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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.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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