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Sunday, November 29, 2015

More Thanksgiving

Since leaving my parents home at twenty one, I've lived alone approximately three years of the past forty five. How does that compare to your experience?

The predominant feeling I have following many of my encounters with people who have lived alone for a significant percentage of their adult lives is gratitude for my good fortune. More notable than the loneliness I detect, these encounters lead me to reflect on what my social skills would be like had most of my life been solitary. Although there's no way to be certain, I suspect the regular feedback I've gotten via living with others for many more years than not has helped me develop at least a modicum of socially acceptable behavior. When did you last consider this particular benefit that living with someone likely provides you?

It can be easy to take for granted the investment others make in us when they provide feedback - it helps us better navigate future interactions. I don't enjoy being corrected or told I have behaved badly any more than the next person. But I also know how not hearing that stuff periodically would guarantee perpetual regret. For me, the temporary discomfort of hearing something unpleasant outweighs repeating avoidable mistakes.

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