Human beings are social creatures by nature. We live and grow in family units. We congregate in cities. We bond around common interests and hobbies. And yet, there are some people that society considers loners. These are people who tend to prefer solitude over social interaction. If you are a loner, it is okay. Really.
Modern society has done a good job of portraying loners as antisocial and abnormal. We have taken the stories of extremely antisocial people who have done bad things and apply them to all loners as if any person who prefers isolation is ultimately some kind of psychopath. But that’s not the case. There are mentally disturbed people on both ends of the spectrum – both social and antisocial.
Scientific research cannot quite explain why some people prefer to be loners. But data emerging within the last 10 years suggests there may be some benefits to living a loner lifestyle. So if you consider yourself a loner, do not let society convince you there’s something wrong with you. It is okay to prefer solitude. Doing so might actually help you live a better life.
Solitude and Creativity
The BBC published an informative post about the loner lifestyle back in 2018. The post cites more than half-a-dozen studies that seem to demonstrate some benefits of being a loner. The first cited study showed a link between solitude and creativity. Apparently, loners are more likely to be creative because preferring isolation and solitude promotes some of the key characteristics of creativity: originality, self-efficacy, and autonomy.
Not only are some of the most artistic people in the world genuine loners, but they also tend to do their best work in solitude. As a side note, another study cited by the BBC shows there is no definable link between unsociability – which is defined as a preference for solitude – and aggression. That is why creatives who prefer to be alone don’t tend to be aggressively antisocial.
More Inwardly Focused
The BBC went on to explain that loners tend to be more inwardly focused. Numerous studies suggest that this particular characteristic manifests itself in several ways. For example, loners tend to be less threatened by more aggressive personalities. They are more willing to listen; they have less of a need to be heard.
Along with that inward focus comes mental rest. Because loners prefer solitude, their brains have time to simply be still. In social situations, this is not possible. Loners often feel restless during social interactions because their brains would prefer to be still.
It Doesn’t Have to Be a Problem
The BBC piece goes on to talk about still other benefits of living the loner lifestyle. However, the point is made well enough. This post will close with an encouragement to loners to not beat themselves up over their desire for peace and solitude. It is okay. Your preference for being alone doesn’t have to be a problem.
If being a loner seems to be causing issues in your personal relationships, the counseling staff at Relationships & More in Westchester, NY suggest professional counseling. There are ways to account for every personality type in personal relationships. You and your significant other, or anyone else for that matter, can still have a healthy relationship even though your preferences for social interaction are different.
Being a loner is not a mental illness. It is not an abnormality. In fact, it might even be good for you. As long as your life isn’t one of full and complete social isolation, you’re good. Make use of your opportunities to socialize but don’t apologize for preferring to be alone. It’s okay. Really.