Why is it so hard to be alone?

So many people have asked me throughout the years why it is so hard to be alone. I thought this was a fitting topic to discuss as we are in the middle of a pandemic scenario. As we are all aware, the pandemic of 2020 has stricken the entire world and we are all scared. But why? Are you scared?

Working with so many different folks throughout the years such as parents and children, executive clients, fellow colleagues, and so forth – the revolving question arises frequently: Why is it so hard to be alone?

I have many perspectives on the topic because I have been trained in so many areas of helping psychologies, theories, techniques, and strategies. From Motivational Interviewing, CBT, Narrative, humanistic-centered practices, clinical treatment, life coaching, strengths-based centered practices, client-centered practices, neuro-linguistic programming, and more…each modality or ‘school of thought’ comes with different, underlying principles.

One principle of understanding I have studied for many years is Attachment Theory, mostly deriving from a behavioralist lens. Bowlby has done a fine job throughout the years sharing with the world that attachment of emotional bonds is inherent to human nature and core needs. I’ve believed him. I’ve shared his knowledge. I’ve seen his principles and practices directly in front of me in the form of happy children, loving parents, and functional families.

But, I’m not entirely convinced.


Earlier in my education and career I thought that attachment was a key element that HAD TO HAPPEN in order for a child to thrive and survive, grow, and eventually be successful and wise. Later in my life I’ve begun to study Buddhism, humanistic psychology, human needs psychology, and have added spirituality components to my thinking and believing. Still taking into consideration the systems-perspective, multi-dimensional approach to practice with clients, and being open to theories from earlier pioneers such as Broffenbrenner and Freud, I still appreciate all schools of thought of understanding the human mind an behavior. However, MY mind continues to wander…and ask…’

What about eastern philosophies? What about codependency being related to attachment? Are parents responsible for de-taching their children? Is codependency related to attachment? What’s truly the difference between being ‘bonded’ and ‘attached’ versus being inner dependent  Do we move towards being inner dependent the older we get? Is wisdom just viewed differently across cultures and defined differently?

I invite you to help me look at this topic from your perspective. If we practice and are ‘attached’ from a very young age, how can we feel good when we’re alone and de-tached?

Why is is so hard to be alone?



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