17 Signs You're A Loner (Which Is Actually A Good Thing)

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woman who is a loner with her cat

We all know a loner, but probably have misconceptions about what they are like and their personality traits that make them so unique.

What is the personality of a loner?

Loners tend to enjoy spending as much time on their own as they can, but they do have friends. It is not that they dislike people, they just have less of a need for peer acceptance than most.

Someone who is a loner spends time by themselves, but that does not necessarily mean they are lonely. Their social interaction outside of work or school tends to be limited, though they can be charismatic and charming, albeit not necessarily a social butterfly.

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Is it healthy to be a loner?

Of course, it is possible to be too much of a loner. Some loners close their borders, so to speak, because of anxiety. Some are pathologically shy. Some have had bad experiences as kids.

These types of loners tend to get butterflies around people. Social isolation can even be a health risk.

"Loneliness is like hunger and thirst — a signal to help your genes survive," says John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago. "When you are lonely, there is a stress response in your body, and it is not healthy to sustain that for a long time."

What is the difference between a loner and an introvert?

Many people try to lump loners and introverts together, but their personalities are quite different from each other. In fact, someone can be a loner and an introvert.

Whereas a loner avoids social interaction for a long period of time, an introvert finds it emotionally draining. Solitude and being alone gives introverts the balance in life they desire, while loners may avoid others for personal reasons, mental health, or a lack of need for acceptance.

Is having no friends bad?

Refraining from social interaction altogether is unhealthy, both mentally and physically. One study from 2010 found that people who do not have friends or family members, or even connections with their neighbors, increased their chance of an early death by 50%.

There is also the emotional benefit of friendships. Spending time outside of yourself and away from social isolation helps you grow as a person, learn more about yourself and others, expand your perspectives, and pursue interests with others who share your hobbies.

Why do loners enjoy spending time alone?

According to psychologist Jonathan Cheek, a professor of personality psychology at Wellesley College, loners want to be by themselves because they do not need acceptance.

"Some people simply have a low need for affiliation," says Cheek. "There is a big subdivision between the loner-by-preference and the enforced loner. Those who choose the living room over the ballroom may have inherited their temperament... Or, a penchant for solitude could reflect a mix of innate tendencies and experiences such as not having many friends as a child or growing up in a family that values privacy."

Loners tend to be smarter, more loyal friends. However, if you have an outgoing friend who abruptly becomes a loner, that may be cause for concern.

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17 Signs of a Loner

Are you a loner? Here are 17 signs you are a loner, which are also special personality traits of people who like to be alone.

1. You value time.

If there is anything extremely important to a loner, it is their time. They respect and value time more than anything else. They are well aware time is the most valuable asset to a successful life.

They will do everything in their power to not be late, never waste someone else's time, and will never allow someone to waste their time. They avoid fake behavior and cannot tolerate people that think they can be played with.

Through their self-awareness, they have developed a huge level of self-respect. Respect their time as they respect yours, and you can expect one of the most incredible friendships imaginable.

2. You are self-aware.

Many people choose to ignore their thoughts and emotions. Loners choose to embrace these feelings and become fully aware of them. Self-awareness is very important and difficult to achieve.

Loners know themselves better than anyone else, and this allows them to understand those around them better. Everyone has periods of depressive and discouraging thoughts, but loners are able to navigate through them.

3. You are level-headed.

Loners are amazingly strong-willed when tough situations come their way. They have incredible focus and will power as a result of their frequent reflection and alone time.

They can feel overwhelmed by stressful situations, but instead of getting caught up with distractions, they decide to spend some time alone and recharge. During this time, they devise solutions to their problems and ways to cope.

4. You are open-minded.

Even though they like being alone, this does not make them rigid and close-minded. On the contrary, they are extremely open-minded and are always up for new ideas and activities.

They do not plan to spend their entire lives in their bedroom. They enjoy exploring and going on new adventures. However, you will need to make sure you give them their alone time before going anywhere that involves several people.

