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Is it bad to be a loner? 7 Risks and benefits!

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    Being a lone wolf sometimes can be crucial for your self-preservation, just as much as being social and be in touch with others. It all depends on the moment, situation, recently passed personal experience and so on, but still… you are probably asking yourself “Is it bad to be a loner?”.

    Many people may consider the fact that someone prefers to be a loner or it just happened to be in that situation as a bad thing. However, being a loner can lead to enjoyment and may even be beneficial to one’s health. With less frequent engagement with their friends or social media, some people feel higher levels of life satisfaction.

    There are people in this world who prefer solitude. But there is no one who can withstand it.”

    Even though this quota is taken from a fictional character, it represents very clearly the fact that people can and do benefit from the time they choose to spend alone, but at the same time staying in that state for a long time willingly or not often brings some negatives as well.

    Here are some examples of benefits and drawbacks from being a loner:

    BENEFITSRISKS
    Lack of pressure from othersStronger feelings of stress and negativity
    Lack of concern for social normsDisturbances in the natural sleep cycle
    You can get more work doneRisk of depression
    Manage your own scheduleRisk of suppressing the immune system
    Chance to achieve self-awarenessLess social experiences
    Time to relax and enjoy your own timeRisk of developing antisocial personality disroder
    Fewer but stronger friendshipsFeelings of rejection by society

    IS IT BAD TO BE A LONER?

    Comparing the benefits and the risks we can safely say that the answer to that question depends on the mindset of the one that chooses to be, or to stay lonely.

    If one chooses intentionally to be a loner to make the benefits from above, he must be fully aware of the drawbacks too, otherwise the benefits might be easily lost. Let’s shed a little more light about the both sides of the coin before making the final decision and say utterly that being a loner is a bad or a good thing.

    Hands free of handcuffs
    Photo from Pixabay

    BENEFITS OF BEING A LONER

    Lack of pressure from others

    The pressure to do as others do can be strong and difficult to resist. Someone may feel compelled to do something simply because others are doing it.

    The positive loners perceive themselves as self-sufficient. Their values, interests, and actions are resistive to peer pressure and they are engaged in learning more about their personal experiences and feelings.

    Lack of concern for social norms

    Social standards have an impact on almost every element of our life. They influence what we wear, how we speak, what music we listen to, and how we feel about certain social concerns. They can also have an impact on our feelings, beliefs, and behaviors when it comes to violence.

    One of the most distinguishing characteristics of creative people is their lack of interest in socializing. Solitude facilitates the essential reflection and observation for the creative process.

    Julie Bowker, Associate Professor of Psychology, University at Buffalo and her colleagues were the first to establish that a sort of social disengagement might be beneficial; they discovered that creativity is directly linked to unsociability.

    You can get more work done

    By plugging in your headphones and shutting off the rest of the world, you can get much more work done. Being able to manage your own schedule and stay on target is easier if no one is bothering you.

    Chance to achieve self-awareness

    Many individuals prefer to disregard their feelings and opinions. Loners learn to accept and be fully aware of their sensations. Self-awareness is essential but difficult to get.

    Loners have a greater understanding of themselves than anyone else, which allows them to better comprehend those around them. Everyone has negative and discouraging thoughts from time to time, but loners are able to get through them.

    Time to relax and enjoy your own time

    Stress can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health. Numerous studies have shown that various forms of relaxation can aid in the reduction of many chronic health issues, as well as the restoration of energy and the promotion of a more positive sense of self. Choosing to be a loner for a while gives you that ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy your own time.

    Fewer but stronger friendships

    Quality, as with many things, takes precedence above quantity. It may be healthier for you in the long run to cultivate a few strong relationships rather than feeling the need to continuously fill your life with chattering voices. As a result, if you have an unsociable personality, you shouldn’t feel compelled to change.

    Two friends helping each other
    Photo of Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

    RISKS OF BEING A LONER

    Stronger feelings of stress and negativity

    When you’re lonely, your body produces a stress response, which is unhealthy if you keep it up for a long period. The loners interpret the stress more seriously and respond with a more tense physical reaction. This indicates a lower tolerance for stress as well as a stronger reaction to it. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, which induces reactions in all of the body’s major systems, including the heart, lungs, digestive system, and immune system.

    Disturbances In The Natural Sleep Cycle

    People who are lonely receive less restorative sleep on average. They frequently wake up or sleep lightly, resulting in a lack of rest in the morning, which can lead to emotional and physical distress over time. People who are lonely are said to spend more time rolling around, kicking and changing positions, and worrying than they do sleeping.

    Dog trying to sleep
    Photo of Annabel_P from Pixabay

    Risk of depression

    Loneliness and repression are often found together, even though it’s difficult to determine which one started first. People who live alone and spend time alone have a higher risk of suicide than those who have roommates and a social life. And having fulfilling friendships is more difficult for lonely people since they can feel depleting and one-sided. That’s why it is also important to know how to overcome different fears related to the relationships and socialization.

    Risk of suppressing the immune system

    The immune system’s ability to resist antigens is harmed when we’re stressed. As a result, we are more vulnerable to illnesses. The stress hormone corticosteroid has been shown to reduce the immune system’s efficacy (e.g. lowers the number of lymphocytes).

    Through the action of adrenaline and noradrenaline on the release of free fatty acids, stress causes an increase in blood cholesterol levels. This causes cholesterol particles to clump together, resulting in clots in the blood and arterial walls, as well as artery obstruction.

    Less social experiences

    Loneliness protects your social body in the same way that physical pain does. It alerts you when social bonds begin to unravel and sets your brain on high alert for social risks. Because loneliness causes hyper-reactivity to bad behaviors in others, lonely persons perceive those mistreatments to be more severe.

    The more negative social encounters loners have, the less inclined they are to attempt again. This negative reinforcement can cause a loner who has been alone for a long period to give up on attempting to be social and become even more isolated.

    Friends playing a game together
    Photo of David Mark from Pixabay

    Risk of developing antisocial personality disorder

    People who choose to remain alone because they dislike other people or have strong anti-social tendencies have a poor view of society and choose not to associate or assimilate with others. These are often the first signs of antisocial personality disorder.

    Feelings of rejection by society

    Anger, anxiety, despair, envy, and sadness are all amplified by social rejection. It lowers performance on challenging cognitive tasks and can lead to aggressiveness and poor impulse control.

    People who are frequently excluded have poorer sleep quality and immune systems that do not operate as well as those who have strong social relationships.

    We hope that by comparing the risks and benefits of being a loner, it will be much easier for you to find the asnwer to the question “Is it bad to be a loner?”.

    You may also find interesting to read:

    1. How to be happy alone? And how to regain joy in your life?
    2. Antisocial or just misunderstood by others?
    3. How to overcome different relationship fears.

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