Don t want to be alone this weekend

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Posted December 12, Reviewed by Matt Huston. Are you one of those people who likes spending time alone? If so, you probably already know that there are some people who will stigmatize you for it. They assume you are lonely and depressed. More recently, scholars are increasingly recognizing and documenting the value of solitude.

They believe that spending time alone can be good for creativityself-insight, self-development, relaxation, and spirituality. One of the most important determinants of whether time alone is a good experience or a fraught one is whether you choose to be alone. As important as that distinction is, some scholars believe it is not enough. Even people who choose to be alone, they point out, can do so for different reasons.

Some reasons for being alone are likely to be indicative of good psychological health, while others are more likely to spell trouble. The social scientists Virginia Thomas and Margarita Azmitia tested their predictions about the importance of different kinds of reasons for being alone in research that was published in the Journal of Adolescence in Items from the two of reasons were all mixed together when participants answered the survey.

To see whether the negative reasons for being alone really were associated with painful experiences or perceived inadequacies, the researchers included relevant measures such as:. Measures of positive experiences were included, too.

Don t want to be alone this weekend

The survey administered to the young adults included all of the following measures; the adolescents answered only some of them. As the researchers had predicted, the were very different for the people who spent time alone for positive reasons compared to those who did so for negative reasons.

People who are alone for positive reasons have a profile that is almost entirely positive or neutral. Overall, for both the adolescents and the young adults, spending time alone for positive reasons had essentially nothing to do with loneliness. The correlation between loneliness and wanting to be alone for positive reasons was close to zero. For the young adults, spending time alone for positive reasons also had nothing to do with social anxiety or depression.

The social anxiety measure was not included in the survey administered to the adolescents. There was one negative finding for the adolescents who chose to be alone for positive reasons: They were slightly more likely to be depressed. The correlation was. Perhaps feeling down motivates some adolescents to spend time alone, and they use that time effectively to regulate their mood. For the young adults, spending time alone for positive reasons was linked to some healthy psychological experiences.

They were more self-accepting and they developed more over time. The measures of self-acceptance and personal growth were not included in the surveys administered to the adolescents. People who were alone for negative reasons had a more worrisome profile. The were troubling for both the adolescents and the young adults who chose to be alone for negative reasons.

They were more likely to experience loneliness and depression. In the group of young adults, who also answered questions about anxiety, they were also more socially anxious. The people who were alone for negative reasons were especially unlikely to have the other positive experiences. They were much less likely to have positive relationships with other people or to have a clear idea of who they want to be.

They scored low on autonomy, too. Only the young adults were asked about self-acceptance, personal growth, mastery, or purpose.

Don t want to be alone this weekend

Those who spend time alone for more negative reasons scored lower on all of those positive experiences. Other findings: A measure of extraversion was also included. Among both the adolescents and the young adults, those whose solitude was intrinsically motivated were no more or less likely to be extraverted than people who scored low on positive reasons for being alone. It was different for those with negative reasons.

Both the adolescents and the young adults who were alone for negative reasons were less likely to be extraverted. There was a small correlation between the two. Some people want to be alone for both kinds of reasons. First, a word of caution: This research was correlational. It does not tell us, for example, whether depression causes people to want to spend time alone for negative reasons, or whether the reverse is true, or whether some other factor causes people to be depressed and to want to spend time alone for negative reasons. With that in mind, the offer some insight into why some people worry about those who spend a lot of time alone.

The findings also demonstrate why, for some people who choose to be alone, there is no reason at all to be concerned. People who choose to be alone for positive reasons enjoying the quiet and the privacy; getting in touch with your feelings; doing things you love seem to be at no special risk for feeling lonely or anxious. Instead, people who choose to be alone for positive reasons may be more likely to enjoy greater self-acceptance and personal growth.

Bella DePaulo, Ph. Worry is driven by mood, not logic. Anxiety holds your deepest yearnings. And you can subdue it for good. Three experts turn everything you know about anxiety inside out.

Don t want to be alone this weekend

Bella DePaulo Ph. Living Single. About the Author.

Don t want to be alone this weekend

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Don t want to be alone this weekend

Back Magazine. September A Sigh of Relief Worry is driven by mood, not logic. Back Today. Essential Re.

Don t want to be alone this weekend

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