Human beings are, fundamentally, social creatures with an innate inclination to move closer to and connect with others. Sometimes, when we have issues stemming from early attachment difficulties, this wish to be closer to others gets amplified and distorted, e.g., into a belief that “I can’t live without you,” or “If this relationship doesn’t work out, then I’ll probably be alone forever, it’s my only chance.”
This fear of aloneness can drive us to act in relationships, particularly in romantic/sexual ones, in ways that compromise our core values, our dignity or self respect. We may do things that feel degrading to ourselves in an attempt to hold on to that person. People who respond this way often have what is called an anxious-preoccupied attachment style.
Alternately, sometimes people deal with the fear of aloneness in another way: by denying the need, by suppressing or ridiculing wishes for closeness. They may believe, e.g., “In the end, you can’t rely on anyone but yourself,” or “I’ve always had to handle things myself and I always will.” People who respond this way often have a dismissive attachment style.
The following exercise is designed to help you to think about your own feelings about being alone and to consider how these might affect your relationships.
Here are a few things a person can do to be more tolerant of solitude:
Learn about the Life Strategies Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at Yellowbrick and how our staff helps young adults with self-expression, acceptance, and emotional health.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.