Alone For The Holidays


Being alone is difficult enough, never mind being alone on the holidays. It’s important that you have a psychological ‘strategy’ in mind to cope with the experience. You don’t want to be wandering around during the holidays looking for something to do and feeling bad about yourself.

Being around people you know will be useful during this time. Even though you’ll have to get over the feeling that there is something wrong with you having to be alone during this very social and intimate time of the year.

So let’s start with the thought and feeling that you’re ‘abnormal’ because you’re alone during the holidays. The implication here is, being part of a ‘couple’ or ‘group’ is intrinsically better than being an ‘individual.’ This is what you believe.

You probably also believe that if you’re alone it means nobody wants you or some such feeling. Your ‘strategy’ should include challenging these limited and false beliefs you’re hanging onto that are creating your unhappiness.

A person has the right to be alone and still feel good. Go ahead, say to yourself a few million times until it seeps in or you start seeing the fundamental truth in this statement. A person has the right to be alone and still feel good.

One of the basic truths of human existence, which by the way you should never give up under any circumstance is, one person is just as valuable as two, three, four, five, etc. If you disagree with me, I suggest you spend a little time alone and discover this fact for yourself. The ‘number’ of people should never determine the ‘worth’ of single human beings.

Next, as a ‘holiday loner’ this year, you have an extra person to buy a gift for. An extra person made it on your holiday gift list. Who is it? You give up? You guessed it, you. Buying yourself something special and substantial is very very important at times like this (watch the credit card). Just to make sure there are no hard feelings for being alone, you get something special, from you to you.

Now if you think it’s weird to buy yourself a gift just for being yourself, think again. It should be an expression of your love and affection for you know who, whenever you feel like it. When you take a minute to realize how much stress you’ve endured this year, a special gift to yourself this holiday season is a no brainer.

Don’t forget to dismantle the self-accusations of ‘selfishness’ and subsequent ‘guilt’ you might try to create. Feeling bad about giving to yourself when there is really no one else around to give to you at this time, is one of the biggest mental health problems in existence. How else are we supposed to get over the inadequacies of our childhoods, the feelings of being deprived of the love we needed?

You can’t always depend upon the ‘never failing consistency of another’s unconditional love.’ It’s much more realistic to assume that other people, including a devoted lover, will disappoint once in awhile. They obviously have themselves to consider.

As far as I’m concerned, you have a better chance learning to love yourself while you’re alone, and practicing it on the regular even in a love relationship. Guess what, it’ll even make your love-life better.

Comments?. Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan


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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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