While I know that my identity is at least partly marked by a proclivity to be deeply introverted, I am also aware that I have an outgoing side. And-in observing the actions and attitudes of the individuals around me-I am fairly sure that this extroverted component of identity is present in most people. Although you may be the type of extroverted individual who enjoys the company of others and doesn’t feel shy when in a big crowd, you should recognize the benefits that result from solitude. Here are three:
1. Solitude Enables You To Think Critically And Deeply.
When we are at work, our minds are often caught up in the task of completing goals, fulfilling commitments, creating to-do lists, and more. And when we are in the presence of friends and family members, we frequently find ourselves engaging in small talk or participating in entertaining activities that do not require extensive thought. In short, the constant motion of work and play can often preclude us from thinking critically and deeply about anything. This reality is disadvantageous in that it can lessen productivity and inhibit our creative potential. By spending time alone, however, we give ourselves the ability to think deeply and critically about ourselves, others, and the world at large.
2. Solitude Can Improve Your Relationships With Other People.
In discussing the benefits of solitude, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter notes that “By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around.” Additionally, Carter notes that “You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.”
3. Solitude Gives You The Ability To Solve Problems.
Unfortunately, being immersed in the work setting oftentimes involves being distracted by information that you receive. Additionally, the work setting can frequently preclude you from addressing any major challenges you’re having as a result of celebratory parties, office meetings, and similar events. However, when you are afforded the opportunity to spend time alone, you often gain the ability to think clearly and critically about the depth and scope of any problems that you have. Thus solitude can be the gateway to forging solutions for such problems.
Although spending time with other people can be a very advantageous enterprise, being alone is equally important. In recognizing the great value that solitude has, I hope you adjust your schedule so that you have time to be alone for a bit each day. Good luck!