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The Disappearing Act: What living alone can teach you

Updated on August 10, 2014

Why humans are social

From the very beginning, humans built this civilization by being social. Without the formation of communities that ultimately led to the formation of nations, the entire species would've never advanced at all. We'd be stuck in the dark ages; filled with anarchy and, well, darkness.

Humans are biologically designed to be social creatures. Just like any other socially-oriented species, we were built to function better with the help of others. Wolves hunt more efficiently in packs, lions protect their territories with their pride, and so on. But is being social still necessary in today's modern world?

During the past decade, more in more households in the world become inhabited by a single person. In Canada, 28% of households are owned by single people. In Japan, it's 32%. Additionally, 32 million Americans live alone.

May it be for 1, 2, or even 10 years -- living alone is not as bad as you think. And contrary to popular belief, losing your mind with prolonged solitude is extremely unlikely. In fact, you can actually become a stronger person inside and out by dedicating your time solely for yourself.

While most people don't really choose to be alone, you can just be alone by choice. You may even be surprised in the process. This is 'The Disappearing Act'.

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What is "The Disappearing Act"?

Basically, all you need to do is make yourself extremely scarce. Stop hanging out with people. Delete your social media accounts. In case you really need to go out, make sure you won't bump into anyone you know. Sounds crazy? This is happening to a lot of people as of this day.

A lot of people withdraw from their social circles for a variety of reasons. These reasons include coping with their inner depression, facing tremendous internal problems, pursuing truth, or seeking personal growth -- and believe it or not, you will indeed grow.

First, you may think that these people need outside intervention. Perhaps the support of friends, family, or even an organization. This is actually not a bad idea. However, you are denying them the opportunity to learn incredible, life-changing lessons, that will be with them forever. Furthermore, living alone doesn't necessarily mean you should feel alone.

Your happiness is not dependent on others

Living alone at first may seem like self-destructive. There are people, places, and a lot of activities you will surely miss. You've been living with the comfort of all these things that most of your happy memories are of them. In turn, you've forgotten the ability of creating happiness from within yourself. However, how exactly can you do this? There is one answer:

Don't go looking for the approval of others. While not being such a bad thing by itself, finding satisfaction from the approval of others can make you more dependent on others for happiness. Instead, try to get approval from yourself. Today's culture is becoming more and more centered to self-image. A good example is the use of social media networking sites.

When used the wrong way, social networking can promote narcissism. And with narcissism, you actually care more about what others will think about you. You yearn for acceptance and positive recognition. In time, you become irrationally concerned on how others see you. While you may gain happiness from this, remember that this is only temporary. You will be amazed on how quickly people can forget about the good things about you. When you lose the things that others 'approve' of you, you will have no one but yourself.This is why you should not give anyone else the power over your happiness.

You don't need a reason to do good things

Try to observe today's society. There's no denying that charity exists. There are acts of kindness and helpfulness everywhere. It's easy to find. Why? Because people tend to make sure that their acts of kindness are easy to find.

Politicians, celebrities, famous people, and even Facebook users, do good things mostly because they are fueled by the motivation of getting approval from others. It's not saying that all acts of kindness are fake. It's just that sometimes, secondary motivations (getting approval) can sometimes shroud the purpose -- a problem fixed by The Disappearing Act.

Without actively looking for the approval of others, or giving them something to approve of for that matter, may immediately drain you of motivation. However, this shouldn't prevent you from doing good things for others.

Take note that living alone doesn't free you from your responsibilities as a person. Instead, step forward and assume the responsibility of helping others. Despite sharing a house with no one but yourself, remember that you're still part of a family -- the human family.

Go treat a homeless person with food. Help a stranger with heavy luggage. Give money to those in need. Allow someone to cut you in line. Help your parents make ends meet. Hold a door open for someone you don't know. There are virtually endless opportunities to perform acts of kindness.

There is no need to impress anyone, or remind anyone about the good things you have done or will do. Focus on sincerity, and you will begin to realize why you're doing these things in the first place. Believe it or not, there is nothing more satisfying than doing acts of kindness out of pure sincerity.

It's the ones who stay that counts

In time, people will begin asking about you. Despite having hundreds, or even thousands of friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, only a handful of people will look for you on the verge of your solitude. One of the greatest benefits of The Disappearing Act is figuring out who your real friends are.

They will come out of nowhere. Despite living off the radar for a considerable amount of time, true friends will look for you. This is perhaps one of the most bizarre moments of living alone. One of those that will make you think, maybe you're not so alone after all.


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    • Meo Antolin profile image

      Romeo Antolin 3 years ago from Philippines, Asia

      DDE - Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, there are many reasons as to why a lot of people choose to live a solitary life. Sometimes if you're unsure of where you're headed in life, you just have to wait for it and sure enough; it will just occur to you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Meo Antolin When people choose to be alone the attitude changes. I know what it is like to be alone and to want to be alone great read.

    • timhutchinson profile image

      Tim Hutchinson 3 years ago from a peaceful stream in North Georgia

      I love peace and quiet. It's sorta like parking your car and riding your bike for a while. You seem to notice so much more around you. It seems our materialist ways of living hide from us our true purpose of being here on earth. Living in the moment and enjoying the simple things like a cup of coffee and watching the sun come up. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your own company too. I love quietness and solitude!

    • Meo Antolin profile image

      Romeo Antolin 3 years ago from Philippines, Asia

      Again, thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it! I do think there's still much more to learn about how beautiful life can be just by changing perspectives. Knowing that there are people out there who agree and share the same views as me is really encouraging.

    • timhutchinson profile image

      Tim Hutchinson 3 years ago from a peaceful stream in North Georgia

      Hey Meo,

      So sorry for my mistake. I was so taken by your article I copied the wrong name. I really enjoyed your beautiful article, Tim

    • Meo Antolin profile image

      Romeo Antolin 3 years ago from Philippines, Asia

      Hi timhutchinson! I think you've mistaken who the author of the article is. Nevertheless, I appreciate your comment and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • timhutchinson profile image

      Tim Hutchinson 3 years ago from a peaceful stream in North Georgia

      Beautiful writing MsDora! We live with who or what we choose and feel comfortable with. May it be with people, animals, the great outdoors or even our work. It's just how we are made. Solitude and quietness are like a good meal to some of us. I really enjoyed your writing!

    • Meo Antolin profile image

      Romeo Antolin 3 years ago from Philippines, Asia

      Thank you MsDora! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And you're right, it depends a lot on your attitude.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Depending on your attitude, "believe it or not, you will indeed grow." I've lived alone for much of my life; you state many truths to which I can relate. A very interesting read!