Living alone, whether it be through choice or circumstance means there’s a very good chance of spending more time on our own. For those of us who enjoy solitude and the opportunity to find some ‘quiet’ in our busy and charged lives, it will be easier, while for others it may take some getting used to.
We will also have different kinds of relationships with numerous people throughout our lives. Each can bring something unique, whether it be good or bad. Relationships with family, friends and colleagues will add to life’s rich tapestry of experiences. However, when you are living alone there is one important relationship that matters more than any other in our lives. This is the relationship that we have with ourselves and here are the reasons why it matters.
TEN REASONS WHY THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP IS THE ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF
1 It’s a lifelong relationship
The relationship you have with yourself is the only one that you can be absolutely sure will last as long as you do, so it is important to get it right! Although there is likely to be some bumps along the road, this is a journey that you will always be making with yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company and be kind to yourself.
2 Knowing yourself matters
Understanding our own strengths and weaknesses can help us to make the right decisions in life. It is important to take the time to get to know ourselves so that we understand our real dreams, worries and abilities. This could mean giving more time for daily reflection which could help you feel more driven and confident and equally feel more sure about who you are.
3 Other people’s opinions are just that
Although listening to other people is and can be important, your own opinions are what matter most. You should value your own judgement and not let yourself be swayed too much by other people. Just because someone thinks that your hobby or work is uninteresting or your style is unfashionable, it doesn’t mean that you have to agree. They are welcome to their opinions, but be assertive about sticking to your own. Our self esteem is often linked to what other people think of us, (or at least what we perceive others think of us!) so it’s important to feel comfortable in your own skin, with our own judgements and with our own likes and dislikes helping us shape who we are.
4 Being selfish can be good
We all need to prioritise ourselves at least some of the time. Valuing the relationship you have with yourself will enable you to do what is right for you rather than always putting other people first. We should place as much importance on the relationship we have with ourselves as we do on those with our closest friends. We should therefore be willing to invest just as much time and effort into it, even if that means taking time out for ourselves every now and then.
5 It’s what we do that counts
The most worthwhile things in life aren’t the things that we own, but the things we spend our time doing. Investing in ourselves by learning new skills, practicing a favourite hobby, creating something or just putting in some effort into a big project is what will make us most fulfilled. The happiest moments are often in the middle of a big challenge or when we have accomplished something that counts.
6 Being independent is important
Being able to depend upon ourselves is important, especially when we are living alone. We need to build the skills that will enable us to be self-sufficient, not just in practical matters but in emotional ones too. Learning to trust ourselves more, is one of the most important results of developing a strong relationship with ourselves. It can help us to feel stronger, braver and more capable.
7 You’re the only one who can understand yourself
We are all complex, unique and changeable creatures which means that it can be hard for even those closest to us to understand fully, who we are. The person who is best placed to understand you is yourself and you are the only one who can do this. You can also be your own most sympathetic friend because you are the one who has the potential to understand your feelings and motives best.
8 It’s good for your physical health
Being familiar with our own bodies is essential for our health. We need to develop a good relationship with our bodies in order to keep them healthy and to be able to recognise any signs of trouble. Building a better relationship with yourself can help you to eat better, get more sleep and stay fit and healthy.
9 It’s good for your mental health
Mental health is just as important as our physical wellbeing. When you are living alone having a good attitude and understanding towards yourself can be very beneficial for your mental health and emotional wellbeing. You will be better at dealing with negative emotions and more aware of any signs of mental health problems. Having better self-awareness and learning to understand what in life makes you happy, sad, content, satisfied and subsequently adjusting your life and priorities accordingly, will bring positive benefits to how you feel every day.
10 It will affect your relationships with others
When you are living alone, having a good relationship with yourself can make a big difference in the way you interact with other people. Understanding your own emotions can help you to empathise with others. Being aware of your own weaknesses can make it easier to forgive other people for theirs. No one is an island and people living alone often have strong relationships with the people around them. The way you feel about yourself can determine how kindly you treat people, whether you are close to them or not.
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