Solitude – When Two is a Crowd

Solitude: the quality or state of being alone or remote from society – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I am an introvert and I live with my husband’s family. What used to be a given became a luxury after being part of the other five members living there. Although the dictionary defines solitude as being physically alone, I feel that silence is also a necessary accompaniment to solitude for an introvert. While living alone in a secluded cabin by the woods might sound like the ideal life for some, I feel similar conditions of solitude can be created without putting a person out of civilisation. This refers to a silent room and a long stretch of uninterrupted time (preferably the whole day). I created blocks of solitude time by being in a room of my own, having the door closed and silence outside of the room. The wee hours of the night is also a good time when everyone in the household is asleep.

Solitude is a staple for both sensitives and introverts simply because we need the space to process our minds and feelings. As I journal or colour or simply daydream, I find my energy infusing the space that I am in while I gather my thoughts. It has to be a closed door space, else I feel my attention being dragged thin beyond the room. Like a baby that uses the womb for a 9 month gestation, we introverts use the space of the room to incubate ideas.  And if someone does walk into the room, I tend to lose my train of thought as my attention goes immediately over to the other person.

Even when you are living with your significant other, two can still be a crowd, especially when the other is an extrovert. The other can give you blocks of time, in a room, but from time to time suddenly burst through your door to “say hi” and take interest in what’s on your Macbook screen.

Is this a matter of self-discipline? Partially yes, since I have met many people who are able to concentrate on their task under noisy situations ie, in a classroom or office discussion. I also feel this is also due to the fact that sensitives can’t fully close off their energy to their surroundings. Even if we could shut off on a mind level, subconsciously we would be busy picking up cues from the people and things in the environment.

If sensitives, introverts were to spend sufficient time absorbed in their task, they tend to go into a deeper relaxed or meditative state of mind, of which solitude helps them slip into this state easier. Try working on project with the TV blaring beside you or having a partner talk to you.

Hence if you are an introvert or sensitive and find yourself being stuck in whatever project you are working on, try giving yourself a generous chunk of solitude time and see what comes up for you. And if all these doesn’t convince you of the benefits of some solitude time, all my blog posts were produced being alone in a nice, quiet, dim room – and of course, alone.

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