Have you noticed people in your life who enjoy solitude?
Maybe you’re even one of them.
Some may be more obvious, while with others it’s harder to tell. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that they share 10 common characteristics.
I’m definitely a person who enjoys solitude, and I recognize all of them in myself.
Want to know what they are? Let’s have a look.
1) They are highly independent and autonomous
Probably the most common characteristic of people who enjoy solitude is that they are super independent and autonomous.
This may be most obvious in the sphere of work. They work well alone and don’t need a lot of guidance to figure out what to do.
They can of course still work well in a team, and give a helping hand when needed. But they certainly don’t need anyone to hold their hand, and if given the choice they often choose to work solo.
You can see this in other areas of their life too, though. When they make decisions, they consult other people’s opinions less often — or when they do, they take it with a grain of salt.
I developed a lot of independence myself exactly because I preferred solitude — I didn’t want to have to run to someone else whenever I ran into an issue.
So I tried to work it out myself, and got pretty good at being autonomous.
2) They value time
What is more valuable to you, time, money, or things?
Most people who enjoy solitude would say time. They understand what a precious resource it is, and know it shouldn’t be wasted.
That’s why they are very choosy with how they spend it, and in particular who they spend it with.
Rather than do something they don’t enjoy, they find a way to use time productively on their own, whether it’s working on their goals or just having a well-deserved rest.
This respect for time extends to other people too. When they make plans, people who enjoy solitude tend to arrive on time or let people know immediately if they are running late.
And if they know they won’t make it, they will be upfront about this rather than giving a vague or noncommittal answer.
3) They don’t like small talk
People who are constantly surrounded by others find themselves having to chit-chat about all sorts of superficial topics with people who they don’t really know.
But people who enjoy solitude are spared having to do this — often because they avoid it.
I can attest to this myself. It’s not that I’m not good at small talk — I am. I can talk even for hours with a total stranger about topics that mean nothing at all to me.
But I really, really don’t enjoy it. I don’t see the point in having a conversation that will not deepen my bond with the person, and that won’t add anything at all to my life or theirs.
Deep conversations obviously don’t happen with just anyone.
So rather than fill it up with meaningless banter, some people would prefer to be alone.
4) They don’t like to be the center of attention
All eyes are on you, and everyone is watching what you’ll do next. This is the worst nightmare of a person who enjoys solitude.
They don’t like to be the center of attention. They really don’t need to be — they have no ambitions to be famous or even locally well-known.
For me, this is partially because I worry what others think about me, and so I’d rather spare myself the stress. If I’m not the center of attention, less people will have things to say about me.
But for others, this could be simply because being watched makes them uncomfortable.
Privacy is important to them, and they would rather be able to live life on their terms without having dozens of other people offer their unsolicited opinion.
5) They love to self-reflect
Solitude is very beneficial in some respects. The main one of these is that you have space to self-reflect, and therefore gain great self-awareness.
Obviously, it’s difficult to do it when there’s someone munching on chips or talking loudly on the phone next to you.
That’s why people who like to introspect and process their thoughts often retreat to a place where they can be alone.
Personally, this is the definition of a perfect evening for me. I love to kick back, journal, or put on some nice music and just let my thoughts flow.
6) They are easily overwhelmed
When I was a teenager, I had ambitions to be a “people person” and I tried to be sociable like all the popular extroverts at my school.
But the truth is, whenever I went to a party or some other event, I would end up retreating to a quiet corner, or talking to just one person who also seemed like they felt out of place.
It was just too much happening around me, and it drained my energy very quickly.
Eventually, I realized and accepted that I would rather enjoy solitude than spend time in crowded and noisy places.
This doesn’t mean these people don’t like being around people — on the contrary, I love hanging out with my friends.
But we would much rather do it in calmer locations where our senses have less to process.
7) They’re extremely loyal
Another common characteristic of people who enjoy solitude is that they’re extremely loyal.
They usually have a more narrow social circle, and focus on close friendships.
As a result, they develop a very high level of trust, and are truly there for their friends through both good times and bad.
This is often a quality that people who enjoy solitude actively and consciously work on. I certainly do.
I know loyalty is much more important to me than being considered “popular” or a social butterfly.
It is one of my most important values, and it helps guide my decisions whenever I feel uncertain.
8) They don’t hit it off with everyone
People who enjoy solitude have many wonderful qualities. But, only some people can bring them out or appreciate them.
The truth is, people who enjoy solitude just don’t hit it off with everyone, and they don’t necessarily want to.
I know I click with a rather small number of people. And I’m completely fine with that.
I’d rather find a few good friends who are truly a great match for my personality than have to juggle several dozen friends who I can barely keep up with.
I can usually tell pretty quickly if I will get along really well with someone. And if I don’t, I won’t waste their time.
9) They avoid drama
If there’s one thing people who enjoy solitude love avoiding, it’s drama.
Unfortunately, humans as a species seem to excel at creating drama. (Otherwise, we wouldn’t have so many reality TV shows!)
A lot of people I know end up gossiping about others when they hang out. I try to change the subject, but they keep coming back to it like moths to a flame.
So I end up disengaging and spending more time alone.
In fact, I even cross to the other side of the street when I see two people arguing, so that I don’t have to pass them. (As long as nobody seems to be in danger, of course).
And honestly, I believe this is a fantastic quality to have. If people focused less on talking behind others’ backs and one-upmanship, we could do a lot more good on this planet.
10) They are comfortable in their own skin
Lastly, people who enjoy solitude tend to be comfortable in their own skin.
They know who they are, and don’t like to pretend to be anyone else. They don’t need anyone else’s approval, or to pretend to be someone else for society’s sake.
I have to say there are two sides to this coin. I do feel very at ease in my own skin, but I also start feeling very self-conscious and awkward when I’m around others.
And that’s precisely why I enjoy solitude. I am able to relax and truly be myself, without trying to meet anyone else’s expectations.
The truth about enjoying solitude
Many times, people who enjoy solitude are branded as loners, or perhaps even outcasts.
But most of the time, this just isn’t true.
As you can see from the list above, people who enjoy solitude have many great characteristics, and good reasons for liking to be alone.
If you take the time to get to know them, you may realize that you can actually relate to this person very well.
And the bond you create with them can be all the deeper.