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Are You Afraid To Be Alone?

Being alone is not considered an optimal state.  We value relationships, being social and constant interaction with others.  But there are times in our lives when we are by ourselves – either by choice or not – and we don’t have the relationships we desire.  We tend to avoid being alone as much as possible, and view it as a necessary evil when it does occur.

But, not only is being by yourself unavoidable at some points, it’s actually desirable.  Having the relationships that we want depends on our time by ourselves, because this is the time when we learn to like ourselves and develop faith that we are capable.  Next time you are facing being alone – don’t fight it – just follow these ideas for making the most of it.  And remember, in order to have great relationships we must learn to be by ourselves.

Practice Being By Yourself

Some people are naturally inclined towards spending time alone with themselves.  But others cringe at the thought.  For those who are not inclined towards time alone make it a practice to “have a meeting with yourself” every day.  Take 10 minutes and check in with yourself.  Ask how you feel and what happened in your day that gave or took away your energy.  Or, just sit quietly and listen to the silence.  Think about it this way – if you are working on a project at your job you would regularly check in with the other people working on the project.  You all need to know how the others are coming along – leaving someone out of the loop may be detrimental to your success.  You have this same obligation to yourself.  Check in with You regularly.

Being Alone Leads To Better Relationships

Sometimes we enter into relationships only because we would rather not be alone, even if the relationship is not ideal.  You may feel that any relationship is better than being alone, but, you are selling yourself short.  Having fulfilling relationships is something that all of us desire, so pursue the relationships you really want, rather than the most convenient one.  When you are comfortable being alone you don’t have to jump into the first relationship that comes along.  As an added bonus, being comfortable with yourself and gaining self knowledge makes you more interesting, and a more desirable partner.  Get comfortable being by yourself and the right relationships will come along.

Pursue Growth Opportunities While You Are Alone

The best part about being alone?  You get to do whatever you want. 🙂  Being by yourself is the time to do things that you may not undertake when you are with a partner, or simply find out what it is that you really want to do.  Also, having to rely on yourself develops courage and competence.  Lastly, being alone allows you to learn about yourself, and you may find that you like yourself more and more.  Make the best of time alone.  Don’t sit around wishing you were with someone else.  Think of all the things you can do and then do them.  Being alone is an opportunity, not a curse.

For better relationships (with yourself and others), spend time alone.

How do you feel about being alone?  Was there a time when you became more comfortable being by yourself?  Feel free to leave your answers in the comments section.

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20 Comments

  1. So true. Sometimes people forget that you need “me time” to get along well with others!

    Christopher’s last blog post..The Moon…in Pictures

  2. Hi Amanda

    Well, as the ever-introvert, alone-time is a necessity. If I don’t have it, I feel as if I start to lose myself.
    I think it is important to have our individuality and for this we need to go within. We can’t be defined by the outside world.

    Juliet

    LifeMadeGreat – Juliet’s last blog post..When A Friendship Ends

  3. tom tom

    This is amazing, and something I am starting to realize.

    If you can’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?

    Also, this is my problem of people looking to relationship hoping someone will love them and accept them for who they are not. All because they are too lazy to change and make something out of themselves.

    by the way, i will feature this post in my blog for next weeks top 10 valuable posts, thanks, great stuff.

    tom’s last blog post..Top 10 valuable posts week 2

  4. Amanda

    I used to be afraid of being alone, but I think it was more fear of the unfamiliar in that I was never alone for the first 35 years of my life. I don’t remember a single time when I was alone during that period of life. Now, having tasted ‘solitude’, I can vouch for the wonderful power it has. Time to regenerate, reflect, grow, chill out or simply vegetate. It’s possible to do these with others around, but not so easy (except for the last one perhaps!).

    Another great article
    Ian

    Ian Peatey’s last blog post..Conflict is not the problem

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Christopher – I love “me time” 😉

    Juliet – Yes, I figured introverts (me included) wouldn’t have too much problem with alone time 😉

    Tom – Yeah, people do look to others for acceptance when they can’t give it to themselves. Thanks for adding me to your post!

    Ian – Yeah, it is pretty hard to really regenerate with others around. Solitude gives us time to rest.

  6. There is a beauty in solitude. That being said, it can’t too long as we are social animals. Even introverts need company and attentions. Just not as many people or as much time dedicated to it.

    Gennaro’s last blog post..Travelers Must Help Free Rice And Kiva

  7. tom tom

    Good Point Gennaro, I myself would say i like to spend a lot of time away from others. I really don’t know how to explain it.

