People who have an introverted personality prefer to stay on their own to socializing with other people. Sometimes they are wrongly labeled snobs and anti-social people because they do not associate with a lot of people. Most of us also tend to feel bad for them because we see them as being lonely and without friends while others see them as weak but a recent study just completed proves the opposite. People who stay on their own are actually a lot stronger than people who always hang out in groups.
People who prefer their own company to that of friends are very strong and wield a lot of power.
A social psychologist by the name Bella DePaulo spent the majority of her entire career to studying introverts. She had written a book in which she detailed her findings. DePaulo’s book doesn’t present her results and findings about the loners as her own personal conclusion based on her observations; her book gives detailed results that are backed up and proven by science. In her book, she gives us detailed explanations that are scientifically proven to show why she believes that people who most often stay alone are stronger than those who prefer the company of other people.
Her work is an all rounded work which touches just about every aspect of being alone. She discusses the psychology behind that way of life and the inherent benefits of being alone.
Whenever the topic of being alone comes up, there seems to be this pervading sadness or pity directed to a person seen as alone because the society has equated being alone to unhappiness and happiness has been linked to having a special someone to share your life with, having kids and a family. For the society, being alone is not a life that anyone should strive to live and so we have a society hellbent on the pursuit for love and that special someone while also nursing the crushing fear of being alone and leading a single life.
Study Revealed Fear of Living Single Life Influences Choices
The Fear of living the single life is a major influence on our choices as individuals.
DePaulo discusses this phenomenon in a study titled “Settling for Less out of Fear of Being Single.” This is a study that was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Toronto and led by Stephanie Spielman. As the title states, this study really evaluated the choices that people have made that were driven more or less by the innate fear of being alone. Most of the time, this fear leads people to make wrong decisions that might end up really hurting them later on. For others, this fear manifests in the mediocre lives they have chosen to live because they were afraid to wait for the best and so they settled for less than they deserved. These decisions most often than not caused a person to develop a negative attachment to other people or a relationship.
This study was done with two groups of people. The first group consisted of 301 people who had been gotten randomly online. They all had an average age of 29. The second group was made up of 147 undergraduates studying in Canada who were of the average age of 19. Of the 448 people who participated in this exercise, 35 of them were married, 236 were single while 177 of them were in a relationship at the time of the study. Seven different tests were administered, and the researchers in charge of the study took the results and made their conclusions. They concluded that the fear of being single existed and that it was a major factor to consider when trying to find out if someone would be more prone to settling for something less.
True Loners Do Not Fear Living Alone
There is a select number of people who truly don’t have a fear of being alone. DePaulo calls them the “true loners.” This is because they have made a choice on their own to enjoy being alone and as such do not entertain the fear of forever being alone. Contrary to what other people might believe this choice does not make them afraid or unbalanced. They are just people who have conquered the fear of knowing what they truly want and going after it despite what the society follows. They prefer to seek their happiness alone and not in someone else’s heart. This very bold step would keep them from settling for less than they deserve. If they don’t find someone that they deserve, then they’ll stay alone. Another positive aspect of their mindset is that they will never be the people in the society whose self-worth lies in the palm of others.
Because the fear of being alone no longer exists for the true loner, he is not afraid of not being accepted, and what’s more, he doesn’t get hurt when someone does not accept him. If these true loners are ever in a romantic relationship, they don’t rest their self-esteem and self-worth on the success of that relationship. They simply don’t feel the urge to be a part of what everyone else is doing, and because of this, they don’t feel sad when they are alone.
In conclusion, DePaulo states that “when a person’s openness, extraversion, conscientiousness and low level of neuroticism is put together people who are not afraid of being alone are strong and powerful.”