20 Signs You’re Afraid of Being Alone
It's possible to be alone without being lonely—just not for you.
For many people, a long week full of work and social obligations can only be followed with a little me-time. However, to you, the thought of having a plan-free weekend—or even a few waking hours without seeing or speaking to someone else—is tantamount to torture. In your mind, there’s nothing better than spending time with other people, and you’ll go to virtually any length to keep your social calendar full.
“People often fear being alone because they are uncomfortable with their thoughts, which race and upset them. They like being out with others or keeping busy because interaction and activity keep distressing thoughts at bay,” says psychotherapist Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. “Another reason that people dislike being alone is that they don’t know how to entertain themselves and don’t enjoy their own company. They’re used to having people plan for and entertain them. They need to develop interests and increase their ability to stay occupied and find pleasurable, interesting things to do on their own.”
If this rings true, keep reading to discover these 20 signs you’re afraid of being alone. And if you want to make your days a little brighter even when you’re flying solo, start with these 75 Genius Tricks to Get Instantly Happy.
You cling to relationships, no matter how they’re going.
You don’t just like being in a relationship—you need to be in a relationship. Unfortunately, this often means that you prolong relationships that just aren’t working so that you don’t have to risk being single again. Even when the signs are clearly indicating that you’re not a good match, you’ll do almost anything to keep the relationship going. And if you regularly have trouble knowing when to call it quits, make sure you know these 20 Surefire Signs Your Relationship Is Over.
Not having plans lined up for the weekend breaks you out in a cold sweat.
For most people, having a weekend free is blissful. For you, it’s traumatic. You need to know that you’ll have opportunities to be around people, meet new ones, and generally have your time occupied by others to avoid feeling super uncomfortable.
You text people just to have someone to talk to.
Texting is generally just another means of communicating information for most of us. For you, it’s a means of communicating how much you don’t want to be alone. You will reach out to friends, former classmates, exes, even extended family members just so you have someone to talk to at all hours of the day. And when you want to step away from your device for good, discover these 11 Easy Ways to Conquer Your Smartphone Addiction.
You attend social events even when you’re exhausted.
Just because you’re feeling worse for wear doesn’t mean you’ll skip out on a social event. Your desire to be surrounded by people and feel wanted is so great that you’ll often hit up parties when you’re practically falling asleep.
You form personal connections with virtually everyone you talk to.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your mail carrier, a clerk at the grocery story, or the bartender at your favorite watering hole: you can make friends with virtually anyone in an instant. You take the time to know their backstories, get information on their significant others, and eventually start considering the time you spend with those people social visits.
You are crushed when you find out you weren’t invited to something.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend having a house party or those neighbors you’ve never spoken to throwing a birthday party for their kids: you’re always crushed when someone doesn’t invite you to an event. In many cases, you even find excuses to crash, pretending like you’re returning something or just happen to be eating in the same restaurant when you know a get-together is happening.
You avoid conflict at all costs.
You’d rather pack up your feelings indefinitely than get into a fight with someone. In fact, you’ll pretty much ignore a laundry list of egregious behaviors if you think it will make people stick around. And when you’re ready to feel more self-assured, start with these 70 Genius Tricks to Boost Your Confidence.
You pride yourself on the size of your social circle.
You’ve got plenty of great qualities, but the thing you pride yourself on most is the size of your social circle. You’ve got thousands of friends and followers online, and you have a huge group of friends you talk to, email, or text virtually every day.
And while this may seem strange to others, there’s actually an evolutionary component at play in your need to be part of a group. “We are evolutionarily conditioned to need social connections. Social connection is a big part of what has enabled humans to survive as a species,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Inna Khazan, PhD.
You go out of your way for other people even when it inconveniences you.
Did you really want to move your ex-boyfriend into his new apartment? Was tracking down that perfect bottle of hot sauce with your tipsy friend at 2:00 a.m. a blast? No, but you’re always looking for opportunities to spend time with people, even when it comes at a personal cost.
You’ve never seen a movie solo.
Even in a place where you can hardly see the person you’re with and you’re not supposed to talk, you like to know that you’ve got company. The thought of going to a movie alone just makes you sad.
You maintain friendships even when they’re draining.
We all have those friends who make every conversation about them or are always involved in some major life drama. And while other people try to limit the amount of time they spend with those folks, you actively seek them out, knowing that they’re always up for doing something with you. While this may prove stressful for you over time, it’s hardly uncommon behavior: “We do not feel safe when we don’t have strong social ties,” says Dr. Khazan. “One of our greatest fears is being rejected and unloved.”
You always have a “the more, the merrier” approach to gatherings.
You’ve never understood only offering guests a plus one—in your book, it’s always better to have more people around. What starts out as a friendly couples’ dinner often turns into a full-blown party by the end of the evening, thanks to you.
You bounce from relationship to relationship.
While you’re usually loath to end a relationship, you never have time finding a new one. Before your friends and family members can learn your significant other’s name, you’ve already moved on to someone new.
You’re always worried other people are going to ditch you.
No matter how well a friendship or romantic relationship is going, you’re always worried that whoever you’re close with is going to move on to greener pastures. In fact, you’ll do almost anything to keep people around, so you’re always making big gestures to prove what a good friend you are or buying expensive gifts to keep people from leaving.
You flirt with everyone.
You can’t help it: you flirt, no matter who you’re talking to. While a lot of people get the wrong idea about what your intentions are, at least you never have trouble making friends.
You totally forget about your friends and family when you’re with someone.
Though you love to be around other people, you tend to set your friendships and familial relationships aside when you start dating someone new. It’s not uncommon for you to become so wrapped up in a new relationship that you don’t see certain members of your inner circle for weeks or months at a time.
Having a meal alone seems like the saddest thing you could do.
Dining solo may be fine for others, but it’s definitely not for you. You’d rather go hungry than head to a restaurant alone.
You get super excited any time you meet someone new.
It doesn’t matter who they are or in what context you encountered them: you’re thrilled any time you meet somebody new. Even if it’s pretty clear you don’t have a ton in common, you’re always just so relieved when someone wants to talk to you or spend time with you.
You end relationships before someone else has the chance to.
While you often stick it out in bad relationships longer than you should, you’re also often guilty of the opposite. In many cases, you get so worried that someone is going to leave you that you break things off before they get the opportunity.
You’re always willing to make a major commitment after a short period of time.
It doesn’t matter to you if you’ve only known someone for a month: you’re always ready for a big commitment. You’re eager to take vacations with people you just met, sign a lease with an acquaintance who seems like fun, and you start hearing wedding bells chime the second you match with someone on Tinder. And when you do decide to make that leap, make sure you know the 50 Best Marriage Tips of All Time.
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