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How Living Alone Can Make You A Stronger Person

How Living Alone Can Make You A Stronger Person

Today more than 50% of American adults are single, and 31 million of them live alone — making up 28% of households.

Living alone has become more popular in recent years, which may be because there are lots of benefits to living alone. Although it can be lonely at times, it teaches you a lot of things about yourself. It can make us stronger people, giving us a better understanding of ourselves and improving our relationships with others.

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If you have ever lived alone, you’ll be able to relate to these 6 benefits of living alone.

1. You Have a Better Relationship with Your Friends and Family

Living alone gives you the time to focus on what matters the most to you, so you often realize how important your friends and family truly are. You will cherish the past times when you lived with your friends and family, and to continue the relationships you must make a conscious effort to spend time with your friends. This often means that you enjoy and value their company even more.

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2. You Have a Better Understanding of Your Own Abilities

Living in a solitary environment gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself, such as your strengths, weaknesses, motivations, behaviors, and desires. This can help you to become more self-aware and introspective, and it also encourages you to mature and grow as a person. These skills will improve your life and possibly even the lives of others around you.

3. You Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company

Often people associate being alone with being lonely, but it can actually be very calming and peaceful. After a tough day, it feels great to be able to come home to your own private space. No noise, no mess, no drama to deal with – just peace.

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This helps you to learn to enjoy your own company in lots of different ways; you can enjoy cooking alone, falling asleep alone, and being able to read and watch TV without being disturbed.

4. You Get Better at Managing Your Money

One of the main benefits of living alone is achieving true financial independence. People who live alone can’t rely on their housemates or parents telling them when rent and bills are due – you have to remember for yourself, or the bills won’t get paid! This quickly teaches you to be financially savvy, which is a skill that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

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5. You Are More Willing to Take on Challenges and Responsibilities

When you spend your life living with your family and friends, you don’t need to learn to cope on your own. When you live alone, you are forced to learn about specific things like replacing light bulbs and de-icing fridges without any help from others. While this may seem like a challenge at the beginning, it teaches you to become truly independent. This also helps you to become more confident, as it instills in you personal pride and confidence in yourself.

6. You Get Better at Making Decisions

Another one of the main benefits of living alone is that you often get better at making decisions. People who live alone get to do what they want, but to start with you might not always know what you want. For example; which internet provider do you want to choose? How will you decorate the bedroom? What will your diet be like?

You will start to become more confident in making decisions for yourself, as the final decision is always up to you. To begin with this can be stressful, but over time it makes you a more self-reliant person.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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