Introverts are a special breed of people that prefer to be alone, rather than surrounded by people and lots of stimuli, like extroverts. It can be difficult to deal with introversion and may lead one to wonder whether an introvert should live alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of tips and benefits to discuss this topic.
Introverts should live alone so they can gain a wide variety of benefits versus living with others. Living alone enables an introvert to maintain the ideal level of stimuli while retaining the ability to ‘shut down,’ recharge their mental batteries, and can be a great boon for them.
This article will go more in-depth about introversion, including the benefits of living alone as an introvert, tips of living as an introvert, and more.
What Does It Mean To Be Introverted?
Being introverted is considered the opposite of being extroverted. Introverts are typically quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. Some are even shy! They can seem withdrawn to those who don’t know them, even if this isn’t necessarily the case.
Introversion and extroversion were first posited by Carl Jung in the 1920s. He asserted that the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is how they ‘recharge’ or regain mental and emotional energy. He said that an introvert recharges by spending time alone, while an extrovert regains energy by spending time around others and lots of stimuli.
Introverts generally prefer the least amount of stimuli possible, whether that’s visual or auditory. There’s no hard and fast rule stating all introverts share all characteristics, but this article will be talking about characteristics as if all introverts share them for the sake of thoroughness. Just keep in mind that some introverts may differ in their tendencies and preferences.
Introverts Love Time Alone
A common preference of most introverts is that they prefer to spend their free time alone. While extroverts may be out on the town with friends, introverts find the prospect of reading a book or doing something alone at home a much more appealing idea. Introverts love to undertake solitary activities like reading, writing, crafting, gaming, or any other number of activities that you can do alone.
Being alone energizes introverts and gives them a sense of refreshment that extroverts typically get from spending time with other people and in social settings. Introverts don’t necessarily dislike being with people, but their safe space is one they’d rather be alone in.
Introverts Are Drained From Social Interaction
A prevalent characteristic of introversion is that introverts become mentally and emotionally drained from interacting with other people. While extroverts become energized from being with other people, introverts find it exhausting. It’s not necessarily true that introverts don’t enjoy being with others, but they need time alone to rest after events like parties and get-togethers.
Indeed, many introverts would argue that they require social interaction to an extent to remain in prime mental condition. After all, nobody can be alone all the time, right? Many introverts love getting out and socializing, but they can’t do it all the time like extroverts can. After a while, they’ll require some time alone or with close family or friends to help recharge their mental batteries.
Introverts Have a Small, Close-Knit Circle of Friends
While extroverts may become friends with just about everyone they meet, introverts don’t get along with everyone. Introverts tend to prefer a smaller quantity of friends while maintaining a higher level of closeness within those friendships. Introverts typically don’t actually dislike people, but they prefer to maintain fewer active friendships than extroverts do.
Introverts love their friends to death, and it can sometimes be hard to befriend one. It can be surprising to make friends with a seemingly quiet person and find out that they’re actually quite chatty about the right topics. Combined with their unique perspectives on things due to enhanced observation skills, an introvert can be a great friend indeed.
Introverts Work Better Alone
Introverts tend to abhor group activities and projects, preferring the chance to intellectually stimulate themselves and retain creative control over whatever they’re doing. While extroverts relish the social aspects of work, introverts would rather zone in and focus on the task at hand than deal with other people.
The act of having to work with or around other people can be very distracting and tiring for an introvert, whose work may suffer as a result. For the most part, introverts work better when they can engage in tasks that are best performed alone. Introverts in workplaces can be seen as shy or even snobs for their dislike of engaging with people, but it’s not an ‘I’m better than you’ attitude – it’s just that people tire them out.
Introversion Is a Wide Spectrum
While we can say, ‘Introverts this,’ or ‘Introverts that,’ the truth is that not everyone’s the same degree of introverted. Some people may enjoy the company of people more often than others and simply have a dedicated hobby at home they use to regain a sense of peace. Some introverts are pure loners that identify with aspects of misanthropy, but these are few and far between.
