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Learn To Be Alone Without Being Lonely

Aug 17 2022

The song "Hey, Stranger!" by Karik and Orange became a sensation because the lyrics resonated with many people, especially Gen Z and Millennials. Sadness, loss, loneliness, depression, and social isolation are emotions that everyone has faced. However, most don't know how to "name" their feelings.

Is being alone lonely?

There was a time when I had just graduated from university - my friends were not living close by — I was not used to the office environment. My colleagues were not compatible, so I chose to live in social isolation. At the time, I went to the movies, went out to eat, and traveled alone. Instead of going out for dinner with colleagues after work, I choose to go home and enjoy "me time". Even though I was alone, I felt at peace because I knew that choice was only temporary.

As I got older, I often had to "try to pretend I'm fine, but deep inside are tears that I cried" (lyrics from “Hey, Stranger!”). Although I sometimes talk and laugh with others, I don't know whom to call to share my joys and sorrows with when scrolling through my contact list. Only then did I understand what loneliness is. Being alone isn’t scary. It's scary being "many of us" but not being heard. Up to 43% of people aged 17-25 feel this way.

Causes of Loneliness

When is sadness enough to make us feel lonely? It's hard to know. There are numerous reasons for loneliness, both objective and subjective.

  • It could be because you haven't seen your loved ones for a long time, or family conflicts made you feel alone in your own home.
  • Maybe you've lost precious relationships in the past and thought you weren't worthy of love.
  • It can also be because you lack confidence, thinking that no one cares about you.
  • For others, it's because they've never been alone before.



Overcoming Loneliness

In Maslow's “Hierarchy of Needs,” wanting to be loved and belong to a group is a basic human need. Therefore, being alone for too long becomes harmful. If you are feeling lonely, the tips belove can help you overcome it and connect with people.

  • Join an activity you love or a new class to meet people with similar interests.
  • Go to the gym with one or a few close friends.
  • Take care of your loved ones every day in as many ways as possible. Having a coffee date with friends in the morning before going to work, texting a message or doing a 10-minute call to share your feelings during the day can also help ease loneliness.
  • Put down your phone every time you see each other, and take the time to listen and connect deeply with the people closest to you.
  • “Hey, Stranger! Please lend me your shoulder." (more lyrics from “Hey, Stranger!”). Helping others is also helping yourself. 
  • Keep your living space filled with sound. It could be your favorite music or an interesting podcast. Also, you can open a window to listen to the flow of people to stay connected.
  • Having a pet is also great spiritual therapy. It will always be by your side, comforting you and “chasing” all your sorrows away (or you will be too busy taking care of it to feel lonely).
  • Stop using social media for a while. Seeing other people’s seemingly perfect and fun life can make you feel lonelier.
  • Be grateful for what you have. Just "collect 5 minutes of fun every day to keep yourself alive".
  • Remind yourself that this feeling is just temporary.

If the above methods do not help you feel better, seek professional help or support centers such as the Tomorrow Hotline. Loneliness seems scary, but you can overcome it if you learn to accept it. And always remember that you deserve to be loved.

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