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Afraid to be alone with your thoughts?

(57 Posts)
biglouis Tue 25-Jul-23 12:10:24

I saw a news item on the BBC website that more people are choosing to travel alone.

One of the recommendations was to become used to "being alone with your thoughts" as if this were some dreadful ordeal. Do you think that the current obsessions for "keeping in touch" and "not missing out" are because people lack the capacity to entertain themselves when they are alone?

NotSpaghetti Tue 25-Jul-23 12:14:18

No. I think that's completely different.

Smileless2012 Tue 25-Jul-23 12:17:27

Depending on what your thoughts are, sometimes being alone with them can be an ordeal even for just a short time.

Casdon Tue 25-Jul-23 12:28:34

I think some people manage anxiety by constantly being occupied, I worked with somebody whose thoughts crowded her mind even when there was silence in the office, and she always wanted the radio on as a distraction, including when she was in the middle of important tasks. I don’t think she would have ever contemplated holidaying alone. I don’t think it’s about capacity, more that some people are happy alone, and some people aren’t is what it boils down to.

Hetty58 Tue 25-Jul-23 12:34:22

The more horror we've seen, the more difficult it is. I enjoy my own company, but many don't, as they need company and distraction to get through each day.

crazyH Tue 25-Jul-23 12:34:38

My thoughts lead me to dark times in my life. Perhaps I’m the ‘glass half empty’ type. That’s why I tend to have the TV on all the time. Music doesn’t do it for me - reading does, even if it’s just reading online.

Smileless2012 Tue 25-Jul-23 12:38:03

I usually have background noise either the tv or music when Mr. S.'s is out crazy. I don't think I'm a 'glass half empty' type but sometimes like you, my thoughts take me to the dark times in my life flowers.

DamaskRose Tue 25-Jul-23 12:44:20


I usually have background noise either the tv or music when Mr. S.'s is out crazy. I don't think I'm a 'glass half empty' type but sometimes like you, my thoughts take me to the dark times in my life flowers.

I agree Smileless. I seem to dwell more on the dark times the older I get but don’t think I’m a glass half empty person.

biglouis Tue 25-Jul-23 12:58:49

Yes I like background music as well which I then proceed to ignore. I prefer Indian or Arabic music because then I dont know what they are singing about.

If I have complex online jobs to do or those which require concentration then I dont want to be disturbed by some random knocking at the door to sell me stuff. I put ear plugs in and then play the music loud enough to cover an atomic bomb going off outside. If Im expecting an important call or package then I dont attempt anything complex. I just do routine stuff while Im listening out for whatever it is.

I just dont understand this business of "wanting to be in touch" all the time. If you are in touch people can demand that you do things for them and then you have to refuse or make excuses.

To the poster/s who said that being alone with their thoughts can lead them to a very dark place I understand that from some of my childhood experiences. Re-visiting them is like tiptoeing through the graveyard where old bodies still lie buried.

Foxygloves Tue 25-Jul-23 13:00:59

I don’t see the connection.
I like travelling alone precisely because I can be “alone with my thoughts/kindle/book” !

MayBee70 Tue 25-Jul-23 13:08:21

I like being on my own. And am happy pottering about the house or garden with no background noise. However, since the pandemic, I have to get to sleep listening to something, otherwise my mind starts to race and I actually get quite morbid thoughts.

Katie59 Tue 25-Jul-23 13:22:51

We are all different so no general rule, having done both I do
prefer companionship to being solitary, singles group holidays make it easier and I don’t insist on single accommodation I can share for a week or two.

Redhead56 Tue 25-Jul-23 13:30:16

I sometimes dwell on my past it’s like a dark cloud being married to an abusive self destructive man. Some things just don’t leave you life experience shape your personality. I am just glad it’s in the past and I know it will never leave me.
I don’t mind the quiet but I prefer background noise it reminds me of a busy house when my son and daughter were young and still at home.

pascal30 Tue 25-Jul-23 15:42:23

I meditate.. I've spent 3 months in silence at a retreat.. it was so restful

Blondiescot Tue 25-Jul-23 16:23:36

No, I'm the opposite. I'm at my happiest in my own company with just my own thoughts.
And yes, I know - be careful what you wish for and all that. Don't get me wrong, I love having my husband and very immediate family around me, but I'm one of those people who absolutely needs time on my own every day, even if it's only for half-an-hour.

