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13 Rules for Being Alone and Being Happy About It

As you read this, I’m flying back to The U.S. from China. Alone. While I was there, I ran a marathon. Alone. I stayed in a hotel room alone (mostly). I wandered around Beijing alone. I sat down to eat at the local restaurants alone.

This is normal for me.

Sometimes, people ask, “Tyler, wouldn’t you have more fun traveling if you had someone to go with?”

And my answer is always both yes and no.

Traveling with a friend or someone close can be a really rewarding experience. You don’t truly know someone until you travel with them, and getting to know someone like that can be a lot of fun (or not!).

But I have just as much fun traveling alone. It’s a different experience, but no less enjoyable. When I travel alone, what I learn about is myself. I learn about my own strengths, and I learn about my own weaknesses and insecurities. I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.

Traveling isn’t the only time being alone is a valuable experience. It can be powerful in any aspect of life.

Image courtes of Flickr
Image courtesy of Flickr

The World As An Introvert

It seems today—at least in the U.S.—there must be something wrong with you if you’re alone. We praise the extroverts—those who know how to handle themselves in a crowd, the ones with vast network of friends. We think working in groups and on teams is the only way to find the answer to a problem. That two heads are better than one. That collaboration is the only way of the future.

But the truth is almost half of the world doesn’t agree. I don’t feel that way. Sometimes, the rhetoric gets so loud I wonder what’s wrong with me when I don’t feel like going to parties, or working on big teams, or being the center of attention.

I see my friends going out and wonder what’s wrong with me when I want to stay in. I see them collaborating on business projects together, and wonder if there’s something wrong with me because I prefer to work alone.

But there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m an introvert. And, according to some statistics, there’s about a 50% chance that you are, too.

If you’re an introvert, welcome to the club. There aren’t any meetings because we prefer to work alone, but you can at least take some solace in knowing you’re not the only one who feels the way you do.

For me, being an introvert doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy going out or having friends or being the center of attention once in a while. It only means that it’s not where I get the most value from my life.

Being “turned on” and in social mode is fun for me, but I can only take it in limited quantities. When I organize an event, I purposefully leave my calendar empty the next day because I know I’ll need to rest and recover.

If I’m working on a team, don’t ask me to brainstorm—I won’t come up with anything useful. But if you leave me alone to think awhile, you might be surprised at what I accomplish.

If you want me to come out with you and your friends, invite me somewhere quiet where we can talk. I get value from my relationships by getting to know you much more than just being around you.

And if you’re an extrovert, don’t assume there’s no value in this for you. In the same way I can enjoy myself in a big group, you may find you can also enjoy yourself… all by yourself. There is great value in being alone. And handling it well is a beautiful thing.

At the very least, it’s a useful life skill. You can’t always control when there will be someone there for you, so being able to happily conduct yourself alone is an important part of being alive.

13 Rules For Being Alone And Being Happy About It

The following are 13 rules I try to live by when it comes to being alone. They add enormous value to my life.

Whether you’re an introvert trying to make your way in an extrovert’s world, or an extrovert learning to become better at being on your own, I hope they add some value to your life as well.

1. Understand you’re good enough all by yourself.

You’re a valuable person, and you don’t need the approval of anyone else for that to be true. When you’re alone, remind yourself that it’s because you choose to be. It really is a choice.

It’s very easy to find someone to spend time with, but when you have high standards for the people you allow into your life, you’re telling yourself that you’re better off by yourself than with someone who isn’t a great fit for you.

2. Value others’ opinions, but value your own more.

Don’t ask for advice unless you truly need it. Instead, ask yourself for advice. If you knew the answer to the problem that you have, what would it be?

That’s your answer. The more time you spend asking yourself for advice, the less you start to need input from others. When you trust yourself to solve problems, you become a much stronger and more confident person, and you take on challenges that you wouldn’t have felt capable of before.

3. Learn to be an observer.

I’ve always held the belief that if you aren’t able to take interest in something, it says more about you than whatever it is you find uninteresting.

To truly enjoy being alone, learn to look at ordinary situations in new and unfamiliar ways. Go to the park and watch people play with their children or their dogs. Go to the grocery store and watch how people shop for their groceries.

Everywhere you go, make an effort to understand the other people around you. Learning how people operate when they think no one is watching will make you feel more connected to them.

