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Why the mind of the geniuses needs solitude

Why the mind of the geniuses needs solitude

November 27, 2021

More and more emphasis is placed on the idea that psychologically grow consists of surrounding yourself with people , learn to relate at all times and with all kinds of people, let the verb flow through all kinds of conversations.

Where creativity is required, work is more and more teamwork, and learning, collaborative. The trades and professions related to loneliness are associated with the mechanical, the monotonous.

However, this idea is misleading. Loneliness is not simply an almost inevitable circumstance in a society in which the traditional family model has lost strength. Especially, loneliness is a source of inspiration and personal growth .


  • Maybe you're interested: "Empty Nest Syndrome: when loneliness takes over the home"

Being alone is not a crime

In many countries, introverted people, who are those who need to spend more time in non-overloaded and uncrowded environments, are highly valued.

In Western countries, however, this kind of personality is seen with the condescension of one who addresses someone who does not know what is lost. The normal thing, it seems, is being surrounded by people practically at all hours. People who, in addition, interact with us and show their camaraderie or admiration . Going unnoticed or isolating yourself in an informal meeting does not count. The superficial charm of psychopaths and narcissists seems to be rewarded.


The few times you talk about the good of being alone is, almost always, to compare it to the possibility of "being badly accompanied". But ... really the positive side of loneliness only appears if we compare it to the worst situation that can occur in his absence? The answer is no; the lack of company also has psychological aspects that are good by themselves and that, in fact, have allowed many geniuses to have made history.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Differences between extraverted, introverted and timid people"

The limitations of the company

There is another way of seeing things. One in which being in company does not have to expand our horizons of creativity and spontaneity or, even, it can produce the opposite effect.

Interacting with someone requires adapt to a communication code that limits us . We try to make ourselves understood, and for that we dedicate a part of our attention to controlling the way in which others react. In the same way, one of our main objectives will be to communicate ideas and sensations successfully. In some way, we bear the responsibility that the other reaches certain conclusions. Even when we lie, we need to use common references to be understood.


In the same way, when sharing space with someone we dedicate a good part of our mental processes to make a good impression, even involuntarily. In short, relate to others entails making efforts to bring our ideas to something translatable, although at the expense of subtracting authenticity and nuances.

To talk is to lead our thinking along paths that, in part, have already been thought by many other people long ago in order to create effective communication codes through which we make ourselves understood in a matter of seconds. Phrases made, metaphors, comparisons recurred ... all this acts as a psychological funnel and it biases both us and our interlocutors .

The creative potential of introspection

Loneliness, on the other hand, offers almost total freedom. There we are alone, with our own metaphors and ways of understanding life, and we can continue to build on those bases in a much purer way than we would do in the company of someone.

We do not have to answer to anyone, since we should not communicate with anyone; that we understand ourselves is enough for us.

In solitude, great ideas appear that we do not have to reject because of shame or because they are not understood at first. If they fit well in our mental schemes, they are already valid. And, if not, many times too.

Maybe that's why great geniuses like Leonardo DaVinci. Charles Darwin or Friedrich Nietzsche valued loneliness so much. In the end, the greatest intellectual advances are always a renunciation to follow the path of thought that others have marked.

Creating creative revolutions is just that, breaking molds. Not to please others , but because the ideas we have had are so powerful that, if they give us a choice between social conventions and them, we decide on the latter. But that can only be done if we respect our thoughts enough to give them a few moments alone, so that they can unfold without distractions of a social nature.

Creating great connections

The mind functions as a machine to associate ideas; creativity comes when we think of joining several of those that seem to have less in common with each other. It is clear that in order for these connections to take place, we need to relate to others; among other things, because otherwise we would not have a language with which to articulate abstract ideas.

But, to complete the circle, we also need solitude. First, to rest, and secondly, to go cultivating a way of seeing life that is unique and really our , through introspection.


The Common Character Trait of Geniuses | James Gleick (November 2021).


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