Alone During The Holidays- Be Selfish This Year

Alone During The Holidays- Be Selfish This Year

Are you alone during the holidays? Don’t worry, we have a solution. It’s the season of giving – this year, be selfish.

Alone During The Holidays?

 

suicidal holidays

 

ALONE

I have a lot of questions and I am going to share them with you.  The one I have asked myself most recently is this – why do people feel most alone during the holidays?  All around us there are people, festivities, bright colors and cheer.

How can anyone be depressed when there is so much happiness around us?  How can the festive season really be when suicide rates are highest when there is so much to be joyful about?  The answer is simple really: not everyone is a part of it.

There are those who feel alone, even when surrounded by people. They feel distant, different, rejected, unaccepted, undervalued, and most of all isolated.  But it is such a strange thing to think; feeling alone when in company.  But in the society that we live in, is it really so surprising?

 

SELFISHNESS

How often have you been in a conversation and the person you were speaking to was not really listening, rather, just waiting for their next turn to speak?  How often do you do the same?

 

be selfish this year

 

Have you ever prioritized your career over someone you care about?  Do you ask yourself what you are building that career for? Have you ever wasted time in a relationship just because it was fun or convenient?

Have you ever posted on social media, to count how many likes you receive, just to be depressed by the result? Have you ever felt totally disconnected from people, even though we are more connected than ever?  Do we really care about other people’s problems, or are we only listening to fulfill what we think is a social contract?

Conversation as a transaction. Relationships as strategic partnerships. Friends as emotional crutches.

If our lives were films, we are all our own main characters.  No one cares about the divorce of the protagonist’s friend, or their boss’ stress regarding the market.  Problems that would otherwise seem insignificant are the biggest problems in the world when they’re ours; the only ones that matter.  Is it narcissistic or self-centered?  Probably.

Human beings are selfish, it is in our nature.  Ultimately we are solitary creatures.  We say we are better, altruistic; some try to act on this idea. It is an admirable trait and the positive impact this has should not be under-stated.  But, what if there is a negative impact?

 

holidays and alone

 

What if while striving for selflessness – to live to the ideal of always helping others – what we are doing is perpetuating a belief that people need to be better than they are, or should live to a standard higher than what is natural to them?  What if we are conditioning people to believe that focusing on ourselves is contemptible; that taking care of ourselves is despicable?

Maybe if we accept ourselves for what we are, we will come closer to the ideal we aspire to.  Why can someone not look after themselves before looking after someone else?  What if when someone prioritized themselves over others, they received respect for their self-awareness?

This is not always the case, but there are times when people simply do not have the mental capacity to deal with their own problems, let alone anyone else’s.  Times when taking on-board someone else’s problems would literally overwhelm us.  But we are told we are selfish if we do try to get ourselves together.  But if we focus on ourselves, maybe we CAN accomplish something; maybe we CAN help someone.  Ourselves.  It has to be better than no-one at all.

ACCEPTANCE

So why do we feel so alone on the holidays?  The answer: the same reason we feel alone any other time.  No one wakes up on Christmas Day and feels lonely for the first time.  We have all felt alone before and in times of distress we will handle it differently.
The common trait for most that feel this way, I think, that it is our fault.  We deserve it because we lack whatever trait makes us desirable, whatever trait that makes us likable, whatever trait that makes people want to be around us. But most of all, we feel guilty for feeling that way.  That somehow showing these feelings is selfish and self-centered. That letting someone know how you feel is a cry for attention.  That reaching out is actually going to push away those we want to bring near.
holiday season blues
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So I say, be selfish these holidays.  Do something just for you, that thing that makes you smile.  Call that person you want to speak to, whatever time of day or night.  Accept that you are allowed to feel bad and that before you can help others, you need to help yourself.
And that we should not feel ashamed or guilty if we ask for help.  We all need to make it clear that we want to be reached out to, that we want to help, that we do not judge, that helping those we care about helps us too.  And then we need to re-iterate it, and again.  At the end of the day, if you doubt people care about you, there cannot be too much reassurance to the contrary.
If you know someone who is alone these holidays, remind them you care.  And if you feel alone these holidays, be selfish and reach out.  No matter where you are, who you are with or without, or what your circumstance, you are not alone.  People do care and it is NOT selfish to reach out.  And if it is, that is okay too.

– Guest post by H. Kacak

 

 

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