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Being Alone, Being Lonely & Being by Yourself

Being alone, being lonely, and being by yourself all sound similar. However, the the three are very different like the words, there, their, and they’re. In regards to relationships, the feeling we can get from being alone, and being lonely, can be counterproductive, and feed on us like a leech. Being by yourself is more of a necessary action one takes to recalibrate, reconstitute, and reinvent.

Being Alone

When we feel alone, this means we are without, lacking something, or someone we perceive we need.  Devoid of the presence of another human that we feel close to—we feel abandoned, or unattended. Under those circumstances, we can succumb to feelings of desperation, depression or suicide.  At the very least, this can lead to terrible decision making.

Being alone doesn’t always mean we’re physically without a companion. It can also mean we’re currently in a relationship with someone who is emotionally, and mentally absent. They leave behind a desolate, desert-like feeling in their wake.

There are even times when we have a person(s) that cares, and supports us. However, the feelings of being alone are far deeper than they are able to comprehend. In these cases, a more experienced person may by needed.

Renown neuroscientist John Cacioppo, defines loneliness as:

“perceived social isolation, or the discrepancy between what we want from your social relationships and your perception of those relationships.”

When we feel alone, the best course of action, is find a space where we are constructively supported by individuals who have our best interests at heart. Notably, people who care about our well-being.

 

Being Lonely

The word Lonely is defined as:

affected-with, characterized-by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome. Destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.

Being lonely can be very dangerous when it goes unchecked. It feels like there’s no one around you. Even when you’re in a crowd of people, you feel like the only one in the room. You can have supportive family, and friends, and still feel like nothing matters.

John Cacioppo, a researcher in the field of loneliness, points out:

loneliness is on the rise — from 11 percent to 20 percent in the 1970s and 1980s to 40 percent to 45 percent in 2010.

Basically, loneliness sucks!

I’ve personally jumped into the deep abyss of borderline depression. It was all a result of feeling lonely. The journey back to the top where I could breathe again, was exhausting to say the least.  If you do not have a solid plan to get yourself out of this dark place, it can lead to other issues… psychological, emotional, and physical.

Feelings of loneliness, can also lead to allowing unsavory individuals with bad intentions, and ulterior motives into our lives. As a result, bad decision-making become second nature.

Positive Reinforcement

When we’re lonely, our judgement has collapsed, like a punctured lung in need of inflation. Consequently, the overwhelming amount of negative thoughts can consume us. This is when positive reinforcement comes into the picture. We must force ourselves to remember:

  • This is a moment in life, not the end of your life. You can get through it.
  • We all feel alone at different stages during our life. We are not weird because we feel this way.
  • Embrace the time to yourself. In a world filled with tasks, kids, work, errands, groups, and social media, it’s rare to have time for you.

Psychology Today writer Robert L. Leahy Ph.D says:

Rather than thinking that you need to rely on others for love, acceptance, and compassion, you might direct these thoughts and feelings toward yourself. This can include acts of loving kindness toward yourself such as making yourself a healthful treat or buying yourself a simple gift; directing loving thoughts toward yourself by giving yourself support for being who you are and by being your own best friend.

 

Being By Yourself

Here’s where choice comes in.

Being by yourself means you have decided to go on your own for this round. I’m a firm believer that everyone should take this step. Especially after a relationship. Taking time to reflect on past decisions. Even using the opportunity to grow ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. These are all byproducts of taking the time out, to be by yourself.

Time with yourself is priceless. You can think through previous actions without distractions. I’m not saying people are distractions (OK, yes I am) but you get my point.

At one point in my life, I had to break off a relationship because I couldn’t focus while she was around. I wanted to evolve, and become better, but I needed some time away from her to do so. While she didn’t necessarily understand my strategy here, I knew I needed that time to myself, in order to heal my mind, spirit, and heart. In addition, I needed to grow myself to a new level. For this reason, I was able to ascend into the man I am today.

This is why taking time-out to be by yourself is priceless. It is also why it is vastly different than being alone, and being lonely.

Next time someone asks you, “don’t you hate being alone?” You respond to them by saying…

No, I like being by myself

15 comments

  1. I have a couple of people that I am very close to that have been going through divorces in their lives. Both of these women have felt “alone” in their relationships for a long time!! It is one of the worst feelings to feel alone, when you actually have someone with you. Choosing to be alone and do things on your own, is quite a different thing all together! This can actually be very liberating. Wonderful post! May I share it?? ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This response actually means a lot more to me than you think. I was a bit discouraged because I’m struggling to garner shares and followers to my blog.

      I recently read an article about a married couple. The husband said his wife’s blog didn’t take off until after 2 years. Mine has been going two years in Feb. Then you post that comment.

      Thank you 🙂

      Like

      1. I’m so glad- and that’s encouraging to me, as well. I had a really slow start and ,y husband used to read everything I blogged. Now, not so much. But I had some serendipitous encounters with other bloggers and they helped me get a foothold. I will see what I can do for you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have looked through your site and it’s quite amazing! Very classy and provoking and makes mine look like blah! You should have thousands of folks panting at your gates! So how did I come across your blog? I can’t remember. Yikes. I have been looking for a way to link or share a post, but don’t see familiar buttons.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you again! I don’t know why I didn’t see this notification. I really have no clue why more people haven’t viewed my site… It’s one of the mysteries of the universe. LOL.

        But seriously, I added a share feature on there. Its on the left side of the screen as you scroll down the page. Or, there’s one at the top of every blog.

        Thanks for the compliment on my site… I designed the entire blog myself and have designed other site for writers, restaurants, and vcards as well. If you ever have any questions about design, please feel free to reach out 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You are SO impressive, Jay. I was telling some folks that your site is awesome. Seriously classy and eye-catching. I will check back and find that share button! I can’t imagine why everyone doesn’t know you. The podcasts are so millennial and packed with insights.

        Like

      5. Thanks again! I need all the support I can get! I’m not sure why the share feature isn’t working. WordPress has their share buttons. But my blog has additional share options. You’ll see them in bright red at the top of each blog (and on the sidebar – left side as you scroll down).

        So cool that you listened to my podcast. That was my first crack at it. Season 2 is coming this month. I’ve got some great material coming.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I would probably hate being alone. My family was huge so I never was. I married and had 5 children so I could never really be alone and now we have 9 grandchildren. So it has really come to the point where being alone can be a good thing for me especially since I love to read and need that time. I have never experienced being lonely probably because I am blessed to still have my hubby of 44 yrs with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 44 years! Love that! I don’t believe you’ll ever be alone because you have family and friends. However, you do need those moments of “by yourself.” Even if it’s to read a book, and collect your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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