For the most part, introverts don’t actively dislike people, but people make them feel a sense of exhaustion on a mental and emotional level. How strong the feeling of exhaustion depends on the degree of introversion in the individual.
Another thing that varies widely is how much an introvert talks. While most of them seem to clam up, introverts actually love talking as long as it’s about something they’re passionate about or interested in.
It also may be that a person’s genetics plays a role in just how introverted or extroverted they are – you may notice that families often share a common temperament. On the other hand, a family full of extroverts may produce an extreme introvert – everyone is unique, and there’s no way to predict these kinds of things.
Introverts Daydream and Zone Out a Lot
If you were constantly accused of daydreaming as a kid, you’re likely an introvert. Introverts love to daydream, whether it’s to fantasize about what they do when they’re finally alone and can do what they want or just an abstract concept they’re meditating on. Whatever it may be, introverts find a sense of peace when ‘zoning out,’ as it’s a temporary break from the rigors of daily life.
Introverts Are Good Listeners
Because they typically prefer to remain quiet unless they have something of value to add to a conversation, introverts learn to listen to others and really hear what they’re saying. As a result, they often have a unique perspective on whatever they listen to, be it a lecture or someone asking for advice.
For this reason, it can be handy to have a friend who’s an introvert, as they can be someone who helps you grow as a person via their unique insight into whatever they set their mind to.
Introverts Are Observant
As with the last entry, the amount of time introverts spend not talking allows them time to pay attention to the most minute details happening around them. They may notice that a speaker appears stressed out from the way they’re fidgeting or pick up on any hidden subtexts to a conversation.
Introverts Are More Self-Aware
While many people just float by day to day on something akin to auto-pilot, introverts are more likely to question every aspect of their existence. ‘Why do I do this like that?’ or ‘Why did I say that?’ are common questions inside an introvert’s mind, and they’re not the only ones. Constant questioning can sometimes be construed as anxiety, and that is a very real problem.
Self-awareness isn’t the same thing as anxiety and shouldn’t be confused with each other – anxiety is an often crippling disorder that causes a person’s senses of fear or apprehension to grow and interfere with their abilities to cope with daily life and even lock down their ability to function at all.
However, being self-aware itself isn’t a curse. It can lead an introvert to get more in touch with their inner desires and be more comfortable with who they are on a subconscious level. Knowing oneself is a great boon as long as it’s coupled with the ability to use that knowledge to help oneself grow and even help other people.
It sounds very mysterious and vague, but self-awareness is just being able to consciously recognize your own personality, thoughts, motivations, desires, etc. Introversion naturally pushes people toward self-awareness, but it’s a skill that must be practiced like any other, primarily through quiet contemplation and reflection.
Introverts Tend To Be More Humble
Introverts often make great leaders because of their tendency to be more humble than others. They’re aware of their own weaknesses and limitations and don’t have as big an ego as many extroverts do. This helps to make one more perceptive and open about their capabilities and boost realistic strategies about how to overcome problems.
While an extrovert who has a big ego may fail to acknowledge a key problem, an introvert would identify it right away and not be too proud to bring attention to it and immediately work on solutions.
Benefits of Introverts Living Alone
Introverts can benefit from living alone in a wide variety of ways. Depending on the level of forced social interaction they deal with daily, an introvert’s home alone may be their fortress of solitude that they gratefully retreat to after a hectic day. Being surrounded by people and stimuli throughout the day demands a tranquil setting to rest in.
It seems like a no-brainer, but with nobody to share your space with, you don’t have to deal with other humans’ needs and wants. If you live alone, it naturally follows that you deeply value your alone time. A person’s home is supposed to be their safe haven they can retreat to in times of emotional turmoil, and an introvert living alone makes sense from that angle.
