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Monday, March 8, 2010

Learn to Be Alone

Recently when I was out and about I noticed something: virtually none of the young people I saw were capable of being by themselves. Those that were physically alone were either on the phone, or texting to someone.

Sitting alone in a cafe? Call someone.

Walking down the street? Send a text (while watching for manhole covers!)

Waiting for a bus? Dial, dial, dial.

It's sad, really. When do they get time to think? To appraise, to process, to be?

Being alone, being one's own best friend, is a key to the happy life. Then, when we're with others, we can act out of our "center," instead of reacting to others.

Alone time recharges the battery, rebalances the mind, refreshes the spirit. And you don't have to be on a desert island, or in a forest retreat, to do it.

Just learn to be alone in the little spaces every day brings.

You'll be happier.


  1. As an introvert who needs time alone to keep my balance and to be able to truly enjoy the people in my life, I couldn't agree with you more. Being alone is restorative, and necessary to be creative. But I don't think my more extroverted friends experience life the same way. I'm not sure how much time alone they need.

    Either way, we all have to learn to at least be ok with being alone. The frantic efforts to do anything to avoid just being with ourselves is harmful...for any of us.

  2. Hi, Susan.

    I agree: Extraverts are different.

    Nevertheless, there are times when everyone has to be alone. Learning to enjoy that time is, I think, crucial.