I’m introverted, but for a long time I avoided declaring it in public because people consider it a negative trait.
The reason? My introversion makes me crave solitude. And that’s not something our society encourages. We live in a world that loves sociableness, motivates loud energy, and appreciates extroversion. In such a world, I found it hard to be alone without attracting misconceptions and raised eyebrows.
A lot of people see solitude as sadness. While I prefer and choose to dine alone, my acquaintances consider it their duty to keep me company. Not because they want to share a conversation, but because it makes them uncomfortable to see someone sitting by themselves, unperturbed by the rest of the world. To that extent, some people equate solitude to unnaturalness.
Solitude, on the contrary, is a gift. I see it as a well-deserved gift I give myself so that I can recover from all the unpleasant things I face each day. It’s my choice to spend time alone with my thoughts. It doesn’t make me lonesome, for no external force drives me to be alone. The desire to recuperate stems from self-motivation. And that’s what makes me set aside a specific time each day for myself. It doesn’t matter if I’m productive or not during that time. What matters is that I focus on my soul and mental health, prioritising my well-being over all others.
When I’m alone, I hear myself better. I drown the noise from the rest of the world and focus on my inner voice. It tells me what I need to know, and guides me in the right path.
Spending time with myself lets me love myself more—because I become comfortable in my own skin, in my own presence, learning to appreciate my successes and failures.
And that’s why we should all give ourselves a chance. We learn more from our reflections than we often realise.