Do you have a fear of being alone? Do you worry about your physical safety or do you fear loneliness? These are strong negative feelings that can impact your health. One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death, by as much as 26%.
In this article, we will look into the causes of this fear and what you can do to overcome it.
Table of Contents
What Causes the Fear of Being Alone?
The fear of being alone can be caused by by different things.
Maybe you were or felt abandoned in life before, for example you were an abandoned child or your partner broke up with you. And so, you came to associate being alone with being unloved.
A fear of being alone can also be related to a lack of self-confidence. A person who doesn’t believe in themselves may think that they are not worthy of love and that they’re not capable to make their lives better in any way.
And for some people, they are afraid of being alone because they don’t know how to be comfortable to be alone. They always want company as they’ve never learned how to enjoy doing anything on their own.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Being Alone
If you experience loneliness and are worried about your fear of being alone, these 6 ways can help you feel better:
1. Embrace Loneliness
When you are alone, it is important to embrace it and enjoy it to the full.
Wallow in the feeling that you do not have to be accountable for anything you do. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial.
There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated.
When you start to enjoy being alone, these 10 amazing things will happen.
Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.
2. Facebook Is Not the Answer
Have you noticed how people seek virtual contacts instead of a live, face-to-face interaction? It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real life personal contact is pretty slim.
Being wrapped up in a cloud of sharing, liking and commenting (and insulting!) can only increase loneliness.
When you really want company, no one on Facebook will phone you to invite you out.
3. Stop Tolerating Unhappy Relationships
It is a cruel fact of life that people are so scared of loneliness that they often opt into a relationship with the wrong person.
There is enormous pressure from peers, family and society in general to get married or to be in a stable, long-term relationship. When this happens, people start making wrong decisions, such as:
- hanging out with toxic company such as dishonest or untrustworthy people;
- getting involved with unsuitable partners because of the fear of being alone or lonesome;
- accepting inappropriate behavior just because of loneliness;
- seeking a temporary remedy instead of making a long-term decision.
The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness.
4. Go out and Meet People
It was the poet John Donne (1572 – 1631) who wrote:
‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.
Human contact is essential to surviving in this world. Instead of wallowing in boredom and sadness, you need to get out as much as possible and seek contacts.
Being a member of a group, however tenuous, is a great way. So when you are in the gym, at church or simply at a club meeting, exploit these contacts to enlarge your social circle.
There is no point in staying at home all the time. You will not meet any new people there!
Social contacts are rather like delicate plants. You have to look after them. That means telephoning, using Skype and being there when needed.
Take a look at this guide on How to Meet New People and Make Friends with The Best.
5. Reach out to Help Someone in Need
A burden shared is a burden halved.
Dag Hammarskjold was keenly aware of this fact when he said:
‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden but this: I have only my own burden to bear’.
Simply put, it is a two-way street. Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.
Reach out to help and people will be there when you need them.
6. Be Grateful and Count Your Blessings
Study after study shows that if people show gratitude, they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.
If you do not believe me, watch the video below, ‘What good is gratitude?’ Now here is the path to hope and happiness:
As scary as the fear of being alone may seem, you’re capable to overcome it.
As you try the above suggestions to fight against your fear, you’re actually working to boost your self confidence. When you have more confidence in yourself, you value yourself more and believe that you’re always worthy of love even though you’re alone.
Truth is, everyone needs time to be themselves, gather their thoughts, relish the silence and just totally chill out. These are precious moments and are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.
So, learn to embrace loneliness and just remember you’re worthy of love!
|BBC News: Social isolation ‘increases death risk in older people’