LifeSense with Terry Mante: Alone but not lonely

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If you cannot enjoy being alone, there is no way being with others can fill any void you may have in your life.

GREEK philosopher Aristotle is widely known to have said that, “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human.” Human beings are designed to enjoy the company of one another and that it is unsound for a person to exist and not enjoy the company of people.

The natural and instinctive attribute is reinforced by contemporary pro-social technology that enables us to connect with other even when we are alone. We are able to talk with them on phone, chat via instant messaging apps, connect over social media or send emails.

As fulfilling as this is, it has the likelihood to make us impressionistic and codependent. We want to put out socially desirable behavior so that we would be accepted. When you don’t feel accepted in the midst of people, loneliness can run through your veins. The quest to cure loneliness increases out desire to be with and interact with other people.

There are people who rarely want to be alone. This is because they thrive on the energy and affirmation that come through connecting with others. The irony with people who thrive on external affirmations is that they are usually the ones who feel lonely. That is because loneliness can happen even when you are in a crowd. It does not take a crowd to avoid or overcome loneliness. It takes a sense of completeness to really feel cheerful when you are with others.

It is possible to be alone and not feel lonely. If you cannot enjoy being alone, there is no way being with others can fill any void you may have when you have low self-esteem. As interconnected as the world has become, it is imperative that you learn to carve tine for yourself from time to time.

The moment you learn to enjoy being with yourself, you will be able to engage more meaningfully with others.

When you are with yourself, you are able to be yourself. There is no one to impress but you. You can think whatever you want to think about, you can do almost anything you want to do; you can really be you. The fact that being your real self and having no one but yourself to impress gives you satisfaction in a way that no size of crowd can give you.

Being alone unleashes your creativity. It enables you to explore and do some crazy stuff you ordinarily wouldn’t do in public; because you wouldn’t want to be ridiculed. Have you realized that some people sing their favorite tunes when they are in the shower? It’s usually because over there, no one will criticize them, even if they sing in discord.

Being alone helps you to focus on issues that have become a thorn in your flesh. You are able to think through those issues and generate array of solutions that could be pursued. Imagine being able to weave through and figure out a long-standing challenge just by sitting down or lying down and thinking about it. Great, huh?

When you spend time with yourself, you get to know yourself better. You see your weaknesses, your strengths, passions and abilities more clearly. This discovery helps you to gain self-confidence and even improve your relationships.

When you make the time you spend with yourself productive, you become more authentic, cheerful and confident. This reduces the tendency to need to impress others. It makes you deal more sincerely with others.

People who do not feel comfortable being alone cannot realize optimum benefits that could be derived from engaging with others. If you don’t enjoy your own company, you can be sure that no one will enjoy hanging out with you.

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About the author

Terry Mante is a business development and management consultant who has worked on market research, strategy, branding, corporate training, capacity-building as well as PR and communications projects for clients in diverse fields. He is an incisive and inspiring author, personal development coach, moderator of focus group discussions and conference/workshop resource person.

To book or network with Terry, connect through facebook.com/tmexchange1; facebook.com/terrymante, Instagram/Twitter: @terrymante; LinkedIn (Terry Mante), Email: [email protected].

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