If you’ve ever met someone who seems perfectly content in their own company, you might have wondered about their secret.
As an introvert with a circle of similarly inclined friends, I’ve noticed how often people confuse our love for solitude with loneliness.
Contrary to popular belief, enjoying one’s own company doesn’t equate to being a loner. In fact, for many of us, solitude is a cherished state where we find peace, creativity, and profound happiness.
In this article we’ll explore 8 behaviors that reveal when someone genuinely enjoys being alone, shedding light on the misunderstood world of introverts who find solace in solitude.
1) They have solo hobbies
Picture this: a quiet evening, a cup of tea in hand, and a book that beckons with untold stories. Or perhaps, a solitary hike where every step is a conversation with nature.
This is the realm of those who find joy in solo hobbies. Unlike the loud buzz of group activities, these hobbies provide a sanctuary for deep reflection and personal growth.
For me, it’s writing — a way to weave thoughts into stories. My introvert friends find similar solace in activities like painting, gardening, or playing a musical instrument.
These aren’t just pastimes; they’re intimate moments where we connect with our inner selves. Solo hobbies are like secret gardens, where we cultivate our creativity and recharge our spirits away from the world’s hustle.
They’re not about escaping reality but embracing a side of ourselves that flourishes in quietude.
Each stroke of the brush, each note, each word written is a testament to the serenity and fulfillment found in solitude.
2) They feel comfortable in silence
When you’re with someone who’s at ease in their own quiet world, you’ll notice something unique: their comfort with silence.
They don’t feel the need to fill every moment with chatter. Walking side by side with them, you might find they’re content to be lost in thought, appreciating the stillness that surrounds.
I’ve experienced this contrast firsthand. My partner and I visit the same massage therapist. While he enjoys engaging in lively conversations throughout his session, I find solace in the quiet.
Lying there, I let myself sink into a tranquil state, exchanging perhaps a handful of words at most.
This isn’t about being antisocial; it’s about savoring a kind of meditative relaxation that silence offers.
For those who relish solitude, moments like these aren’t empty; they’re rich with introspection and a deep connection to the present.
It’s in these pockets of quiet that we find our most profound moments of peace and clarity.
3) They are self-reflective
Self-reflection is a key trait of those who thrive in solitude. It’s not always visible, but you can catch glimpses of it in their habits and behaviors.
Journaling, for instance, is a common practice among my introverted friends and me. It’s our way of conversing with ourselves, of untangling the web of thoughts that constantly whirls in our minds.
You might also notice that we often seem deeply absorbed in our thoughts — so much so that the external world momentarily fades away.
It’s not uncommon for me to be so lost in contemplation that I miss someone calling my name or don’t immediately respond to a question.
This isn’t rudeness or distraction; it’s a sign of an active inner life. We introspect not to disconnect from the world, but to understand it and our place in it better.
And this self-reflection is essential for us; it’s how we process our experiences, emotions, and ideas, turning solitude into a meaningful, enriching experience.
4) They have a small but close-knit circle of friends
Those who relish their solitude often maintain a small, close-knit circle of friends.
It’s a deliberate choice, prioritizing depth over breadth in relationships. We seek connections that are more about quality than quantity.
This isn’t born from an inability to make friends, but from a desire for meaningful interactions.
In my life, I’ve found that having a few friends who truly understand me is far more rewarding than a large group of acquaintances. These are the people who ‘get’ me, with whom I can share unguarded moments and profound conversations.
And it takes time and effort to nurture such friendships; they’re built on layers of trust, understanding, and mutual respect. You naturally won’t be able to reach this level of depth with everyone — and if you tried to, you’d end up succeeding with no one.
In a world that often celebrates extensive social networks, we find solace in having a few strong bonds.
These relationships provide a comfortable space where we can be our authentic selves, adding value to our moments of solitude and our social interactions alike.
5) They have a strong sense of self
Ever wonder what makes the difference between someone who genuinely enjoys being alone and someone who finds it a nightmare?
It’s not merely about being introverted; it’s about how comfortable you are in your own skin.
People who love their own company often share a deep, positive relationship with themselves. They know who they are, embracing their strengths and acknowledging their flaws with a balanced perspective.
But this isn’t something they’re born with — just like relationships with others take time to develop, so does the one you have with yourself.
This can be through activities like meditation, where you quietly reflect on your thoughts and feelings, or through hobbies that allow for self-expression, like writing or painting.
These activities provide a window into your inner world, helping you understand your motivations, fears, and desires.
And when you know and appreciate who you are, you can become one of your most favorite people to spend time with.
6) They’re selective with social invitations
People who genuinely enjoy being alone often show it through their social choices, particularly in how they respond to invitations.
They don’t feel compelled to accept every social event; instead, they’re selective, prioritizing alone time or gatherings that genuinely resonate with them.
For instance, they might say yes to a book club meeting, where they can engage in meaningful discussions, but decline an invitation to a bustling party.
Of course, this is always done with grace and politeness — they understand the value of social connections but also know which environments are conducive to their well-being and recognize the need to honor their own preferences and limits.
And sometimes, even the most appealing gatherings might get a polite ‘no’, not out of disinterest, but from an awareness that they need time to recharge alone.
It’s important to notice the difference between this and someone who withdraws from society entirely due to depression or social anxiety.
Genuinely enjoying solitude is a conscious choice, an understanding of where they thrive best. It’s about finding balance and ensuring their social engagements are as fulfilling and authentic as their time spent alone.
7) They find meaningful ways to use their time
Unlike those who might feel lost or restless in solitude, those who love it see it as an opportunity to engage in activities that bring them joy and fulfillment.
Take a scene from ‘Gilmore Girls’, where Rory, with the house to herself, chooses to order her favorite takeout, do laundry, and focus on her homework rather than invite her boyfriend over.
It’s a simple scenario, yet it perfectly encapsulates how solitude can be a source of contentment. It’s not about grand gestures; it’s about the small, personal activities that make one feel happy and fulfilled.
In general, you’ll find that such people have a variety of interests and hobbies that they pursue in their alone time. This could be anything from reading and gardening to working on a DIY project or learning a new skill.
They use their solitude to delve into these interests, not as a way to distract themselves or kill time, but to enrich their lives and grow as individuals.
8) They tend to be independent
Independence manifests in various aspects of solitude-lovers’ lives, from decision-making to how they manage everyday tasks.
Unlike those who constantly seek guidance or affirmation from others, these individuals are comfortable charting their own course.
Their independence is evident in how they handle life’s challenges. Instead of immediately turning to others for solutions, they first attempt to resolve issues on their own.
This doesn’t mean they never seek help or advice, but rather that their first instinct is to rely on their own judgment and abilities.
You’ll also notice their independence in daily activities. They might prefer solo travel, exploring new places at their own pace, or enjoy solo dining, relishing the freedom to savor their meal without the need for conversation.
Even in mundane tasks like shopping or running errands, there’s a sense of self-reliance and contentment in doing things alone.
Embracing the solitude spectrum
Recognizing and appreciating those who find joy in solitude is about understanding their unique traits and choices.
From their selective social engagements to their independent nature, these behaviors are not signs of loneliness but of a deep-seated comfort in their own company.
If you see these traits in someone or even in yourself, know that it’s a reflection of a fulfilling relationship with solitude. It’s about finding balance, peace, and joy in one’s own presence, a journey that’s as rewarding as it is personal.
Embrace the solitude spectrum; it’s a path to self-discovery and contentment.