The Power of Lonely

by Christopher Paul on July 30, 2014

I would bet that most people believe that social skills are one of (if not the) most important skill to have in life. Sure your technical skills — whether they be finance, medical, or IT is important — but without social skills, you just won’t develop the opportunities to use or grow them. But having social skills doesn’t mean being social all the time. There are some who believe that not being social, on occasion, has benefits too:

…an emerging body of research is suggesting that spending time alone, if done right, can be good for us — that certain tasks and thought processes are best carried out without anyone else around, and that even the most socially motivated among us should regularly be taking time to ourselves if we want to have fully developed personalities, and be capable of focus and creative thinking. There is even research to suggest that blocking off enough alone time is an important component of a well-functioning social life — that if we want to get the most out of the time we spend with people, we should make sure we’re spending enough of it away from them. Just as regular exercise and healthy eating make our minds and bodies work better, solitude experts say, so can being alone.

One ongoing Harvard study indicates that people form more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone. Another indicates that a certain amount of solitude can make a person more capable of empathy towards others. And while no one would dispute that too much isolation early in life can be unhealthy, a certain amount of solitude has been shown to help teenagers improve their moods and earn good grades in school.

Being alone has been linked to creativity and the post cites great religious figures like Jesus and Mohammed as using periods of solitude to further their thoughts. Other known scientific and literary greats were known to enjoy being by themselves.

Of course, there are differences between being social, having “me” time, and being anti-social. It’s something that, like everything else in life, must be used in moderation; teenagers benefited from a well balanced social life that included some quite time alone — including a better social experience when they were with others.

via The Daily Exhaust

Previous post:

Next post: