It’s an interesting combination: Having a great fear of being alone, and having a desperate need for solitude and the solitary experience. That’s always been a tug of war for me. – Jodie Foster
Being alone can be difficult to those who are extroverted and love talking to people and sharing thoughts. Some people really have a difficult time with being alone and will ask someone to accompany them when doing short tasks like picking up groceries, picking up laundry, or grabbing take out. Since we are born we have to be watched, we need love, we need communion, and we continue to grow in social environments like school. It is even politically frowned upon to not have a spouse. It is in our culture and our society that make us feel uncomfortable to be alone. Of course this may be different for the introverts. They yearn the need to be alone with their thoughts, to have the freedom to do as they please.
Have you ever wondered why you are afraid to be alone? Why do we feel lonely when we don’t have company? Further more, why when we don’t have enough downtime alone, do we wish we were by ourselves?
Here are a few things I think can change your attitude about having some successful, happy, fulfilling, downtime:
It’s Healthy & Satisfying To Spend Time With Yourself – Studies show that most people stay in bad relationships because they are afraid to be alone. Being single doesn’t mean you are alone. It means you are open to possibilities of getting to know different people and possibly one day leading into a committed relationship, or not, it depends on what you are into. Spending time alone allows us to self reflect and pay attention to our needs, desires, and thoughts. It is healthy to digest the day and grow from things we experience.
Enjoy YOU – I think it is important to be your own best friend. Yes, we need others and real best friends but I think it is equally important to enjoy the way you think, the things you love, and really take the time to do what makes YOU happy. I think we can over think loneliness and boredom, making us uncomfortable spending time by ourselves. If you don’t think you’re fun, why should anyone else think you are?
Pick Hobbies To Do Alone – If you love writing, bring a book with you to a public place. Pick up an instrument, attend a concert, roller blade, learn a language, or try something completely new. You’ll be surprised how exciting your own company can be and what new thoughts you will gain.
Here is a Poem written by Tanya Davis. The video below is a recorded version of this poem that may make you see being alone in a different light.
HOW TO BE ALONE by Tanya Davis
If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in (guitar stroke).
And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.
Start simple. Things you may have previously (electric guitar plucking) based on your avoid being alone principals.
The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there’re always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself
Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.
You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.
Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be releived, keeps things interesting lifes magic things in reach.
And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that communitie’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.
you could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.