I am confident that most, if not all, of us have heard the phrase “plays well with others”. Whether we are speaking of children, colleagues, family members, or friends, it is fairly common to talk about how we can/should “play well” with others. After all, our society as a whole tends to expect us to get along with others in virtually every avenue of life. We certainly hear this idea, of playing well with others, much more often than we hear anything about “playing well alone”. There just doesn’t seem to be much interest in talking about how to play well with ourselves…unless of course you are on a path of personal development. The interesting and ironic thing, however, is that if we don’t learn how to play well with ourselves we will inevitably struggle to successfully play well with others.
I find Mandy Hale’s quote, “Learn to be alone and to like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company.”, to be such a powerful and true statement. When we learn to be alone with ourselves we discover who we truly are and learn to love ourselves as we are. We come to a place of acceptance for who we are, as we are. We recognize the power and importance of living our authentic truth…the power and freedom of no longer feeling a need to act a certain way or pretend to be something we are not. This is the self-confidence we hear people talk so much about. And when we reach that point where we learn to enjoy being alone with ourselves and to truly love ourselves, we are able to be in relationships with others in an authentic and meaningful way. There is no longer a need to feel threatened or inadequate, nor do we feel the need to compare ourselves to others. In that place there is tremendous freedom and empowerment for sure.
And better yet, when we are in that place people are drawn to us. Surely we all know of at least one person to whom others seem to gravitate for no other reason than that person just simply and consistently is being his/her true self. It can be a magical thing to behold, but in reality there is no magic to it at all. There is just something about a person who is living life from a place of authenticity and truth that attracts others. People appreciate and relate to those who speak from and live in their own personal truth. There’s something magnetic about people who are comfortable in their own skin and who love themselves for who they truly are. Somewhere deep down inside we all recognize it when we see it and want to be near it.
The bottom line is that if we have not found contentment and happiness within ourselves, we will not find it outside of ourselves…we just won’t. So take some time to “date yourself”…be alone with yourself…get to know and love yourself. Whether you are single or in a relationship, make sure you take the time to be with yourself – discover who you are, what you want in life, etc. All those with whom you spend time, now and in the future, will benefit from it, as will you. Learn to play well alone.