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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 05:22 PM
Original message
Happy Loners?
Do most people think loners are depressed?
I know some people are, I mean feeling lonely can be very sad, needing support and companionship. But I'm glad when it's just me & the cats or me & my headphones, I can get stuff done or walk or read or talk online.
I keep up with my family with email every day and once in a while I like being with very close friends or with my family, but when it comes to events with lots of people, like big dinner parties, it always seems like a chore that's taking up my free time.. and sometimes it brings me down, like last Tuesday I was sitting at a big table with 9 people working on a mailing and one lady got all anti-environmental, which is the last thing I need to hear, I'm already losing hope in people, encounters like that do not help. I mean I don't even think it's good for me to learn that much about people anymore!
My husband is happy playing computer games and reading, so we spend hours being quiet together, but I think our aloneness would seem depressing to other people. Our parents on both sides spend a lot more time with groups, they're more like "People People".. and they understand that we're happy, since they know us.. but I wonder if someone who didn't know us would think we're depressed & sad?
It's an essay sorry :) and this has probably been said before, I'm just asking if people think being a loner means being unhappy.

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deepthought42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-12-07 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm a happy loner.
It's not that I don't care about others, it's just that I'm usually content by myself. I can relax, get stuff done, whatever.

Of course that does make dating a little difficult. Since when is that a chore? I have a hard time saying no when he asks if I wanna do something, even though most of the time I just don't have the desire to be social. *shrugs*

I don't get it...what is wrong with me?
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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Loner" does not equal "lonely."
There are plenty of ways to be with people if you really want to. I don't. Frankly after working in a call center all week (yeah, NOT a good job for a loner!) i have to have at least one day to recover from people. There are some people I'm pleased to hear from at any time, but not many. Mostly I keep a friendly distance from others, keeping my civility but not letting them get too close. I'm much happier when I'm alone than when I'm in a relationship too.
So, to reiterate, being a loner means you like to be alone. Being lonely is a whole other ball game.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-20-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. i can relate to that
Edited on Thu Sep-20-07 10:52 PM by shanti
my job entails pretty heavy phone and face-to-face contact with clients and co-workers, and as a loner, it's tough. friday just cannot come soon enough! my youngest son graduates hs next year, and i'm already thinking (dreaming?) about what i'm going to do when he's off to college! sure i'll miss him, but as someone who has NEVER lived alone in 52 years, i crave my aloneness, quiet, and privacy. retirement in THREE years - yeah! i occasionally feel lonely, but it's fleeting.
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Q3JR4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-20-08 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Not happy but content.
Beats the alternative.

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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-08 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. that is how I describe myself
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. Crowds depress the heck out of me.
Solitude lifts me up. Companionship does not have to be noisy.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-23-08 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Perfect,
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Hey.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-23-08 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sure.
I, perhaps, take being a loner to extremes.

I was happy married; I enjoyed my husband's company. He didn't enjoy my solitariness, though, and got irritated that I didn't want to entertain or go to other social gatherings. For many years we compromised; I'd have people over once or twice a year, and go out to socialize with him once or twice a year.

Eventually, he left me for someone more social.

I have a few friends. I go around in a constant state of guilt because I haven't contacted them, or made efforts to get together. It's hard to maintain friendships on an email or a visit every 3 or 4 months.