5. You are loyal.

Loners do not crave the company of others; however, this does not mean they do not have friends. Once they get to like someone and want to be your friend, they will be one of the most loyal friends on the planet.

They know their value and worth. They exercise loyalty in all fields of life. Relationships, work, family — you name it.

6. You set clear boundaries.

Loners always have healthy boundaries. They understand themselves perfectly. They have strong value. They never feel alone.

They know they always have themselves. They will respect your boundaries and will let you know if you are about to cross theirs. In the end, if you cannot be faithful to yourself, you cannot be faithful to anyone.

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7. You are aware of your weaknesses and strengths.

Loners are more than aware of what their weaknesses and strengths are. However, they know there is always room to improve no matter how good they think they are doing.

Regardless of being self-aware with these imperfections, they still hold their heads high to show others that it is okay to be confident with who you are.

8. You are extremely empathetic.

One of the obvious signs you are a loner is the tendency to be one of the most empathetic people in the entire world.

They are able to feel and sympathize with others on the same level as they are. It is a very intense curse to have when you are able to feel everyone else's sorrow or despair.

But since they are so empathetic, it is easy for them to find the bright side in almost any negative circumstance. They would rather find a resolution to whatever conflict is making their friends upset.

9. You understand that nobody is perfect.

Knowing their weaknesses and strengths, loners know that no one is absolutely one hundred percent perfect. We all have our own flaws and ways to improve; however, they know it is better to just go with the flow.

They do what they feel is right for themselves and for others, and make sure they address each flaw within themselves with honesty and how they can improve on some of those imperfections.

10. You are guided by intuition.

Your intuition is your constant guide through life, leading you to the next best thing that awaits you on your long journey of growing up.

There is a lot that can be said about you and your gut instincts when it comes to making tough decisions. You do not get scared easily because you know your intuition will lead you somewhere just as amazing as the last adventure you had.

11. You are never codependent.

There is never a time in your life where you feel as if you need to depend on someone else for anything at all. You prefer to be your own person; even if you are in a relationship with someone else, you still prefer to do things your own way.

Being dependent on someone else for trivial needs is something you try to avoid, and you will go to great lengths to show others just how capable you are on your own.

12. You show kindness and compassion.

You love to demonstrate the meaning of compassion as well as kindness to others so they can understand that spreading love is a necessary piece of your existence.

Showing others just how passionate you are about the things you love to do most, as well as being with the people that you love most, is one of the best qualities of a personality that not everyone gets to witness.

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13. You are courageous.

You are a person who exudes confidence and that confidence makes you extremely desirable to everyone else. There is a certain glow about your personality that brings out the best in others, and they look up to your courage with inspiration in their eyes.

This goes hand in hand with you being one of the best role models because of how courageous you really are. There is not a single challenge or adversity that you will not face down yourself.

14. You are self-loving.

Even with the bad times in life you still find a way to love yourself no matter what happens to you.

Of course, you know that there will be times where you are not as perfect, ready, or experienced yet to do some of the things you'd really like to do; however, you still love every piece of you regardless.

There will always be room to improve, and that means you are going to work really hard for that success.

15. You are reliable.

Flakiness is often a trait that nobody desires. People with integrity make sure others know they stand by their word. If they make a promise, you can be sure they will follow through.

16. You are emotionally strong.

Loners are typically used to relying on themselves if they enjoy a solitary life. They fight and win their own battles.

It may seem a little intimidating to you at first, but do not let it put you off though. Why would you want to be with an emotionally weak person?

17. You have a moral compass.

People with integrity are a bully's worst nightmare. They do not put up with insults or degrading language, and are known to stand up for people who cannot defend themselves.

Their moral compass is precise; they know what is right and what is wrong, and have a deep conviction for balanced justice.

If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.

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This article was originally published at Higher Perspective. Reprinted with permission from the author.