This quote is heavy and it rang some bells in me because... I am a lone wolf.
I became a loner because of depression. Back in the day, I wanted to be left alone so I closed in myself, cutting all ties with my entourage.
There always was something wrong with my relationships with people so I gave up. No more social life for me. I was done trying.
Therefore I became a pro at ghosting, ignoring people, disappearing and silencing myself. I became so good at it this is scary. Seriously, I'm very good at this.
I was cool with being on my own notably because I didn't feel like I was lonely. Checking my social media pages gave a sense of human interactions and I am never alone as long as God is by my side right? This sounds like an exaggerated excuse to justify my loneliness... and it is. This is what my brain came up with to convince me that my lifestyle was okay.
As I got better, I started to re-open myself to people and started to question the advantages of solitude. Because they exist and are many but there also is a dark side to loneliness.
Consequently, I came up with this list of pros and cons of loneliness, just to have a complete picture of what I was missing by being so closed to everyone and everything.
The Pros of Loneliness :
1. Loneliness brings you peace. As you have very restricted interactions with the outside world, your mind is free from external drama. And since you won't bring drama to yourself, you are floating on a cloud.
2. Loneliness brings you calm. You are alone, no one to make noise but yourself. For someone who has grown up in a big family like me, calm is priceless.
3. Loneliness allows you to focus on the right things as you disconnect yourself from bad influences and distractions.
4. Loneliness allows you to take a better care of yourself. You have more time for yourself, to develop yourself on many levels without being influenced by people (at least not directly).
5. Loneliness allows you to spend your time differently. You can write, read books, relax... You manage your time the way you want and spend it on what actually matters to you.
6. Loneliness allows you to cut off everything that is draining your energy. Good vibes are only allowed and your mental health is protected.
The list of pros was short right? Well, here is the long list of cons.
The Cons of Loneliness :
1. Loneliness turns into solitude. It's one thing to be alone (when no one is physically with you), it's another to be lonely (when you feel like you are on your own, even if you are physically surrounded by people).
Loneliness will make you feel like you are solitary, that no one is around for you (because you have closed in yourself) and you will not be okay with it. We are social beings and we need to interact with one another. give and receive love from our peers. (See: Love & Belongingness Needs on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).
2. Loneliness makes you misanthropist. As you cut emotional ties with people, you develop a lack of interest for them, a lack of empathy and even a lack of love for your neighbors. What they do, what they say will intensely bother you and make you regret to even be around these people.
This is bad, really bad. You become a hateful person and this is not biblical (See: 1 Corinthians 13:2-3).
3. Loneliness makes you self-centered. When you are lonely, the only thing that matters is you and your well-beilg. You forget other people exist and have needs too. You become a selfish person, who totally ignores how to care about others.
4. Loneliness makes you unpleasant. Since you live in your bubble and don't have relationships with people, you forget how to socialize with them. You tend to lack of tact and of patience with them. You become unpolite and borderline disrespectful. You are so used to being on your own that you have no idea of how to properly interact with your peers anymore.
5. Loneliness makes you antisocial. You don't see the purpose of talking to people nor to go out anymore. You stay at home, on your safe space and make sure not to interact with others. You only tolerate your own presence and don’t feel like being surrounded by people.
You basically become invisible and actually enjoy this new lifestyle.
6. Loneliness makes you addicted to loneliness. Your temporary me time becomes an ever-lasting me time. You blindly enjoy it, not being aware of the side effects permanent solitude could have on you.
7. Loneliness makes you self-sufficient... or at least it makes you think that you are. The more time you spend alone, the more you realize that you are good on your own and need nobody else in life because you have yourself. Your self-confidence becomes arrogance and trust me, God will humble you for thinking that way.
8. Loneliness makes you unbothered by others (and I don't mean it in a good way). You genuinely don't care about your peers. It's because you have detached yourself emotionally from everything that isn't about you. You lack of compassion, lack of empathy and despise people.
9. Loneliness gives you trust issues. Considering the fact that you have been alone for so long, you don't know people anymore so how could you trust them? Plus, they have disappointed you in the past therefore it will take you a while to see them as trust-worthy and let them enter your bubble of peace.
10. Loneliness makes you friendless. If you decide to go lonely, please believe that few people will genuinely care and bother to make you stay. Your friends will let you go if they think it's what you really want... or if they don't care about you. Due to you lone wolf tendencies, you could lose your friends, some of the people you love the most, temporarily or permanently, as during your lonely time, you guys might grow apart.
As a conclusion, let's just say that loneliness is necessary to find yourself, get yourself together, have quality time on your own but it has to be temporary. In fact, it could make you become a terrible human being, stranger to love, friendship and empathy.
"Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." - Psalms 25:16