With no distractions, introverts can focus on what makes them happy. They know how to entertain themselves without the company of people and therefore often develop a deep connection to at least one personal hobby or activity. Whether it’s reading, writing, gardening, or working out, an introvert would prefer to do their thing in their own personal space.
Find Fulfillment Alone
While many extroverts find a sense of fulfillment based on relationships or activities performed with other people, introverts generally find this sense of fulfillment from doing things alone. It can be from finally finishing The Lord of The Rings or finishing a tough level on a video game, but an introvert finds accomplishment in solitary activities.
Another advantage of living alone is that introverts can take things at their own pace. With a companion, an introvert may feel pressured to perform tasks faster than they might alone.
They Can Do Whatever They Want
This seems extremely obvious, but it’s also important. Introverts may have eclectic desires that can change from day to day. One day an introvert may feel like crying in the bathtub with a bottle of wine, or perhaps they had a really good day and want to dance around their home with blaring music on. Whatever the occasion or mood, living alone can allow an introvert to tap into their most base desires and express them to their heart’s content.
They Can Decorate and Organize However They Want
A person’s space says a lot about them and who they are. Sharing a home requires compromising on how you want to decorate or organize your space, and introverts would rather retain their ability to do what they want on the fly. Maybe they want to paint the kitchen blue and the bathroom yellow – no problem living by themselves! Everything goes according to their pace and nobody else’s.
Introverts benefit from living alone because living alone confers them a great and inalienable right: their home remains drama-free. To many introverts, drama is one of the worst experiences a person can be a part of. While their day at work may have been stressful and filled with drama queens, they know that as soon as they step into their home, it’s going to be a peaceful and smooth night.
If any problems come up in their home, an introvert can just as easily put it off to the next day, where it can be confronted in a different setting and after some restful contemplation. Introverts despise being put on the spot, and living alone provides a safe space to consider problems at their own pace without pressure.
Reflection Breeds Innovation
Whereas an extrovert may gain great ideas from being with others, introverts find that their greatest ideas and innovations come from time spent in quiet reflection. Rather than forcing themselves to spend time with others in search of inspiration, an introvert should embrace their nature and spend more time thinking.
Being alone can be maligned by people as being a loner or lacking confidence, but introverts being alone is simply taking full advantage of the factors that lead them to the greatest success. Just like extroverts find success with others, introverts find success alone.
Tips of Living Alone as an Introvert
Being introverted or ‘shy’ as the uninformed call it can be challenging when faced with increasingly common social situations demanded by social pressure, often stemming from work or other unavoidable circumstances. Thankfully, there are a lot of tips and coping strategies to help make the most of your strengths as an introvert living alone that can translate well to dealing with the outside world.
View Introversion Positively
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of seeing introversion as a personality defect or flaw, which can help fuel any nascent anxiety that may be lurking around. Introversion, however, isn’t an inferior personality trait to extroversion – it’s just a different one. If you can stop viewing introversion as something to be ashamed of, you’ll find that it may help reduce anxiety and even boost the formation of valuable confidence.
Know Your Brand of Introversion
Maybe you’re less of a true introvert and leaning toward the middle of the spectrum, or perhaps you truly do just prefer total solitude. No matter your unique type of introversion or where you fall on the spectrum, it’s important to understand your personality and temperament.
The two key components of introversion are being recharged from time alone and tending to take time to process information before formulating a response. Other than that, levels of outgoingness and confidence can greatly vary in a room full of introverts.
Learn When To Listen and When To Disregard Others
Introverts may shy away from talking with others, but the truth is that other people can contain great and unique insights that may have never occurred to you otherwise. It can be a very powerful tool to learn when talking to others can provide a unique perspective.
By the same token, it’s crucial to learn when to trust yourself and disregard other people’s input. You may hear a lot that being shy or introverted puts you at a disadvantage, be it professionally or socially – this is simply not true. Being an introvert means you carry a strong set of tools that enable you to learn when it’s to your advantage to keep to yourself or put yourself out there.
