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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
– Guest post by H. Kacak