“Once I was seven years old my momma told me, go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely.
Once I was eleven years old my daddy told me, go get yourself a wife or you’ll be lonely.” -Lukas Graham (7 Years)
Ever since we were children, were told that it’s bad to be alone and to be lonely. It seems pitiful and shameful to be lonely, to have no friends. But what’s so bad about being alone? Maybe some people just like to be alone. Or maybe some people want friends, but they’re too anxious to make them because they’ve been traumatized before. I think it’s better to be alone than to have “friends” that you don’t feel comfortable and happy around.
Why is it that we can be surrounded by people but still feel so lonely? The room is filled with noisy chatter, but we feel so lonely, even lonelier than when we’re alone.
“How are you?”
“Good. How are you?”
No. Actually, neither of us are actually good. If we were honest, we would say how we actually feel: tired, lonely, scared, anxious. But we don’t. Because society expects us to show only our good and positive sides to the public. When we show our weak sides, we are seen as weak, negative, depressed, a downer. So we don’t ask for help when we need it. We just put on this mask of fake smile, fake laughter, fake happiness. So people think we’re fine. So we don’t burden people. Maybe in the past, we were bullied for talking about our anxieties. Maybe we had emotionally unavailable caregivers.
Ever since we were born, we were molded to conform to societal constructs and society’s ideals. If we did not conform, then we were punished or ostracized. We had to be good, nice, happy, positive, normal little girls and boys. So we spend our whole lives being obedient, perfect little puppets, being nice to everyone, hiding our feelings; doing what others want us to do, not what we want to do. We suppress our emotions and true selves in order to gain others’ validation.
We often say that people are good or bad. But that’s not true. We are all a mixture of good and bad. We all have our inner demons, our inner child. We all do bad things sometimes. Some people can’t accept our demons, so we learned to hide them. We feel so stiff, so staged, so pressured to seem like a good, perfect person. But we all mistakes and we all have our flaws. People are going to judge us no matter what we do.There will always be people who don’t like us, people who think we did or said something wrong.
So sometimes we isolate ourselves. Because we don’t want to try so hard to be that perfect, good, nice person anymore. We wonder if we can ever be our real, true selves and still be loved no matter what. Can we show our demons, make mistakes, and still be loved? We don’t know. Sometimes our hearts are broken over and over again that we just shut ourselves in and don’t trust in people anymore. We don’t believe that people could accept us for our demons and all. We’re tired of putting on this mask of goodness. When you do good things, they like you. When you do bad things, they ostracize you. It feels like you have to be a certain way in society.
When we are alone, we can just be ourselves. Think, say, and do whatever we want. Sometimes, I lock myself in my room for days and don’t come out.
Then again, maybe some of us are just introverts. We feel drained by too much socializing, big groups, and small talk. We feel like we have to smile, act friendly, talk about positive, nice things. It is not authentic. But if we were to be authentic, we may be perceived as rude. We prefer socializing one-on-one and having deep, meaningful conversations. We need alone time to recharge.
There are some people that you just feel comfortable with. You don’t have to worry about what you say or do around them because you know they’ll still love you no matter what. You know they won’t blow up at you. They listen and support you in your good times and bad. You can be yourself, show your demons, talk about negative things, and they will still accept you. Those are some rare people to find and treasure.
But nothing lasts forever. Everyone has their limits. Everything and everyone comes and goes. So many people have come into our lives and then gone, never to be seen again. We were so attached and clung onto them. Then when they’re gone from our lives, we may feel heartbroken.
So some of us lose hope and decide to just be alone. But we feel so lonely. We push people away and never go looking for social interaction. We just keep silent. There’s nothing to say anyways. What’s the point? When you are alone, no one can break your heart. When you are alone, you won’t burden or bother anyone but yourself. In life, the only person you can always depend on and who will never leave you is yourself. So we need to learn to love ourselves unconditionally, be our own best friend, be happy alone, and be self-sufficient so we do not let other people affect us so much.
I guess the thing is, we just must find the people who love us unconditionally and treat us right. And to not be too attached to them. Because attachment is the root of suffering. Accept things. Let things go.
Loneliness, perhaps, is the longing for real, authentic connections and relationships where there is unconditional love, support, and acceptance. Sometimes, we give up on trying to find that because we tried over and over, but our hearts were crushed every time.