Sometimes I read articles about loneliness, and they always seem to refer to people with limited social contacts. But real loneliness is about nog feeling connected to people. Some people can feel lonely in a huge crowd. And that is different than social isolation or lack of social contacts. That is the inability to connect in a way that is satisfying or fulfilling.
A long time ago I wrote an article with the title “Why I like Being a Recluse”, in answer to all those questions I got about how I deal with loneliness when I travel. But the truth about my loneliness is that I can be with someone, and yet I still feel lonely. Because I am not able to connect. And when I do try to connect, it always blows up in my face. And that is why I like being alone. For with or without people, the loneliness is the same.
I never feel alone, or lonely, yet I do experience loneliness from time to time
I do like being alone, I like it a lot
I seldom feel lonely in a way our society defines loneliness. I love being alone. Loneliness for me is something different. It is the inability to really connect with people. Although I am an empath I cannot connect. My ability to disconnect is far stronger developed than my ability to make healthy connections that make me want to be close to people. I guess that is why I love this life of endless travel so much. No social obligations that force me into a life that I cannot handle and that I experience as a strain or in which I get disappointed easily.
It happened way back in my childhood years, I never learned to bond with my mum or family, for there was never security. And over the years and after many years of Therapy I came to the acceptance that for me it is great to be alone.
For in solitude I feel safe and secure. I am happy to be around myself. And I seldom miss social contacts.
Like any person in the world, I need social interaction
It is a dual feeling. I like to spend time with people and socialize, I really do. But I have trouble bonding. I do not know how to bond. I probably do it in the wrong way, for every time I try, I get disappointed. It blows up in my face so to speak. Due to things that are out of my control.
Due to expectations that are not met. And for me those expectations are not huge, I just need a little attention when I ask for it, or a little time. And I seldom receive it. For somehow it is important enough that I make free time for others, but others never feel that I am that important to make free time for me in return.
I find myself saying “no” to the attention seekers more and more, pure out of self-preservation.
When I do socialize with people I sometimes feel the hue urge to escape the moment. And most of the time socializing with others does not allow that. People have expectations also, but I sometimes feel the urge to break away, to escape.
And therefore I love being alone. I feel lonely anyway, so why bother
When you have trouble bonding or feeling attached you kind of are happier being alone anyway
I once was in a training about loneliness and the speaker was trying to teach us how to help people that are lonely. And she kind of gave the definition of loneliness, that moment I knew she knew nothing about the topic at all. It was all based on outside contacts, interaction and participation. It had nothing to do with that chronic empty feeling that comes from the disability to truly connect with other people.
And it certainly had nothing to do with what caused that inability.
The training never addressed how to deal with people that loved being alone, the bottom line was that people without social interaction are lonely and need to be helped and saved from their horrible lives. That point of view is so wrong. Sometimes people are happy the way they are, I know I am.
The many years of therapy did not heal my inability, they just helped me to accept and cope
For me, I know why I have this inability, I grew up in a place where love was conditional and there was never any safety. Without going into details, I can truly say my parents, although they probably raised me and my brothers to their best abilities never created a save warm and loving environment. My childhood home was not a place for a child to grow up to become a strong self-confident and bonding kind of person. On the contrary.
And although I had many years of therapy, I know it will not heal. Instead, I learned not to fight it anymore, not to wonder and struggle but how to cope, I learned to accept, I learned to love myself. And to be honest, over the years, I kind of added to my scars myself by choosing the wrong guys to date and working with the wrong teams and trusting wrong people.
And now in the second half of my life, I can honestly say: I truly like being a recluse
So I like being alone, I do not deprive myself of anything, like so many people think I do, when I walk alone, travel alone, eat alone.
I am truly happy.
Some days I wonder how life would be if I grew up in a different family, but that is not a thought I live with on a daily base. I like my life. I like being alone, it is safe, secure, is gives me feeding ground for developing my personality and grows my creativity.
It makes me feel secure and warm, it saves tons of energy for I don’t have to do anything I am not up to when I do not feel to. No pressure. And when I do feel up to opening up to a person, I hope for the best. But that best has not happened yet.
Usually, it is a reminder of how much I like being my strong self, not relying on anyone and coping on my own. That way there is never the feeling of disappointment, there is a challenge, a chance for self-development, but never disappointment.
Tell me, how do you experience loneliness and being alone? Can you handle it? Can you beat it?
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.
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