Not everyone can be outgoing. Some of us prefer to be alone, and that’s okay too. Research shows there are so many reasons why being alone (and liking it) isn’t such a bad thing!
Every individual has a variety of ideas, characteristics, perspectives and preferences unique to them. If you find yourself having a difficult time finding common ground with outgoing individuals (life of the party, natural-born leaders, always wanting the spotlight types) it might be because you can’t relate to them. Not every person enjoys having the attention solely on them or feels the most comfortable in a group setting. Some prefer to have more intimate conversations or deeper relationships and aren’t able to find that with many people. If you’re someone who finds yourself avoiding large crowds or group settings and feel most comfortable when you’re alone with your own thoughts, you might be an introvert.
The problem with being an introvert is we’re currently living in a society that promotes opening your life to others, no matter how constructed it may be through outlets such as social media. Introverts are often greeted with stereotypes and are misunderstood by others, making it hard for them to see their nature as something positive. However, according to Psychology Today, these stereotypes aren’t accurate. People who prefer to be alone may be introverted, but the negative connotations associated with being introverted are far from the truth. People who can appreciate and enjoy being alone actually possess a strength, confidence, and understanding of themselves that extroverts might not possess. Often times, this ability to enjoy being alone is actually because they have a better sense of self.
Sometimes we’re made to feel like being alone is weird or wrong. Society projects the idea that the “average” or “normal” person should want to socialize, be around people and make as many friends as possible. This is a common perception reinforced by society. For those who do enjoy being alone, maybe even more so than being around people, their lack of desire to socialize or build multiple relationships can become confusing for not only them but the people around them.
However, we’re here to give you introverts some good news. You’re not the only one and it’s not weird! Although socializing can be important, and relationships can be healthy and beneficial, there’s actually a ton of benefits and personality traits people that enjoy being alone also gain by taking that extra time for themselves. In case you don’t believe us, here are 21 reasons why wanting to be alone can actually be good for you:
1. Increased Emotional Strength – People who like to be alone are able to better accept, understand and identify their emotions because they spend more time observing and evaluating their own thoughts and feelings. Because they’ve taken this extra time to understand their emotions, they have a better sense of how to deal and manage them. Having this ability to better understand, handle and channel your emotions in a positive way is not only empowering, but it’s also a sense of strength that many don’t take the time to create and build upon.
2. Naturally Empathetic – Studies suggest that people who prefer to be alone are more in touch with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others around them, making them more empathetic. This awareness of others emotions as well as their own allows them to not only empathize but show more compassion for those around them. Empathetic people are able to identify, acknowledge and experience the feelings of others, which can increase their sensitivity towards other human beings and allow them to care about people on more than just a surface level.
3. A Strong Moral Compass – Another benefit to people who prefer to spend time alone is they often have a better understanding of what they consider right and wrong. Because they’ve taken the time to analyze and determine their perspectives and moral beliefs, their moral compass is more developed than those affected and shaped by the opinions of others. This definitive moral compass also makes it easier for them to make decisions and be satisfied with the decisions they make.
4. They Are Open Minded – Even though some people would assume introverts are more likely to be close-minded because they’re not as affected or exposed to the opinions of others, many people who prefer solitude are actually very open to new experiences and different perspectives. People who enjoy spending time alone don’t automatically have a mind closed off to the ways of the world around them; they just choose to gather a better understanding of the world in different ways that suit their personality.
5. They Don’t Need Peer Acceptance – Considering modern society is so influenced by the internet and social media, feeling like we’ve gained the respect of our peers can become an overwhelming need we’ll do almost anything to satisfy. Popularity and acceptance have become one of the most pressing concepts we associate with success, and this can be a harmful measure of success to live by (particularly for our mental health). However, those who prefer to be alone feel this need less than those who get satisfaction out of attention and socializing because they’ve taken the time to get to know and understand their own sense of self. Because they have a better understanding of who they are, they’re better able to separate their self-worth from the views of others.
