Loneliness is part of what it means to be human. You can bet that everyone you know has been lonely at some time. It can feel bad at the time, but being alone need not mean being lonely. Some folks will do anything to avoid being alone, but it’s important to be able to enjoy solitude, not dread it.
As someone who suffered from social anxiety for years, I also struggled with loneliness. Even though I would try to avoid every form of human contact I would still feel lonely and I had a lot of common misbeliefs about solitude that made me feel even more lonely because I didn’t deal with them.
1. I’m Alone, so I Must be Boring
There’s a lot of pressure to be ‘on’ and extroverted all the time. But most people simply aren’t like that. Living your regular life and just being you doesn’t mean you’re boring.
2. Nobody Cares
Thinking nobody notices or cares about you is another common belief when you’re feeling lonely. But what is your evidence? Simply not being in other people’s company doesn’t mean nobody cares. People are probably just focused on their own stuff, just as you’re focused on yours.
3. I Won’t Be Lonely If I Find a Partner
This belief is especially dangerous as it gives your power away. It also puts a lot of pressure and expectation on someone else to ensure your happiness. The only person who is responsible for your happiness is you. Fear of being alone is one of the most common reasons why people stay in bad relationships. And that’s a terrible act of self-sabotage. Placing company, no matter how toxic, above your own happiness, is a terrible thing to do to yourself. Even worse, company doesn’t mean you won’t feel lonely if you’re with the wrong person.
4. Being in a Group is Better than Being Alone
Sharing activities with other people can be a lot of fun. But it’s also good to learn to enjoy doing things by yourself. If you only go out or try something new when you’ve got company, you’ll be missing out on a lot of good times.
5. I’ll Look Like a Loser If I’m by Myself
Seriously, have you ever seen someone walking alone or eating lunch by themselves and thought ‘what a loser’? If anyone notices that you are by yourself (and that’s a big if, as most people are focused on themselves), they’ll probably admire you for doing it alone.
6. Being Alone is a Terrible Thing
It’s true that human beings are social animals and most people feel more comfortable being with others. But fearing solitude doesn’t make any sense. No one is unaccompanied for every second of the day. Most people will spend at least part of their lives alone.
It’s not terrible, it’s just another aspect of life. So, learn to embrace the potential of solitude for deep thinking, relaxing, and getting to know yourself better.
If you want more help to overcome loneliness, check out my free guide 15 Ways To Overcome Loneliness.
If you need help with social anxiety, join my community where I will be sharing more tips and techniques to overcome social anxiety by showing you how to communicate better in your interpersonal and professional relationships, to have the social life and the career you want.