being unhappy for no clear reason. When they are not sought after and included in all activities of their peers, their self-esteem takes a hit.When they are lonely, they blame themselves and resort to activities that exclude social contact or productivity, such as watching too much television.Being alone can have its advantages. The creative person craves time alone. Any professional who takes a sabbatical and spends some time alone returns refreshed mentally and spiritually.

What causes of loneliness and a fear of being alone? People can experience loneliness for many reasons, and many life events are related to loneliness. Loneliness is a very common response to divorce or the breakup/loss of any important long-term relationship. In these cases it may stem both from the loss of a specific person, as well as from the withdrawal from social circles caused by the event or the associated sadness.Loneliness can be a response to a specific situation or event, such as the death or extended absence of a loved one. Loneliness may also occur after the birth of a child, after marriage or after any minor or major life event. Loneliness can occur in marriages or similar close relationships where there is anger/resentment or a lack of "loving" communication. The fear of being alone can be caused by by many different things. Maybe you were, or felt, abandoned at some time in life and came to associate being alone with being unloved or neglected.

A fear of being alone can be directly related to lack of self-confidence and to the belief that activities cannot be enjoyed or even attempted if you are alone. Or maybe you just never learned to be comfortable while alone. Like anything in life, what has been learned can be altered. You can learn to be better at being alone without being lonely so that you have the choice of whether to be with others or not. And when you overcome the fear of being alone, you instantly become more independent and confident as a result. In fact, there are many advantages to overcoming fear of loneliness. When you are alone you have time to think calmly and there is a special kind of peace you can experience only when alone. Time spent alone sometimes can also make time spent with others even more enjoyable. Remember that being alone doesn't have to mean being lonely.

Previous: Celebrating Culture


posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, February 04, 2014,


At 15:21, Blogger jalalHB said...

It is just the mindset - one can feel lonely even when in a crowd - a state of self pity perhaps. One should in fact try to find the positives in life even if all alone or lonely, whatever.

At 12:16, Anonymous sajini said...

@ JalalHB....
Thank you for leaving your comment. Yes i agree that even in a crowd we feel alone and the reason i see is that people who are in that crowd dont share our mutual feelings or thoughts and therefore we feel loneliness. Lonliness is a temporial mental status which can be changed with little effort. But each and every one of us feel this lonliness at some point of our life even for short period.

At 10:57, Anonymous Voter education handbook said...

I agree with you its all about feelings that makes the environment around us.very interesting post.


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