People who genuinely enjoy being alone have these 10 personality traits, according to psychology

There’s a stark contrast between those who simply cope with being alone and those who truly relish it.

This difference boils down to personality traits. Those who genuinely enjoy solitude aren’t just making the best of a quiet situation – they’re thriving in it.

According to psychology, there are certain characteristics these solitude-lovers share. And, as an avid people-watcher, I’ve noticed that these traits show up time and again in those who prefer their own company.

Let me share with you the 10 personality traits that often crop up in those who genuinely enjoy being alone. Trust me, they’re not what you might expect.

1) Self-sufficiency

Those who genuinely enjoy being alone often have a trait that’s quite admirable – self-sufficiency.

Self-sufficiency means that they are independent, and they don’t rely on others to make them happy. They find joy in their own company and don’t feel the need to constantly be surrounded by others.

This personality trait of self-sufficiency can be traced back to the teachings of Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung. He once said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

People who love their own company are often doing just that – becoming who they truly are, without any external influences. They’re not using other people as a crutch for their happiness, but finding it within themselves.

Self-sufficiency doesn’t mean they shun all social interaction. They just simply cherish their alone time and use it to self-reflect and grow.

2) Appreciation for introspection

People who truly enjoy being alone often have a deep appreciation for introspection. They value the quiet moments that allow them to reflect on their thoughts and feelings.

Take me as an example. I’ve always been one to seek out solitude in order to better understand myself. Whether it’s taking long walks in the park or simply sitting quietly with my thoughts, these moments of introspection have led me to some of my most profound realizations.

Sigmund Freud once said, “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.”

This rings true for those who enjoy their alone time. It is in solitude that they can be entirely honest with themselves, reflect on their actions, and gain a deeper understanding of their own emotions.

Introspection isn’t about overthinking. It’s about self-discovery and growth, and people who like being alone often have this characteristic in spades.

3) Comfort in their own skin

Let’s be honest, not everyone finds comfort in solitude. But those who truly enjoy being alone? They’re comfortable in their own skin.

They don’t need constant validation from others to feel good about themselves. They’re content with who they are and aren’t afraid to be themselves, even if that means being different.

Just think about it – it takes a certain degree of self-acceptance to be alone and be okay with it.

Carl Rogers, a noted American psychologist, once said: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

This captures the essence of those who thrive in solitude. They have accepted themselves as they are, and this acceptance gives them the power to grow and change in meaningful ways.

In a world where we often compare ourselves to others, finding comfort in our own skin is a trait worth cultivating, and it’s one that people who enjoy being alone often embody.

4) Openness to new experiences

People who enjoy their own company often exhibit a trait I personally admire – openness to new experiences.

Just because they value solitude doesn’t mean they’re resistant to trying new things. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They’re often the ones who are eager to step out of their comfort zones, whether it’s trying a new hobby, learning a new skill, or exploring a new place all by themselves.

I’ve found this to be true in my own life as well. My love for solitude has led me to embark on solo trips and pursue interests that I might not have explored otherwise.

This trait aligns with the words of famous psychologist Abraham Maslow who said: “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.”

Those who enjoy being alone are often willing to step forward into growth, embracing new experiences with an open mind.

While they might cherish their alone time, they’re not confined by it. Instead, they use it as a launching pad for personal growth and self-discovery.

5) Strong sense of empathy

Now, here’s something you might not expect. People who enjoy being alone often have a strong sense of empathy.

Yes, you heard that right. Even though they value their solitude, it doesn’t mean they’re disconnected from others. In reality, their alone time often cultivates a deep understanding and compassion for the feelings of others.

Why? Because they’ve taken the time to understand themselves, which in turn allows them to understand others better.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman, known for his work on emotional intelligence, once said: “Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion.” Those who enjoy their solitude are far from self-absorbed. Their introspective nature allows them to develop a strong sense of empathy, making them more attuned to the feelings and needs of others.

While it may seem counterintuitive, their love for solitude can actually enhance their relationships with others. Quite the paradox, isn’t it?

6) High level of creativity

People who enjoy being alone often exhibit a high level of creativity. The solitude offers them the space to explore their thoughts, leading to unique ideas and imaginative solutions.

Their alone time serves as an incubator for their creative endeavours, allowing them to explore ideas without interruption or influence from others.

This echoes the words of psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who said: “A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside,’ just by changing the contents of consciousness.” Those who enjoy being alone often harness this ability to create a rich inner world, which fuels their creativity.

While they might be physically alone, they’re often in great company with their innovative ideas and artistic expressions.

7) Ability to set boundaries

In my experience, people who enjoy being alone often have a well-defined sense of personal boundaries. They respect their own needs and aren’t afraid to assert them.

They understand that their alone time is crucial for their wellbeing, and they make it a priority. This ability to set boundaries is a sign of self-respect and self-care.

This aligns with the wisdom of psychologist Dr. Brené Brown, who said, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”

While they might enjoy their own company, people who love solitude also know how to maintain a healthy balance between alone time and social interactions. They’re not afraid to say no when they need to recharge and spend some time alone. And there’s something truly empowering about that.

8) Resilience in the face of adversity

Let’s face it, life is not always a bed of roses. And people who enjoy being alone show remarkable resilience in the face of adversity.

They’re well-equipped to weather life’s storms because they’ve spent time alone, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, evaluating their reactions to different situations, and learning how to comfort themselves.

In the words of psychologist Albert Ellis: “The art of love is largely the art of persistence.” This can be applied not just to relationships with others, but also to the relationship with oneself. Those who relish solitude persist in loving and understanding themselves, which builds resilience.

Their alone time equips them with the tools they need to navigate life’s challenges. It’s raw, it’s honest – and it’s incredibly empowering.

9) Enjoyment of social interactions

Now, this might sound counterintuitive, but people who enjoy being alone often relish social interactions as well.

Yes, solitude might be their preference, but it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate or enjoy the company of others. In fact, their time spent alone often enhances their social experiences.

As psychologist Carl Jung once remarked, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Those who enjoy their solitude often find this transformation exhilarating. They bring their whole self to their social interactions, making them more meaningful and rewarding.

So while they might cherish their alone time, they also acknowledge the value and joy of connecting with others. It’s all about balance.

10) Clarity of thought

Lastly, but certainly not least, people who enjoy being alone often have an impressive clarity of thought. I’ve found this to be true in my own life as well. My time spent in solitude allows me to clear my mind and focus on my thoughts without distraction.

This clarity gives them a unique perspective on life and enhances their decision-making abilities. They’re able to filter out the noise of the world and concentrate on what truly matters to them.

As cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on decision making, once said, “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.” Those who enjoy solitude are often able to distinguish between the two because they take the time to reflect and understand.

Their clarity of thought is a testament to the power of solitude and the insights it can bring.

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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