Benefit of social withdrawal: being alone can help boost your creativity: HEALTH: Tech Times



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People who are unsociable tend to think more creatively and get new ideas when they are alone. They can enjoy their isolation and use it creatively and productively.
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New research reveals that not all kinds of social isolation have negative effects. As a result, being unsociable is positively related to creativity.

Social retirement: the bad and the good

Over the years, many research studies have stated that social isolation or lack of social contact with peers has detrimental effects on mental and even physical health. In fact, it is estimated that more than 42.2 people over 40 in the United States suffer from chronic loneliness, which adds to what is called the "epidemic of loneliness."

However, the researchers found that not all types of abstinence have negative effects since they found that the unsociability is actually positively badociated with creativity. People who consider themselves unsociable tend to enjoy their time alone and can use it productively.

Shyness, avoidance, unsustainability

The researchers conducted a study of 295 participants who reported their personal motivations for social withdrawal. They also completed self-report measures on creativity, depressive symptoms, sensitivity to anxiety and aggression.

In the study, the researchers focused on the three subtypes of social withdrawal: shyness, which is social isolation by fear; avoidance, which refers to avoidance because they do not particularly like social interaction; and unsociability, which is a non-fearful form of social isolation. People who are unsociable simply prefer loneliness.

What they found was that while some showed overlaps in their type of social withdrawal, the three subtypes yielded different results. Perhaps the most striking is that, although shyness and evasion were negatively badociated with creativity, the unsociability was positively badociated with it.

Unsociability And Creativity

Researchers conjecture that while timid and evasive people do not particularly enjoy their loneliness and can not use time productively, unsociable people can enjoy it and use time in a productive and creative way.

Compared with timid and evasive individuals, unsociable people simply spend more time alone than with others, but do not particularly avoid being with their peers. That said, they get the right amount of socialization they need while enjoying their loneliness.

"They can think creatively and develop new ideas, like an artist in a studio or the academic in their office." Said Julie Bowker of the University of Buffalo, lead author of the study.

Motivation for social withdrawal

The common vision of social withdrawal is one that is surrounded by loneliness and negative consequences. However, researchers believe that to understand the possible risks and benefits of social isolation in a particular individual, it is important to understand their motivation to seek isolation. In recent studies, the unsociability is constantly shown as unrelated to the negative results related to shyness and avoidance, something that coincides with the results of the new research.

"The new findings that link it to creativity, we believe that unsociability can best be characterized as a potentially beneficial form of social withdrawal," Bowker said.

The study was published in Personality and Individual Differences.

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