Loneliness can be a hard but not impossible problem to solve. Perhaps it is one of the hardest states to endFullSizeRenderure. A colleague once commented, “You can be alone with your loneliness or lonely with other people.” One may need to hush voices or views that thwart the natural path.

According to psychoanalyst Hans Loewald, betrayal of the self can be a form of immorality as well as fragmentation. It is better to be alone and intact, than with others and falling apart. Solitude has other benefits such as creativity, calm, contentment and the development of daydreams. A fantasy can be the outline for future achievements.

However, isolation and loneliness come with some risks. According to Tara Parker-Pope in her New York Times column Well, loneliness is bad for your health. Isolation can lead to premature demise and risky behaviors such as not seeking medical care.

Self-awareness is a good guide. Know when you need to be alone and when the company of others is crucial. People get into trouble because socializing can feel like an effort and they develop a pattern of avoidance. The pressure having to be “on,” make small talk or look presentable can feel daunting.

A little short-term discomfort may be protective in the long run. By maintaining connections to individuals or communities however light, loose, or infrequent it is easier to move in closer should the need arise.

 

 

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