13 signs you’re a lone wolf who is simply happier alone

by Brendan Brown | March 25, 2024, 6:52 pm

Humans are undeniably social animals. Everything around you right now, from the clothes you’re (hopefully) wearing to the device you’re reading this on, is proof of our amazing capacity to cooperate in large societies.

But people are also diverse. While some people can’t get enough of the company of others, some of us prefer being alone.

I know from my own experience that, while there is a small group of people I am happy to spend time around, I need plenty of solitude, even from them, to be truly happy.

Maybe you’re a lone wolf too. Here are some signs you may just be happier by yourself:

1) You’re not bothered by other people’s opinions

Society has a strange relationship with loners.

On the one hand, people tend to fear and distrust anyone who seems entirely self-sufficient and comfortable by themselves.

On the other hand, we glamorize independent loners in movies from Mad Max to John Wick.

Here’s the thing: a lone wolf doesn’t care what you think about them.

Loners don’t put a lot of importance on other people’s opinions of how they live their lives. 

So while the rest of society continues its love-hate relationship with the romantic image of the lone wolf, real lone wolves go on doing their own thing without a care.

2) You have no problem saying no

Being a loner by choice means establishing firm boundaries. That, in turn, means saying no.

Many people struggle with the idea of letting people down by saying no. Lone wolves usually don’t

They will happily decline an invitation to a social function they don’t want to attend or tell their boss they can’t work overtime on a project because they have something else they want to do that’s more important to them.

Think about it: maybe that’s why we glamorize lone wolves. Because so many of us wish we could be like that.

3) You can entertain yourself

I was eighteen years old when I went on my first solo vacation. There have been many more since then.

And I had a fantastic time wandering around Rome, exploring beautiful churches and ancient amphitheaters.

Both before and after I went, people often asked me, wouldn’t I be bored exploring by myself? 

No, I wasn’t. Everything I saw and experienced was so fascinating. But also, I never get bored by myself.

Lone wolves are often deep thinkers, which means they do just fine having space and time to themselves and their own thoughts.

The truth is, not everyone needs people around them all the time to keep them entertained.

Lone wolves certainly don’t.

4) You are an introvert

Many lone wolves are introverts.

There are lots of different ways to tell an introvert. Generally, the term refers to people who take pleasure in solitary activities, and tend to be more reflective.

However, probably the safest definition of an introvert is someone who replenishes their energy, either mental or physical, by time spent alone

The opposite is true of extroverts, who gain energy from being around people.

What does this mean? Well, it means that lone wolves need time alone to recharge their batteries and deal with the world again. 

It doesn’t mean they’re antisocial or that they don’t like people. It just means they gain energy from solitude.

5) You are a good judge of character

Loners tend to be excellent judges of character.

Partly, that’s because they are usually introverted and spend a lot of time thinking, both about themselves and about others.

Partly, it’s because they tend to be quieter in social situations, and are able to observe people without being distracted by interacting with them.

And partly, it’s because introverts tend to be very intuitive.

You see, while lone wolves may not seem to be particularly interested in other people, they often do have a deep understanding of them. 

The result is that lone wolves can often see through the front that people put up and understand them very well in a short space of time.

It’s also because…

6) You know yourself really well

Spending time in solitude allows a lone wolf to spend a lot of quality time with themselves.

That’s because without the distractions of other people, a loner can focus on their own thoughts and desires.

Combine that with the fact that they tend to be deep thinkers by nature, and you have a recipe for someone who knows themselves far better than most people do.

Knowing themselves so well is part of what allows lone wolves to be good judges of character. It also helps them to pursue their own goals without regard for what other people think of them.

And all that self-reflection has other effects too…

7) You have strong principles

Lone wolves are often strongly principled and very firm in their convictions.

Here’s why:

Loners spend a lot of time examining their ideas and questioning the motivations behind them. This results in firmly held ideas that can be backed up with evidence.

And there’s more.

Lone wolves are not swayed by what other people think, but instead develop their own principles and moral code. 

That makes them far more convinced of their opinions than people who just inherited their ideas from someone else.

8) You are self-motivated

Lone wolves are self-sufficient. 

That means they can motivate themselves to go after what they decide is worth pursuing.

Lone wolves don’t need a lot of supervision in the workplace, and instead thrive from being given as much autonomy as possible. 

It also means that lone wolves often have exceptional discipline in their personal lives.

9) You are bored by small talk

Some weather we’re having, huh? And how about that local sports team?

If you feel yourself bristling at those words, it’s a good sign you may be a lone wolf.

Lone wolves aren’t interested in small talk. When they talk to others, they are usually more comfortable talking about more meaningful topics.

Small talk exists because most people are not comfortable in silence.

On the other hand, lone wolves thrive in it.

And generally, they would rather say nothing at all than waste time saying things that don’t need to be said.

10) You take responsibility for yourself

Part of a lone wolf’s self-reliance is a heightened sense of responsibility.

Lone wolves don’t blame others for their problems. They accept their own flaws and strengths, and know all of them very well.

That means a lone wolf will easily accept responsibility for their own life, without looking outside themselves.

11) You prefer having a few meaningful relationships

By now, you might be wondering if lone wolves would be happier living off in the forest with no human contact at all.

And for some of them, that might be the case. However, many loner types do maintain some meaningful relationships with friends and family.

I’m one of them. 

I’m a loner by nature, but at the same time, I’m married. 

Luckily, my wife understands my need for solitude and doesn’t take it personally when I do things without her.

Generally, lone wolves have fewer relationships than average, but those relationships are deeper and more meaningful than average, too. 

Lone wolves only have the energy for a few relationships that they invest in completely, rather than having lots of superficial friends.

12) You don’t need a relationship to validate you

Relationships are important. 

And so many of our favorite stories, in books and movies and TV, feed into the idea of getting the girl (or guy) as part of the happy ending.

Lone wolves don’t feel that way.

While they are perfectly capable of maintaining romantic relationships, they don’t get their sense of self-worth from their ability to attract a mate. 

Lone wolves can absolutely have loving and intimate relationships. 

But they don’t need to the way many other people do.

13) You like to do things your own way

There’s no denying that there are benefits to being alone.

That’s part of why I love solo travel. I can go to the sights that interest me, without having to worry about whether anyone else is enjoying the experience.

This is often true of lone wolves. They like to do things their own way, and having other people around just makes it harder to get what they want.

The joy of the lone wolf

Sometimes, solitary people are portrayed as being somehow inferior, strange, or unable to function in society.

But that’s not the reality.

It takes many different kinds of people to make this the interesting world it is, and loners are some of the most fascinating people you’re likely to meet – if they are willing to meet you.

And if you are a lone wolf, congratulations! In a world that values fitting in, you have the courage to stand out and be unapologetically yourself.

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