To the motor-mouths, the gregarious, conformers, or the attention craving, loners may come off as weird, anti-social, or unapproachable. Any of those observations could be true. Interestingly, all of them could also be completely wrong. There isn’t necessarily a simple answer as to why a person chooses to alienate themselves or avoid others.
Some loners may state it simply as, “I don’t like people.” But what’s behind such a statement often is a sea of reasons. And not all loners have a disdain for their fellow human beings. In searching to understand these justifications and desires to be alone, we will learn a lot about the complexity of human behavior.
If we look at a list of some of the most famous people in history who are classified as loners, it will instantly add some depth to the question, “Why are some people loners?” :
- Emily Dickinson
- Albert Einstein
- Barack Obama
- Keanu Reeves
- Julia Roberts
- Henry David Thoreau
- Nikola Tesla
- Pee Wee Herman*
The pejorative definition of being a loner fades when contrasted with the above personnel (*Well, maybe not in Pee Wee Herman’s case). Creativity is a common theme to the list above and one clue to their enigmatic ways. It puts an interesting spin on the dynamics of being a loner.
Possibilities of where a solo-path can land an individual appear to have no limitations. One thing’s for sure, success is far from out of reach. Of course, being a loner is not a ticket to success. That takes a lot of work, skill, dedication, and luck. And not every loner has a strong creative side.
In fact, there are several types of loners. The two most common types are those that simply prefer not to associate with most people, and those that have been rejected and alienated from others. Some choose the lifestyle, others are exiled into it.
But it gets more complex with other types of loners and their choices in the matter. As it goes with human behavior, there’s a bit more to what is commonly perceived and what a loner is actually socially capable of. Let’s explore…
Choice Versus No Choice
There are many who wonder why a person would actually choose to not want to be around others. In a society where over 3/4 of the population aren’t considered loners, those who choose to be a ‘lone wolf’ can be misunderstood. They can often end up being viewed as outcasts or trouble makers.
Loners tend to have an air of mystique. What people do not understand may scare or intimidate them. With the cases of David Koresh and Adolf Hitler’s history, two notoriously famous loners, that kind of reputation of what a loner is capable of may instill residual negative connotations that can carry through generations.
Humans have a tendency to generalize all kinds of people indefinitely. These interpretations get applied to every person that fits a particular profile. And to the average person, warning signs may go up when someone is classified as a loner.
“Watch out for the quiet ones!”
Many people tend to find dismissal or using labels as an easy means of reaching conclusions. In doing so, perceptions become limited and judgments unfair. Behaviors by these assumption makers can become even more predictable than the people that don’t fit their status quo.
Ironically, these are the type of personalities that loners make an effort to stay away from. They’re choosing to stay away because they have a more open mind about life and people.
Unfortunately for exiled loners, they don’t have this luxury of choice in avoiding others. These types may have had a history of crime, violence, a distrustful nature, or social awkwardness; and have never gained proper social skills. Their experiences with others has formed a string of failed connections, relationships, and overall negative human interaction; brought on through either rejection or by their own doing.
Exiled loners are the ones chosen to be avoided by people. This circumstance, for the most part, wasn’t their choice.
But with most human behavior, the option of having a choice versus no choice can be even more complex. Those born with mental-illnesses are predisposed through an imbalance in brain chemicals to become loners. They have incredibly hard times relating to other people. Often they suffer from social anxiety and/or incompetence.
These include those with:
- Sociopathy (antisocial personality disorder)
- Genius Intellects (high risk of mental illness)
Being a loner, we learn, is not so cut and dry in reason. And for those that actually choose to be, it becomes even more complex to the average person. So what else brings on these choices by loners to stay away from others?
Quality Over Quantity
Loners hold strong values of their time, circle of friends, and use of words.
It’s in their character to be highly reliable and they expect the same of others. When people don’t value a loner’s time, which is very valuable to them, they’ll cut these flakes out of their life. Loners despise fake behavior. They don’t have the desire to waste precious moments on such inconsiderate people. By default, this drives a loner further from interacting regularly with others.
Genuine friends are very important.
Reliability is next to a must for them. They’ll let in closer people who follow through with their words. They are very loyal once they choose you as friend. A loner doesn’t use people at his disposal.
He has all his friend’s backs if he can help them. It’s important to know that a person is truly there if they need them as well. (Though the loner may never even ask for anything.)
Loners do not actively pursue making new friends. Therefore, popularity means next to nothing to them. It’s quality over quantity. The more people that are included in their circle, the more diluted they feel the friendships can become. Most people just don’t make the cut.
It’s in a loner’s nature to prefer small gatherings.
Energy is saved and shared more intimately with people in their trust circle or on their level. Large crowds are overwhelming, spread their energy too thin, and can cause a lot of stress to a loner. Also, they’d have to deal with people they’d rather not be around or possibly not be able to trust.
High caliber conversation is very important to a loner.
Lone Wolves can come off as shy or quiet. But they are thinkers, actually have a lot to say, and do not like to deal with small talk. Formal phrases and questions tend to irritate or disinterest them. Stimulating talk is as much a fun past-time for a loner as a sports fan going out and watching and cheering for his favorite team.