Being an introvert doesn’t have to mean being a loner, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t learn what you can from other people.
Plan It Out
Perhaps there’s a big event coming up that you’re expected to attend, and it requires socializing and being around a crowd of people for a few hours. Rather than just dreading the event and becoming more and more anxious, make a plan! Introverts are great at planning, and this is a prime example of when it can be the most useful.
Perhaps there’s a window in the middle of the event you can use to sneak away for a few minutes of valuable alone time, or maybe you need to spend time alone or with close friends and family before and after to stay sane.
No matter what you need to maintain a healthy and calm state of mind, you can best optimize your plan for how you’re going to tackle this event as an introvert. It may help to choose a wingman who can help you through the event, and different personalities of companions have varying benefits.
An extrovert friend may be great at shielding you from any unwanted conversation or even pushing you to make social leaps you may not otherwise have made. Another introvert can help give you the image that you’re already engaged in conversation, which can help keep potential annoyances away. It’s rude to butt in other conversations, after all!
Introversion Is Not the Same As Being Unconfident
A common misconception is that introverts can’t be confident by their very nature, but this is the farthest thing from the truth. There are famous business leaders such as Bill Gates who identify as introverts, but they used their temperament to shape their environment. Understanding that you can build confidence in yourself and still be an introvert is very important.
Rather than thinking you can’t be as successful as an extrovert, try to adapt things your way. As you experience success in your unique methods, you’ll find that your confidence will grow. You’ll still favor time alone, but you won’t be anxious or afraid of social interactions like you may have been before.
Know When To Override and Listen to Your Introversion
There are times that we can’t always listen to our bodies when they demand that we ditch all social obligations and go hide in a dark room. In such instances, it’s invaluable to learn coping mechanisms to deal with becoming overstimulated.
Perhaps you can listen to some soothing music or doodle in a notebook or something else that takes your mind off the growing discomfort. Regardless, you have to learn how to cope with situations you can’t control, which will ultimately make you a stronger person.
Then there are times where it’s necessary to listen to yourself and know when it’s time to place more value on your own mental wellbeing than whatever social situation you’re in. It may be that you need to excuse yourself for some air and just reflect in silence to get yourself back into a positive mindset. If you let everyone and everything control your every action, it can be detrimental to your emotional and mental health.
Develop Coping Strategies
Perhaps the most important step to take as an introvert is to understand your triggers and work around them. If you can professionally deal with things in a way that better caters to your temperament as an introvert, all the better! Maybe you could try taking more video calls and fewer face-to-face meetings or encourage contacts to email rather than call.
There is a distinct difference between avoiding social interaction and finding ways to deal with it on your terms – the latter is what you should strive to do every day. This will greatly help your ability to adapt and grow as a person and boost your confidence in the process!
It may also be that you can’t control many things, which is where it’s important to develop coping strategies. It would be nice to always be the boss or have a lot of options, but not everyone has those luxuries. In such instances, you should look for loopholes or ways to maintain your mental wellbeing without going directly against your situation.
For example, if you can’t just take breaks whenever you want and have to work with other people, try taking a longer time to practice self-care before and after work. You may not be able to control your work, but you can find ways to boost your self-esteem and mental state during your free time.
Look for Growth Opportunities
As an introvert, it can be difficult to put yourself out there and take risks, as extroverts feel more comfortable doing. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to grow as a person is to take these risks, so what can an introvert do to keep up?
One of the best tips for succeeding as an introvert is to look for opportunities to grow actively. It can be professionally or for a hobby. Maybe you offer to pick up extra hours to train for something that could prove valuable down the line or take a class on one of your hobbies. Regardless of what you want to do, there are ways to avoid becoming stagnant.
Introverts gain a lot of benefits by living alone, which can help them grow as people at their own pace without stressful external factors. Learning how to adapt to situations and turn them to your advantage is key, and a home where you can take the time to reflect is key to making this progress.