GRE Issue Essay 144

“Spending time alone makes one a better companion to others.”

Who is termed as a good companion? A good companion is someone who keeps you happy, accompanies you, holds discussions on topics of common interest and is available for you whenever you want him to be with you. Can these traits be developed by spending most of your time alone? People who spend most of their time alone get used to a different kind of lifestyle in which they no longer prefer to be in the company of others. Therefore, it is obvious that someone who spends time alone cannot be a good companion for the others.

Everybody has different characteristics when it comes to their personality. A person may be an extrovert or an introvert depending upon how he interacts with others. If a person is an extrovert, but he has been spending most of his time staying alone, then this habit may probably not affect his capabilities as a good companion. This is because he will easily be able to adapt to the environment and mix up with others as per their requirements. However, if someone is an introvert and likes to stay all by himself, then it will be all the more difficult for him to develop the habits that are necessary in order to be a good companion.

Man is a social animal. He has to live in society and for that he has to learn the norms of society. A person will have to inculcate habits that make him acceptable and liked in a group of people. A person who stays aloof and rarely participates in any form of discussion is unlikely to be popular in his peer group. One learns a lot by interacting and discussing with others. If you are more interested in spending time alone, it may not be possible for you to be aware of what is happening in your family, neighborhood or peer group. Therefore, if you are asked to accompany someone, you will probably be lost when it comes to discussing the latest events in the neighborhood. In addition, you may probably not be proficient in team games, thereby limiting the contributions you could make as a good companion. If you have the habit of staying alone, then you will probably be uncomfortable accompanying others to parties and get-togethers.

This does not mean that someone who likes to be alone most of the time cannot be friends with others. It is likely that such people form long lasting relationships with others who share their interests and who have similar habits. However, generally speaking, staying alone makes a person susceptible to becoming an introvert and he rarely likes to socialize with others. Such people find it difficult to strike a conversation with others and they feel uncomfortable in noisy groups. They may be good companions for people who like to be clam and quiet, but it is not necessary that they will be good companions for all types of people.

Let’s consider a scenario wherein you have two neighbors. The first one likes to spend his time alone and the second one is an extrovert who has a large friend circle and who is lively and talkative. If you are sitting alone at home on a holiday and you want some company, whom would you call over: the first one or the second one? You may probably not even know the name of the first one as he is aloof from the others. Moreover, you will have a doubt that he might not come over even if you call him. On the other hand, you may probably look forward to calling over the second one as you would be sure that your boring day will be made interesting by spending it with your second neighbor. Hence, this example justifies the conclusion that spending time alone seldom makes people better companions for others.