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Location: Penang, Malaysia

July 16, 2008

The Fear of Being Alone

It is suppose to be bedtime now, but I am still awake. I have been a "thinker" these days and keep wondering what lies ahead in life. With the current changes in life, would it be a bit too rush if I change job? The current job is a bit fucked up with many idiots, pseudo-geniuses, and "OEM"s around making things even more complicated. That's another story. A few close friends told me to make another move in life but I think I should not rush into that. I really respect the friend I knew through the internet, a single mother staying in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. She can work and at the same time taking care of her daughter. She is strong, my role model, at least.

Suddenly, I remembered an article sent to me by a friend from Johor. This friend used to send me junk mails, those keep being forwarded and forwarded. Interestingly, some of the junks she sent could NOT be found on the internet easily. Well, I searched through the mail archives just now and found it. It was dated Feb 14, 2007. Here you go... The Fear of Being Alone.

People stay in unfulfilling relationships for any number of reasons, but chief among them is the fear of being alone.

Think about it - are you hanging on to this relationship because you're afraid you might not find someone better? Does the thought of being single scare you? Do you believe that being with someone you don't really love is better than being on your own? Are you "settling" because you think if you wait around too long, you might get left on the shelf?

Staying in a relationship because you're afraid of being alone is a recipe for unhappiness. Firstly, it probably means you have low self-esteem, which often makes you insecure, needy and over-sensitive. Secondly, it means you're not assuming responsibility for your own happiness and self-worth; that you're using the relationship to feel accepted and loved. Thirdly, this fear of being alone causes you to use anger, blame, tears, guilt and so on to compel your partner to stay with you. Or you yourself might be forcing yourself to tolerate unreasonable or abusive behaviour. And these are only a few of the main consequences I can think of at the moment. Others like getting pregnant because you think a child will bond you and your partner for life require more time than I have today.

The thing is, we are only truly alone when we abandon ourselves; when we refuse to take responsibility for who we are and what it takes for us to be happy. Besides, being in a relationship doesn't mean one cannot feel alone. In fact, the behaviour we're driven to when we're in unfulfilling relationships often strains them to the point where we feel alienated from our partners anyway. Ironically, the fear of being alone has had the biggest hand in making us truly alone.

On the other hand, an emotionally-responsible person is never alone because he attracts love, friendship and goodwill. He has no lack of close family members and good friends. And if a path of affection is closed to him, he easily channels the abundant love he has elsewhere.

So what kind of person are you? Are you the type who clings on to a relationship because the thought of being alone is unbearable? Or are you responsible for your own feelings?

We all can become more emotionally responsible by realizing that only we hold the key to our own happiness. No one else is obliged to be with us or to make us happy. We have to learn to manage our loneliness, and the big first step is not to to be afraid of it. The funny thing is that the less you fear loneliness, the less likely you are to suffer from it. People are attracted to individuals who are independent, self-assured and comfortable with who they are. Remember, we receive love when we give love, so always keep your heart open.


Blogger Winston Tan said...

Good stuff! I can say I've seen this many times among my friends... They can't stand being alone and would just break up if their other half is too far away because they want to find another one close by.

9:44 AM  

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