The Happiness Connection  

Take Marilyn's advice

Being alone does not mean you are lonely.

I’ve talked about loneliness before, but based on the discussions I’ve been having lately, I think it is time for a revisit.

How do you feel about being on your own? It could be living alone, going to a movie by yourself, or going for a solo spa weekend.

For many people, being alone carries a negative connotation. Social stigma implies you are alone because you don’t have a choice. It’s as if you are being told that no normal person would choose to be alone if they had the opportunity to have company.

Perhaps this comes from the drive to procreate,which requires having a partner. Maybe it results from the necessity in primitive times for humans to act together as one unit if they wanted to survive.

Regardless of the reason, it can be challenging to be single again after years of being part of a couple. It is common to yearn for another person to share your life with. No one wants the perceived discomfort that comes with being alone.

It’s important to understand that although humans are ultra-social animals, they can be perfectly happy on their own. It is no less desirable than being wth other people.

I grew up feeling insecure about who I was. I needed the company of friends to feel courageous. I’d miss out on adventures if I didn’t have someone to go with me.

When I was newly married, we went to Australia. One place we visited was the Great Barrier Reef. We had the opportunity to go snorkeling, but my husband was uncomfortable being in deep water. I didn’t want to go on my own, so I missed out.

I believed that unless I was with someone else, people would perceive me as friendless. In my eyes, being alone at a movie, social event, or restaurant, carried a level of shame. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t find a partner?

I’m both older and wiser. I no longer carry this belief. Being alone has nothing to do with being lonely unless you want it to.

Being alone is a desire to have time by yourself. It is both empowering and powerful.

Being lonely comes from victim energy. Rather than standing in your personal power, you feel you have been forced into an undesirable situation.

Even if you feel lonely, you have the power to change your perspective. See it as a chance to spend quality time with yourself and design a dream date.

It is time to stop assuming that people on their own have no other option.

Even if you love doing things with your friends, choosing to go somewhere by yourself can be a refreshing and powerful change. Rather than wondering if your partner is having fun, you can focus on yourself. There is no reason to compromise when you are the only one involved.

I love to watch movies on the big screen. I often invite family and friends to accompany me, but if no one is available, I happily go on my own.

I have learned to make decisions for my social calendar that I am happy to do solo or with company. It takes the pressure off everyone involved. If my friends drop out, I don’t feel compelled to do the same. I can go on my own.

If you enjoy your time alone, it makes no difference whether the people around you think you have no friends or not. You know the truth.

This was hard for me to learn. I was so indoctrinated to worry what other people thought, that it shaped my life for many years. I still have moments when I return to that old way of thinking, but when that happens, I remind myself what other people think of me is none of my business.

A short personal pep talk usually has me back into my personal power and ready to greet the world on my terms.

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories