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Why being a loner may be good for your health

“There’s a real danger with people who are never alone.”

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Why being a loner may be good for your health

Why being a loner may be good for your health

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20180228-there-are-benefits-to-being-antisocial-or-a-loner

bbc.com

7

Key Ideas

Being a Loner can be good

  • Emerging research suggests there are upsides to being reclusive, all by ourselves, minding our own business – for both our work lives and our emotional well-being.
  • Prolonged solitude or extreme social isolation is proven to be harmful, but a good amount of alone time has its advantages.

Improved creativity

  • Being a loner boosts the creative space.
  • Creativity has two key elements: originality and usefulness. 
  • Personality traits commonly associated with creativity are openness (or receptiveness), self-efficacy (confidence), and autonomy (independence).

Types of Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is categorized into three types:

  1. Shyness caused by fear or anxiety
  2. Avoidance, caused by a dislike of socializing
  3. Unsociability, caused by a preference for being alone.

Inward Focus

  • Since ancient times, people know the connection between isolation and mental focus. Cultures with traditions of old religions believe that solitude is important for enlightenment.
  • A loner's brain goes in a state of active mental rest, due to the stillness of being alone. When we are with people, the brain can’t help but pay attention. That can be termed as a distraction.
  • Daydreaming in the absence of such distractions activates the brain’s default-mode network. This network helps to consolidate memory and understand others’ emotions. Letting a mind wander helps with focus in the long term and strengthens your sense of both yourself and others. 
  • Periods of solitude actually help when it comes time to socialize, with the occasional absence of focus helping concentration in the long run.

The Loner: Useful Solitude

There is a difference between useful solitude and extreme isolation. If someone stops caring about people and cuts off all contact, this could point to pathological neglect of social relations, becoming dysfunctional - this is dangerous.

Being a creative loner while having interactions, is about striking the right balance, and any form of extreme behaviour is unhealthy.

“There’s a real danger with people who are never alone.”

“There’s a real danger with people who are never alone.”

Loner: The Conclusion

  • It’s hard to be introspective, self-aware, and fully relaxed unless you have occasional solitude. 
  • Introverts tend to have fewer but stronger friendships – which has been linked to greater happiness.

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