The value of being alone: A response to Bryan Walsh's Time magazine article "The Upside of being an introvert"

Posted by Kristina Kassis

I love people. I always have. I thrive on the energy of others. While for some, entering a room full of strangers evokes panic, I feel a rush of adrenaline, a thrill. Consequentially, I hate being alone. Over the years, this dislike of solitude has gone from crippling fear to minor anxiety, but it is something I must live with everyday, and something I admit is not entirely healthy. I love that others make me happy, but sometimes I wish I COULD be on my own without feeling overwhelmed by loneliness and needing someone else's company.

Bryan Walsh recently wrote an article in Time called "The Upside of Being an Introvert" (and Why Extroverts are Overrated)" Despite my affinity for people, I have to agree with Walsh's assertion.

Over the years, I have found that being an extrovert has done me more harm than good. I trust people far too easily, and I tend to skip from superficial friend to superficial friend rather than having long-term or meaningful relationships with one person.  And worst of all I can't be alone.  I really wish this wasn't the case.

 In a world that is constantly frenzied, I believe that being alone, even for a few minutes a day, is essential. I am convinced that part of the reason I am constantly anxious is because I am relentlessly inundated by people and noise and unable to separate myself from these people. As a result, I have made a concerted effort to spend at least an hour a day alone. While it was difficult at first, it has become somewhat cathartic. I have felt more relaxed, focused, and motivated to tackle the challenges of everyday life. Extroverts, I encourage you to take time out of your busy schedules and simply be alone. Listen to music, read, or draw, whatever helps you relax. Cherish this time. It will make you value your time with others even more. 

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