People who secretly dislike being alone often display these 11 behaviors

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There are times in life where being alone is inevitable. It’s just the way it is. 

We all know this. 

But for some folks, being alone is deeply uncomfortable in a way they find hard to express or explain. 

For that reason, when faced with solitude, those who secretly fear it often turn to escape behaviors. 

These are the most common behaviors that people engage in when they secretly fear solitude.

1) Scrolling their contact list

Those who don’t like being alone but try to downplay their discomfort will often be glued to their phone all day

They are generally doing one of two things on their phone most of that time:

They are checking social media and sending or receiving messages, or they are scrolling their contact list and looking for who to contact. 

Even if they know friends or colleagues are busy, they will text just for the sake of having somebody on the line and not feeling so alone. 

2) Lurking social media 24/7

Those who don’t like being alone but aren’t really open about their discomfort will often get deeply latched to social media. 

They constantly update their social media profiles and stories, and also engage in online interactions that don’t really bring any value. 

But they get likes, and they feel connected. So they post more. And more.

This can become a serious addiction and lead to emotional and physical problems. 

As Suzy Davenport explains:

“A person may feel the compulsion to check social media platforms and experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not. 

Social media addiction can affect someone’s mental health and result in physical problems, such as sleep problems.”

3) Always looking for company 

They scroll their contact list or stay all over social media because being alone without respite brings a lot of pain. 

It’s a pain that this person feels less of when they’re around people laughing, talking and doing activities. 

So they seek out people: 

They’re looking for company in whatever form it might come, often without even having made this desire fully conscious or having verbalized it.

4) Cramming their schedule

To allay the fear of being alone, these folks cram their schedule with whatever they can find and pencil in even the smallest thing to fill up time and not feel lonely. 

They fill their calendar with activities and events to avoid moments of solitude.

If it comes down to it and the bartender is the only one they can fill a two-hour gap with, they’ll do it. 

Apart from resting, working out and specific solitary activities, they’ll do their best to make their schedule always involve at least one other person. 

Even right before sleep they will usually watch a film, movie or call somebody to avoid feeling fully alone. 

5) Doing busywork around home

When cramming the schedule doesn’t suffice, they have busywork to fill the odd hour alone. 

Instead of being alone with their thoughts, they listen to a new audiobook, meticulously categorize their wardrobe by color or go to get their nails done and chat to the nail technician. 

They went three days ago, but why not go again? 

They may decide on a small renovation project or spend four hours browsing decals for their vehicle online or shopping for pants they don’t need and then figuring out how to hem ones they get that are too long. 

Whatever fills the hours. 

Within this quest to repeat busywork is often an inner child who feels unloved and unneeded, reaching out for attention. 

“It is a conceptualisation of repeated behaviors (such as those often brought into action during busywork) that understands them as the reflections, as the symptoms, of the now-repressed disappointments and frustrated desires of the scorned infant,” notes Christopher Rudge.

6) Intentionally sidestepping low-key locales

They often do their best to stay away from places where they might be alone, such as quiet parks, libraries, or tranquil cafes.

Whereas an individual who’s more comfortable with solitude would enjoy such locales, the person who secretly fears being alone will avoid such places. 

No matter how nice such locations might be, this individual will favor places that are busy, full of people and hustle and bustle. 

They may not even fully vocalize why or admit that they don’t like being alone, but places where they might end up feeling alone are places they stay away from whenever possible. 

7) Outsourcing decision-making

They struggle a lot with decisions, even small ones, and will often bring in other people to weigh in. 

This is usually phrased as wanting advice or not being sure on what to decide, but it’s equally or more so to do with not wanting to feel alone. 

They want that feeling of validation from others, even on things they already have their own preferences for. 

This often also manifests as impulsiveness and choosing short-term payoffs over long-term rewards. 

They make lots of small decisions, calling in outside advice on trivial things, but tend to avoid long-term decisions because they feel insecure overall. 

As R.J. Dubos writes at the Nebulous Kingdom:

“If people are insecure, they will make more decisions that are optimized for short rather than long time horizons.  

They will also make decisions to manage their current emotional state, which has a very short time horizon, rather than their long-term happiness.”

8) Filling silence any way possible

They tend to feel uneasy in moments of silence and do their best to avoid having this happen in the first place. 

Background music and TV can always be found in their living space, even with people around and silent reflection or companionship is not in their wheelhouse. 

They will do their best to fill time with anybody with chatter or distractions, and will also be calmed and reassured by overly talkative people who others might find annoying. 

This person who doesn’t like being alone, by contrast, finds the over-loquacious individual reassuring.

9) Relying on others to have fun

They rely on others to have fun. 

When it comes to having a good time and feeling entertained or doing enjoyable activities, they put the ball fully in other people’s court. 

They wait for the right invitation and the right fun person to come along. 

Otherwise they end up feeling bored or engage in the other behaviors listed here to try to get rid of the lonely feeling. 

This can be a losing formula, because it puts people at the whims of those others they are depending on.

“Do you put your power in other people’s hands? 

Will someone canceling plans or doing something unexpected wreck your day, or will you empower yourself to create your own happiness?,” asks Matana Williams

10) Genuine fear of being alone for much time 

There is often a genuine anxiety about being alone in these individuals, frequently stemming from early childhood abandonment fears and psychological stresses. 

They don’t want to be left alone or feel unneeded and being in such a position causes them to react quite strongly. 

They may even turn to drink or drugs as a way to numb the pain, and also tend to become very downcast if even a small plan falls through. 

Being alone is just not an attractive prospect for them. 

11) Becoming notably anxious and depressed after being alone

They frequently seek reassurance from others and struggle with self-confidence when alone.

If they do end up having to be alone for quite some time, they get very lonely and anxious. 

This is something many adults struggle with.

“Loneliness levels have reached an all-time high, with nearly half of 20,000 U.S. adults reporting they sometimes or always feel alone,” notes Amy Novotney, adding:

“Loneliness, it seems, can lead to long-term ‘fight-or-flight’ stress signaling, which negatively affects immune system functioning. 

Simply put, people who feel lonely have less immunity and more inflammation than people who don’t.”

The key to fighting the loneliness epidemic is to find the good side of being alone… 

The good side of being alone

There are times when being alone can be painful. I’ve been there many times, and even felt ashamed of my own loneliness. 

But the key to making alone time empowering and enjoyable is twofold:

It involves admitting our limits and knowing when we really do feel the desire to seek out connection and social ties, and also learning to love our own company. 

For those times when being alone isn’t a choice, it can at least be something we cherish. Solitude doesn’t have to be lonely, and offers us the priceless chance to become closer to nature and closer to our own selves.

As Lord Byron wrote in Childe Harolde’s Pilgrimage:

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.”

 

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