Everyone has had that one friend. You know the one. They text you every ten minutes, want to hang out five times a week, and you know more about their every day problems and victories more than you feel necessary. Hell, you may even be this person. As a result of practicing these habits for too long you may have unknowingly contracted a common and easily spread disease: the inability to be alone.
Knowing how to be alone is just as important as eating healthy and exercising and with technologies like cellphones, Facebook and Snapchat, being in contact with other people twenty-four seven has become easier and easier. Yes, these innovations have made the world much better but in being connected with everyone so easily, but you can quickly become disconnected with yourself. Here’s why it’s so important to learn how to be alone:
Your relationships with others will be sincere
Using anyone to fill the void that loneliness leaves is extremely toxic. Not only do others not deserve to be a last resort, but you don’t deserve to depend on others in that way. Seeking out others for sex or intimacy just because you don’t want to be by yourself can quickly become a bad habit that creates relationships that are not sincere. Texting someone at 1a.m. asking them what they are doing just because you are lonely or bored is a cop-out to dealing with loneliness. Having random sex in order to quickly cure isolation is a quick fix to a bigger issue. It’s important to learn how to be alone so that you are not creating and maintaining toxic relationships in order to fill a void. Instead of filling the void, learn to feel the void. Sit with your loneliness and let it wrap itself around you. Learn to become civil with your alone time. Soon you’ll find yourself texting random people less, hooking-up less, and you will no longer depend on others to cure your loneliness.
You will develop your own thoughts and ideas and stop stealing others
Not knowing how to be alone can greatly effect who you are and how you identify yourself. The more and more you avoid being by yourself, the more you lose yourself. You can quickly become a personality-theif: taking the bits and pieces of the qualities of people around you and acting them out as yourself. Everyone does it: you spend enough time with your boyfriend, or best friend until eventually you notice you’re saying the same slang as them or dressing similar. There is nothing wrong with this. When it DOES become a problem is when you no longer harbor your own opinions or ideas, or if you switch who you are according to who you are with. When you spend time alone, you will have time to sort out the information overload you receive throughout the day. You can clear your thoughts and decide what you agree with, disagree with, and form your own opinions and ideas on the things you hear and see. You will become a more consistent person and therefor more pleasant.
You will no longer be needy
I think everyone at some point has been called needy. Whether or not the statement held any truth is up to you, but it would all do us well to be considered less needy, or not needy at all. Being independent means being happy when company is there, and content when it is not. It means being able to solve problems on your own, deal with emotional issues by yourself and trusting your decision making. If you always have someone around, you always have an outside source or, a second opinion. Getting another persons insight is fine but if you are finding yourself not able to function in everyday life without someone else holding your hand and walking you through, you may need to consider spending more time alone in order to build your emotional strength. Learning to be alone means being able to be independant in relationships. Your significant other, or friends will appreciate not feeling like a villain for saying ‘goodbye’ and you’ll like the feeling of being able to say ‘adios!’ while you spend time by yourself.
It gives you the opportunity to learn new traits and hobbies
Being alone gives you the time to become a master at something. Even an hour a day spending time alone doing a hobby such as reading, writing, playing an instrument, etc. is better than nothing. If being alone doesn’t come easy to you, try setting aside time each day to master your trait. Record your progress some way, maybe in a journal and in a month see how far you have come. Eventually you will look forward to the solitude of the moment, doing something you love. You’ll feel more productive and more centered in yourself. If you don’t have a hobby, try journaling: write down what happened during your day, how you feel about it and how you can be a better person, tomorrow. Have you ever met
It’s an important part of growing up
All in all, learning to be alone is a fundamental part of growing up. Constantly needing someone around is detrimental to your personal growth. At different points in life you may have many people around you or you may have no one, and knowing how to bounce back in both situations will make your life a lot easier in the long run. People won’t always be a constant and putting your happiness in the hands of everyone around you is bound to end in more heartache than good. So do yourself a good one by teaching yourself how to be alone, slowly but surely until it comes as naturally to you as breathing.
Now go and be alone like a boss!
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