Have you ever wondered whether being alone could be a good thing? What we’ve seen so far in the media tells us otherwise- that being alone is always a negative thing. But is that all there is to it?
Having to sit alone at home and spend time without others around us, may seem harder than we previously thought. When talking about being ‘alone’ we often think of the uncomfortable feeling of loneliness or fear.
The downside to this is that these feelings may lead us to choose relationships that may not be healthy but just fill the void that we sense. Not being able to tolerate being alone takes away our creativity, as well.
We read this article written by Donald Winnicott, a psychoanalyst who here talks about being alone as a good experience that can lead to self-discovery and building intimate relationships.
It is about the capacity to be alone, as opposed to the unpleasant feelings associated with being on one’s own. It may help you look at ‘being alone’ from a different perspective.
This capacity is one of the most important signs of maturity in emotional development.
Many people enjoy being alone. This ability can begin in early childhood, and it later develops into something more complex as we grow up.
Now that we’ve seen how normal being alone is, let’s go back to the relationship we share with our guardian as an infant.
Everything starts here: as babies, we share our solitude with the person taking care of us. We love spending quality time with that person, but sometimes we allow ourselves to relax, to be alone in each other’s presence.
We don’t want anything from each other, we’re just alone, together. This experience of being is real for us as babies, and experiences like this shape the foundation of a real life.
In time, we learn to be alone without our guardian, and we reach emotional maturity through this.
Our relationship with our guardian is “the stuff out of which friendship is made”, because this ability to be alone gives us depth and helps us form better relationships in the future.
This happens in early childhood, and starts the process of our emotional maturity.
Implies emotional growth, because it means you are a unique person, that you have an inner world.
Tells us about more individual growth. It means you have shape and life.
We enjoy being alone for a limited time because we know we can rely on the support of our guardian (our loved ones later in life).
Only when we’re alone we can discover our personal lives. We can simply be for a short time, without having to worry about the outside world. This experience is a healthy part of growing, and it can be enjoyable too!
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