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Human Resources Executive,

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Why do we fear being alone?

We are born alone, and we die alone, and it is often confused with being lonely. But people hesitate to go out to dine by themselves, or to the movies. Having a partner, or many friends has been romanticized and sensationalized so much that being by yourself has become abnormal. You are either termed as a loner or wierd.

What caused this fear of always needing somebody in our life that we have build institutions with strong legal and social bindings?

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  • Nov 9 2012: Well, in my case, being alone means being very alone---and facing old age alone. With few family members who will be around (neither married nor have children---and only one close sibling) and facing mounting medical debts, being alone means being without a support structure. Being single and knowing the adage 3 in 4 need more i.e. 3 out of 4 seniors will require some long term care, it is a pretty scary future being alone.
  • Nov 11 2012: think there may be many reasons.
    First, most fears are taught.
    Humans are born with only two, I believe it is. Fear of falling and fear of loud noises. (scientifically today, that list may have been proven to be a higher number. I do not know)
    We are taught to be afraid of being alone, perhaps by a parent or someone who has suffered with that fear, or has actually experienced it and found it maddeningly terrifying.
    Just as one who deeply and personally experienced the dust bowl poverty that occurred in America many years ago, scarred them such that they never used a bank again and stored real cash underneath their mattress.
    Another reason could be that humans have been brainwashed to be social in ways that bring, apply and attach a stigmatization on them that inhibits them some way in their psyche, so they feel this uncomfortableness, similar maybe to embarrassment, which no one likes, causing them to worry about what others say. So they avoid being alone.
    Moral teaching can also cause it as you alluded to with the idea that somehow there is something very wrong with someone who is alone. There isn't, but there again is another use/example of fear being used through embedding it into people and how it affects them to wrongly, falsely and many times, dangerously label others.
    Another reason might be the fear of going insane. I think being afraid of our thoughts (false moralizing also applies here), involves this. Smoking, talking on the phone, using headphones all the time, always having music, tv or something on so that one doesn't have to listen to their own thinking. Alcoholics commonly refer to the 20 or 30 voices in their heads that are driving them crazy and so to shut them up, they will return to a drink. That just gets them going again however.
    Another reason could be because we are alone. It ties in with other things I've said, because the truth is not wanted by most. We are alone even with friends there as we go through stuff.
    So, we seek connection
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    Nov 10 2012: I don't think we fear being alone. I think that loneliness is just boring.

    I consider the universal fear to the unknown.
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    Nov 10 2012: I think that we are hard-wired to be pack animals, like dogs. Some species are not as social.
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    Nov 10 2012: We are not made to be alone. There is a reason why suicides are common in developed nations than in poverty stricken nations. There is a reason why there are more songs about love than about anything else.
    We are made to love; to give love and to receive it. We are made to share intimacy with someone. Sometimes our selfishness and obsession with materialism isolates us and makes us sad.
    There are times when we have to be alone in order to meditate and commune with God. But we fear being alone without God or love because it is not good!
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    Nov 10 2012: Well,
    Being alone is one in a position without SYMBIOSIS, which is necessary for people to survive.

    That causes the fear.
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    Nov 8 2012: I think, it is a slight exaggeration to say that being by yourself has become abnormal or weird. I also have doubts whether we fear being alone.

    The only problem with being alone is, perhaps, the inability to realize oneself i.e. to make progress. I think, we realize ourselves only with others. One needs to say something out loud or materialize their thoughts (write/print/shoot), before what has previously been only implicit begins to be objectively recognized (even by the speaker) and starts to affect the reality.

    Conscious knowledge can only result from an adequate expression. And in order to express what is inside, one needs an audience, readers, somebody, anybody.

    This is also why taking part in the discussion is so important. Listening or just reading is not enough. One has to materialize his thoughts.

    Wow, I am smarter now! Thanks!
    • Nov 11 2012: wow Jedrek your quote "This is also why taking part in the discussion is so important. Listening or just reading is not enough. One has to materialize his thoughts." made me comment for the first time in ted conversation.

      I do fear alone or being lonely. During my college life i used to sit alone, i was introvert and very shy (infact i m still introvert and shy, a little less) . I had very few friends in my class. And i felt very lonely, i spent my college life watching people hanging out together and forming groups and intimate friendships, sometimes i thought do i even have a voice, thoughts occured in my mind nd i felt frustrated because i did nt had any close friends to express and share my feelings and thoughts.

      I think we fear aloneness because as a humen being we crave to express ourselves, nd i fully agree with your thoughts Jedrek Stepien