Why I Choose To Unwind In Solitude

S o l i t u d e

Have you ever caught your mind aimlessly wandering away in the middle of a conversation? Do you ever feel the need to excuse yourself from a social gathering for no apparent reason? More often than not, do you find yourself constantly being prodded with the question 'Why do you look so lost?'

I can positively say that I've found myself grappling with the above situations for as long as I can remember. My friends often tell me that I have an uncanny ability to tune out of conversations very frequently. The number of times I've had to explain why I suddenly get quiet or choose not to participate in discussions have been countless.

Although I do enjoy hanging out with my friends and meeting them every now and then, I also find it incredibly satisfying to unwind myself in solitude. Just like how a phone or iPad functions more effectively after getting recharged, I feel more active and social after I've taken some time off for myself. That's when I find social situations to be most rewarding, because apart from being aware of the interactions that I'm having with people, I'm also able to equally contribute my thoughts and be present in a conversation. As I recently discovered this new aspect of my personality, I came to observe that this is most likely the reason as to why I identify myself as someone who is selectively social.

A lot of individuals who are selectively social will relate to the fact that they're not only particular about the people they choose to spend their time with, but also very specific about when they choose to interact with people. For example, I generally don't feel like talking during the mornings in order to refresh my mind or right after coming back from a party because I feel drained out and exhausted. 

However, this need for solitude is often misconstrued by many individuals to be loneliness. In fact, a lot of youngsters today suffer from "FOMO" or the fear of missing out on something very exciting and important, which is why they would rather attend a party they're not very keen on going to instead of sitting at home and reading a book that they're so much more interested in finishing. The term "FOMO" which is used frequently in pop culture was recently added into the Oxford Dictionary, that defines this fear as "Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere often, aroused by posts seen on social media." 

While, this fear exists in almost every youngster's mind today, it creates more pressure among the youth to lead an active social life because they internalize the belief that they won't fit in or find their clique of friends if they choose to spend more time on their own instead of spending time with their peers and therefore, as a result, would end up being lonely. 

Hence, when we eventually start recognizing the importance of some 'me-time' in our lives, we become more in sync with our feelings and emotions and learn to respond sensitively to our immediate surroundings. Although, it is equally necessary to socialize and meet new people in today's day and age, taking some time off for ourselves every day can prove to be extremely beneficial as it gives us time to collect our thoughts and ideas, helps us discover new dimensions of our personality and also teaches us to value the importance of our own company.

"I owe my solitude to other people" - Alan Watts