There are lots of reasons why humans crave being alone, and they’re not all bad. I believe everyone needs time alone, that length of time greatly differs from person to person. Some days I’m an INTJ and some days I’m an INFJ, I’m borderline Thinking and Feeling, so my reasons for being alone can range anywhere from emotional anxiety, to pondering the complexity of humanity. I want to hit some of the reasons I’ve felt a need to be alone, and explain why I felt the need to be in solitude. The overlying reasons are, rejuvenating, sadness, peace, personal appreciation, expression, and pondering.
Rejuvenating – I often find it exhausting to be around people for an extended period of time. I know most people get excited by the presence of others, but I often feel a need to suppress my thoughts and feelings. I already have walls to most people, putting me in a situation with a bunch of people just means a bunch of walls for me, and it’s kind of frustrating to be in a situation where I’m the only person that really knows what’s going on in my head. There are times when I love parties and I love the mindlessness of a movie and food. But more often than not I’d rather be in a smaller more intimate group.
My need to be alone to rejuvenate happens regardless of who I am with, that only defines how often I need time alone. I love driving alone and just thinking about what’s been going on and what is going to happen in the next hour, day, month, decade. I love time to do whatever menial tasks I need to get done. Being alone allows me time to be honest with myself. All my walls come down and I can truly be myself, with myself. Bonus, it also helps me become more confident in who I am.
Sadness – I think the most common reason for wanting to be alone is sadness. I love being along when I’m sad. I’m at a weak emotional point and I don’t want to be taken advantage of. Sadness is something almost inevitable, and the way we handle it is character defining. Solitude in times of despair for me become routine and necessary, but as I’ve said, expression of the mind is critical to mental health.
There’s a Wiz Khalifa quote that’s been floating around Pinterest for a while, and I haven’t known how to feel about it. I like the idea of being strong enough never to cry about the same thing again. And I know when something emotionally frustrating happens this can be a good mindset, but what about the times when you lose something irreplaceable? How can that pain be erased in one session of tears? I disagree there. I think if you need to cry, you cry. Find ways to make the situation easier to bear, but cry when you need to. There is a reason it’s the eyes that shed tears. It’s hardest to know what once was and to undeniably see what it is now.
I prefer to be alone when I need to cry because I trust myself to get through this, and I want to do it on my terms and not rebuild myself on the comfort and terms of others who don’t know me well enough. There are few people I trust enough to cry in front of. In fact I’ve noticed when I’m upset and I need someone to talk to, I talk and explain and express feelings, but I don’t cry. I’ve past the point in which tears leave my eyes. I save that for myself to deal with.
Peace – There are times when I want to be alone to make things simpler. I limit my mind to the way I think and be content in the way I do. Being along means I can be me and be completely agreeable with myself. Being alone allows me to do things in my own time, and usually that means a long walk, or a visit to a favored place. My favorite activity to do myself is to sit at a park and enjoy everything around me. The wind on my face, and arms, the shape of the clouds above me, the grass underneath me, the shade from tree, the warmth of the sun, the smell of nature, and the noise coming from the people distanced from me. Observing is so peaceful to me.
Personal Appreciation – I remember hearing something once that actually made a lot of sense. If you’ve ever seen teh movie Enchanted, then you’ll remember the fictional characters watching TV for the first time and being completely intraced by the magic mirror box. I remember a TV was on and it said “How can I love a man who doesn’t even like himself?” and it makes me think about if I like myself.
The truth is, I love myself, I think I’m pretty great. When it’s just me and my thoughts, I don’t bore myself, I don’t crave to be somewhere else. I love being able to spend time with myself. Sometimes I’ll go out to eat just by myself for the sake of staying away from technology and learning more about what I really prefer without the pressure from others. I’m dating myself in that sense. I want to make sure the people I date are compatible with me and who would know better than me.
Expression – Being alone gets rid of the pressure of peers, and this allows me to experiment with what I like and what I’m comfortable with. The first time I wore a sleeveless shirt I was by myself. I didn’t want to hear disapproval or even appreciation from others. I wanted to comfortable with it myself before I allowed others to make their choice. If I let others decide how I feel about something then I’d never make my own choices. I’m all about choices…I love to express my thoughts to myself before I let others see. I come before others, and that is simply because I am the only person I am completely responsible for.
Pondering – Another big reason for lots of people wanting to be alone is just to think. Being away from all the noise opens the mind to new thoughts. I love this. I love to thinking and not have limitations to where my mind can wander. My thoughts wander off the edge of the world into fantastic dreams of what could be and what I can do. I love to plan my life and all the options I have and how to get them. And I can’t do it around people that take energy from me. It’s too much work. Think when you’re alone, you’d be surprised how much is actually on your mind.
I did some specific thinking today actually. I know I’m different. People have told me there’s something “special” about me. It’s not special necessarily. It’s different. I accepted “special” and different but today, I realized that I truly am different in many ways. My age does not match my soul and apparently that’s uncommon, at least I’ve found it to be so. Being an old soul is not an exclusive club you have to get into, it’s simply a way of thinking that seems outdated, old school. But it’s freeing in it’s own way. I am different because I don’t accept things for the way they are. I won’t let anyone infringe on what i deserve.
That makes me different and different makes me a special kind of dangerous.