13 signs you genuinely enjoy being alone (and actually prefer it that way)

Do you like your own company? 

If you’re so inclined, being alone is rewarding because it gives you the time and space to invest in yourself and explore your interests. Most people who choose to spend time alone are introverts at heart who are energized by the peace and quiet of solitude. 

The most important thing to remember is that there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting time alone. Living by yourself is often saddled with undeserved negative stigma, but taking the time to be alone and reflect helps a person increase their self-awareness, and more importantly, protect their peace.

Here are some common signs and behaviors that indicate you prefer being alone.

1) You’re emotionally independent 

If you’re emotionally independent, the input and opinions of others mean little to you. You’re quite capable of making your own choices without it being put to a vote or part of a group decision. 

You don’t look outside yourself for validation or acceptance because you know the only person’s approval you need is your own.

2) Enhanced creativity

Alone time is a perfect opportunity to nurture your creativity. When you’re not caring for or interacting with others, you can dedicate that time to exploring your creative side.

Research actually suggests that being alone can lead to changes in the brain that help fuel the creative process. One study found that those who tend to purposely withdraw to spend time alone also tend to be highly creative people.

Studies suggest that social isolation leads to increased activity in the neural pathways connected to our imagination. What one may lack in social interaction, one gains in creative freedom to fill that “void.”

3) You’re an introvert

If you consider yourself an introvert, you probably treasure your precious alone time. Introverts are more prone to suffer from overstimulation or sensory overload in social settings, making alone time their favorite time. 

So if you’re an introvert, welcome to the club, which is bigger than you think it is. We don’t hold meetings because that would defeat the purpose of being an introvert, but you can find solace in knowing you’re not the only one pretending to not be home when the doorbell rings.

For me at least, being introverted doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy going out on occasion or keeping up with my friends. I do, but on my own terms.

Like many people who love being alone, I can only handle social situations in small doses. When I know I have to attend an event, I make sure my calendar is empty the next day because I’ll need that time to recover from all that peopling.

So if you tend to retreat after socializing, know you’re not alone (even if you wish you could be!) 

4) No drama zone 

If you dislike drama, you may be super-selective about who’s allowed in your life in an attempt to avoid dealing with toxic friends

It’s crucial to know which of your social groups is most likely to create drama so you can run screaming in the opposite direction instead of getting sucked into a bunch of grief you want no part of. 

5) You like to watch

People who enjoy being alone look at ordinary situations differently than their more extroverted brethren. It’s fun to visit the local park and watch people play with their kids or their dogs. 

Watching other people do what they do is entertaining and enlightening. I like to make up elaborate backstories when I’m people-watching, but that could be the writer in me. 

6) You cherish your solo living space

If you ask me, having your living space all to yourself is like a dream come true. You can decorate any way you please, and when you leave something in a certain spot it will still be there when you return for it. 

For that alone, a solo living arrangement is beyond awesome. 

7) You can do what you want when you want 

When you live alone, you can indulge in all the things that make you truly happy without putting someone else out.

For example, you, and only you, get to choose the film for movie night. You don’t have to feel guilty forcing someone else to watch what you want, and you don’t have to suffer through a movie you’re not interested in. 

If you want to listen to the same song on repeat (like I do) there’s no one rolling their eyes or begging for mercy. Living solo means living authentically. You don’t have to hide or apologize for your quirks. 

If you decide to go out for a drink, you’re free to do so. Do you feel like pulling an all-nighter binge-watching old Simpsons episodes? There’s no one stopping you.


8) You’re content

If you’re happy with your current stage of life, being alone may suit you perfectly. In fact, the very reason you’re presently content could very well be your autonomy.

When you’re engaging with others, you need to make compromises to incorporate the other person’s desires. If you’d rather not have to factor in another person’s needs, you might be happier remaining alone.

9) No extra stimulation required

Extroverts feed on being around people, but you don’t need to be surrounded by a crowd to feel energized. Constant interaction is overstimulation and not socialization to more introverted personality types.

Too much people-ing can be overwhelming for someone who prefers solitude. Being alone with your own thoughts and immersed in your interests is your happy place. 

This is how you refuel your psychic batteries and feel most comfortable in your own skin.

10) This could’ve been an email

If you feel dread when your boss schedules a last-minute meeting, or one of your friends is nagging you to come with them to a party, you just might be a loner. 

While you are (probably) OK with attending events planned out well ahead of time, last-minute plans are definitely not for you.

11) You work best alone

If you enjoy being alone, that solitude helps you laser-focus on the job at hand. No interruptions from others, or anything else that could disrupt your natural flow of energy and ideas.

This is totally me. I’m a writer. It’s my job and my favorite hobby rolled into one. And I prefer to be alone when I’m in creative mode.

12) Ew. Small talk.

You very much enjoy meaningful conversation but see no reason to talk just for the sake of talking.

When you ask someone a question, you’re genuinely interested in what your companion has to say. And, of course, you appreciate the same courtesy in return.

Gossip bores you, and stirring up trouble just for the sake of it is not for you. You have no patience for the toxic behavior many people indulge in as a matter of course. 

I know I go out of my way to circumvent situations where drama could factor in. And that means I avoid the people who tend to create said drama in the first place. 

13) Your phone is off

Owning a phone is for your convenience, not other people’s. This may drive some folks in your orbit crazy, but that’s their problem. My mother would lose it when I didn’t pick up the phone when she wanted me to. 

It was like a battle of wills. She refused to understand that I didn’t feel it necessary to be at everyone’s beck and call 24/7. 

You probably don’t feel compelled to constantly check your social media accounts for likes unless youre colossally bored, either. You’re happy to unplug and catch up whenever. 

I can tell you I don’t experience one iota of anxiety about missing out on anything because I know full well I’m not. If you love your alone time, I’m betting you feel the same way. 

Final thoughts 

Preferring to be alone is not a problem per se. Some of us function better as loners because it’s our natural tendency to do so. 

Choosing a life of solitude shouldn’t be viewed through a lens of negativity. It shouldn’t be cause for concern or seen as odd if someone consistently opts out of social engagements. We all have the right to live in a way that brings us contentment and joy.

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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