Many people thrive on the idea of spending time alone and prefer being on their own most of the time. But there’s also another type of people: those who love spending time with others and dread the idea of being alone. I used to be one of the latter.
It took me many years to come to terms with the fact that we are born alone and we’re going to die alone, so there’s no point in getting attached to others to feel good about yourself.
There’s a massive difference between being alone and feeling lonely. If you’re spending a lot of time on your own or you’re just living by yourself, it’s crucial to learn how to enjoy your own company.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to examine the possible reasons for preferring the company of others instead of your own, and I’m going to share with you 4 tips that will help you develop a healthier relationship with yourself and learn how to enjoy your own company.
Why Don’t You Like Spending Time Alone?
Here are several possible reasons: you have experienced severe trauma in your past, you have a fear of abandonment, you’re afraid that your negative thoughts or feelings may ‘consume’ you, or you don’t trust that you’re going to make it on your own.
Before we get into my tips for you, I want to make a quick disclaimer: this is my experience as a person who used to struggle with loneliness a lot. If you don’t like spending time on your own and it’s affecting your daily life, please seek the help of a therapist.
Now, let’s get to the solutions.
1. Do Things That You Enjoy
Let’s go back in time. What did you enjoy doing as a kid? Did you draw pictures? Did you dance to your favorite music? Did you like solving puzzles? Or did you enjoy playing with makeup?
The purpose of asking these questions is to block the outside noise and tune into the things you actually enjoy doing. We live in a modern, fast-paced society, where social media notifications interrupt even the most enjoyable activities…
If you want to stop overthinking and learn to enjoy your own company instead, discover what lights you up from the inside and find the time to recharge your batteries. Doing things that you enjoy on a daily basis will help you feel more grounded, balanced, and relaxed. And as a result, you will begin to look forward to spending time alone.
2. Make Peace with the Past
There’s a reason why you don’t like spending time alone, and it may be different than you think. We often develop our codependency tendencies when we’re little, and it may take you a little bit of time and effort to heal and make peace with the past.
As I mentioned before, the best way to dig into your past (especially if you have lots of traumatic memories) is to seek the help of a therapist. But, to help you get started, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
When was the first time I felt anxious to be alone? What happened? How did I feel? Am I carrying the weight of the past into my present? What can I do to heal and soothe the little child in me that experienced all these things?
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3. Reframe Your Thoughts
One of the reasons you may not want to spend time on your own is because you’re not being kind to yourself when you’re alone. If you have lots of negative thoughts when you’re on your own, it’s normal to look for ways to run away from them.
However, I still haven’t found anyone who’s been able to escape themselves. What I suggest instead is to learn to be the silent observer of your thoughts. Take notes of the repetitive ones and substitute them with healthier alternatives.
For example: “Oh, no, my husband’s going on a business trip for a week. I’ll be alone again.” can be substituted with “That’s great! I will spend some time doing my pampering routines, watch chick-flicks, and catch up with my girlfriends.”
Reframing your negative thought patterns is the best way to change your perception of being alone and learn to enjoy your own company. Check out this blog post if you want to learn the step-by-step process of reframing.
4. Catch up on Things You’ve Postponed
When you spend too much time with other people, you may find yourself falling behind on things you’ve wanted to do for a long time: read that awesome book, declutter your wardrobe, sign up for an online course… Besides, there’s a great sense of accomplishment once you finish up something you’ve intended to do for months!
But what happens if you’re up to date with all the things you’ve wanted to do? Even better: now, you can find some new, exciting things that you haven’t tried yet.
Ask a friend to give you some crazy ideas. Go outside your comfort zone. Take yourself out on a date. Go to the movies alone. Try bungee-jumping or skydiving. Find interesting and exciting events, and you’ll rediscover how much fun life can be if let yourself enjoy your own company!
Now, it’s your turn: how do you enjoy your own company? Let us know in the comments below!