What to do if you’re “Alonely"

Originally published at: What to do if you're "Alonely" | Boing Boing


Yep. Looking forward to being served in a restaurant or being able to go to a museum or something, but extremely mixed feelings about socializing again.


I wonder if this will work to maintain social distancing once the lockdown ends.


I’m definitely wired this way, so the pandemic just formalised the way I usually am,. It did reduce some of the social interactions I choose to have with friends and family and FWBs. I’m looking forward to resuming those, but otherwise I’m going to keep on keeping on.

I am expecting a kind of post-pandemic “Roaring 20s”-style culture where there will be more pressure to socialise in-person in a performative way. I plan to opt right the hell out of that.


This is also me. Things were great before the pandemic. I was working from home and always felt recharged and happy to see my wife and kids when they got home from school and work. Then all of the sudden my wife and kids were working from home as well, and my stress level went back up to where it was when I had to work at the office.


I was looking for a “1,000 Eyes of Dr Mabuse” image to illustrate a voyeuristic alternative when I came across this photo of that I thought was a publicity shot of Karl Largfeld; but, no, it is Wolfgang Preiss from the aforementioned film.


Me all day, every day. I get recharged when I’m alone. The only exception to this is my wife, who I can socialize with endlessly and we never seem to suffer the same issue.

I do suffer some guilt though. In the before times, pre-Covid, I worked from home once or twice a week. I’d been wanting to wfh full time, though, and had asked my boss in February of 2020 if I could, only to receive tepid response. Then the pandemic hit. I’m now permanently a remote worker.

Wish granted. What’s that old saying?


When I was a kid, we called this “being an introvert”.


I think they’re trying to convey something more with this term. Introverts can get lonely. I’m somewhat introverted but seldom find myself getting lonely.


I guess the term for the response a person who is an introvert has to excessive social contact is alonelyness.


True, but I’ve frequently heard the distinction between extrovert and introvert given as: do social encounters energize you, or do you require alone time to recharge after highly social time? This is distinct from whether you get lonely or not.

I guess they are trying to say that if you are in the state of requiring that introvert solo-time recharge, you’re “alonely”?


Yeah, trying to position the term alonely as an opposite to being lonely. So:
lonely: the state of being without; or needing additional, social contact
alonely: the of having too much; or needing less, social contact


I’m glad I figured this out about myself in my twenties (I’m not sure if I’d heard of introversion etc. at that point). Now I know to schedule some time after social occasions, so I have time to be on my own, with no pressures.
Plus I can (sometimes) spot it in myself when it happens, so I can think to myself “you’re being a dick because you’re fed up with people”, and go have a little time to myself, so I don’t offend any of my mates.


Not quite fully thought through, as neologisms go.
How does ‘alone’ fit into this? “I vant to be aalone”?


How does this differ from introverts, who need time alone to recharge? Certainly, I need that, but I also need some amount of people daily, though Seth Robert’s Morning Faces research give me some thoughts on that (faces in the morning prevent depression the next day, google his name and morning faces).

I thought it was a play on the terms like “moral” versus “amoral” so “alonely” means you’re missing the experience of being “lonely”. Not a perfect match, but linguistically where the term took me.
I’m totally suffering from this and glad for the term. I’ve worked from home for ages now, but with the pandemic, now I’m never actually alone, and I miss it. It’s showing.


Well, it’s not really a ‘play’ as such, that’ exactly what it is - like amoral, asocial, asexual, etc, as you note. But English is weird - alone is not alone.

Extroverts can get alonely too. They just need less down time in order to stay healthy.

Introvert/extrovert is an innate condition, while lonely/alonely is a transient experience.

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And what if your answer is yes? So many things are set up to be a binary when they should be a spectrum.


In a real world full of nuance, there is absolutely a spectrum, and we all exhibit both sets of traits at different times. Untreated anxiety nudges people toward introversion. Relaxed people act more extroverted.

There is a definite bias toward extroverted behavior, though, and that tends to polarize the dynamic more than is useful.