To begin with, let’s talk about the phrase, ‘Spending time alone’. The word ‘alone’ gives it such a negative connotation and convinces you that ‘spending time with yourself’ is actually not psychologically or socially acceptable.
So, recently when a colleague of mine asked me if I wanted to hang out after work on a Friday night, I politely declined. She was pretty upset about not having any Friday night plans and I suggested that she download a good movie and spend the night in her most comfy PJs with a bottle of wine.
Sounded like a plan to me, anyway.
Just then, she curled her lower lip and the scary words just flung out of her mouth: “But I don’t want to spend a Friday night all by myself.”
Now, that got me wondering as to why we do everything in our power to run away, well, from our own selves.
Human beings are social animals. It is obvious that we need to forge bonds with others in order to learn things, gain lessons and strengthen ourselves emotionally. But we become so used to being around people that we often don’t want to be left alone with ourselves. The moment it happens, like it did with my colleague, we start making back-up plans to our failed plans and become upset when we find no one.
What you don’t realize in a situation like this is that you have you.
However, the #SquadGoals and the need for a social life for the social media is turning us away from the idea of the self. We’re increasingly looking out for friends and lovers who would make life more happening. This is the kind of behaviour that often lets us become needy, feeling empty when people exit our lives, and the sole reason we allow ourselves to be part of toxic relationships. We don’t realize it but soon enough, we’re defined by the existence of other people in our lives. Be it friends, family, or your significant other, you lose yourself from within when you start depending so heavily on other people.
But here’s the thing: the higher you expect from people, the greater is the fall.
You allow your mood, the tone of your day and the circumstances of your life depend on others. That is exactly where you go wrong. When you’re emotionally dependent on others, break-ups hurt a lot worse, you justify the actions of your toxic friends, and a much greater sin of it all is not allowing yourself to be independent.
Moreover, why would you expect others to love you when you don’t even love yourself?
The only way to improve anything is to work on the relationship you have with yourself. The moments when you feel you need to be around friends or text that ex boyfriend, please remind yourself that you have you.
The love you want from others? Find it within yourself.
And here’s a little secret: when you start loving yourself for you, everything in life just kind of comes together. You lose your insecurities and embrace yourself. What others think of you matters the least and you attain a peace of mind.
So, spend time with your own thoughts. Yes, some of them can be scary but face your fear head on. Or at least try. Confront the negative feelings you have towards yourself, be it your body or job or even the tiny habits that make you, you. Get comfortable with each and every piece of yourself. And give yourself all that appreciation and acceptance that you’re looking for.
Jean Paul Sartre wrote, “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.” And that is the exact kind of sentiment that resonates with our generation today. We mostly look down upon spending time alone which makes loving ourselves a revolutionary idea.
But if you try to spend some time with your own thoughts, you may just find yourself. And when you do, there won’t be any bond happier.
Feature Image via THEMAYUKHSUTRA | Masthead Image via Jakob Owens