In reality, I am happiest alone. I am rarely lonely, and am usually craving more isolation from others than I get. My idea of a perfect day is staying at home, with no one else there, the front gate locked, and the phones turned off.
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psychmommy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-11-08 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. i enjoy being alone also.
although not married, i have a very social child-who's dad was very social-drove me insane. she is social to a point and respects that home is our refuge. i enjoy going to the movies alone. if i must be in a crowd, i usually find a spot by myself. loud noisy places annoy me. fake and needy people annoy me. my kid is a cheerleader and i will do anything to be at her games to support her-i sit away from everyone else and although i am friendly, i don't seek out conversation. if i want to be around people, i can visit my lovely family. a couple of hours with them and i am happy to be alone again. i do enjoy the company of young people-i love to listen to their ideas. their simple ways of thinking-kids are refreshing. but they can be draining also.
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CLANG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. I am alone in my own mind
In that sense I am a loner, going by myself through my life experiences. I'm NOT a people person. I love people in general, but am a little bit uneasy around them. Even my own family members. But it's OK, it's just my life. Your mileage may very.
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Kind of Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-24-08 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
12. "...who didn't know us would think we're depressed & sad?"
I got the opposite reaction. When I worked with people, even though I'm very friendly, happy and a hard worker, I always rubbed co-workers the wrong way for not wanting to go for drinks after work or just hang out. This would usually lead to more interest in my personal life, gossip, and bad feelings. Eventually, I discovered that I could work from home and that saved my life, because I can't imagine going through life having to explain why I enjoy my own company, and now with just my husband. Like you, we spend hours being quiet but more time yapping about everything under the sun.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
13. New member to the group.
And a very happy loner. See _my thoughts_ on the subject.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-01-09 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Welcome.
A funny thing about being a loner:

we really don't have all that much to say once we've "outed" ourselves, lol. This forum probably gets less traffic than any other at DU. ;)

I just dropped by this morning, after a lapse of several months, because of a post I saw in GD, a person reaching out to those who didn't have company to celebrate New Year's with.

I forgot it was new years. I'm on vacation and don't have to look at calendars and clocks. I didn't even turn on the tv to watch the rose parade this morning, which I usually do.

I wondered how many people who are true loners, loners by choice and not just circumstance, felt lonely during the holidays.

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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
15. As a loner
and a chronic depressive, the two don't necessarily go together.

Most people are herd animals. Some people aren't. Extroverts gain energy from the company of others. Introverts expend it. I'm known for my good humor and easy going nature. I can make almost anybody laugh and I spread good cheer whever I go. Or so they tell me. But it costs me.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. It's a matter of degrees I think
Yeah, I can be the life of the party ...

for about two hours. Then I'm ready to go home and hide. :-)

Optimal environment for me is maybe one or two other people around. I'm not alone all the time, but it's not so much that I get overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, I spend almost all my time completely alone. That's not quite right either.
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I read once
Edited on Tue Jan-06-09 01:10 PM by rrneck
that anarchist movements can never organize because anarchists, by definition, would not accept leadership. Loners are sort of the same. How do like minded people stay around each other when they are not predisposed to establishing and maintaining relationship?

I think we are stuck with some sort of learning curve there. Most of the people who know me well, and there ain't many, are in the mental health business. I'm not sure what that says about me, :) ,but at least they understand boundaries and they know that just because I'm not constantly interacting with them that doesn't mean that I am ignoring them. The people around me learn to not crowd me, but they pester me enough to help me learn to be around people more.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-09 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
18. I have absolutely no concept of loneliness
never bothers me
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-09 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
19. ...thinkin about joining but.....
...there sure are a lot of folks here! (chknltl tried to make a funny!)

Hmmmm, maybe I should start a recluse group.....

but that would make me an oxymoran* now wouldn't it.

Note the lack of a '?' at the end of that last sentence. This infers that it was rhetorical or...

.......that I was just talking to myself!

I do that quite often in the DU,

 to myself.

Not complaining mind you,

I've noted that lotsa DUers do this!-(Talk to themselves that is.)

Some even take it personal.... but I don't.

Wanna know why I am not bothered by this?

Yep you guessed it-I'm a contented loner too!

OK I'm in. :hi:

So the question is regarding my happiness.
I've never thought about that one, upon reflection I've been both happy and unhappy regarding my self imposed exile. I've been through an angst that I am not like everyone else but after I hit 50, I've come to cherish this type of life, a life apart from everyone else. I can't imagine the life of a 'normal' social person, (if there is such a person), I simply can't see myself around folks on anything resembling a regular basis. I spend less than an hour each day in the company of exactly one select friend and that's pretty much it!

I am from a family of 9, the eldest child, both parents recently deceased. I rarely visit my friends and visit my relatives less often than that! I don't hate people, I just don't have any urgent need to 'hang out' with anyone. I am single and I fully intend to stay that way!

