Letters To Seneca – Letter 10
No matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert, social interactions matter. Research has proven this time and time again showing improvements in one’s overall contentment with life, health, and many other factors.
In the past month, I’ve come to appreciate opportunities to interact with others in social settings. For me, initially going to an event or meeting with someone is the difficult part, but afterward, I’m always grateful that interaction happened. This gratitude still applies after poor interactions, which mainly comes down to me setting low expectations internally before attending anything.
The struggle to initially attend interactions is due to my love of solitude and how much I truly enjoy being alone. This has not always been the case. My ability to be alone started around a decade ago, when I spent 2 years alone outside of work, reading, thinking, reflecting, and listening to podcasts. As a person, that experience was critical for my internal development and self-confidence.
But… There are certain feelings and experiences I can only get when interacting with others. The main benefit for me is the sharing of ideas. The process of sharing resources, perspectives, questions, and experiences with another person often creates new ideas in my head. This for me, is the best part of any social interaction.
Sadly, in Western culture, most men cannot cultivate, nurture, and sustain meaningful relationships over time. Women on the other hand are great at this, which is likely one of the variables leading to their longer lifespans. For men, the process of growing and sustaining relationships is seen as feminine. Men are “supposed” to be solo travelers, emotionless, and transactional in their social interactions.
Fortunately, more men (like myself) are realizing the importance of social interactions for overall contentment with life and health. The interesting part about this shift is that we’re going full circle. I know you (Seneca) and other philosophers have praised the importance of social interactions, making them a priority in your daily lives.
We’ve lost this wisdom, but it’s time we gain it back. 😉