Solitude is imperative for some people—it’s their way of life. It can be when they unwind, regroup, make discoveries, get creative, and even find love—self-love. Others go to great lengths to avoid it.
Solitariness has been so negatively stigmatized by the human race that people have developed a fear of being alone—monophobia.
Monophobia, sometimes also referred to as autophobia or isolophobia, is the absolute dread of being alone or isolated.
This fear can oftentimes lead to depression and anxiety, and it can sometimes even cause a person to feel insecure. Maybe they fear what people will say or think. “Oh look, she’s sitting alone. She must not have any friends.” It can be crippling. Perhaps they don’t want to be labeled as a loner or an introvert, or they don’t want to be viewed as an outsider or a weirdo.
Sometimes, people who are introverted are viewed as narcissistic and selfish. Unsocial.
Some may even associate introverts as being depressed or having anxiety, all of which are common misconceptions. Some of the world’s most successful and creative and brilliant people are introverts. Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Stephen Spielberg, just to name a few.
“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.” ~Susan Cain
It has been deeply engrained in us that we are not meant to be alone. People will even enter or stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships just because they don’t want to be alone.
They will lower their standards and settle, because anyone is better than no one. Society has so greatly emphasized the importance of relationships with others that the healthy psychological benefits of solitude have virtually gone ignored, or worse yet, they haven’t even been experienced.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Unknowingly depriving oneself of the beauty and therapeutic benefits of being alone is unfortunate. How can you really get to know and love yourself if you’re constantly surrounded by other people and their influence?
There could be a whole side of yourself that has gone unexplored or ignored.
Are your wants and needs going unsatisfied simply because you’re afraid to be alone? It could be something small such as missing out on a movie you’ve been dying to see but won’t go because your friends don’t want to see it, and you don’t dare go alone. Maybe it’s a new restaurant you want to check out, but nobody else wants to.
People talk about the fear of missing out, but what if you’re really missing out on yourself?
Stop being suppressed by fear and go. Go see that movie. Go check out that restaurant. Plan a day-trip. Go alone. Get in touch with that side of yourself you may not yet even know exists. You might even find it quite liberating.