My mother called me into the kitchen of our then two-family home. I was about eight or nine at the time. She said to me, “Pam, you won’t be going back to the community center.” Naturally I wanted to know “Why not?” Mom replied with, “They say we make too much money.” I knew nothing of my parents’ finances, but what I did know was that I had no idea what I would do instead. Looking back on that time I realize that was the day I started life as a loner.
If you do not know what a loner is, Wikipedia describes it as:
A loner is a person who avoids or does not actively seek human interaction.
The way I turned into a loner had nothing to do with desiring to avoid human interaction. I developed the behavior over time as a result of circumstance. I ran into so many such circumstances that I became comfortable with being a loner.
Drawbacks to Being a Loner
I will be the first to tell you that being a loner has its drawbacks.
Building relationships, especially trusting relationships can be uncomfortable. That is not good. We need relationships to help with our careers, build our brand, get buy-in for projects, and a host of other areas of our lives.
Overthinking becomes problematic. As a loner you get caught up in your thoughts. Sometimes you risk thinking your way through a conversation with someone else and making a decision about what they will say without ever having an actual conversation with said other person. Have you ever done that?
Loneliness gets you down. There comes a time when you want and need to be around others. When that does not happen for long stretches at a time, emotions like depression and sadness creep through.
As much as being a loner has its disadvantages, you can also use it to your advantage.
How to Use Being a Loner to Your Advantage
Self-reflection is a great way overcome uncomfortable situations, fears, and self-doubt. With your alone time, you can spend it on such self-reflection.
Self-improvement can be your focus. With the alone time that you have you can use that time to develop yourself. You can learn how to build relationships without feeling awkward doing so. You can improve your interpersonal skills. You can build coping skills for those situations that you otherwise cast aside. The possibilities are endless. Combine self-reflection to help with your self-improvement.
Impact the lives of others. You may spend a great deal of time alone, but you do also spend time in circles where you get to observe the behaviors of others. In fact, you probably spend a good time doing more observing than talking. With the skill of observation you have the unique ability to tune into the needs of others. Use that to your advantage to impact someone else’s life.
Avoid drama-seeking individuals. There are people out there, you may know a few, who cannot go more than two seconds without drama. In fact, I am convinced there are drama seekers out there. Being a loner, you avoid that type of nonsense. That is win in my book.
Disappointment is limited to you. When I was living a single lady life I did a lot of activities alone and LOVED it! (I am an extremely happy married woman now). What I loved most about it is, if I made a bad decision about what to do, the only person who could possibly be upset with my decision was me. So if, for example, I chose to go to a bad movie, the most I did was waste money on a bad movie. I did not have to hear anyone complaining about it.
Being a loner is not always fun and it does come with disadvantages, but you can turn those disadvantages into positives by using them to your advantage.
Start the Discussion: Are you a loner or do you know a loner? If so, what ways can that person use being a loner to their advantage? Also, what are some disadvantages to being a loner? Share in the post comments, on Facebook or Twitter.