5 lessons from What a Time To Be Alone

This book is beautifully written. It is straight to the point, just how I like books. It covered a range of topics people struggle with, without getting into much detail. It leaves the reader reflecting on what has been written.

  1. Your victim mentality is why you are stagnant

This is something that I have come to believe. I have spent the last year or so, working on removing the victim mentality. We often forget that our lives are ours to manage. The moment you view yourself as a victim, you stop fighting forward. You put a barrier to finding solutions and you put the blame elsewhere. It becomes the world is against me, what can I do? Rather than, sometimes things don’t go our way but the only thing we can do is to keep pushing. Victim mentality breeds entitlement, and entitlement just brings a whole lot of mis-directed anger.

2. I don’t owe anybody pretty

I have never been a person that likes wearing make up or particularly fashionable. I just used to feel like the world expected me to look a certain way. If I wasn’t dressed up or wearing make up, then I was letting myself go. The truth is I prefer not wearing make up and I enjoy dressing up for occasions, not everyday. I am perfectly content with dressing comfortably, however there is a small nudge at the back of my mind that says, I should conform to society. This book taught me that I don’t owe anyone pretty, I just need to be happy within myself. I am not here for anyone’s amusement or consumption. I don’t owe anyone pretty, I am good enough just the way I am, however I decide to show up.

3. If a person is withholding their vulnerability from it’s because their pride is more important than forming a bond with you.

This is something that resonated with me. I have always been a person that has been open about my feelings, thoughts and what is going on good or bad. I often struggle when some of the people close to me cannot share too. I used to think it was me, and kept telling myself, just because I share doesn’t mean I should expect them to share with me. But this book made me look at it differently. If someone cannot tell you when something is happening in their life, or simply allow you to be there for them, then remember their pride is more important than the bond you share. If you really think of the reasons why someone would struggle to open up with you its usual out of fear. Fear of being pitied/gossiped about/ personal image. They don’t trust you or your reaction enough for them to share. I have learnt to identify these people in my life and avoid believing my bond with them is important. They are unable to love me healthily because pride will always be a barrier. I too, shouldn’t expect much from them as a result.

4. Surround yourself with people who honour how you feel

Have you ever tried to open up to people and they didn’t hardly respond, and if they do it’s the simple brush off? You get to understand that the people only like you when you are happy, but if you are sad, you need to take it elsewhere. This book warns that being constantly surrounded by those people will make you feel like your emotions are being strangled. Sometimes it is because those people haven’t faced their own emotions, therefore yours are too much to bear at the time. Just learn to identify those people and allow yourself to not take it personal when they don’t respond to your emotions. Find others that can honour your feelings and are able to wait a little longer to understand you.

5. Recognise your privilege  

Privilege exists and in many shapes and forms. Whiteness, being pretty, wealth, born in developed country, intelligent etc. We all have our own privilege and it is important to identify it. There are others who wish to be in the same position as you. In recognising your priviledge you are able to be more understanding of other people. It will also help you recognise how society works and how you can better yourself by not being ignorant in your privilege. The more we learn, the more considerate we become.

What is your favourite lessons among these?


  1. This is a very thought provoking post. One of your points does resonate with me, the last one. I recently read. a book called The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh. I have read most of his books they are wonderful stories, usually sweeping historical fictions set in India, Burma, & China during the British Empire. He always has a diverse set of characters but must are Asian and he writes from the perspective of Asians living through these times. It really opened my eyes to the privilege that Europeans take for granted, and still take as a right. I live in Ireland which is not a racially diverse country and I have never thought about privilege, its always just been there. Your post made me think…thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am definitely adding that to my reading list. It’s interesting how we sometimes how we don’t recognise our own privilege because we have always had it or it might not be the privilege that we want.
      For me it’s the people who can’t be vulnerable around you that resonated with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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