General Question

dannyc's avatar

Is solitude good for you?

Asked by dannyc (5218 points ) June 17th, 2009

I was away 5 days by myself, very isolated as I planned it, and discovered that I liked to be alone at times more so than I had envisaged. I screened all my calls, had control of my routines, and had no contact with the outside world. It helped me, but I had some people tell me that it sounded boring and unproductive. How would it work for you?

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42 Answers

btko's avatar

I really enjoy it, and I need it now and then. I don’t mind at all staying home alone for a few nights and read, watch a movie, get some work done, or possibly answer questions on fluther.

I think it’s a healthy thing for anyone to do; it helps you look inward and figure yourself out. When I am surrounded by too many people I get lost in their problems

kenmc's avatar

It can be. It most likely depends on how introverted you are and how long you’re to be alone for.

Bri_L's avatar

When it can be chosen. Not when thrust upon you with no escape.

seekingwolf's avatar

I find that it cleanses my mind and I get to concentrate on what I need/want to do.

People who tell you otherwise have obviously never done it or being alone frightens them for some reason.

Learning to enjoy solitude is an important skill…because yourself is the person that is with you always. Learn to love it, respect it, and enjoy it. Having others around 24/7 is overrated and I disagree, it’s really NOT that productive.

jonsblond's avatar

Too much noise drives me crazy. I need quiet! If others told you that it sounded boring they must be boring themselves.

and what @seekingwolf just said. Great answer!

dannyc's avatar

@seekingwolf . yes, I agree. I was able to elucidate and develop ideas I have been working on, just in my head. I was fortunate to have a small lake with nature at my beck and call. It was peaceful. I played my guitar to myself and reminded myself of things I had forgotten. I want to do it every year.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I like solitude, especially when in touch with the outside world. Like going biking around my neighbourhood with nobody to disturb me. It was so refreshing and enabled me to clear my head to think..

So yeah, I think that solitude is good for you. But of course, everything in moderation.

In my solitude….. You haunt me…. With dreadful ease.. Of days gone by….

augustlan's avatar

I not only crave it, I need it. If I don’t have some alone time every day, I go stark raving mad!

dannyc's avatar

However, I did miss fluther..

knitfroggy's avatar

I enjoy solitude. I hadn’t been alone much for years until my son went to pre school last year. I didn’t know what to do with myself at first. I would sit around and wait for it to be time to pick the kids up from school. I’d watch the clock and not get anything done. It took me a few weeks to get used to it, but then I really started to enjoy it. I like coming home from work late at night when everyone is in bed and I have the house to myself. It’s relaxing to be alone. I’m never bored, I always have something I need or want to do.

YARNLADY's avatar

For me, yes, but maybe not for everyone. I can’t answer for others, but you might find more answers here

dannyc's avatar

@boots,.Yes some would consider me introverted, others not. I sometimes choose to listen than engage the masses, but I think labels are usually not accurate. But if introversion can be appreciated for what it is, then it may be an advantage. I do not like to make any impact, but prefer to blend in and seek the truth. Perhaps that lends itself to solitude. So, I do agree.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I believe that solitude is the only thing which enables people to get to know themselves. I believe it would be good for everyone if they could experience it at least once in their lives. Most people either don’t care to know themselves or don’t like to know themselves, so will have differing opinions.

phoenyx's avatar

Yes, I need to be alone sometimes.

dannyc's avatar

@YARNLADY . Thanks for the link, very interesting.

kenmc's avatar

@dannyc It really only matters what you consider yourself. The same could be said for me and I consider myself an introvert. I adore solitude. This is, of course, accepting labels.

If you say, “labels be damned”, then not much of anything applies to you and if that’s the case, you wouldn’t be seeking info about/for yourself on sites like this one.

I don’t think that “blending in” and “seeking the truth” are usually the same thing…

Facade's avatar

I hate it.

dannyc's avatar

@boots . Agreed, Good point.

dannyc's avatar

@Facade . Yes, I respect that too. I can understand how some do not like it. What about solitude do you “hate”? Just curious….

Facade's avatar

@dannyc I just think I’ve had enough solitude in my life. Enough to hate it. It can be good every once in a while, but not all the time.

dannyc's avatar

@Facade . I guess it is about balance. Maybe solitude is just about escaping, or is it more? Not sure..

mammal's avatar

i like it, personally

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I’m a fan of anything that this gentleman endorses.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yes, now leave me alone.

Bobbilynn's avatar

It seems as though, I hurry to be alone! I must love it!

Harp's avatar

The benefit I’ve found is that it lets me power-down the verbal part of my brain for awhile. It’s good to get words out of the way every now and then and just live through the senses. That’s awfully hard to do with others around.

augustlan's avatar

@Harp My brain is even more verbal when I’m alone. Well, maybe I just notice it more when there’s nothing else to drown it out. I really wish I could achieve that quietness inside my head.

CMaz's avatar

It worked for Superman.

Harp's avatar

@augustlan It can take days for the quiet to really settle in, and that’s provided that you’ve cut off all of the incoming tributaries to that river of words: reading, TV, radio…

augustlan's avatar

…Fluther…

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever had days to myself, by myself. Just hours. I really need to try that sometime.

Phobia's avatar

I work in solitude for twelve hours a night. No TV, no radio, alone, and the only thing to read is the numbers I collect all night. I really enjoy it, especially on the job because it’s alot less stressful and I can work at paces I’m comfortable with.

@augustlan I can’t seem to keep my mind quiet either. It always has some topic running through it, but I can’t complain. All the noise in my head makes the nights go by faster.

hearkat's avatar

It is good for me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Since I have no chance for any, yes I’d say it would be really good for me, at this point

JONESGH's avatar

it depends really. If I have company to go back to after I’m done being alone than yes solitude is good. But when all you have is solitude nothing is worse.

cookieman's avatar

I would love to do this.

I very much value my alone time and had planned this sort of mini-sabbatical after my father died last year – but, as is often the case, life moved on and I with it.

I’m glad it was a positive experience for you.

mattbrowne's avatar

In small dosage, yes.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not particularly fond of it. My brain seems to stop thinking unless I am interacting with other people. I think that’s why I like fluther so much. When I was in my last couple of years of high school, and I lived in an isolated place, and I rarely saw my friends, and I had no one I could tell my deepest self to, I was totally miserable. I have, since then tried to avoid that circumstance as much as I can.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I have no inclination to be a hermit. Like the boys in the band Three Dog Night sang so long ago…..“one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do….”

Hambayuti's avatar

Only when there’s a life-changing decision I need to think about. Otherwise, I’m equally happy to be home (with my family) curled on the couch reading a book or out dancing at a noisy bar.

lilgiraffe's avatar

I think in general if you have friends who are there for you to hang out with when you need company, solitude is a great thing.

Sometimes if we are always around people, it’s hard to hear the little voices in our head, which speak from who we really are, but they need the space and quiet to develop before they are drowned out by louder and stronger ideas that are not ours.

On a daily level I believe everyone has a ‘quota’ of how much they will speak, after which they will prefer to keep quiet for awhile and have ‘me-time’. Of course, some people are naturally noisier than others.

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