Do you like your own company?
If you’re so inclined, being alone is worth it because it gives you the time and space to invest in yourself and explore your interests. Most people who choose to spend time alone are introverts who are energized by the peace and quiet of solitude.
The most important thing to remember is that there is nothing wrong with wanting time alone. Living on your own is often saddled with an undeserved negative stigma, but taking time to be alone and reflect helps one increase their self-awareness and, more importantly, protect their peace.
Here are some common signs and behaviors that indicate you prefer to be alone.
1) You are emotionally independent
If you emotional independent, the input and opinions of others mean little to you. You are very capable of making your own choices, without them being voted on or part of a group decision.
You don’t look outside yourself for validation or acceptance because you know that the only approval from the person you need is your own.
2) Enhanced creativity
Time for yourself is a perfect opportunity to nurture your creativity. When you’re not caring for or interacting with others, you can spend that time exploring your creative side.
Research actually suggests that being alone can lead to changes in the brain that help fuel the creative process. One study found that those who tend to purposefully withdraw to spend time alone are also highly creative people.
Studies suggest that social isolation leads to increased activity in the neural pathways connected to our imagination. What someone may lack in social interaction, they gain in creative freedom to fill that ‘void’.
3) You are introverted
If you consider yourself an introvert, you probably cherish your precious alone time. Introverts are more likely to experience overstimulation or overstimulation sensory overload in social settings, making time for themselves their favorite time.
So if you’re an introvert, welcome to the club, which is bigger than you think. We don’t have meetings because that would defeat the purpose of being an introvert, but you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one who pretends not to be home when the doorbell rings.
For me, being an introvert doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy going out every now and then or keeping in touch with my friends. I do, but on my own terms.
Like many people who enjoy being alone, I can only handle social situations in small doses. If I know I have to wait for an appointment, I make sure my agenda is empty the next day, because I need that time to recover from all those people.
So if you tend to withdraw after socializing, know that you’re not alone (even if you wish you were!).
4) No drama zone
If you don’t like drama, you may be super selective about who is allowed into your life in an effort to avoid dealing with toxic friends.
It’s crucial to know which of your social groups are most likely to stir up drama so that you can run screaming in the other direction instead of getting sucked into a pile of grievances you don’t want to be a part of.
5) You like to watch
People who like to be alone look at ordinary situations differently than their more extroverted brethren. It’s fun to visit the local park and see people playing with their children or their dogs.
Watching other people do what they do is entertaining and enlightening. I like to make up elaborate backstories when I’m people watching, but that might be the writer in me.
6) You cherish your solo living space
If you ask me, having your living space all to yourself is a dream come true. You can decorate it however you want, and if you leave something in a certain place, it will still be there when you return it.
For that reason alone, a solo living arrangement is beyond amazing.
7) You can do what you want, when you want
Living alone allows you to enjoy all the things that really make you happy without leaving anyone else out.
For example, you, and only you, get to choose the movie for movie night. You don’t have to feel guilty about forcing someone else to watch what you want, and you don’t have to suffer through a movie you’re not interested in.
If you want to listen to the same song on repeat (like me), there’s no one to roll their eyes or beg for mercy. Living solo means living authentically. You don’t have to hide or apologize for your quirks.
If you decide to have a drink, you are free to do so. Feel like binge-watching old Simpsons episodes all night? There is no one to stop you.
8) You are happy
If you are happy with your current stage of life, being alone may suit you perfectly. In fact, the reason you’re currently satisfied could very well be your autonomy.
When interacting with others, you must make compromises to accommodate the other person’s wishes. If you’d rather not have to consider someone else’s needs, you might be happier staying alone.
9) No additional stimulation required
Extroverts enjoy being around people, but you don’t have to be surrounded by a crowd to feel energetic. Constant interaction is overstimulation and not socialization to more introverted personality types.
Too much people-ing can be overwhelming for someone who prefers solitude. Being alone with your own thoughts and immersed in your interests is your happy place.
This way you recharge your psychological batteries and feel most comfortable in your own skin.
10) This could be an email
If you feel anxious when your boss schedules a meeting at the last minute, or when one of your friends nags you to go to a party with them, you might be a loner.
While you’re (probably) fine with attending events planned well in advance, last-minute plans are definitely not for you.
11) You work best alone
If you enjoy being alone, that solitude helps you focus better on the work at hand. No interruptions from others, or anything that might disrupt your natural flow of energy and ideas.
This is totally me. I am a writer. It’s my job and my favorite hobby in one. And I prefer to be alone when I’m in creative mode.
12) Eew. Cows and calves.
You really enjoy meaningful conversations, but see no reason to talk just for the sake of talking.
When you ask someone a question, you are genuinely interested in what your colleague has to say. And of course you appreciate the same courtesy in return.
Gossip bores you, and causing trouble just because it’s not up to you. You have no patience for the toxic behavior many people enjoy it as a matter of course.
I know I do my best to avoid situations where drama can come into play. And that means I avoid the people who tend to create this drama in the first place.
13) Your phone is turned off
Owning a phone is for your convenience, not others. This may drive some people around you crazy, but that’s their problem. My mother lost it when I didn’t answer the phone when she wanted me to.
It was like a battle of wills. She refused to understand that I didn’t think it was necessary to be available to everyone and call 24/7.
You probably don’t feel like you have to constantly check your social media accounts for likes unless you’re also extremely bored. You’re happy to unplug and catch up at any time.
I can tell you that I don’t experience an ounce of fear of missing out, because I know very well that this is not the case. If you love your free time, I bet you feel the same.
Preferring to be alone is not in itself a problem. Some of us function better as loners because it is our natural tendency to do so.
Choosing a life of solitude should not be viewed through a lens of negativity. It should not be a cause for concern or be considered strange if someone consistently opts out of social obligations. We all have the right to live in a way that brings us contentment and joy.
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