In today’s society, we always have this “make more friends” idea shoved down our throats.
Why does society force-feed us the belief that our lives will somehow be more complete if we have others to witness them? Why should we reject the idea of self-empowerment?
Here’s the thing, I have an amazing support system in my family—but besides that I have zero friends of any kind.
I am in a great place. I am a full-time student with free time to just be me. Free time without friends is beneficial.
There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.
Alone is a state of being by yourself. Lonely is a place that fills your head with negative thoughts about being by yourself. Here are some benefits to being friendless, solo, and happy.
1. You’ll have more “you” time.
We know all too well the experience of having someone call us up to chat, and it ends up being an hour of them venting, leaving us feeling like a tissue box.
It can be exhausting if you constantly have to nurture others without any satisfaction in return, when you can barely keep up with yourself. We can’t pour from an empty cup. We can feel empty after giving our best to our friends, and leaving ourselves with the scraps.
We can’t tend to everyone else’s needs and play therapist and entertainer, and then rush back to take care of our work, school, and everyday life in a short time span. We must remember to fill our hearts and minds with strength and positivity. When we become solo, we are our one and only source of self-help.
We learn and grow faster as individuals when we have own undivided attention. There’s time to meditate and listen to our inner selves that are crying out for a vacation, a certain event, or whatever it may be that your group of friends may not be on board with, or may have talked you out of.
2. You save more money.
How easy is it to be out with friends and spend money we wouldn’t normally spend? Scary easy.
A typical night could have $20-50 price tag. When multipied by the number of times we go out, we realize we’ve just thrown away money equivalent to about three weeks of gas for our cars (depending on how much driving we do).
It’s not just the monetary value we spend, but the time. That time could have been put to more useful things like working, meditating, or working on a goal. If we’re not where we want to be in our careers, remember that the money spent going out with friends could be saved up for our own dreams, or simply for a rainy day.
3. You don’t need to seek approval from others—you are your own biggest resource now.
The biggest reason people feel like they need friends is this whole “shoulder to lean on” concept.
Honestly, we don’t need that at all. If we can’t lean on ourselves, that’s a problem. How can we be well-equipped to give advice to others if we don’t even listen to ourselves?
Remember, after the party is over and all of your friends have gone home, you’re stuck with yourself, and life still moves forward. It’s understandable that sometimes we need some help. Make sure that being in need doesn’t come from being stuck in a vicious cycle of helping others so much that you’re the one left in need.
It’s important to realize we don’t need to run to others for everything in life.
Most things don’t require a friendship. It is important to have the wisdom to discern what’s a negative influence and what’s a positive influence in our lives.
If you are the type of person who listens to anyone you feel connected to, that can be a sign of trouble. Need help with homework? Find a tutoring center. Need some good advice? You might be better off seeking professional advice until you can verify that who you choose to trust is actually a good source of advice.
Some friends may make tough times worse—they will never understand you like you do.
When I was going through a tough time in my life—a terrible divorce—I felt like my friends made it worse by saying things like: “Oh just get over it.” and “Just get out more!”
A true healing process requires thinking, reflecting, self-love, and pursuing our own passions. We can’t fully go through a healing process while being stuck at another’s hip. That person you’re attached to may actually unknowingly be doing more harm then good. It is far easier to chase passions without a friend saying: “Oh, that’s too dangerous or risky, better not.” If you’re by yourself, you don’t have to worry about someone coming in and contaminating your headspace.
Once you become fully independent, it will be liberating that you won’t have to worry about having a second, third, or fourth voice to worry about trying to listen to. Independence breeds confidence in all circumstances friends or not, because we are able to stand on our own two feet.
Author: Evelyn Torres
Editor: Jen Schwartz
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron