Some Reflections about Loneliness and Bad Companies
*Some days ago, as part of a new gig I’ve been doing, I was commissioned to write something around the idea of embracing solitude instead of a toxic company. That was the premise and I needed to develop the idea as a motivational speech of sorts that would find its way into some Youtube video (some Spanish version of what I wrote would supposedly be the script of that video). Even though that has rarely been my discourse mode, I accepted the assignment because that day precisely, two of my daughters had expressed issues regarding bullying and the anxiety of teenagers’ socialization these days.*
*I felt really bad about my daughters having to deal with all kinds of pressures coming from both male and female friends. It strikes me as absurd that precisely in this times of political correctness and so much media bombardment about respect towards the other, tolerance and acceptance, some kids keep coming up with more dramatic ways to make their friends’ lives miserable.*
*Even though I have advocated in the past socialization and have criticized this technologically savvy generation for being so alienated and inadequate when it comes to face to face interaction, there are moments in a person’s life when choosing between a toxic company or liberating solitude is a no-brainer*.
This is what I wrote and I dedicate it to my daughters.
# Breathing Freely the Joy of Loneliness.
Although many people would like to be famous, have money, and be surrounded by admirers, we know that happiness does not reside in opulence or in crowds. There are many celebrities who wish to withdraw from the public eye and live private and quiet lives. Similarly, the fact that a person lives like a hermit does not mean that that person is unhappy. We have been taught that the human being was not born to be alone and that carries with it an imposition of what a well-lived life means, if social expectations are to be fulfilled. They have taught us to feel sorry for and even fear people who live alone; as if loneliness were a contagious disease.
The old folks used to say that ***”it is better to be alone than in bad company.”*** This jewel of popular wisdom is often rejected by young people-and sometimes by the not-so-young—in their desperate desire for company, popularity and acceptance.
There is nothing more dangerous for the freedom of the human being than insecurity in the face of loneliness. Bad people have a special sense of smell to detect those who fear being alone.
Dominant and controlling people know how to subjugate those whose insecurities lead them to prefer the slavery of a harmful relationship to the freedom of accepting themselves as they are.
What good is there in a company if it hurts you? What good in having someone beside you who, far from helping you grow, dwarfs you and dwindles your desire to live up to your own expectations?
Every relationship has the potential to benefit or harm depending on the direction it takes and according to the position occupied by the parties. A friendship, a family, work, or love relationship can provide the ingredients for success that will turn a person into a winner; or it may be the main reason for its failure and even its demise.
If only one party advances while the other stagnates, there is no point in remaining tied to such a relationship only under the pretext of not being able to be alone or that, as the other saying goes, **”loneliness is a bad adviser.”**
Loneliness is not an abstraction, nor an evil entity that invades or obscures our reason. On the contrary, loneliness is a state of being, a conscious attitude adopted after having evaluated how harmful a certain company may be. **The advice derived from loneliness is nothing more than your own voice**; a voice that in ideal conditions will speak in the name of your well-being and that of the people around you.
If you do not receive the slightest reciprocity in exchange for the affection and devotion offered, what difference would there be between such relationship and a relationship of servitude or slavery? **Only when submission becomes a mental condition could a human being choose oppression over freedom.**
![hard to socialize.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmRNpJL5WFd1EGQPDaiAXyJMEVB3q7UqRZzauFxJCHYFRt/hard%20to%20socialize.jpg)
Loneliness must stop being seen as something negative. Loneliness should be the opportunity that each human being must take to contemplate life in its just dimension and the role they have played in it. Loneliness should allow us to self-evaluate and evaluate the role each person plays in our lives.
Loneliness should be the time to breathe without the suffocating presence of people who often consume the air that could well be filling our lungs, our spirit.
Many of the diseases people suffer are associated with an unhealthy work environment or some toxic relationship or company. Many people remain tied (enslaved) to a job they do not like, a boss who verbally or emotionally abuses them; similarly, **many people have in their family, partners, or friends the true source of all their miseries.**
*”There is no worse blind than the one who does not want to see,”* says another popular saying. So, blindness is not necessarily a physical condition in this case. Just like the possibility of seeing what is in sight becomes a mental attitude, a decision, perhaps unconscious, but a decision nonetheless, loneliness or the fear of it, must stop being a condition of physical isolation to become a self-preservation attitude. You can continue having a social life without having to tie yourself to anyone, especially to bad companies.
# Freedom’s Double-Standard
“The bun was loosened”, used to say our elders, to refer to a woman who had left her partner or had become independent from her family and who was suddenly very “happy”, “liberated”, “flourishing”. In the case of women, sexist criticism hides the vices of a society that teaches submission and duty over happiness.
“The woman owes herself to her husband and her children and for them she must endure everything”, is the idea behind many stories of submission and unhappiness. The truth is that behind these criticisms what is evident in someone who “released her hair” is the euphoria produced by freedom. From the simple change of appearance, to the way of dressing, talking, walking and interacting, there are many changes that are manifested in someone who has moved away from a company that they felt enslaved them.
In men, the situation is usually different. In accordance with the *machista* discourse, the man who leaves a woman who had him “subdued” does well. Everyone will notice and praise his improvements. He who was skinny and disheveled looks now refreshed and handsome. Thus, breaking the “yoke” of an enslaving relationship is, then, if machismo is put aside, a desirable and logical decision in each scenario.
### Based on this, some considerations could be established:
**Loneliness does not mean isolation.** You can have friends, family, work and entertainment, but always reserving moments of introspection that allow you to reencounter yourself. No need to go to a mountain, terminate all your relationships, or close all your accounts on social networks (although that would not hurt at all) to be alone.
<sub>Kids see themselves through so many imposed filters they end up forgetting what they really look like.</sub>
**Loneliness can be fun**. There are many activities that can be done and enjoyed alone, or even in public places, but without the need of a dominant company that imposes an agenda or schedule. Reading, cinema, concerts, museums, outdoor sports, pets, meditation, contemplation of nature are some of the activities we can learn to do alone.
**Loneliness is not an irreversible or definite condition**. Deciding to be alone at a certain time should not mean the loss of faith in human beings or the undeniable need we have to socialize. Although there are cases of people who, after a rupture or irreparable loss, choose a secluded existence, that does not have to be the solution. There are many more cases of “better second parts”, successful relationships that helped overcome the traumas of a previous failure (and this applies to relationships of couple, friendship or work).
**Loneliness should lead to personal growth**. As a conscious attitude, the period of solitude must lead to an evaluation of our behavior and our expectations regarding ourselves and the people around us. The healthy thing is to decide to look for harmonious relationships where freedom and happiness are the priority. The ability to feel at ease, alone or accompanied, must be the result of these periods of reflection.
**Fear of loneliness is inculcated; as such, it can also be unlearned**. There are many things that we learn from early age. There are many fears that are inculcated to us since we have a certain level of consciousness. From the fear of certain animals that could pose a real threat to our lives, to unfounded fears of people of other colors, religions or sexual orientations, there are many fears that we develop in our lives. In the same way we stop fearing spiders, darkness, or someone of another religion, we can stop fearing loneliness and start to embrace it as part of our states of being.
To finish, and paraphrasing the popular proverb, far from being a bad advisor, loneliness could be the only and best company you’ll ever need.
# Thanks for your visit
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