13 unique traits of people who actually enjoy time alone, according to psychology

There’s a common belief that introverts who love spending time alone must feel lonely, disconnected from others, or lack social skills.

But this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. 

In fact, people who love their alone time often experience a rich life and they’re also able to maintain very meaningful relationships. 

If you’re wondering how, keep reading.

We will break down the positive aspects of being alone and uncover the unique characteristics and strengths shared by individuals who enjoy solitude. 

Of course, as always, we will back these up with expert input.

Let’s start, shall we?

1) They like having control over their emotions

People who enjoy being alone aren’t anti-social.

They just find complete satisfaction within themselves.

What does this mean?

They don’t rely on others to feel happy or valued.

While most of society depends on social interactions to boost their mood or self-esteem, those who prefer being alone are comfortable and content with their own company.

They handle their emotions independently, which shows a strong sense of self-worth and emotional maturity. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Neel Burton also adds that aside from not needing others to feel happy, some people want to be alone by choice because solitude brings them more joy and less stress than socializing. 

2) They’re independent and self-sufficient

They don’t rely on others for their happiness and they also don’t like relying on others to get things done.

Don’t get me wrong. 

It’s not about pride. Because they do reach out when they absolutely need to.

What it’s really about is enjoying the challenge and fulfillment it brings when they accomplish something on their own.

Dr. Burton says this trait is beneficial because it builds resilience and problem-solving. 

And it makes sense, if you look at it this way:

When you’re used to figuring things out yourself, you become better at handling life’s ups and downs than those who might lean heavily on others for support.

3) They place a high value on their personal freedom

Personal freedom is non-negotiable for people who enjoy their time alone. 

For them, freedom means making decisions without external influence. 

They enjoy it because they don’t need to ask for permission or seek approval from others to live their lives the way they want.

Dr. Burton supports this thought, making reference to the philosopher Nietzsche who once said something like this:

“Without chances to be alone, people tend to just follow what society expects rather than thinking for themselves.”

And that’s not all. 

Dr. Burton also says that prioritizing our own freedom is a sign of good mental health, further proving that loners aren’t the mentally unhealthy individuals society sometimes paints them to be.

4) They spend time reflecting on their life

One stand out trait of people who enjoy being alone is their commitment to introspect. 

They don’t just go through the motions of life without grabbing the opportunity to reflect on how they felt and reacted to each of their life experiences. 

A lot of people avoid introspection because they find it uncomfortable. 

But for those who like to spend time alone, they embrace it as one of their tools for personal growth.

Dr. Burton supports this practice, saying that our “unconscious requires solitude to process and unravel problems”.

In short, self-reflection helps us clear our minds, process our emotions, and grow as individuals.

And that brings me to the next trait on this list:

5) They focus on personal growth rather than seeking social validation

People who love to spend time on their own are more often than not more interested in becoming the best versions of themselves rather than gaining the most likes on social media.

As we’ve touched on earlier, they are driven by their own standards and are less likely (if at all) to be influenced by external opinions.

What gives them satisfaction is their own progress and achievements, and that gives them more than enough drive to keep on pursuing self-improvement

Dr. Burton emphasizes the uniqueness in this sort of motivation sought by people who love to be alone:

Apparently, it gives one a sense of fulfillment that external validation cannot provide.

6) They’re often mature beyond their years

We’ve all met someone like this – the ones who think and speak with a level of wisdom beyond their age.

They’re the ones who are great to have deep conversations with and the ones who seem to always have well-considered opinions.

Dr. Burton explains that this level of maturity often comes as a by-product of their self-reflection combined with their ability to be comfortable with their own thoughts and company.

7) They’re great with creative and out-of-the-box ideas

Another insight from Dr. Burton is that being alone can be a powerful catalyst for creativity. 

This is probably because when we are alone, we have less distractions, allowing our minds to go wild with ideas.

