Learn to Be Alone

June 16, 2016
We're taught that being alone is the same as loneliness, but that's not true. Everyone should learn to be alone and happy with themselves.

When you think of the word “alone” and everything that it implies, you might feel a little scared. Fear of being lonely, having no one by your side, fear of abandonment. It’s time to learn to be alone!

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So, why does being alone make us feel so bad? What has caused humans to reject loneliness? Today we want to find the answers to these questions and many more.

The origin of the fear of being alone

This unfounded fear of being alone started in your childhood and in your first years of school. The society we live in has strengthened and reinforced this ongoing fear of having no one by your side, and of being on your own.

2 girl with cat

This fear has led to many disorders, like emotional dependency for example. People who have this problem can’t be without their partner because they would just feel empty, lifeless, and depressed. It’s easy to forget that being alone is not a problem—it’s not even something negative. That’s what we’ve been made to believe, but it’s just not true. We’ve often been told things that in the end have turned out to be completely untrue.

The same goes with solitude. The truth is that you shouldn’t be afraid. Instead of considering being alone to be a terrible state of affairs, you should view it as an opportunity for personal growth and better self-awareness. Learn to be alone!

There’s one person who will never let you down: you

When a partner leaves you, when a family member passes away, when a friend turns their back on you. All of these situations will leave you feeling alone or abandoned. Disappointment will add to your pain and make you think that you’re doomed to be alone forever.

A watercolor of a child being hugged.

The truth, however, is that in this life you’ll suffer hundreds of disappointments. Your best friends may betray you, the person you chose to be by your side could suddenly change. Should you rail against the injustice? Is life so unfair?

You perceive unfairness as the fact that nothing in life is certain. However, you have to learn to accept that other people can fail you at any time.

But what you may not have been aware of is that there really is someone out there who will never fail you, because they value you above anyone else. They will always be there for you, and will always stay by your side. That person is you.

Learn to be alone with your loneliness

Girl sitting on a chair drinking a hot drink.

One of the biggest problems people have is that they don’t know how to make peace with loneliness. What should you do? How can you erase those feelings of emptiness? We would be lying if we told you it was easy, but what’s certain is that it isn’t impossible!

Solitude can be your best friend, but it takes effort to get to know her better. We’d like to share some tips to help you slowly adjust to it. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid everyone just to experience loneliness. Simply learn to love your solitude when it happens.

  • Pay attention to your internal dialogue: if you’re constantly telling yourself that being alone is something bad, then it will be. Ask yourself if that statement is really true and try to change your way of seeing things.
  • Spend some time with yourself: why shouldn’t you spend a weekend alone? Why do you feel so bad when you go to a café by yourself?
  • Learn to do the things that you think you should always do with a partner or a friend. You have yourself! Spend some time with just you.
  • Open yourself to others: have you ever wondered if that empty feeling you have is self-inflicted? Sometimes you might feel lonely because you’re not open to the people around you, or you refuse to meet others.

Enjoying your solitude

Enjoying your solitude doesn’t mean isolating yourself from the rest of the world. When you find that balance you’ll find true happiness.

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4 girlfriends with hair entwined.

Have you ever felt alone? Have you struggled with that empty feeling? While it’s difficult, you can let go of the void! Open up, meet new people, strive to be yourself.

Solitude can become your best friend if you truly learn to be alone.

  • Cacioppo, J. T., Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2009). Alone in the Crowd: The Structure and Spread of Loneliness in a Large Social Network. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0016076
  • Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters: A theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-010-9210-8
  • Johnson, R., Henkell, H., Simon, E., & Zhu, J. (2008). The self in conflict: The role of executive processes during truthful and deceptive responses about attitudes. NeuroImage. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.08.032
  • Méndez, F.X., Inglés, C.J. e Hidalgo, M.D. (2002). Estrés en las relaciones interpersonales: Un estudio descriptivo en la adolescencia. Ansiedad y estrés, 8, 23-31