Everyone gets lonely at some point or the other. There are many uncomfortable truths about why people hate being alone, and we shall examine this.
Here’s the thing, being alone can be good for both introverts and extroverts, even improving emotional health. If you’re an introvert, being alone is easy, as you’re not so much of a social butterfly.
However, you can still get lonely every now and then. But healthy introverts think about their friends and family, go visit a while, and then they’re fine.
Extroverts aren’t as satisfied with being alone. They usually rather be around friends more often than introverts. When lonely, extroverts just spend more time in social situations. But both types are okay with being by themselves sometimes if they are comfortable and emotionally healthy.
The uncomfortable truths people who hate being alone don’t want to face
Here’s where it differs. There are some people who don’t like being alone, and I refer to those who just cannot stand to be by themselves for a moment. There are reasons for this unhealthy mindset.
And yes, it is unhealthy to constantly be around other people almost 100% of the time. So, let’s examine the uncomfortable reasons why.
1. You feel unloved
Let’s say you were abandoned or neglected as a child. You struggled to get your parents to notice you, but they were always so busy with other things.
Unfortunately, these lonely feelings became ingrained in who you are. Then, later, you also felt neglected by your partner in a relationship, and this only compounded these feelings.
Feeling lonely can make you feel unloved and cause you to desperately seek company to drive those feelings away. Because every time you’re alone, it reminds you of how you felt before, as a child and in certain relationships.
Constantly being around others gives you a false sense of love just because there are people around.
2. You have low self-esteem
Honestly, if you’re afraid of being alone, you may have low self-esteem. The reason: you have the never-ending need for confirmation that you’re a likable person.
You see, receiving compliments temporarily boosts your feelings, and with friends around, you don’t feel lonely. But when you’re left at home with no one to talk to, you immediately see all your faults and imperfections.
I’m going to sound a bit harsh here, but I think it’s necessary. Someone with low self-esteem is like a bucket with a hole in it. No matter how many compliments, accolades, or hugs you get, when everybody leaves, all these things drain back out. Then you’re left once more to think those negative things about yourself uncontested.
3. You don’t know what to do
There are plenty of things that you can do by yourself. However, some people have trouble starting tasks. If you’ve been so conditioned to being around people all the time, being alone will feel alien doing things alone will too.
When everyone is gone, leaving you behind, you may look around and feel no inspiration to do anything. It just seems unnatural to strike out and complete lone projects or enjoy time with yourself. And so, loneliness will quickly creep in during these times.
4. Your memories are not so pleasant
If you’ve experienced traumatic events in your life, for instance, like losing loved ones, then your memories can be your worst enemy. While some people can look back and smile, others see memories as unbearably painful. Being alone means having more opportunities to think about the past.
When you’re around other people, you can be easily distracted from your memories, engaging in present situations, and enjoying social functions. But when they leave, there’s an open door for those memories to come rushing back in.
Some people surround themselves with others to prevent this from happening. Yes, it works for a while, but eventually, you will be alone once more.
5. You’ve don’t even know who you are
One of the worst things you can develop is a co-dependent mindset. You see, as you grow into an adult, you start to base your happiness on others. You keep asking others:
“What do you think would make me happy?”,
“What tattoo should I get and where?” and
“Do you think I should lose weight?”
Even though this might sound silly, it’s how a great number of people think.
You see, the goal is to get to know yourself and understand what you like separate from anyone else’s opinions or preferences.
How does being co-dependent prevent us from feeling comfortable when alone? Because when we’re alone, we must think for ourselves. But we can’t because we have no idea who we really are or what we want.
6. You know exactly who you are
On the flip side, some people know exactly who they are, and it’s not pretty. Let’s say you’ve spent much of your life being cruel to others and getting away with it. You know that eventually, you may pay for your actions.
Being alone reminds you of the things you’ve done because there’s no one there to disrupt those thoughts. Guilt may also start to eat away at your conscience when you’re alone as well.
Understanding this, you surround yourself with people as much as possible. If you’ve changed your ways, then you may be faced with the decision to confront your issues or apologize for wrongs.
Either way, you’re staying away from the truth of who you are and wearing a mask of innocence. The truth is, one day, your actions will probably come into the light. So, what will you do?
7. We are social animals
Another truth, even for introverts, is that we were conditioned to be social animals. From long ago, we’ve gathered in groups, lived closely in villages, and worked together. So, to be alone now seems almost painful for some.
If you’re struggling to be alone, and you absolutely hate it, then it could be a natural response. Yes, it’s easier for introverts to be alone, but it’s not the dominant state of being for humans. Therefore, it feels so strange to you.
Alone Vs. Lonely
There’s no simple answer to why some people hate being alone. As you can see, there are many reasons why this may feel uncomfortable. However, being alone and being lonely are still different, and it’s healthy to have some time to yourself.
I guess my word to you is, if you want to be alone, that’s fine. Just make sure to check in on others from time to time. If you hate being alone, as extroverts often do, then maybe it’s time to practice getting to know yourself better.
The bottom line: let’s find a balance and face the uncomfortable truths of who we are as human beings. It’s a process.
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