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How to find oneself to be happy?

How to find oneself to be happy?

April 27, 2024

Traffic, skyscrapers, noise, hurry ... The postmodern society It is characterized by having a frenetic pace, in which time has a price and a specific objective at each moment.

As Zygmunt Bauman posits in his "Liquid Modernity" (2000), currently Stability is unfeasible and flexibility is advocated . This fact translates into that everything is ephemeral and we must take advantage of it: the information received, the virtual presence in social networks, social and work life.

And the staff? Where is our personal life?

A frantic society that does not allow us to meditate

In a world where intimacy and self-knowledge are in danger of extinction, the tendency to individual withdrawal is increasing. The eremitism or isolation in solitude is a technique present through millennia used for spiritual purposes, but in the process fostered the self-discovery.


This is how, feeling buried under the masses of the cities, the solution aims to move away from them. Fray Luis de León already said in his "Ode to the retired life": "what a rested life, the one from which the mundanal noise flees

[...] "However, being social beings by definition, to be" beings "we must move away from the" social "?

Benefits of loneliness

If the eremitism has lasted and becomes a social trend, it is because it brings benefits to people. Surely throughout our lives, we have retired at some point and we have felt a strange form of well-being.

  • Oxygenating the information processor . Getting away from the crowd means getting away from all your various sources of information. It allows to diminish the quantity of information and that our processor recovers of the overload.
  • Restore vital rhythm . In the same way as with information, our life rhythm is also accelerated between skyscrapers. It is then when in a place where time does not escape, there is no room for haste or stress.
  • Increase of sentitivity of secondary information . After the process of informative detoxification and with a more serene rhythm, we are able to process elements that we have always seen but, until now, not attended to.
  • Belief development . Without distractors around, we are able to use our full capacity to process the beliefs that accompanied us when we were in the crowd. Our ideas and values ​​acquire clarity and evolve, becoming more complex and contemplating aspects that previously remained unrelated.

Dysfunctions of loneliness

While all of the above processes are beneficial, they also carry certain risks . Even the staunchest hermits kept close with other people, revealing that isolation includes certain shortcomings that can not be met by itself.


  • Construction on maladaptive beliefs . Loneliness allows self-discovery through belief construction. Therefore, if the base beliefs from which we start are dysfunctional, as they gain in complexity, there is also the danger that they will do so in maladaptation.
  • One-dimensionality . The isolation and absence of others make it impossible to contemplate other points of view that enrich oneself.
  • Dogmatism of individuality . While other perspectives are not acquired and wrong beliefs are developed, the individuality of the person is increased. In other words, one becomes more unique and its contact with the world less permeable. In this way the social presentation of the person is difficult, since now there is greater distance and difference with the others.
  • Social mismatch of self-discovery . The three previous threats produce that the person can diminish his social skills. Understanding that social life involves the interaction between several people, develop dysfunctional beliefs, without including the others and impervious, alter the relationship of the person with their social environment.

Self in the group: the key to finding oneself

Clearly, it was expected that there could be some inconvenience in solitude, since every coin has two sides. For this reason, it is necessary to contemplate other options such as self-knowledge through the group. Normally, group relations in this sense are characterized by dedicating themselves exclusively to leisure areas. However, with norms, implication and intentionality, it is possible that the group achieves extrapolatable therapeutic effects at an individual level, beyond a few glasses .


  • Heterogeneity. The most basic benefit of the group resides in itself: in not being alone. The three basic premises of the group according to Lewin (1951) are interaction, exchange and interdependence; and with them the group is able to share and cooperate.In this way different perspectives and points of view are known, expanding their own.
  • Correction of beliefs . The first effect resulting from group heterogeneity is the correction of one's own beliefs. Sharing allows the self-assessment of one's own beliefs based on those of others, discovering those aspects that did not quite work and correcting them.
  • Addition of beliefs . Many times, the same correction process implies the inclusion of external beliefs, since to include other eyes, allows to see something in different ways.
  • Social adaptability of self-discovery . While there is a place for social development in personal development, there is also the coexistence of how to relate to the social. That is, at the same time that different views are acquired on the world, the behavioral repertoire is expanded, the "what is the most beneficial thing to do".
  • Social self-knowledge . In the group, not only does the individual self develop, but the social self does as well. Being in relation with others implies a way of projecting ourselves before them, a different way of being interpreted by each of the other members and, therefore, a singular form of treatment. This feedback gives us information about what our social self is like and, many times, we nourish our individual self from it. It is thus beneficial to observe "what caused" to know "what I am".
  • Resource management . A final aspect to note is that, unlike loneliness, groups do not allow isolation of information intoxication or accelerated life rhythm so easily. However, they do have the capacity to share those burdens, to share the restlessness of stress and anxiety. Thanks to this, the resource management of the individual is improved, often necessary since, when descending from the hermitage, one will meet again with the worldly noise.

Alone or in company?

So, there is no single option for self-discovery, to find oneself in this society . You can opt for the loneliness of isolation, or for the group company. A determining factor to choose can be as simple as economic status or dedication. Withdrawal is a more flexible option, which the person can carry out when planning. It is not the case of the group, since it means attending to the disposition of diverse people. Also, other difficulties lie in the involvement of each of them with the group and the resilience necessary to learn how to manage it in times of storm.

The options are exposed: look at yourself or let yourself look. Just as it happens before the mirror, we are aware of having two eyes, a nose and a mouth; but only before it is clearly shown . That's when we can understand society as that reflection of ourselves. Now, what is more real? Could you live without your reflection?

Another important trick: focus day to day with positivity

Few days ago we elaborate a compilation of positive phrases that can help you to find yourself and face the day to day with more optimism, energy and good vibrations.

You can read them here: "25 short positive phrases to focus better on day to day"
And we also recommend this compilation: "20 wise phrases to reflect on life"

Bibliographic references:

  • Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Buenos Aires: Economic Culture Fund.
  • Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. Barcelona: Paidós, 1988.
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