Being alone has negative connotations – perhaps that the person is a “misery guts”, or is “unfriendly” or “isolated”. However, I believe that time spent alone is necessary, useful, and valuable.
I’ve written before about coping with the demands of others and juggling responsibilities. Being alone can give you time to recharge, decompress, and think about your own needs for a bit. It’s easier to make plans and decisions if you’ve been left alone to think about them for a while, as you can escape other people’s agendas. It might also help you be more productive. A friend of mine recently said the disruption to her office from the recent heavy snowfall meant she could get on with her work without interruption and was extremely productive!
The flip side of not being around other people and having their needs and demands placed upon you is that you don’t rely on them so much either. Being alone and having to regulate your own emotions and needs can help you build strength and resilience. That is why so many people recommend learning to love yourself before looking for love from others. You will develop inner strength and the power to manage your own self-worth rather than needing someone else to do it for you. You will learn to trust your own opinions and decisions rather than looking for reassurance and guidance from others.
Is there a movie you want to see but you friends don’t? Or somewhere you want to eat, or travel? Is lack of companionship holding you back from activities, and would it be so bad to go alone? Why or why not?
Being alone can be a conscious choice for self care. Remember, self care isn’t just about lighting and candle and having a nice bath! It can also mean getting a stack of bills paid or having a medical appointment.
Happiness in your own company can also increase self-confidence and satisfaction. Listening to our inner voice, agreeing with or challenging it appropriately, can help us feel more grounded and sure of ourselves.
So strike your best Greta Garbo pose and say, “I want to be alone!”.