For a period of time, I enjoyed photography as a hobby. In order to better myself in my hobby I undertook the task of learning how to photograph people. (A daunting task for a reclusive loner-as you might imagine!) At first I sucked at it, both technically and mentally. Posing folks meant interacting with them and my social skills, (more accurately my lack of social skills), really made for challenging sessions.

Then I discovered band photography, it was chknltl hatching out of an egg! I did not at first have to pose folks, all I had to do was capture them onstage doing their own thing. I learned that it was best if the band basically ignored my presence altogether! So for a little over a decade, I could be all alone in a crowd and yes, I was VERY happy to be like that. I did a thread about this for the DU Photography forum:

I developed a fake persona: that 'band photographer guy'. As that person, (who truly was not me), I was able to better interact with folks and eventually able to pose small groups of people in order to get the shot's that I was requested to make. I became well known within the local music business, everyone wanted me to be at their 'gigs' and then at their after-hours parties. I almost always managed to find ways to stay away from those parties but on the few I was forced to go to I was able to hide behind my cameras.

It was strange, having people regularly coming up to me and chatting away about this or that band and doing so as if we were close chums.... and yet quite often, I had no clue who they were! I got in the habit when strangers came up to me of apologising for my poor memory, after soooo many bands how could I possibly remember everyone I had met and btw your face looks familiar but which band were you in again????

I was perfectly happy in my fake persona! I rarely let any of these folks into my life. There was perhaps two bands, (maybe three) who were ever allowed to visit me at my home and even then the visit was less than an hour and rarely more than once in a week! My home was then and still is my fortress! I prefer it that way! No, I'm not being selfish-that's the last thing the few folks who know me would say about me!

I was happy with my fake persona because it allowed me to go out and learn as much about people photography as I cared to and it exposed me to some very talented artists. I cherish their art in the form of their CDs to this day but I do so alone. It would be alien for me to listen to their music with someone else-I'd likely just loan out the CD and ask them to get back to me about it later.

I eventually drifted away from my hobby, my life has gone back to blissful quietness again.

I have a theory about folks such as you and I, folks who call ourselves loners: I believe that the souls which reside within each of us are spending this particular life 'resting'. You see, I believe in reincarnation-that each of us has a soul which has lived and will live again many many times. I believe that for us, our adventures are behind us, that we are just here tidying up some loose ends before moving on to...well...I ain't too sure about that part. (I'm pretty sure I was never Edgar Cayce so I am not about to predict my own future, much less yours if that's OK with you).

So the question is am I happy? Meh.... I suppose I am happy enough, content would be more accurate. I can assure you that I would be a lot less than happy if you were to visit-don't take it personal, it's me not you!

*'oxymoran'-that was deliberate as well...if you need to ask: welcome to the Democratic Underground :toast:
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Hello, Chk! I also have developed a false persona to deal with my
everyday work life, and it has certainly saved me. I simply put on my actress' clothes, waltz on stage at 7 every morning, and get off the stage at 3. Given the chance, I am extremely reclusive and would love to simply attend to my weird little hobbies -- card modeling, drawing in a journal, writing, gardening -- but I won't get to do that for another 2 or 3 years, when I can retire. Ah, retirement! A loner's dream! Mr. Nay and I are gonna get a cheap motor home and travel the country, going wherever whim takes us.

I've always been a loner. I was that brainy kid who hid in the corner in HS. Went to college, but didn't make friends easily and thus could never take advantage of the good old boys/girls network to give myself a boost into a decent job right out of college. Frankly, if I knew then what I know now, I'd have spent serious time (in acting class, maybe?) developing that persona so I could get along with others better. I did spend a lot of years just farting around in diff jobs (I was a photog, too, for a while -- children and families -- had a persona for that) when what I really wanted was: 1) to be alone, or failing that, 2) in a job that paid so well I could plan on an early retirement and be alone then!
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-01-09 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. One of my FAV pics on your post!
We're fine! I won't bother you!
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lizerdbits Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-09 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
21. Well most of us probably don't
I wandered in here due to valentine's day since I always forget to be upset that I don't have an SO.

