As someone who has lived with many different people, I can say with great certainty that, with a few exceptions, I would rather live alone.
It’s not because I hate all people, but I do better alone than always surrounded by others.
As an introvert and an empath, I like to control my social interactions. I hate having a full-blown conversation as soon as I wake up, and I often like to sit in silence.
Of course, society has several words for this – loner, hermit, and so on.
However, I firmly believe that being comfortable with living alone has great power – and science thinks so too!
Here are nine wonderfully unique qualities of people who can live alone without getting lonely…
1) They enjoy their own company
For many people, life is much better when they are around other people.
They quickly get bored and uncomfortable alone, so they fill their schedule with many social events to avoid solitude.
But for introverts, it’s the opposite.
They genuinely enjoy being alone and prefer it to being in groups.
Introverts enjoy their own company as much as extroverts enjoy socializing.
While extroverts would cringe at going to a restaurant or the cinema alone, introverts do so with ease.
Because they are their own best friends.
Because they find their own company enjoyable rather than unnerving, they can stay alone for extended periods without getting bored or lonely.
Being comfortable with their own company goes hand in hand with being comfortable in their skin, which brings me to the following trait…
2) They have a healthy self-image
If someone has a low self-image or struggles with feeling worthy, they will constantly be battling harmful thoughts from their inner critic.
Being around people helps to drown out the inner critic, but being alone amplifies it. So, of course, they choose the former.
Someone who can live alone without getting lonely has a positive inner dialogue.
They are comfortable and accepting of who they are, so they are not constantly beating themselves up for not being good enough or trying to escape themselves.
This peaceful inner feeling allows them to go deeper into their thoughts, resulting in the following trait…
3) They have a rich inner life
Because of their healthy self-image, the mind of someone who likes living alone is a nice place to be.
So rather than trying to get out of their heads, they will typically choose to spend a lot of time in it.
Moreover, studies have found that introverts are deeper thinkers than extroverts.
In this 2012 study, researchers examined the brains of introverts and extroverts.
They discovered introverts have larger and thicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortex.
Grey matter is linked to abstract thought processes and decision-making, among other things.
So introverts are more likely to:
- Process information and events internally
- Reflect more on their thoughts and feelings
- Engage in introspection more regularly
Because they are so in their heads, it makes sense that they prefer to live alone, as solitude allows them to go within and explore their rich inner life.
4) They find other people draining
Introverts gain energy from being alone, not from being with others. Thus, often, living with someone can leave an introvert constantly exhausted.
Introverts need ample time to recharge after socializing and even interacting with strangers. So, they often prefer to come home to an empty house where they can adequately recover from the day’s events.
However, there are some exceptions. Many introverts, myself included, can enjoy living with another like-minded soul.
We gain a very different energy from being around a fellow introvert we know on a close level, compared to extroverts or people we don’t know well.
For example, I prefer to live with my partner, a fellow introvert, as living with him feels as comfortable as living alone.
However, I know I could not live with my extroverted friends or multiple family members.
One reason for this is that the more people in the house, the more noise there will likely be, which brings me to the next trait of people who live alone without getting lonely…
5) They prefer quiet environments
People who choose to live alone enjoy the peace that solitude brings.
Too much noise can quickly become too much for them, whether from people talking, loud music, or even doors constantly opening and closing.
These people often also prefer the quietness of their home to the loudness of the world outside.
To them, the noise from outside is just as draining as engaging with people.
So they like their home to be a peaceful sanctuary that they can retreat to and disconnect from the world.
6) They are highly independent
Another common trait among people who live alone without getting lonely is independence.
Not only do they enjoy being alone, but they excel at it.
They are self-sufficient people who can do anything they need to do for themselves.
Therefore, they don’t rely on others for anything, so they have no reason to have others around.
I’m both an introverted and highly independent person, and my independence comes from the fact that I would rather figure something out myself than have to interact with someone to ask for assistance.
As a result, people who like living alone often become ‘Jack of all trades’ and excellent problem solvers.
Research supports this, too, as the increased gray matter found in introverts’ brains directly links to problem-solving.
And problem-solving is connected to the following trait…
7) They are creative
While both introverts and extroverts can be highly creative, many people who choose to live (and work) alone possess this trait.
Living alone allows creative people to focus on their creative pursuits without noise or distractions.
What’s more, creative people often prefer to stay home and work on their craft than go out and socialize.
Susan Cain (author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking) explains this…
She says, “Introverts prefer to work independently, and solitude can be a catalyst to innovation.”
Psychologist Hans Eysenck backs this up, as he observed that introverted people can better concentrate their energy on the tasks at hand.
8) They prioritize self-care
Along with prioritizing creativity, many people who live alone prioritize self-care.
Unlike extroverts who struggle to do quiet, solo activities like meditation, journaling, and yoga, introverts love it.
Moreover, living alone gives them ample time to engage in self-care activities, free from distractions.
And remember I said how an introvert’s best friend is themselves?
Self-care is a way for them to nurture and strengthen their relationship with their best friend.
Their healthy self-image also means they are more likely to want to take care of themselves.
This doesn’t mean they are selfish or self-centered, but rather self-loving.
This focus on self-care is one of the reasons why research has found connections between introversion and decreased mental well-being.
9) They’re empaths
According to Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, most empaths are introverts.
Therefore, many people who can live alone without getting lonely are highly empathetic.
What does this mean?
As Orloff explains…
“While most people feel empathy for others, empaths are susceptible to the emotions and energy of others. They feel everything, sometimes to the extreme. They also struggle to protect themselves from absorbing negative energy.”
This means the people around them can easily alter an empath’s mental and emotional state.
For example, if you’re an empath and your partner wakes up in a bad mood, you will also be in a bad mood.
Because of this, many empaths prefer to live alone.
People who like being alone are often labeled shy, socially awkward hermits. However, there is great power in embracing solitude.
Solitude fosters introspection, creativity, and self-love.
Moreover, choosing to be alone often means you are comfortable in your skin and do not need validation or acceptance from others.
So, if you identify with the traits above, know there is nothing wrong with you. Embrace and appreciate your uniqueness and the gifts it brings.
Lastly, I want to point out that just because you like living alone doesn’t mean you will do it for the rest of your life.
Living with the right fellow empath, whether a romantic partner or friend, can feel just as comfortable and enjoyable as living alone.
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