Solitude Can Improve Our Relationships

March 30, 2016

We spend our days surrounded by people, be it physically or virtually. At work, at home, during our leisure time…The truth is, it’s uncommon for us to do activities alone, be it going to the movies, drinking a coffee or going for a walk. And when we’re alone, it doesn’t take long for us to take out our phones to see the latest news or updates from strangers.

Spending time in the company of others is healthy and relationships are what give our lives meaning, but the problem comes when we spend so much time accompanied by others that we’re no longer capable of being alone with ourselves. We get bored, uncomfortable, nervous…and we have to resort to surrounding ourselves with others.

The right dose of solitude is very beneficial. A certain degree of solitude is not only necessary to carry out some activities, but  it can also even improve our social relationships since it gives us the mental space to disconnect from others and connect with ourselves.

girl and stars

Solitude lets us reconnect with ourselves

When we spend every second of our day in contact with other people, be it physically or virtually, we’re constantly exposed to external thoughts, judgements and expectations. That’s not negative. Human are social beings and it’s necessary to know and be integrated with our environment. But it’s also necessary for us to reconnect with ourselves.

Moments of solitude allow us to reflect on the social environments in which we’re involved, the opinions of others, trends, what society expects from us, etc. And we need these moments of solitude to know our true opinion or position regarding without the pressure an outside view can sometimes exert on us.

Solitude is the place to get to know and explore our likes and hobbies

Another thing that tends to happen when we spend too much time surrounded by company is that we go from one activity to the other, and if we ever end up without a plan, for example, on a Saturday night, we may even feel bad because we no longer remember how to have a good time by ourselves.

Having time to ourselves every once in a while allows us to explore our individual leisure preferences. We can watch movies or shows that only we like, read books, write, take a walk around the city, cook, take a relaxing bath… The amount of different things we could do is infinite.

Spending leisure time with ourselves is a way of taking care of ourselves and sending ourselves the message that we’re independent. Besides, in these activities we can find ideas and recommendations that we can later share with others.

girl releases butterflies

Solitude gives us space for introspection

Only in solitude can we reflect on our lives, our values and projects, our virtues and defects. Solitude is the space for introspection, to think about ourselves and our relationships and find a way to improve. Without these moments of reflection, we would never know where we were and where we wanted to go.

Besides, social life is full of conflicts, since conflict is an indispensable part of human relationships. It’s important to talk to others to get to know other points of view and not get lost in our own thoughts. But it’s also important to have moments of reflection in solitude, during which we could sincerely think about how we act during these conflicts and how we can resolve them.

“Solitude is the empire of the conscience.”
-Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer-

Solitude is where we find the impulse of creativity

There are some activities that can only be done in groups, and others that can only be performed in solitude. Creative activities usually fall into the latter. Writing, painting, sewing, cooking… There are millions of ways to develop that part of our brain that has to do with intuition and art.

Often, we spend so much time immersed in obligations, like work and other responsibilities, that we forget to look for a moment to develop that other more creative part of life, that generates such wellbeing for us when we immerse ourselves in it.

Balance is found at the halfway point. Excessive solitude can isolate you and even induce feelings of depression and isolation, but not knowing how to be alone can make us forget who we really are and not know, when necessary, how to spend time alone, take care of ourselves and have fun with our own company.

And you? Do you enjoy your time alone? How do you do it?