No matter why you enjoy being alone, it doesn’t always have to mean you’re lonely.
Whether you’re a lone wolf, a misanthrope, or just like time to yourself, there might be some plus sides to solitary time, as long as you maintain a feeling of connection somewhere in your life.
What makes you enjoy being alone? What good can come from keeping to yourself? Let’s talk about why it’s helpful to be alone sometimes and when turning outward could be a better solution.
Why Some Enjoy Being Alone
Misanthrope or lone wolf, alone time might be an important part of your life. Any of the following (and more) are valid reasons to enjoy being alone — but also read on for suggestions to make connecting less inconvenient or bothersome.
You Hate Drama
Gossip and bickering seem petty and pointless. You wish people would be more mature and solve issues without the drama. And you certainly don’t want to be pulled into it.
Fix: Soap-opera dynamics don’t have to come along with a friend group. But connecting one-on-one can ensure you’re removed from the he-said-she-said.
Alternatively, you can be the model of sense for your group. Instead of enduring their drama, speak your mind to lead the group away from that kind of interaction.
People Annoy You Easily
The small things that others don’t notice bother you a lot. You find yourself holding back from pointing out mistakes or annoyances.
Fix: Sometimes you end up friends with people who don’t share your values, ideals, or standards. When they do things that highlight the mismatch, it feels annoying to us. This might be a good way to suss out which friends fulfill you, and which are better as acquaintances.
Other times, we get annoyed with others because they point out things we’d prefer not to think about. Try getting in touch with your authentic thoughts to see if that’s the case.
You Hate “Fakeness”
Speaking of authenticity: you wish everyone would stop throwing up a facade and just act as they really are. This is how you present yourself, and you want the same honesty from others.
Fix: What we don’t often see is what causes people to act “fake.” Most people-pleasing behaviors stem from childhood trauma, though the people pleasers may not even realize it, themselves.
Instead of fuming about their “fakeness,” try letting these people know they’re safe with you, and that they don’t have to be constantly nice or agree with you. It might take a while, but you might help them get in touch with themselves for the first time, ever! And that’s rewarding despite the effort.
You Don’t Relate To Anyone
When you do decide to try and make a friend, it’s hard to find someone you like. Nobody captures your attention, or you don’t really feel like hanging out is worth your time.
Fix: A lot of barriers can keep you from meeting “your people,” but your chances increase when you open yourself to the world. Express your honest feelings right when you meet someone – go ahead and make that comment you’re worried is nerdy. Or ask a personal question that’s burning through your brain.
It’s scarier to express yourself authentically than to agree with someone else’s controversial statement. So by taking that risk and letting out your real thoughts, you attract potential friends who think like you do!
The 4 R’s of Healthy Alone Time
While being lonely can have it’s perils, some benefits can come from occasionally spending time to yourself. Here are the four ways alone time can be helpful:
Especially after a breakup, we may need some time before restarting our dating attempts. It’s healthy to pause before diving back into a new relationship.
We can restart romantic relationships much more effectively, after we’ve had a healthy break from them. It’s easier to find a good dating match when you have a clear idea of who you are, alone.
Trauma can leave open wounds that take time to heal. Sometimes you just aren’t ready to dive back into social interactions where you have to cater to others.
Until you feel like your own needs are met, recovery is a priority. Just remember that others’ help is part of the recovery process. It’s ok to only talk about your struggle with people who make you feel safe and understood.
The constant bustle of social interactions can make it difficult to hear our own thoughts. In contrast, being alone can help you look inside and assess your own emotions in a healthy way. So sometimes, it’s ok to enjoy being alone just for the level of mindfulness you can achieve.
Work, school and daily life stressors can chip away at us. On the other hand, getting a little isolation can help us recharge.
This kind of alone time without responsibilities helps us connect with our thoughts, recharge our social energy, and return to the social world with full force.
Being Alone Is OK, As Long As It’s Your Choice…
The difference between feeling lonely and being alone is the choice.
Choosing between the two, in moderation, is the key. If you constantly opt for isolation, you may find it harder to reach out when you need it later.
The solution? Understand that humans are inherently social creatures. And that means you, too!
There are many benefits to being alone, but you must choose to balance isolation with quality connections with others. Start with baby steps, like texting or being yourself in online chat rooms.
You’ll eventually find a balance between your need for alone time and your need for a community.