Loners tend to talk and care about deeper and bigger issues. This goes along with the territory of having a high sense of awareness.
Loners have a keen sense of awareness that includes their inner and outer world. They are very reflective and introspective. This enhanced self awareness, in thought, space/time, and emotion, results in them getting to know themselves and others very well. This makes them very intuitive and empathic.
Consequently, loners are better in-tune with human behavior and able to dissect other people with high accuracy. They are also prone to be great advice-givers and problem-solvers because of this awareness and personal meditations.
When another person is off on their normal routines and attitude, loners pick up on it instantly. Their empathic nature gives them a strong ability to feel and absorb other’s emotions. A loner can relate to people and their feelings on many levels. Even strangers can feel comfortable talking to them because they feel on the same wave-length.
Sometimes empathic abilities can work against them. Negative people and emotions can affect the loner’s mood. Not even a word spoken or interaction need to take place for the undesired energy to be absorbed. It’s another reason why they choose to stay away from people; especially if they’ve cultivated a good mood they don’t want anyone else to ruin.
Overall, their intuition and empathy add to their choice in quality of good friends. It’s an advantage the loner can thankfully have on their side. The average person may not be as comfortable being a friend with a loner because of their solid temperament. Their strong will, along with a high moral compass, can make them difficult to confront or deal with.
Loners know the difference between right and wrong and simply don’t take crap from anyone. This strong imposition of will was demonstrated in 1955 by one of the most famous loners in American History, Rosa Parks. Rosa refusing to give up her seat (because she knew the bus seating rule was bullshit), helped ignite the Civil Rights Movement!
She was just going along her way, minding her own business, and refused to be bullied. Rosa exemplified these strong characteristics of a loner; and a beautiful soul. (Talk about an apex trendsetter!)
Rosa Parks was all alone in this moment. She showed how loners don’t need others to be strong, in a good mood, or tell them what to do. That’s why they…
Prefer Their Own Company
Loners have less of a need for people’s acceptance. They pursue their own personal interests; with or without people’s approval or company. Most humans are draining to them anyway. Another thing with loners is that they don’t like to depend on others. People tend to disappoint.
A loner knows if they want something done right or want to go somewhere, they will get it done or go without anyone’s help.
Faulty relationships tend to be part of a loner’s history as well. Bad romance is common ground and intimacy has become a challenge (It can be a major sacrifice of freedom). These experiences and ideals of personal suffocation have caused the distrust of others.
There tends to be more costs than benefits in forming meaningful relationships. This has been proven again and again. Loners become convinced and accept that’s just the way it is with most people.
This can cause them to become misanthropic. Feeling rejected by the majority or seeing beyond the general ways of society can spawn this kind of resentment for humans. They stay away from people because they see most of them acting within a hive mind mentality.
This is relative to loners often having a high IQ. It makes it harder for them to relate to those with a more average intelligence. So, unfortunately, they are less happy interacting with others; especially on larger social scales. It’s therefore common for loners to be introverts.
But loners don’t mind. Being alone helps clear the head from a chaotic dumbed-down world. A lot of beautiful creations and inventions have come from the minds of loners working out how to cope with an awkward world.
Lone Wolf McQuade Wins In The End
A loner is a leader who doesn’t want to be followed. -Urban Dictionary
Loner’s more than likely have had a difficult past, but have overcome and learned to see things beyond the scope of the average person. They’re aware, open-minded, and adaptable without being a conformer. This enables them to focus on their own ideas and not public opinion. So they tend to be creative and have high levels of artistry.
They are often single because they want to avoid codependency, and like to do things their own way.
They are alone, but not usually lonely. By the default of being human, from time to time, can suffer from loneliness. Some loners will go out to a social gathering just to absorb the energy of others. It helps them recharge. They may not even engage in conversation, but their empathic abilities gain them the stamina they seek to move on.
Avoiding others isn’t just confined to the social realm. Loners are also not into clinical contact. Because of their heightened awareness, they are even more sensitive and uncomfortable to a stranger’s touch than the average person. They’ll learn to heal themselves without a prescription-generating physician; or paying an absurd amount of money for something they can do in a practical method on their own.
They are not against medical practices, but their insight and studies into how things work guides them to alternative healing and home remedies. Going to the doctor is a last resort. They can be stubborn like this since they’re so independent and used to getting things done on their own.
But their strong will and moral compass makes them valuable in business fronts. With these characteristic traits, they can be quite charismatic. People may be intimidated or judgmental of loners, but they keep their eyes on what they are up to (and may even copy them and claim to others it was their own idea).
Things just work out for loners going solo without anyone getting in the way, flaking, or making plans they’re not interested in. Typical loners avoid actively pursuing human interaction because it is usually the same old merry-go-round…
In conclusion, after looking into the ways of a lone wolf, we find that they are in tune with things that most others are not and very particular in their choices. Avoiding being under anyone’s shadow, like the late rebel loner James Dean, we learn that loners are free-spirited and pretty damn cool!
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something insightful about loners. Any questions or comments can be left below!