No. Not at all, actually.
Ithoroughly enjoy the company of humans. In fact, people appreciate my knack for engaging in genuine conversation with folks that could just as easily be a friend as a random passerby on the street.
However, the following is also true — I like going to restaurants alone, watching movies alone, traveling alone….really doing anything, alone. And while I willingly participate in such activities with other people as well, I know that my happiness doesn’t depend on their presence.
I was exploring New York on my own a few months ago, and my Lyft driver (while trying to be sincerely empathetic) said, “You’re alone? Gosh, that’s kinda lonely.”
I then went into full-blown Sana mode — which means I started talking like a 70-year-old in a 26-year-old’s body — and respectfully responded,
“Ah, but there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely.”
If you’re alone but don’t feel lonely, it simply means you enjoy your own company — and that’s beautiful. I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend time with other people.
I love my friends and family.
And I’m eternally grateful for their presence in my life. I’m just saying that enjoying your own company and enjoying the company of others aren’t mutually exclusive things — it’s healthy to do both.
Once you accept that other people can make you happy, but you don’t absolutely need them in order to be happy, you’ll hardly feel lonely in life.
But remember, understanding that you can be happy on your own does not give you license to disrespect people or take them for granted.
It does, however, provide you with a solid sense of inner peace. Just notice what happens next time a friend cancels plans to hang out — you’ll experience your mindset shifting from my night is ruined to I can still have a lovely night by myself.
Now it’s important to realize that although we may enjoy our own company, we can struggle to put that self-contentment on display for the world.
If I eat alone at a restaurant, won’t it look like I have no friends? I really want to relax and read a book instead of go to that party…but will people think I’m rude?
The fear of being judged can prevent us from expressing that we’re comfortable in solitude. But anytime you see yourself folding to this fear, I just want you to remember…
You. Are. Enough.