I think it's just a personality difference. I think being in large gatherings or around people for a really long time is awful so people who enjoy that probably think being alone is depressing. The comments about "recovering" from time with people I can truly understand. That much people time is just so tiring and after a while I just can't pay attention anymore and get irritable.

I do lab-based work and most of us are like that since although we're a group and each person has their part, most of the time each person is doing their own thing. In my experience most of the social types that work in labs are cauldron-stirrers or gossips, though that's a generalization and certainly not true all the time.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-01-09 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Welcome!!!!!
I decided to 'join' as issues about living arrangements are arising, and chatting may help.

Lived alone happily before marriage and children, have similar feelings about large group gatherings as others here do, and am now living with a friend, S.O. he might be called.

House (where I haven't lived for 2+years) being sold, status of marriage about to be decided. Living in friends house, but just now occurring to me that I might want my own place. Its probably been more than 6 years since I've felt content where I live. Where I've lived last 3 years hasn't been 'mine,' and I'm old enough to have mine with my things around me. Daughters are 20 and 24, college and grad school; I've had a good life, and would like to continue.

S.O. and I get along well most of the time; when we met, our 'alliance' was clearly a matter of convenience, and we suit eachother intellectually. We easily spend time quietly together.

Telling him I'd like to move out might be difficult for him more as a 'business' matter than emotionally; we can continue to see eachother if we want.

I'd appreciate hearing folks' thoughts.

Unexpected essay here! I guess I had somethings to say!
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-03-09 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. I like Helena Bonham Carter's and Tim Burton's arrangement
They have adjoining houses with, I think, a corridor joining the two. They maintain separate households but can spend time together anytime they want. Plus kids can go back and forth at will.


You don't have to promise to do their underwear, yet you're nearby. This would work well for me. ;-)
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Very nice if one has unlimited resources
along with the right geography. Not many do, and I certainly don't. GOOD that it would work for you!
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. I'm a happy, content loner
I'm married to another loner, and we both see the need for each other's space in our day.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
27. Very happy -- and hello again!
Haven't checked back into this group in quite a while. Nice to see you're all still here. :)

I've been living alone in my rented casita with books, computer, patio garden, and four cats for more than 2-1/2 years now ... and I've never been happier. A week visiting family last month reminded me of how much I really do love my life just this way.

People are available whenever I feel like interacting, but I'm quite content to go for days at a time without seeing another human being except through the window.

I wandered back to this group tonight because a family member had commented that my lifestyle is "selfish" -- and I was curious to see if other loners have had similar comments.

Is a preference for solitude innately "selfish" and, if it is, does that necessarily make it wrong? :shrug:

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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I'm always suspicious of people who think we're selfish because
we like solitude -- I've always thought the needy grasping social-type people were the selfish ones. Even normally social people are selfish in the sense that **it's all about them** -- in other words, they are out looking to fulfill their own needs by USING other people. Can't get much more selfish than that!

I think your family member is kinda insecure. I also think that social people who call us "selfish" really are telling us that they feel rejected if there is even one person in the world who doesn't immediately want to socialize with them.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Thank you.
That's pretty much what I've been feeling, but I was repressing the conscious thought because that would confirm her assessment. She likes to tell me that I "can't take criticism, even when it's for your own good" -- meaning her frequent critiques about my "unnatural" lifestyle.

This person is, indeed, a social gadfly who makes everything "all about her." She gets very personally and visibly offended when I don't respond as desired to all her likes and dislikes, and she's constantly prodding in those areas.

I'm very thankful that we only see each other once a year, communicating by email and an occasional phone call the rest of the year. In person, she knows exactly how to punch my buttons, and I fell for it again to the point of feeling guilty and second-guessing myself.

You've helped me put it all back in perspective -- until next year's visit, anyway. :D

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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. Moving to a place of my own next week!
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:59 PM by elleng
Have lived with others since '79, in various states of tolerance and unhappiness, but due to circumstances, I'll be on my own! (more or less! closer to one daughter, farther from s.o., but on my own!) I feel the freshness/freedom already!

EDIT: Just looked back at early March postings, and it seems I was hoping for the current situation to arise at that time! SO, I've got my wish!

Hi, all!

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