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Quiet Time's Great, But People Are Necessary


I might be the largest proponent of quiet time you've ever met.

I've written on the topic several times. I've done a relatively respectable amount of research on it. I know the psychophysiological effects of being alone.

I will preach to you until my dying breath that quiet, personal time alone, away from everyone else is key to relieving stress and living a happier, more intelligent, and more fulfilled life. It's that important!

But you need people, too.

You can't just shut yourself in. A lot of people like to joke that they hate being around other people. People are the worst. Just give me a home library with a recliner and an endless supply of top-grade coffee, and I'll be good for life.

I'm one of those people!

But we actually need people, friends, and to be in close quarters with others from time to time. That's how we're designed, to be social creatures, despite what your American independent mindset might say.

Do you know why isolation chambers are a reserved form of punishment? Or why many would lobby for their removal as a punishment entirely? Because significant time without human interaction has catastrophic, in some cases permanent effects on the brain.

None of the right endorphins are activated. You literally deteriorate from the inside out. Have you ever seen what a child is like whose parents never hug or hold them?

It's heartbreaking, and irreversible. People are crucial to our survival, and especially to our growth.

Obviously we're not placing ourselves in total isolation - hopefully not, at least. But it's very common, particularly for us introverts, to default to quiet time alone.

Life is organized chaos at best. We're busy. We're stressed. We just want peace. That's perfectly reasonable! But it's a dangerous habit to leave work and not talk to anyone.

On every level, it's healthy and beneficial to spend time with friends. You owe that to yourself. You need that. 

Go out, shoot the breeze, talk to someone on the phone, give someone a giant hug, just shoot a text! It's important to make time for ourselves. It's also important to make time for ourselves to intentionally interact with other people.