8 unexpected traits of people who thrive in solitude

When it comes to “getting shit done” we all have different styles.

Some people love group learning and highly-collaborative projects. They feel at home when working in large (loud) teams.

While others prefer to fly solo (I know I do).

And there’s no right or wrong. The point here is to find out what works best for you and embrace your individuality.

How do you know?

Well, check out these 8 traits of people who thrive in solitude.

If they sound familiar, chances are you’re one of us!

1) Deep-thinkers (sometimes over-analyzers)

Here’s a simple fact.

When you’re at a party, you’re constantly bombarded with external stimulation. Whether it’s an interesting discussion, a heated argument, loud music, or even subconscious sexual chemistry.

All these distractions mean one thing.

You don’t have time to think on a deep level. Doing so would distance you from the group and look extremely awkward!

People that thrive in solitude LOVE to go deep with their thoughts. This is why social events can be extremely draining. They make it hard for you to drift off into your own internal dialogue.

Now here’s the thing.

Sure, at a party it can be tiring. But when you’re alone, you can unleash those analytical powers to really hit your full potential.

2) Not needing constant validation

When you boil it down, it’s really all about self-assurance.

And society often mistakes boisterous brash behavior for confidence, when in reality, it often means the complete opposite.

Rambunctious types that love being the center of attention are usually seeking validation due to insecurities.

They NEED others to laugh at their jokes or appreciate their ideas.

I’m generalizing here.

But if you’re happy to sit back and let others talk, it could actually mean you’re more secure. You don’t constantly need your ego stroked.

This allows you to do just fine when left in isolation.

3) Extremely creative

Here’s a question for you.

What do Jimi Hendrix, Vincent van Gogh, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein all have in common?

They were all extremely creative introverts and loved working in solitude.

As it turns out, being creative goes hand-in-hand with isolated working. And it makes perfect sense if you think about it.

When you’re alone, you have the optimal environment for creative thinking. You can fully immerse yourself in your thoughts and ideas without distractions. This can lead to pioneering new breakthroughs, artistic masterpieces, and innovative solutions.

Creative work can’t be forced or rushed. Sometimes ideas just come to us at the most unexpected moments.

Ever heard of the shower effect?

There’s even a whole subreddit dedicated to shower thoughts.

Hint: eureka moments often happen in the shower because it’s the one thing we do every single day, in complete isolation!

4) Heightened perception

Do you like people-watching?

Because one absolutely obvious sign that you thrive in solitude is an amazing ability to perceive the world around you.

By not constantly clamoring for attention, you get pretty good at chilling out and simply observing.

It becomes like a hobby.

You’ll notice subtle details that many others will overlook.

Perhaps you’re the first person to spot someone is upset, or you’re quick to realize that a heated debate is turning into a potentially violent situation.

Let’s talk about cause and effect here.

Because heightened perception is a consequence of being totally fine with sitting back and letting others do the talking.

All this practice over the years can make you into a great listener, with the capacity to almost read the minds of those around you.

5) Excellent communication skills

traits of people who thrive in solitude 1 8 unexpected traits of people who thrive in solitude

This sounds counter-intuitive right?

Introverts are supposed to be the shy reserved types that can’t hold a conversation.


Just because you don’t necessarily enjoy big social events, doesn’t mean that you can’t effectively communicate.

On the contrary. By spending more time self-reflecting you get pretty good at formulating your thoughts and feelings.

Rather than just ‘winging it’ you prefer to plan out what you want to say, ahead of time. Resulting in a perfectly articulated idea or point when you do choose to interact with others.

6) Clear direction and a sense of purpose

Do you know what makes you tick?

Having an understanding of what you like and dislike is a trait associated with an ability to work well in isolation.

In other words, you’re independent.

You want to focus on your passion without getting side-tracked by others.

People that prefer working in teams like relying on other people’s opinions. Whereas people that thrive in solitude are less influenced by external viewpoints and have learned to trust their own instincts and judgment.

7) Comfortable with silence

Whether around friends, with your partner, or alone, one big giveaway that you can thrive in solitude is if you LOVE silence.

Even music can be distracting!

Especially if you’re taking on a particularly challenging task and want ultimate focus.

The thing is, you not only enjoy silent moments, but you’re completely comfortable with them.

They’re normal for you. They allow you to relax with your own thoughts. Go deep and creative without any distractions. Silence is like a spa day for your mind.

It’s not the case for everyone.

More extroverted social types tend to proactively avoid quiet situations. Possibly because they’re less comfortable being left with their own thoughts or feel lonely.

This leads nicely to our final point in this list.

8) Embrace the awkward

What is social awkwardness?

Embarrassment. Feeling uneasy. Hard to deal with. 

What causes it?

Well, silence might be one thing. Saying something inappropriate might be another.

But ultimately, it’s the elephant in the room that signals you’d rather be somewhere else (for all kinds of different psychological reasons).

If this sounds like you, rest assured – we all have moments of social anxiety from time to time.

Embrace it, try to relax and be yourself, and remember, it might just make you a superhero when it comes to working in solitude.

Picture of Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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