Think of the people you know who enjoy being alone

Chances are, they’re probably great at arts, music, or anything creative. If not, they’re probably incredibly smart. Or they could also be a mix of both. 

That said, we have to remember that creativity isn’t just about arts or crafts.

It also extends into thinking differently about everyday problems and solutions, people who enjoy solitude have also mastered.

8) They are open-minded

Speaking of how they think, social psychologist Dr. Bella DePaulo notes that people who enjoy being alone are often more open-minded than others.

If you think about it, it’s actually this open-mindedness that allows them to think outside the box and get creative with ideas that others might overlook.

It’s this trait that pushes them out of their comfort zones to actively look for new ideas and adventures.

People who love being alone are the perfect examples of Mark Twain’s words when he said, “An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.”

9) They’re not neurotic

Contrary to popular belief, people who actually enjoy time to be alone aren’t prone to constant worry, sudden mood swings, or unnecessary stress.

If anything, Dr DePaulo talks about a study that found that the least likely to experience this surge of negative emotions are those who are unafraid to be alone.

This means they usually handle life’s challenges with a level head – calm and composed. 

And if you’re wondering why they enjoy their own company so much, this trait is also partly the answer to that.

They don’t have constant inner battles and all they have to do when they’re alone is to truly relax and be at ease.

10) They’re not afraid of being single

Before we go any further, let me clarify: people who love their alone time are also capable of entering relationships. 

That said, they’re not afraid of being single. 

Whether that means temporary, while waiting for the right one to come or whether it means being permanently alone, it doesn’t scare them one bit. 


It goes back to what we discussed earlier about their happiness and worth not being reliant on anyone else but themselves.

They don’t just settle for anyone. 

And when they finally do get into a relationship, they make sure that it’s with someone who adds value to their life.

11) They have high standards for relationships

Let’s dig a little deeper into why people who enjoy being alone prefer to be involved with only those that add value to their life.

This all boils back to a combination of a few of their unique traits, which we’ve already talked about – like being mature beyond their years, not seeking validation and fulfillment from others, and living life on their own terms.

It’s not about being snobbish or thinking too highly of themselves. 

It’s really about knowing what they deserve, having self-respect, and going for someone who allows them to be their authentic selves.

In the words of Oprah, “Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself.”

12) They’re less sensitive to rejection

Speaking of relationships, what if they’re ready to get into one but they end up being rejected? 

Dr. DePaulo thinks they’ll probably accept this gracefully, explaining that people who truly enjoy being alone aren’t overly sensitive to rejection.

They will get hurt, sure. 

But they won’t take it personally when things don’t go their way, and that includes when others don’t accept them.

This also means they’re great at handling criticism and setbacks without letting it affect their self-worth. 

People who enjoy their solitude understand that rejection is part of life and it doesn’t define who they are.

13) They are conscientious 

Loners often use their solitary time to plan, organize, and focus on their goals. They have a very meticulous approach to the way they work. 

All these make them among the most dependable people you’ll ever meet because they’re able to achieve objectives, even without the constant presence of others.

And that’s not just my opinion.

Dr. DePaulo believes just as much, even adding that conscientious individuals tend to perform better in various life domains, including work and personal relationships.

Final thoughts

If there’s one thing to take away from this list of unique traits shared by people who actually enjoy time alone, it’s that spending time alone isn’t really as lonely as it sounds.

It turns out people actually get a lot out of it. 

They’re not missing out. 

They’re simply living their lives their way.

Hopefully, these traits based on expert input, have opened your eyes as much as it did mine. 

That is, to respect and understand someone’s choice when they say they prefer to be alone

Sarah Piluden-Natu-El

Sarah is a full-time mum, wife, and nurse on hiatus turned freelance writer. She is on a journey of diving deeper into life through life itself and uses her writing to share the lessons learned along the way. When not on her computer, she enjoys time with her family strolling along the Gold Coast's stunning beaches and captivating hinterland.

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