Solitude

Solitude

Jun 22 2018

Intro

Most of the time, we put everyone into two groups: either you’re a people person or you’re not. It’s usually easy to tell which group you’re in. If you like spending time with people, you’re the first. If you need to take a step back and be by yourself, you’re likely introverted.

It’s definitely not bad to spend time alone, though. While it may take discipline for social people to get away from the crowd, spending time creating calmness and awareness is not only healthy, it’s also important. We need time to relax, to meditate, and to think about what is important in life. When you’re always around other people, it can be hard to figure out life.

Why is Jessica feeling stressed? Discover what advice Rafael gives her in this English lesson about being alone.

Dialogue

Jessica: So, Rafael, I am a people person.
Rafael: You are?
Jessica: Yes. And I work alone. And lately, I’ve been really lonely and just stressed with work. So I’ve been trying to get my priorities straight and take a step back from all of my stressful work and really just try to find that peace and quiet again.
Rafael: Yeah, if you do things like that, if you meditate, you find your peace and quiet, it gives you a lot of calmness. It gives you a lot of focus, helps you get your priorities straight, that sense of awareness. Helps you step back from it all. Do you know what I’m saying?
Jessica: Yeah. Don’t you think it takes a lot of discipline, though, to be able to take a step back from all of the busy, daily life?
Rafael: It depends on who you are. I mean, me, for example. I’m super, super introverted.
Jessica: Are you?
Rafael: I wouldn’t say it takes me discipline. I would say it’s just a little more natural for me to be introspective all the time.
Jessica: All right. Well, I will try to focus on meditating and relaxing more.

Discussion

Jessica is a people person. She likes to be around other people all the time. Since she works by herself at home, though, she’s been feeling lonely and is starting to get stressed.

Rafael encourages Jessica to take a step back and focus on what’s important. He says that meditating, along with finding peace and quiet, can be good for clearing one’s mind.

Jessica agrees with Rafael, but it isn’t so easy for her. It takes hard work for her to spend time alone, thinking about her priorities, and managing her thoughts. It’s not natural for her, like it is for Rafael, but she’s willing to try.

Are you introverted or do you like spending time with people? What helps you create peace and quiet?

Grammar Point

Be Able To

Jessica asks Rafael if he thinks it takes discipline to “be able to take a step back” from one’s busy daily life. She wants to know if it’s hard for him to have the ability to spend time alone.

To be able to do something means to have the ability to do it. Be able to is sometimes used in place of can or could. Instead of, “I can’t go,” you might say, “I am not able to go.”

You can use be able to in any tense. Just change the tense of the verb be. For example, you can say, “I was able to see a movie last night,” or, “He will be able to visit me tomorrow.”

Which is correct, “I am able to go to the movies with you,” or, “I can go to the movies with you”?

Quiz

  1. What does Jessica say she is trying to do?

  2. How does Rafael describe himself?

  3. People who don’t have friends are probably __.

  4. Shelly can type 80 words per minute. Which sentence means the same?


See the full English lesson at English, baby!