Why Living Alone Can Be Beneficial To Your Development

The desire to live alone is not uncommon after spending years in a crowded family home followed by splitting a tiny dorm room with near strangers. After sharing a space for over two decades, the idea of living alone can seem glamorous and even novel. What may seem like a dream life can, however, result in either a fierce independence or crippling loneliness. With continuing to be social and creating a positive living environment for yourself, living alone can become instrumental to your development.

In every stage of life, there are a set of skills that can be learned. Living alone can force a person to more quickly develop self-sufficiency and self-reliance than if they were to continue living with others. Living alone puts the pressure of maintaining a household on one set of shoulders. While during childhood and college one might rely on their parents or friends to help with cooking, cleaning and laundry, the blame cannot be shifted onto a housemate if the task isn’t completed. With no one to pawn off responsibility onto, the onus is placed on the individual to maintain a high quality of life.

Although the skills learned from living alone can make you a better-rounded, capable person, it can also leave you feeling lonelier than if you lived with others. One way to combat the loneliness caused by living alone, according to housing blog Apartment Therapy, is to find companionship in an animal. Pets help you respond better to stress and increase your levels of serotonin and dopamine. Getting out of the house and taking a class or learning a new skill can both make you feel more connected to your community as well as provide you with something fun to pass the time. If you’re an extrovert, energizing yourself by entertaining company in your home allows your private residence to become a social, engaging spot without losing your independence.

In an article for the New York Times, writer Steve Kurutz argues that living alone encourages you to fully cultivate your personality behind closed doors in a way that would have been more restricted with roommates. He writes that, “What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world.” Without the inward focus of being alone, your own sense of self can be muddied by other people’s perceptions and expectations. Removing the concern of disrupting roommates or creating an environment that’s not conducive to those around you, you’re able to live as your most comfortable and true self. According to Mic, Abraham Maslow, the father of the Hierarchy of Needs, “cited solitude as one of the defining characteristics of self-actualized people.”

There are certainly financial and social benefits to living with roommates, but living alone has its own unique set of positives. Not only do you have the freedom to live without fear of judgment, but it also causes you to learn how to take care of yourself and a household without any outside assistance. If you make sure to continue connecting with the outside world and keep yourself happy and motivated, the ways in which living alone can further your development are endless.

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