How Not Having Friends Has Made My Life Better
The perks of being a holy hermit.
It’s been a few years since I got away from my friends.
It’s not that I’ve gotten rid of them, it’s just that sometimes people’s priorities shift in opposite directions.
Being alone has been a good thing in so many ways, not the least of which is being able to be myself more freely. I can be who I want to be in so many situations that would have been extremely restricting before.
Of course, sometimes I miss a group of friends to share a beer with, but not having to worry about being someone’s emotional garbage can has a lot more perks than being drunk.
Actually, I still get drunk sometimes… But it is much cheaper.
How Is Life Without Friends?
My life doesn't suck, and I don't feel lonely all the time, as people who have "a lot of friends" probably think of who barely have one.
Most of the time I feel like Charles Bukowski:
“I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me… Loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have.” — Charles Bukowski
There are many other important things to do on a day-to-day basis when you stop wasting time looking at your friends’ posts on Facebook and Instagram. In my case, I have no one to stalk nor do I care about the lives of other people, what they do right or wrong, so that gives me time and energy to focus on my own life.
I can freely sink into my troubles by not having to worry about fixing someone else’s life. I have a private emotional pool where I discover a new treasure every day.
Some people would say that I am asocial, and perhaps it is true, but not having friends has made me strengthen my relationship with myself.
This is not just my impression, some evidence suggests that being alone promotes creativity, expands your perspective and many more benefits.
In my case, I’ve learned that I don’t have to be ‘the best’ at something to be valuable. I don’t longer feel like an ass for giving bad advice on how to sleep with someone for the first time.
I have lost all rights to have a say in other people’s life, and that’s a relief.
For sure, I can still do something nice for someone else if I really feel like it, but all the pressure to do things a certain way to get approved is gone.
I’m just interested in approving myself, and that’s enough.
I’m A Little Closer To Knowing Who –And What– I Am
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” – Sylvia Plath
Ironically, sometimes having too many friends turns you against yourself. Many of us have felt this way since we were teens.
I tried a half dozen times to build healthy relationships with other people, but the more friends I have, the more likely that will be a pain in the ass.
This is why I usually feel uncomfortable in friendship circles. I hate to see people worrying about what others will think and how they are constantly trying to make you like them –especially if there is nothing else they can offer.–
It’s not about being a hermit, but trust me, you don’t need to force yourself to be everyone’s friend to have a good life.
Simply put, social media have promoted the idea that you have to be the popular boy or girl who rides the corner hunting hearts.
THAT’S A LIE!
As psychologist Daniel Marston writes:
We all need to be able to interact with other people at some point. Social interactions are important both for getting things that we need and for accomplishing important tasks. In this way, we are like all animal species, who all need to interact with others to get things done. But once those tasks are accomplished, it is not essential that the social relationships move beyond that point. Continuing on with relationships might be nice and bring about positive feelings. But those relationships are not necessarily more important than being comfortable being alone.
Not having friends hasn’t solved all my problems or prevented me from having suicidal thoughts, but I am a little closer to knowing who I am.
A few years ago I was trying to fill my gaps with people who had no idea who they were either. That didn’t make me feel better, just distracted.
Loneliness has taught me that distractions are a way of running from what really hurts you, so now I prefer to face my demons.
No one else will do it for me.