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14 Quotes on Why Solitude is Good and You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed of It

14 Quotes on Why Solitude is Good and You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed of It

Imagine it’s lunch time. You are very hungry but your colleagues are still having a discussion in the meeting room. You tried to wait but you can’t stand it any longer. So you rush to the nearby restaurant. It’s crowded with white-collar workers in groups–talking and laughing. But you? You are all alone. Reluctantly, you go in.

After you’ve ordered your meal, you immediately take out your smartphone and check your Facebook, play games and watch videos. You act like normal, but you keep your head down and pray that no one looks at you. The truth is, you are just pretending. Yes, pretending to be busy to hide your embarrassment at being a solo diner.

That’s the problem with the current society. Being alone means you are weird; you are anti-social; you don’t have friends; you are pitiful; or, even worse, you have a mental illness.

To avoid all those unpleasant labels, Japan’s Moomin House Cafe prepares fake company for their solo diners by bringing a stuffed animal to accompany them.

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To me, this is a bad idea. It re-emphasizes the idea that being alone is an issue and should be avoided. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with being solo. The fact is, solitude is beneficial and essential for your well-being.

Here are 14 quotes that show the true meaning and value of solitude. Let’s not be ashamed or nervous about it, but embrace it more openly.

“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.” -Paul Brunton

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” -Bell Hooks

“Solitude is the place of purification.” -Martin Buber

“This was my moment to look for the kind of healing and peace that can only come from solitude.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

“I restore myself when I’m alone.” -Marilyn Monroe

“The best part about being alone is that you really don’t have to answer to anybody. You do what you want.” -Justin Timberlake

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and–in spite of True Romance magazines–we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely–at least, not all the time–but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” -Hunter S. Thompson

“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” -Kim Culbertson

“When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death – ourselves.” -Eda LeShan

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” -Mark Twain

“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” -Arthur Schopenhauer

“You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you.” -Phil McGraw

“Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.” -Alice Koller

“Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead.” -Katrina Kenison

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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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