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Can You Be Social AND Introspective?

personperson Don't believe everything you thinkthe liminal space Veteran

A relatively short Scientific American blog about correlations between well being factors and preference or enjoyment of solitude.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/can-you-be-social-and-introspective/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_MB_BLOG

As you can see, sociability and introspection aren't opposites; and can actually be in harmony with each other. This finely-grained analysis shows that it's worth making a distinction between (a) having a preference for solitude, (b) enjoying solitude, (c) enjoying introspection and reflection, and (d) nonconformity/dancing to the beat of a different drummer. These four variables do tend to be positively related to each other, but scoring high on one doesn't necessarily predict that you will score high on the others. In fact, without any additional context, just having a preference for being alone (vs. spending time with others) seems maladaptive, whereas embracing alone time seems to be related to psychological health and an active fantasy life. Far from being at odds with sociability and positive emotions, solitude and introspection can lead to a life full of connection, creativity, and meaning.

lobster

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes.
    I am extremely social but also very introspective.

  • I agree with federica, I believe you can.
    I'm generally very social, however sometimes I need to feed my introspective side and (really) enjoy being alone.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    As I treat other peoples minds as an extension of my own (spooky eh?) I am totally introspective ... o:)

    FosdickVastmind
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited June 2016

    I treat other peoples minds as an extension of my own

    As indeed they are, @lobster. And if we can expand on that to include all of life and not just other humans, perhaps we will draw near to real awakening. No self and no other, no sociability and no introspection.

    lobsterupekka
  • Modern Sociology has a phrase, "Solitude is solidarity", which means we need our solitude in order to gain or strengthen our solidarity with others. We can exchange the words "intrispection" and "sociability" with the same results.
    So, the answer to, "Can you be social and introspective?", is of course.

    Must be the heat...Root-beer floats at Spiney's!

    Peace to all

    Vastmind
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    Yes...

  • BoruBoru Explorer

    @Will_Baker said:
    Yes...

    I agree...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I certainly hope so. I think everyone needs a balance of both, but that balance will be a bit different for each of us for a variety of reasons. Even the people I love most, exhaust me eventually and I have to get time to myself. But I do enjoy the time with them as well. I think too many people avoid introspection and fill their lives with social events to distract themselves from their lack of introspection. It's like they don't even want to go there, that the idea of sitting quietly with yourself and just yourself, no tv, no internet, no kindle, no phone...is the most terrifying thing they can imagine.

    BoruPer4umer
  • BoruBoru Explorer

    @karasti said:
    I certainly hope so. I think everyone needs a balance of both, but that balance will be a bit different for each of us for a variety of reasons. Even the people I love most, exhaust me eventually and I have to get time to myself. But I do enjoy the time with them as well. I think too many people avoid introspection and fill their lives with social events to distract themselves from their lack of introspection. It's like they don't even want to go there, that the idea of sitting quietly with yourself and just yourself, no tv, no internet, no kindle, no phone...is the most terrifying thing they can imagine.

    I agree with this 100%.

    I like being social on occasion, but one of my favourite things to do is sit in the back garden and do nothing but contemplate things and day dream. Everywhere I go It seems everyone is plugged into something. An iPhone or music player. Like the idea of thinking is too boring or undesirable.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think there are people who have been so firm in their beliefs are terrified to question them, to have to answer what they would do if their beliefs fell apart. I don't think they are capable, on some levels, of going there.

    I love to disconnect, and sometimes I wish i could just do it fully. Perhaps one day. I live in an area where just a few miles down the road I have no cell access, and I love to spend time in the woods there. No one bothers to be on their phones because they don't work. You don't see many people anyhow, sometimes I don't see anyone else. There's so much freedom in being disconnected!

  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Not with it. Don't care. No TV. One radio. No cell phone. No pad or pod. I must be odd.

    lobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I hate "smart" phones, they just turn people into zombies ( smombies ).

    ShoshinPer4umer
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think people turn themselves into zombies. I'd like to blame the phone, that would be easier than blaming myself. I'm not nearly so bad as most. I often set my phone down and forget where it is for the whole day. Especially in the summer. But during the school year I have to be reachable all the time, so it is always with me. But, my notifications are very minimal so I don't get alerts for social media. Just color coded texts from my kids (so I know which texts I need to read now and which can wait just by the color of the light on the phone) and phone calls. Most of it's online functionality comes while I am sitting in the car waiting for kids, and for the weather when we are on the go. It can be invaluable for that at least. It's nice to know bad weather is coming when you are out in the boat, lol.

    Anyhow, the times I am a zombie to my phone or more so the internet in general, it's my fault. The phone is just a tool like anything else that can be misused and abused.

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