Some time alone can do a world of good

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 February, 2011, 12:00am

We all need friends: people to support us, and keep us company. But there are times when it's good to be alone.

Being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely. When we are alone, we can listen to music and spend some quality time by ourselves. We can recharge our batteries and clear our minds. We can think about things much more deeply than when other people are around us.

The company of others is a wonderful thing. But sometimes you can be overwhelmed by crowds and noise. These prevent self-reflection.

It's also good to be alone after an argument. It's a good thing to withdraw for a while and cool down.

There are many benefits to staying alone. You should try it sometimes.

Karena Chow, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Karena. Humans need the company of others - we are designed to talk, share, care and love. We flourish when we are with people whose interests reflect our own, or whose achievements we aspire to imitate.

But it's also true that 'other people' can sometimes get on our nerves. It's natural to want to shut everyone else out sometimes.

If you do it properly, you can avoid a lot of conflict. For example, if you have been spending too much time with one person, or a group of people, and you know that you are getting unreasonably annoyed, you can politely say that you're going to spend an hour reading alone, or going for a walk. It's better to miss out on one activity, or one gathering, than end up yelling at your friends.

It's also good to enjoy your own company. There will be times when you're alone, but not by choice. Learn to view these occasions as a chance to reflect and appreciate your life. Then when your solitude ends, you'll be a more interesting and generous companion to others.

Karly, Deputy Editor