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8 Signs You’re Not Lonely Even Being Alone

8 Signs You’re Not Lonely Even Being Alone

Loneliness is often thought of as negative. It’s defined as depressive feelings of being alone with lack of companionship and support. While it can be isolating for many, there is a difference between being alone and loneliness. When people talk of being by themselves as primarily a negative situation to be in, do you find yourself thinking, “But I quite like being alone?”

“Extrovert” and “introvert” are two words that get thrown around when describing how much people enjoy social interactions, but it’s a lot more complex than that. There are people who love going out and socializing but equally enjoy sitting alone in a room and being by themselves. The human species needs social interaction to survive, which is why the negative concept of loneliness even exists in the first place. However, there’s great benefit to spending quality time on your own.

If you relish in your me time, you’ll identify with these 8 signs that you can be alone but not lonely.

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1. You Have No Fear Of Your True Self

Just like spending time with a person allows you to get to know them on several levels, spending a lot of time on your own lets you do the same with yourself. You aren’t afraid to come face to face with the person you are and you feel comfortable knowing your true self.

2. You Know How To Love Yourself

You understand what makes you a great person, as well as the concept that what you do in your alone time reflects back on you. Being by yourself gives you a sense of independence from others that shows you that you don’t need anything or anyone outside of yourself to make you feel loved. Ultimately, you learn that it’s paramount that you create a loving relationship with yourself.

3. You Realize Being Alone Is An Important Life Lesson

There are many ups and downs in life. There are some where we seek support from people and others where we find ourselves being alone. It’s these isolating times that truly show ourselves to ourselves. In other words, the time you spend alone prepares you immensely for the moments in life that call on you to deal with these (sometimes) lonely situations and allows you to cope with them much better.

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4. You Have Your Real Passions

Many people feel the need to fill in the gaps in their day with others. While social interaction is good for the soul, you would much rather use the time to do something you love. Having some me time allows you to indulge in your passions, like reading, watching a movie you love, or going for a run. You understand the opportunity that’s presented to you when no one is around. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in what you’re doing.

5. You Are A Courageous Adventurer

There are many people who wouldn’t even consider going off and doing things by themselves, like eating in a restaurant, going travelling, or taking a day trip somewhere. Relying on other people’s company limits the possibilities of trying new things, whether it’s the music concert you want to go to or movie that no one else wants to see.

You have no problem doing the things you love without the reliance of others being available. Your perspectives show a sense of confidence. Furthermore, you know going off by yourself takes away the insulation that comes from constantly being with a companion or group of people. This actually excites you because you can do what you want, when you want, and you’re safe in the knowledge that you’ll never miss out on experiences that make you happy.

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6. You Value Your Freedom And Independence

Freedom is a wonderful thing. Being able to do what you want without someone else’s approval (or dependency) brings you a deep sense of joy and appreciation. You understand that having the space to move freely allows you to stand on your own two feet without relying on others.

7. You Have A Strong Desire For Self-Improvement

As a result of spending time with yourself and finding out who you are (warts and all), you are more willing to search for ways to improve yourself. You are more likely to have identified which fears, anxieties, emotions, and perspectives that you feel could be dealt with and improved upon. Constantly spending time with people detracts from dealing and identifying with any areas of yourself that could do with a bit of work, whereas the time you’ve spent alone creates a space for you to go ahead and improve yourself for the better.

8. You Don’t Lie To Yourself

All of these points come together to create a mindset where you are realistic about the complexity of relationships. Many people tell themselves that spending most of their time with the perfect person is somehow beneficial, when really this causes problems such as clinginess and an inability to be without them. Being someone that knows the benefits of spending time alone, you already realize this. You are able to see your relationships with others in a realistic and mature way without lying to yourself that you constantly need to be with a particular person or group of people.

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Conclusion

Never feel put out by the quality time you spend with yourself. It really can be the best and most productive moments that help develop you into a wonderful, well-rounded, and confident person!

More by this author

Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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