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When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen

When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen

Some people think of “being alone” as a bad thing. It either means you’re anti-social, or unwanted, neither of which are a good position to be in.

But actually, being alone isn’t’ necessarily a bad thing, as there are a handful of benefits that emerge once you learn to embrace solitude.

I’m not advocating you go all Tom Hanks in Cast Away, because no one can argue the benefits, and the joys, that come along with fulfilling relationships with other people.

But I am saying that once you learn to enjoy being alone, you’re going to grow as a person.

Below are ten amazing things that will happen in your life when you start to enjoy being alone.

1. You’ll get to recharge.

Often times when we’re surrounded by other people, we’re expending a lot of energy. Trying to keep others happy, make them laugh, soothe their egos, read their emotions, and all of the other rigors that come along with regular interaction.

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It can be mentally draining if you’re constantly connected to other people. A little alone time lets you recharge and take a break from the emotionally and mentally taxing job of constant interaction.

2. You’ll reflect more often.

Your life is always moving at a crazy fast pace. So fast in fact, that it’s probably rare when you have a moment alone to sit and reflect on your life.

Being alone gives you the perfect opportunity for a little self reflection. Since you aren’t spending so much time processing the thoughts and feelings of others, it’s the best time to turn your focus inwards.

Solitude provides the perfect environment for reflection.

3. You’ll get in touch with your own emotions.

Again, when you’re surrounded by other people all the time, you’re constantly trying to read, and cater to, the other persons’s emotions. So much so, that you could end up losing touch with your own.

When you start to enjoy being alone, you’ll gain a greater perspective for your own emotions. You’ll create a deeper understanding of what makes you happy, what upsets you, and what saddens you.

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With that knowledge, it’s then easier to regulate your emotions. But it all starts with understanding how you feel, and that comes from a little bit of solitude.

4. You’ll start doing things you actually enjoy.

When you’re constantly in the company of other people, you’re always making compromises in order to find solutions that the entire group can enjoy. And unfortunately, the things you want most, may not always line up with what the group wants.

So it’s easy to enjoy being alone once you realize that doing so gives you more freedom to do the things you actually want to do.

5. You’ll become more productive.

Being in the company of other people can be fun and entertaining, but it can also seriously affect your productivity. There are times when the company of other people acts as nothing more than a distraction from getting your work done.

Time spent alone can be some of the most productive time in your life—mostly because there are less distractions, and you can just put your head down and get to work.

6. You’ll enjoy your relationships even more.

When you spend time alone on a regular basis, and eventually start to enjoy being alone, you’ll come to find that you also enjoy your relationships with other people even more.

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And that’s because the time spent alone gives you a greater appreciation for yourself.

But it also let’s you appreciate all the great things that come from your relationships with other people, most of which you were oblivious to before.

7. You’ll feel more independent.

Once you enjoy being alone, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to actually be alone. And that naturally leads to you feeling more independent.

You’ll no longer feel that anxiety, or burning desire for company, once you learn to enjoy being alone. You won’t feel the need for constant interaction with other people, or the anxiety associated with looking around and seeing no one but yourself.

8. You’ll get a break from constantly trying to keep other people happy.

Life is filled with relationships, and most relationships only last when both people are kept happy. And that can turn into a draining job depending who that relationship is with. Now, this does’t only apply to personal relationships, but every kind of relationship.

Once you’re alone, the only person’s happiness you have to worry about in that moment, is your own. You can treat yourself to thing that makes you happy, but may have upset someone else.

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9. You won’t have to apologize for anything.

When you start to enjoy being alone, you’ll quickly see that solitude means you don’t have to keep apologizing for what you’ve done. So often, we do things that end up upsetting other people, or hurting someone else’s feelings, and then have to quickly apologize for it.

But when you’re alone, you don’t have to apologize for anything. And that takes a lot of pressure out of most situations. You get to stop second guessing everything you say, or every move you make because you’re afraid someone is going to be offended, or saddened, and angered.

10. You’ll stop looking for validation.

So often we feel we the need to get the “OK” from our friends and family before we take action. We constantly look to other people for advice on what we should do next.

Of course, there are times where it’s not only perfectly acceptable to ask for advice, but downright necessary. But there are also times where we’re perfectly capable of acting on our own, be we instead of looking to others for an answer.

When you start to spend more time alone, you’ll learn to trust your instincts and make decisions without any third party validation.

Featured photo credit: Meditation – Higher Ground via flickr.com

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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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