Wyllow3 Tue 25-Jul-23 16:47:01

Makes me wonder how people dealt with it before radio, TV, music players, easy access to books etc. Or do in current times in different cultures or when not affordable.

Some people have always sought to be alone with thoughts..certain amount of creativity depends on it but we mostly are used to rarely being faced with our own inner life... except by choice. (just musing). 💭

I do like a lot of time away from others atm as get too tired...

depends on mood as to ....facing up to thoughts until Something Understood, or very much wanting Distraction...or listening to music as if the music spoke to me deep down, or music as background lulling...

Bridie22 Wed 26-Jul-23 12:23:41

Like crazyH my thoughts lead to regrets, what ifs, sad times, my distraction is music.

Kartush Wed 26-Jul-23 12:30:59

I love my own thoughts as crazy as they often are. I find people difficult and annoying. There are a select few that are welcome in my space and 90% of those are immediate family, my husband, kids grandkids etc. anyone else I can totally do without.

Mollygo Wed 26-Jul-23 12:33:53

I’m not afraid to be alone with my thoughts, but that’s partly because I have a choice. Being on your own with your thoughts because you have no option is different.

nanna8 Wed 26-Jul-23 12:42:07

I quite like being alone but it doesn’t happen that often. No doubt it will in the future because my husband is quite a bit older than me. I am an only child so well used to being alone. I’m not sure I would holiday alone, though- I’d probably go on an organised tour rather than just drive around solo.

bluebird243 Wed 26-Jul-23 13:02:51

I like being solitary, I like my space, I like being able to think without distraction. I can calm myself down, think positively, sort out any problems, think happy memories, count my blessings, plan/dream regarding the future and buck myself up etc. by having the time and peace to think. All good.

I sometimes visit the bad times [quite a few] and reframe the situations and come to terms with events/peoples behaviour. It's all part of the picture.

I was an only child for 11 quiet years...and learnt how to amuse myself and not rely on others. Although I like conversation [one-to-one] I don't like groups of people, 4 is ok more than that is uncomfortable.. I find socialising fraught and hard to negotiate as others seem to have agendas and have been badly let down when I've let people in.

Nannashirlz Wed 26-Jul-23 13:12:53

I live alone and travel alone, my tv always on when I’m home or my music. If I’m not reading my books or doing stuff around my home or garden or shopping I’m fine but ppl often presume that because you on your own you must be lonely. I’m not but I’ve noticed since lockdown I’m not keen on being in places with crazy crowds didn’t bother me before covid but I think lockdown made me enjoy my time alone

Bluesmum Wed 26-Jul-23 14:03:51

When my dh was alive, he had vascular dementia along with other health issues and if I was out of his sight, even for seconds, he would be calling me. I loved him dearly and looked after him for eleven years, watching him deteriorate every day and I would do it all again in a heartbeat if I could just have him back for one more day, but when he was alive, I often used to pray very hard for some silence and time on my own and now I gave all the peaceful quiet solitude a soul could wish for and it us Heaven! Of course, I do socialise and I love company and having friends and family stay here, but it is the peaceful solitude I value almost most of all! I don’t want to sound smug, but my thoughts are filled with happy memories and although we were no way the perfect couple, we did share a perfect love, which will never, ever die all the while I am still breathing.

Bijou Wed 26-Jul-23 14:33:20

Since my husband died in 1987 I have lived and travelled alone and now I am old and housebound and have outlived my friends only see my help for an hour a day..
Thank goodness for iPad, TV and radio.

MayBee70 Wed 26-Jul-23 14:35:42

I really need some solitude and am struggling greatly with not having as much as I want to have.