This is What Science Says About People Who Enjoy Alone Time

Even though it can seem contradictory, people who enjoy solitude usually know themselves better. They also know the fears and concerns of the people around them.
This is What Science Says About People Who Enjoy Alone Time
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Solitude that is freely chosen and well-managed and enjoyed improves your health and well-being. There are some who see this in a bad light since it goes against the social norms and the natural connection that’s so characteristic in human beings. However, there’s something we can’t forget: it’s good for people to be by themselves and enjoy alone time.

Time alone helps us keep in touch with our internal world, thoughts, and emotions. People who enjoy time on their own face stressful and anxiety-ridden situations much better. Thus, this alone time promotes a solid personality.

Science has tried to study people who embrace alone time and outline their characteristics. Healthy, cathartic, and beneficial solitude is a “moment to unplug”. These people don’t use alone time to try to escape or avoid people. In this regard, solitude also doesn’t neglect building bonds that are significant.

Being able to take refuge in your shell from time to time is healthy. Plus, it has a positive impact on your well-being. Today, we want to show you what science says about this.

Using alone time to achieve personal fulfilment

A man alone looking at the water.

The book Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto by Anneli Rufus tells us that almost 25% of the population is characterized by this trait. These people enjoy being alone and really enjoy their own company.

“Solitude sometimes is the best society, and short retirement urges sweet return.”

-John Milton-

However, society itself has always labeled them with various adjectives. Most of these adjectives are rather negative: antisocial, losers, elitists, or even egotistical…

It’s common for these people not to be trusted. This is because they do things like disconnect from everything and everyone for certain periods of time. Plus, a person who doesn’t have a partner and says, “I’m happy this way” is often frowned upon.

How can someone be happy if they aren’t sharing their life with someone else? How does one benefit from not exchanging ideas with another? Can joy come from choosing silence over conversation? Can you enjoy keeping your emotions in and not sharing a sofa, a bed, a walk, or a meal?

These are usually the most common questions that polar opposite people have. They see life through the lens of extroversion that looks for constant social stimulus. They always look for company and always seek out others’ support. Science, however, says something different.

Having alone time doesn’t mean you’re running away from the world

A woman alone.

Doctor Birk Hagemeye of the University of Jena, Thuringia (Germany) developed a scale with his colleagues. This scale measures your levels of social activity, connection with others, and your desire for solitude.

As we mentioned above, there are two sides to solitude:

  • One of them is the neurotic person who only looks for solitude out of necessity because they don’t know how to socialize. They also don’t know how to be drawn out by their environment, other people, or stimuli.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who enjoy specific moments with themselves. And at the same time, they don’t run away from anyone or anything. They just want to be and explore their own thoughts.

Thus, the so-called ABC of social desires has allowed a deeper understanding of this profile. Here are some of its conclusions:

  • Those who enjoy spending time alone are better at regulating their mood. Plus, they have fewer “explosions” from bad moods, discomfort, frustration, etc…
  • People who enjoy their alone time usually have a more open mind. They are more original, curious, and imaginative.
  • Their social trait, as striking as it might seem, is likable. They usually show more empathy.
  • By going deeper in their personal universe, they know how to better recognize external needs, fears, and concerns.
  • Another aspect that stands out in this scale is that it allows them to define their personal trait more. They’re better able to define and embrace their introversion.
A woman spending alone time.
  • Also, this kind of introversion is never linked to shyness.
  • On the other hand, the most extroverted people usually have a fear or an obvious discomfort of being alone. They feel threatened. Plus, they see themselves as “broken” if at any given point they aren’t with their partner, friends, etc.
  • At the same time, another interesting detail is that people who feel at ease in solitude better manage their stress and anxiety.

Read more: Solitude is Enjoyable When You Seek It

However, you may be wondering what negative aspects this tool can show you. What the ABC of social desires shows is that t hese people usually feel misunderstood.

They see themselves in a positive light. Plus, they have a good self-esteem. However, when they think about how others see them, they almost always see themselves as “the black sheep of the group” or “the oddball”.

All in all, everyone has their own kind of personality. No one personality is better than another. Whether you’re a social butterfly or prefer time alone, it’s good to learn what helps you be the best person you can be and embrace it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Amichai-Hamburger, Y. y Ben-Artzi, E. (2003). Soledad y uso de Internet. Computers in Human Behavior, 19 (1), 71–80.
  • Cardona, J. L., Villamil, M. M., Henao, E., & Quintero, A. (2009). Concepto de soledad y percepción que de su momento actual tiene el adulto mayor en el municipio de Bello, Colombia 2007. Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública27(2).
  • Hagemeyer, B., Neyer, FJ, Neberich, W. y Asendorpf, JB (2013). El abc de los deseos sociales: afiliación, estar solo y cercanía a la pareja. Revista europea de personalidad, 27 (5), 442–457.
  • Hawkley, LC, Burleson, MH, Berntson, GG y Cacioppo, JT (2003). Soledad en la vida cotidiana: actividad cardiovascular, contexto psicosocial y conductas de salud. Revista de personalidad y psicología social, 85 (1), 105-120.
  • Jürschik, Pilar, Botigué, Teresa, Nuin, Carmen, & Lavedán, Ana. (2013). Estado de ánimo caracterizado por soledad y tristeza: factores relacionados en personas mayores. Gerokomos24(1), 14-17.
  • Rico Moreno, Javier. (2014). Hacia una historia de la soledad. Historia y grafía, (42), 35-63. Recuperado en 18 de enero de 2019, de
  • Rufus, A. (2003). Party of one. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.