Fear of being alone or loneliness has quite a few names in the psychological community: Autophobia, Isola-phobia, and Monophobia. Irrespective of the name you call it by, almost 1 in every 6 Indians has this exact fear.
The fear of being alone also leads to bad relationships as I have seen people prefer to be abused than left alone. We all have a few ideas about our perfect relationship and we try to find a partner on the basis of that. However, monophobia can disregard your preferred choice and get you into a relationship which may not turn out to be the way you wanted.
I hear a lot of my clients say, “I don’t want to die alone.”
In the past few months, I have met a few clients where I have observed that their relationship challenges stem out of a hasty decision of starting the relationship. I hear my clients saying “I don’t wanna die alone.” Another common statement what I get to hear is “What if there is no Mr. Perfect? I will be alone!” and many more.
Monophobia is also a fear of losing someone close to you. Sometimes, this fear leads to living in an abusive and a disrespectful relationship. This is not just with a romantic partner. It may also mean that you are being with friends who no longer add value to your life and respect you.
There was a client of mine who said he would always want to call up his friends to have a conversation. In times when his friends did not answer his calls, he would feel miserable. There were instances he had nothing to speak, yet he would build up a reason to call and talk to his friend, only to get an affirmation that his friend is still around with him and is not going to leave him alone.
If you have been experiencing the same fear, be it with friends or a partner, let me share a few simple points to go past this experience and make you aware to make conscious choices in your relationship.
Coping Skills: The first step is to build coping skills, which means try spending 15 – 20 minutes of your time where you would not call or message anyone. You can increase this time as you are able to manage it. Track your progress, it always helps.
Mindfulness: The second step is to practice mindfulness. This technique will help you to manage your responses. Resources are available on YouTube and various other websites, that guide you through the process of Mindfulness.
Speak Out: The third step is to reach out to a counselor, there are therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Technique (CBT), Hypnosis and many more which can help. You can also connect with various support groups in whose presence you can learn the skills of coping up with this fear.
For a tailormade program on Mindfulness or a session on how you can cope up with your fears and phobias on relationships, you can get in touch with me here.
In case you wish to read through, there are a few good books that give you more insight about monophobia:
1. Overcoming Loneliness: Alive and Free – by Adam Paige
2. Overcoming Loneliness in Everyday Life – by Jacqueline, Schwartz & Webster