If you often need space to yourself and identify as someone who needs alone time, it’s because you are struggling with inauthenticity. That’s what author Teal Swan writes in her book The Anatomy of Loneliness. I don’t fully agree though.
This very interesting book states that the majority of people are simply toddlers walking around in adult bodies. A lot of our behavior is caused by emotional neglect that caused traumas by what has not been done when we were vulnerable babies (e.g. cuddling, feeding and giving attention).
Everyone we know, including ourselves, becomes fragmented through their upbringing and socialization process. This means we all have a lot of small inner personalities that are fighting for priority inside our minds. That’s how inauthenticity emerges.
And inauthenticity might trigger the need of having alone time because you are scared you can’t be “yourself” when you are around others.
I identify myself as a person that needs alone time. I’m an introvert and prefer being alone over being with others. But not always. This is what I call the introvert’s loneliness dilemma.
Introversion is the state of being predominantly interested in one’s own mental self, where extraversion is the state of primarily obtaining gratification from outside oneself.
They say introverts spend a lot of energy connecting with others and extraverts get a lot of energy from it. So introverts need to recover after socializing.
Solitude vs. lonileness
Solitude and loneliness are not the same thing. Loneliness is feeling sad because of not having friends or company. Solitude is the state of being alone. It’s lonely versus alone.
Loneliness has is negative connotation, solitude a positive.
Solitude is a superpower. That’s why I prefer to work from home, not from coworkings. In solitude you are able to focus, think and be creative.
Solitude is a superpower everyone loves to hate.
In solitude is where where the big ideas are born.
In solitude is where you discover yourself.
In solitude is where you make things happen.
— Jose Rosado (@joserosado) June 17, 2019
The introvert’s loneliness dilemma is when you know you have to get out of the comfortable solitude before loneliness kicks in. Before the comfort becomes insidious.
Sometimes when I spend too much time alone, I become sad. For me this tends to happen after two or three days. Every introvert differs in how much time they can spend alone before loneliness creeps in. The first step to avoid this is to plan ahead.
The important thing is to know what your needs are, and plan for them. Schedule in a coffee, a date, visit your parents, go to a co-working or have a drink with a close friend before loneliness sets in.
I think that’s dealing with your personality in a healthy way without being inauthentic.
It’s becoming easier and easier to be social, but exceptional people are built in solitude.
— Naval (@naval) December 1, 2019