6. They Can Admit Their Flaws – People who prefer to be alone are more likely to be comfortable admitting their flaws and are more in-tune and okay with the fact that they’re imperfect beings. This goes back to the sense of self they gain from being comfortable with themselves and with being alone. Being able to own up to our flaws and faults is an important step towards positive personal growth.
7. They Prefer the Company of Other Intellectual People – Being comfortable with being alone allows many introverts to be more selective about who they choose to spend their time with. Because they don’t feel a constant or incessant need to be around many people, they value their time and can be more selective of how they choose to spend it. This is because they know that with or without the company of others, they’d be fine either way. As a result, many people who prefer to be alone are more likely to be uninterested in small talk or meaningless conversation and prefer people who match them intellectually and make for more challenging conversations.
8. They Value Their Time – We kind of got into this one in the previous point, but the reason people who enjoy being alone are more selective with the company they choose is that they value their time. People who prefer to spend time on their own understand the true value of time, an asset in our lives that many overlook or overshadow when among others. Not only do they value their own time, but they usually have more respect for the value and time of others.
9. Strong Sense of Intuition – People who prefer to be alone are more in-tune with their gut feelings and they trust them. Since they spend more time getting to know themselves, they are better able to understand, recognize and tap into their intuition and ultimately trust it.
10. They Are Highly Loyal – Because they are more selective about who they spend their time with, people who prefer to be alone are actually more likely to be loyal to the people they enjoy being around. They still understand the value of friendship, they’re just more selective about who those friends are. But fewer friends also means it’s easier to value and stay loyal to those friends.
11. They Are Independent – They’ve made a more defined line of when to reach out to others for help and when to depend on themselves. This line distinguishes between connecting with others and actual dependence. Learning to face the world on their own, people who enjoy their own company don’t need people as much as they choose to have them around.
12. They Have Well Thought-Out Opinions on the World – A misconception often associated with those that prefer to be alone is that they’re more likely to come off as being indifferent to outside or worldly matters, but that’s not actually the case. Actually, they’ve probably spent more time sitting back and assessing the world and have developed incredibly strong and well-thought-out opinions; they just don’t always choose to share them.
13. They Are Self-Aware – Those who prefer to be alone spend a great deal of time with their own thoughts, creating and developing a level of self-awareness incomparable to others.
14. They Radiate Kindness and Compassion – By stepping back and looking at the world around them and becoming more empathetic individuals, people that like to be alone are able to see the world from a kinder perspective, one that is more in-tune to the needs of those around them. This allows them to act on their compassion.
15. They Respect Healthy Boundaries – People who like to be alone understand the importance of clear, healthy boundaries to the benefit of both themselves and those around them. As a result, they’re more likely to respect the boundaries of others as well.
16. They’re Courageous – Because they’re comfortable with themselves, introverts aren’t afraid to stand up alone in the world, a form of courage not many possess. Their confidence can be confusing or off-putting to others, but is ultimately admirable. They’re less likely to feel defeated, give up or back down.
17. They’re Level-Headed – Their incredible awareness and ability to focus allows independent individuals to analyze a situation with a calm, rational, level-headed mindset and efficiently find a solution.
18. They Place Importance on Self Love – People who prefer to be in the company of others are more likely to forget to reflect on and value themselves. To find true happiness and form happy, healthy relationships, we need to have a clear understanding and appreciation of ourselves. Introverts take the time to find the reasons they love and appreciate themselves so they know why others should, too.
19. They Seek Meaningful Romantic Relationships – Those who prefer to be alone place a higher value on the importance of finding the right person because they’re not afraid of being single. They don’t waste time dating for the sake of company; if they’re dating you it’s because they see the potential. They also have a strong idea of what they’re looking for in a partner and will hold out until they find that person that fits their criteria.
20. They Are Aware of Their Strengths and Weaknesses – People who have a better understanding of themselves are less likely to be ignorant to their weaknesses, and less likely to feel the need to compensate for them by exaggerating their strengths. Being honest with yourself as to what your strengths and weaknesses are is crucial to your personal development.
21. They Are Highly Reliable – If they give their word that they are going to do something for you, they’ll follow through. They don’t volunteer their time for just anything so if they commit to something they will place value on that commitment.