“What? Why being alone? It’s no good being alone like that”. That is what my friend said when he was told that our other friend preferred having some time alone to hanging out with us. That kind of response did not surprise me at all. Often times, people tend to see this “lonely time” as a really painful and unbearable time.
I read this one amazing book titled “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. I discovered a lot of things about the personalities of people who are introverts and extroverts. Our society tend to see introverts are the kind of people who are shy, socially awkward or even antisocial. And extroverts are the fun ones; they laugh a lot, like to be the centre of people’s attention, dominant in conversation or simply the life of the party. Before I read this book, that’s what I believed too.
But after I got deeper into this book, I learned that those common views on what introverts and extroverts are, are wrong. Well, not entirely wrong in the sense of, yes, some introverts may be shy. But not everyone who can relate to be an introvert are shy. So, what is it then?
What differentiate introverts and extroverts is the way they recharge themselves. You don’t get what it means? Ok, so you have a cell phone. There will be time or times in a day when you’ll have to let you phone being charged and you may not be able to use it. People are just the same. We need some time to get recharged.
Introverts recharge themselves by being alone. Introverts enjoy that. I, for one, am an introvert. Thanks to that book I mentioned earlier, I can say that I am not crazy cos sometimes I like to spend time being alone; reading books/articles, listening to some music or simply staying still enjoying my free time. Because I am built like that therefore I don’t see being “alone” as a problem. It’s something fun for me because I get to recharge my battery before I get back to my activities.
Extroverts are different. They recharge themselves by being on the crowd, meeting people. They are the people people. You may have friends who will always ask you to accompany them to go anywhere. Oh, wait, that’s me, you said. Extroverts like people in most of the circumstances. Unlike introverts who may get tired when they spend too much time around many people, extroverts don’t. They relish that! So now you see what I mean. As extroverts will feel tortured spending their recharging time at home reading or watching something, introverts will feel tortured when they are forced to spend all their time with people and not given any time to recharge themselves.
But just because I think I am introvert doesn’t mean that I am gonna spend my whole time glued to a book or go to some place secluded to be a hermit. No. I believe that no one is built to be fully introvert or fully extrovert. We’ll have moments that we are more of an introvert and moments where are more of an extrovert. A balance in handling that is needed.
Now, let’s go back to the question on the title. So why is being alone actually a good thing? This is not to say, it’s only a good thing for introverts because you know, they enjoy it as recharging time. No, not really. It’s good for everyone regardless of the personality.
Why spending some time being alone is a good thing? Because it’s the time to recalibrate with our inner self. It is the perfect time to recheck if we have the right priorities in life. It is the time to see if every thing that has been going on is in line with who we are, with the values that we have. It’s very noisy these days. Mobile phone is that source of noise, most of the time. We don’t have time to have an internal conversation with ourselves because there are way many notifications or timeline to check on Path, Line, Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM, Twitter, etc.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, that quote from Benjamin Franklin says it all. If we don’t stop and block the noise to start talking and listening to ourselves, we are walking ourselves into failure. Failure to what, you said. Failure to live our life to its full potential.