It’s an age old scenario – you’re sitting alone in a restaurant, enjoying a quiet meal for one. Perhaps you’re reading a book, or checking something on your mobile. Perhaps this meal is a treat for yourself, and you’re having a lovely time.
But then you notice a glance from someone at a neighbouring table. Without knowing your situation, they’re looking at you with pity. As if eating a meal solo means you must be lonely, anti-social, or socially unwanted. That there is something inherently wrong with being alone in a public setting.
And they’re wrong, because it’s actually empowering to do things like having a dinner out alone, and that uninformed person is allowing their own insecurities colour their opinions. They can’t even fathom actually spending time alone.
In fact, they’re probably afraid of being alone and are missing out on the best company they could ever find – themselves.
Spending time along doesn’t mean you’re being anti-social or ‘disappearing’ from action. It just means you’re focusing on yourself.
And those who do enjoy their free time, they understand how a bit of solitude can be beneficial to them.
Recharging your batteries
It can be mentally exhausting to constantly having to be ‘on’ in social settings. Keeping up engaging conversations, making people laugh, showing empathy when someone’s feeling emotional, generally trying to make those around you happy, and so forth…
It’s absolutely draining to say the least.
But by taking some time away from the social scene, you’re allowing yourself time to recharge. To turn your brain off. To focus your energies on your own happiness.
Reflecting isn’t just in the mirror
When you’re constantly on the go, you really don’t get much time to reflect on your life or think on where you want your life to go. Instead, you’re constantly surrounded by others that take up your time and energy, leaving very little (if anything) for yourself.
By taking some time out for yourself, it allows you time to improve your own self-confidence, work through issues in the past, and start planning for your future.
It’s a golden opportunity that really shouldn’t be missed because it’s your life, and you’re the only one that can propel it forward in the future.
Getting in touch with yourself
Along with being mentally draining, being in constant social settings can also be draining emotionally. Because if you’re constantly catering to other people’s emotions or being their ‘cheerleader’, that leaves no opportunities to keep in touch with your own emotions.
Time alone can allow you time to gain a better perspective about your own happiness, while learning about what upsets or saddens you. No emotion is a bad emotion because the more you know how negative emotions can affect you, the better prepared you’ll be in the future to handle them.
And a true strength of character comes from being able to overcome the hard times in your life.
Doing things for yourself
Who hasn’t been out with a friend or a group of people and had to give into someone else’s desire while setting aside your own desires or needs? Whether you realise it or not, we all compromise to an extent when looking for a common solution.
But when you’re enjoying your alone time, it’s all about what you want to do because you have the freedom to decide for yourself. It’s not necessarily about being selfish, but if you’re continually giving in to someone else’s needs, yours will never be fulfilled. It’s all about the freedom to do what you want to do.
This also means focusing on your own happiness, although it doesn’t mean you’ll completely ignore other people’s needs as well. You should know what makes you happy, because ultimately you shouldn’t be relying on someone else to ‘make’ you happy.
Be more productive
We all have things we need to get done in our personal lives – laundry, groceries, house cleaning, and so forth. And while there are some things that would be fun to do with another person, sometimes you just can’t be truly productive when you’re constantly in someone else’s company.
Their presence will become distracting and your ‘to-do’ list will just keep growing and growing.
When you’re alone and getting things done, you’ll find you’re more focused and able to get some work done. And the only one that’ll be able to distract you is you.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder..
How are you going to miss someone’s company if they’re constantly by your side? And do you really want to spend so much time together that you run the risk of getting on each other’s nerves or possibly even getting sick of each other?
A routine is one thing, but being together 24/7 means you literally get no space for yourself or to take care of your own needs as per the above. But when you’re spending some time apart – even if it’s just an hour a week – that time together becomes more important and you’ll appreciate it more.
The independence that comes from doing certain activities alone – like going on holiday by yourself – can be absolutely electrifying. And not only will it help reduce any anxiety about being alone, but it’ll also boost your confidence.
And feeling independent can be truly empowering.
Spending time alone means you don’t have to apologise to anyone for what you’ve done or about to do. You can allow yourself the freedom to stop second-guessing your actions or worrying if you’re upsetting someone else by doing what you want when you want it.
Trust your own instincts
All too often we’ll stop ourselves from making a decision or taking a particular action because we haven’t run it by a friend or loved one first. We’ll look to them for validation that we’re taking the right course of action, or perhaps for some advise on what to do next.
And sometimes that is the right thing to do.
But honestly there are plenty of times where we’re completely capable of making a decision without someone else’s input, or need someone else to validate our choices. And when you’re spending more time alone, you’ll trust yourself more, and be more confident in making decisions without someone else’s two-cents.
This post was inspired by — When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen.