General Question

lendwill's avatar

Why are poeple afraid of being alone?

Asked by lendwill (182 points ) February 8th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Survival.
It’s in our genes now.
And affects us in every way.

marinelife's avatar

Welcome to the collective. Do you mean alone in a specific stretch of time or alone as in without a partner?

I love my husband and we love being together, but I love my alone time too. In fact, forced to endure no alone time, I start to go nuts in a matter of days.

While I would not want to always be alone (I start to crave being with people after a couple of weeks), I cannot imagine never being alone.

gailcalled's avatar

@lendwill; Welcome, but be more specific. Many people like being alone for part of the time, some of the time or much of the time. I really need some alone time every day or I, too, would go bonkers. I find myself fascinating company for a while.

ark_a_dong's avatar

@asmonet

To add to what you’ve already said: socializing is how people find partners, and later on raise families.

When you’re isolated (I mean this in the most extreme way), you’re preventing yourself from carrying on your genes, and the cycle of life.

tennesseejac's avatar

There are many life experiences that suck if you are alone. Having a friend or a loved one to share a certain moment can at times be priceless

asmonet's avatar

@ark_a_dong: I’m too sleepy to have even attempted to write it as simply and clearly as you, bravo. :)

wundayatta's avatar

Are people afraid of being alone? I know many who prefer it. Anyway, with so many people on the planet now, it’s not as if we even have the option for being alone. People who prefer more space end up in Alaska or Montana, or somewhere up North in Canada.

The way to ask this question is to ask “Are you afraid of being alone? Qhy or why not? You might add some detail about what this means to you.

I don’t particularly like being alone, but I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of it. I’ve been in a relationship almost continuously since I was 22. I wouldn’t really like going out to live off the land all by myself, and I might be afraid that I couldn’t manage to survive. I know that I get really bored and antsy when I’m alone. But fear? Not really.

amanderveen's avatar

If someone is afraid of being alone, I would guess that it’s either a result of past experiences or else a residual evolutionary issue (groups pooling their resources were more likely to survive than individuals), depending on the situation. Or maybe a bit of both. Personally, I like alone time at least as much as I like being around people. If I were ever in a survival situation, though, I would certainly not want to be on my own.

90s_kid's avatar

I enjoy being alone. I am alone 97% of the day (If it isn’t a school day I am saying).
I just enjoy being in my room drawing houses without anyone bothering me.

DrBill's avatar

Humans are pack animals by nature. We can be alone for short times, but we thrive in the pack environment.

Jeruba's avatar

I’d answer exactly the same as Marina. Even when I was single, I couldn’t stand to be out or have company more than two nights in a row. I’d really start to feel uncontrollably oppressed by the third. (This makes conferences, gatherings, and family visits a trial.) I do not thrive in the pack environment. I’d be that penguin going at right angles to the flock.

I love my friends, too, the few I choose to keep in close touch with, but when I look at my calendar and see a rare month with nothing I have to do on the weekends, I rejoice.

I’m not afraid to be alone. (I know some people are.) But I wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island either.

Foolaholic's avatar

I think that, on the whole, we’re a bit dependent on the acknowledgment others give us, making us feel necessary and reinforcing what we know/want to know about ourselves. It’s those people who can and have decided to forgo the way other people define them that more inclined to a solitary existence.

Also, because the phrase solitary existence doesn’t sound at all pleasant…

jellyfish's avatar

Being alone and being lonely are so different -

Foolaholic's avatar

@jellyfish

that’s kind of what I’m saying. Some people are less likely to feel lonely when they’re alone than others. It all depends on us.

nebule's avatar

I’ve been terrified at times in my life; of being alone, absolute terror has filled me. I think it’s a lot to do with having to be with yourself and stare your own life and self right in the face. but sometimes there are moments when i feel that it’s more than this… a fear of being completely alone and disconnected from any life. This kind of relates to a philosophical issue of whether when we are truly alone do we exist? If we only exist in our own minds and not in the perceptions of others are we present? Logically i feel that of course i do exist but there’s definitely something in this feeling of being disconnected that causes/ has caused my terror, which has as times rooted me to the spot….

cak's avatar

I have no problem being alone – for a certain period of time; however, not for long periods of time. (days, leading into months) However, give me an occasional weekend alone, I’m a happy woman – peace and quiet!

Judi's avatar

Did you ever see the Rhesus monkeys in Psychology 101? Humans have a need for physical touch or they die.

augustlan's avatar

I could be off-base here, but when I hear ‘afraid of being alone’, I think it refers to being without a significant other. I know quite a few people who feel this way, though I really don’t understand it. These are the people who decide to stay in bad relationships with partners they don’t love, or abusive partners rather than risk ‘being alone’. Even though these individuals have friends and family, they do not feel complete without a partner, and are terrified at the prospect of living out their lives ‘alone’.

Jeruba's avatar

Good point, @augustlan, and I think that is probably true of many people.

I am making an inference here, but I think lendwill is very young, possibly too young to have become trapped in that kind of relationship and maybe even too young to have had any kind of relationship for very long. So this is more likely either someone who is just literally afraid of being alone and wondering why that is or, equally possibly, someone who isn’t, but wonders why everyone else (apparently) is.

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