Fear of loneliness

Fear of loneliness
Fear of loneliness

The fear of being alone, according to Erich Fromm, is an effect of the notion of Separatity that reaches the Human Being.

According to this author, his deepest need is to overcome his separateness, the idea that he is an individual separated from the rest.

As we already know, the human being is theonly living being who is aware of his existence and who can think of himself. Along with these ideas, he is aware of the finitude of his life


This knowledge implies the difficult odyssey of being able to live even knowing that we are going to die, and even not being able to control when that will happen.

In the same way, the human being lives, in the best of cases, having reached the notion of Otherness. This means, that he has passed through a period in which development in which he recognizes himself as a being separated from his mother, and, therefore, allows him to construct the other as Altero, that is, different from himself.

This achievement is he althy from the point of view of the subjective constitution and necessary for the construction of the self, and the notion of Sameness.

However, according to Fromm, it is difficult to bear. Knowing that we are separate from others confronts us with a terrible fear, because it implies that we can be left alone, isolated and abandoned, and this places us in a position of extreme vulnerability.

The absolute failure in this intention to overcome Separatity would be madness. The fear of total isolation is only overcome in madness at the cost of the fading of the outside world. This world from which the human being is separated, in this case, disappears.

In Western society, the way to resolve this isolation is through belonging. The union that saves the individual from isolation. For this, Conformity is essential.

Individuals participate much more in this conformity than they realize, and the need for individuality is satisfied in relation to minor differences, such as political affiliations or fans of different sports teams, when in what underlies there is a clear tendency towards union and the need to establish Equality, homogeneity.

Even when equality is proclaimed as a condition of Identity, according to this author, it is part of the movement towards the elimination of differences, which is analogous to the need for the standardization of the human being.

The establishment of the union by means of Conformity is, according to Fromm, gentle and slow, so that it is insufficient in the face of the anguish of the danger of separation. Thus, alcoholism, addictions in general, compulsive sexuality and suicide would be symptoms of a relative failure of herd-type conformity.

The routine is another way of homogenizing: the eight working hours, the ways in which it should bespend leisure time, feelings are even prescribed: being cheerful, tolerant, ambitious, responsible and getting along with everyone, is the value par excellence in a company. Routines group us like a herd and this makes us forget that we are separate individuals destined for finitude.

The fear of loneliness undoubtedly comes from the first moments of life, where the human being, unlike many other living beings, cannot fend for himself from the start, he needs the care and protection of another to survive.

Henceforth, knowing oneself alone and without any kind of social bond is experienced with great anguish. For this reason, there are multiple intentions to overcome said separation.

The full solution to this question would be, for this author, in the interpersonal union present in love.

The union through love; unlike the symbiotic union, which implies a fusion in which they are two but at the same time, one, and they need each other; it is characterized by being a union that preserves its own integrity, its own individuality.

Thus, and only thus, is it possible to overcome the anguish of separation, without losing singularity.

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