    I mean one way could be that I try not to associate myself with people who will do nothing but create a toxic environment. And there is many of those.

    tom’s last blog post..The Blame Game

  8. Great thoughts Amanda,

    It can be convenient to run from ourselves through the constant company of others. It is only through spending time getting to know ourselves that we can become whole.

    Time spent alone is something I both need and value. Alone time, for me, can be in the middle of a busy city or sitting by a mountain lake as long as I am present with myself.

    Thank you for reminding me how important this is. I think I am overdue.

    Namaste

    Roger’s last blog post..What Is It You Want Most From Life?

  9. hi Amanda,

    Great post. I’ve always liked being on my own, with my thoughts for company, or just relaxing and enjoying the moment. I do know people who must always have others around them, and I’m sure I was that way when I was younger and more afraid of life in general. Being alone is one of the great gifts in life, and your post is valuable in pointing the way to this treasure.

    Daphne’s last blog post..Site Update: Getting Better Everyday

  10. I’ve always been a very introverted person. I’ve spent plenty of time alone, so I don’t have to make effort to be by myself. However, since getting married, I’ve had to work a little bit more to have my alone time without sacrificing the marriage.

    I do agree though that it’s important to be comfortable with yourself. Nobody deserves to be your physical overcompensation for your inability to handle solitude. Don’t use someone to escape your demons. Confront your demons, and learn to accept solitude, that way you can truly BE with someone else, and have it mean something.

    Nice post. 🙂

    Trey – Swollen Thumb Entertainment’s last blog post..Everybody’s Writing Nowadays

  11. Amanda,

    Personally, being alone is not something which I personally have a problem with, since I have an introverted temperament, I live alone (apart from two cats which I am temporarily minding and the four kittens which one of them had on my couch a few hours ago) and I like to do lots of things alone.

    For me personally, one of my challenges is to become a little more sociable and spend more time with others.

    Another challenge which I have is overcoming the stigma of being unattached and in my early thirties. Even though I love being alone most of the time, I can’t help get the feeling that I am somehow ‘not normal,’ and that there is something wrong with me because I am not yet married. I realize this may potentially sound a little strange, but it is a feeling which I sometimes get.

    Andrew’s last blog post..Free her – Fiat’s big call on Burma (part 2)

  12. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Gennaro – That’s right. Enjoying your solitude requires that you also spend time with people. It wouldn’t be very fun to be alone all the time.

    Tom – Good point about avoiding toxic relationships. Solitude is definitely preferable!

    Chris – Definitely, if you are not comfortable with yourself it’s not going to change when you are in a relationship.

  13. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Roger – I agree, time alone can happen even around others.

    Daphne – Yeah, some people have no problem spending time alone. I’m sure there are a lot of introverts reading this blog!

    Trey – Right, for those of us who are more inclined to spend time alone – we need to work on being more social!

    Andrew – I get what you are saying about being unattached. I think the bias is definitely for being with someone, so what you have to say doesn’t sound weird at all.

  14. Hi Amanda!

    I found you by way of Trey…so nice to say hello! :~)

    While I consider myself a mega extrovert, I never did mind my own company. In fact I spend a lot of time alone while nurturing my inner-self, hanging out, playing and really saying hello to my self…but sometimes what you discover about yourself can be scary…scary only because you didn’t take the time to know it and embrace it.

    Yes, I love being alone so much so but I also have to watch for the danger of using it as protective armor against the world outside.

    Thanks so much for a very stimulating post! I look forward to more! :~)

    Best Always,
    Henie

    Henie’s last blog post..Passion 101

  15. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Henie – Thanks for your comment! I think you are right on – discovering yourself can be scary! But embracing who you are helps a lot. Hope you stop by again 🙂

  16. Thanks for the post Amanda, I really needed it right now. I’m JUST learning to be alone after being in relationships forever so it’s a difficult lesson, but all of what you’ve said in this article is true.

    Fran’s last blog post..Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes

  17. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Fran – Thanks for your comment! It’s difficult to be by yourself after being with someone for so long. Good luck!

  18. Celia Celia

    I am widowed and have been alone for the past 5 1/2 yrs. Alone has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The up side, you can do whatever you want go and come with no set time and just relax being you. If you want to go around the house singing just as loud as you want then go ahead nobody but God will hear you and he thinks your voice is beautiful. The down side, sometimes you do get lonely and need someone to talk to of the opposite sex. You need that companionship. It is nice to have someone to go out with once in a while because it does get kinda lonely going out to dinner alone and everyone around you just looks and wonders why you are dining alone. Well if someone would ask you out you wouldn’t be dining alone. It does get lonely at times, been there, done that and still doing it. Everyone needs alone time as well as needing someone tot alk to or hang out with.

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