4. Close your eyes in a dark room and appreciate the silence.

The world is a busy place and, unless you take a moment to step away from it once in a while, it’s easy to forget how nice it is to simply sit alone and enjoy your own company.

Take a moment and sit quietly in a dark room. Listen to everything that is not happening around you. You can learn a lot about yourself in the moments when you’re least occupied—the times when there is nothing to distract you from the thoughts and feelings you deny yourself during your busy days.

5. Learn how to talk to yourself.

They say it’s perfectly normal to talk to yourself; you’re only crazy if you talk back.

Every single person has an inner voice that talks to them at all hours of all days, and getting to know that person and how to talk to them is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

When you fill your time with other people, it’s easier to ignore this voice, but when you’re alone, it’s your only company. This voice rubs off on you. It is you. The way that you talk to yourself when no one else is around will shape who you are in this world more than anything else.

Just like you’d distance yourself from negative friends who bring you down, it’s just as important to distance yourself from a negative inner voice.

When you’re alone, it can sometimes be hard to stay positive, but you must be kind to yourself.

6. Cherish every interaction.

Most people have to experience some type of tragedy before they begin to understand just how brief our time here is. You get but a few short trips around the sun, and then it’s over.

Time alone is important. Time alone is beautiful. But so is time spent with others.

There is no such thing as a boring person. There is no such thing as a boring situation. If you’re ever bored, it’s because you’re not paying attention. This is a problem with you, not with your surroundings.

Take an interest in every person that comes into your life, even if for only a second. Listen closely to what they say. Watch carefully what they do. Try to understand them as a person. You’ll be better for it.

7. Rearrange your furniture.

When you’re alone, it’s easy to fall into a pattern. It’s easy to stagnate and feel as if things rarely change. And when you’re alone, this is true—things rarely do change unless you make a conscious effort to change them.

The problem is that meaningful change is hard, and what’s hard rarely gets started. To keep things moving, you have to keep things fresh. And to keep things fresh, it’s best to look for small wins that can lead to bigger ones.

Rearranging your furniture is meaningless by itself, but it brings new life to a dull routine, which is easy to fall prey to when you’re spending a lot of time alone.

8. Avoid mindless consumption.

When you’re alone, you have an incredible opportunity to think clearly about your life and the direction you want to take it. In a world that’s often filled with noise, you’ve been given quiet. This is a time to reaffirm the path that your life is on.

Are you happy and fulfilled? Should you keep doing what you’re doing? Or, are you feeling unsatisfied? Should you change something?

These are questions you can only answer when you take advantage of this gift of quiet.  If, instead, you fill your time with entertainment that you mindlessly consume—TV, movies, randomly surfing the web—it will be difficult to answer these questions. You can never devote enough attention to coming to a clear answer.

9. Create, create, create.

To create is one of the most important things you can do in your life. To create among a sea of people (or even just one person) vying for your attention is one of the most difficult things in life.

When you’re alone, the only one stopping you from creating the art, the work, that you’re capable of is yourself. All excuses are gone. When you’re alone, you can lose yourself in your work. When you lose yourself in your work, you can be sure that you’re creating something truly meaningful.

Your other option is to ignore that call to create and, instead, look for temporary comfort in things and people who will eventually leave you unfulfilled. Make use of your loneliness.

10. Make plans for the future, and pursue them immediately.

It’s almost impossible to feel good about your life if you don’t have some type of direction for it. When you meet someone, it’s usually quite easy to see if they have a handle on their life and are happy, or if they’re wandering without aim, looking for something to pursue.

The purpose for your life doesn’t need to be complex or earth shattering. It doesn’t have to be big or overwhelming. It only needs to be present. Once it’s there, it gets much easier to make plans you can take action on.

Pursue these plans immediately. Don’t put them off. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Perfect never comes, and the longer you wait, the harder it is to get started.

Maybe you want to travel the world and understand different cultures. Maybe you want to build a massive stamp collection. It doesn’t matter what it is—pick something you enjoy and go after it.

When you do this, two things happen. First, you gain a sense of confidence in yourself because you see that you’re capable of living on your own terms. Second, this confidence brings new and interesting people into your life.

Being alone can be beautiful, but if you want to add people to your life, finding a purpose for your existence is the fastest way to do it.

11. Go to a movie alone.

Get used to doing things alone that society says is made for two. Go to a movie by yourself and enjoy the picture. Have a great dinner out all by yourself. Take yourself on dates, and learn to treat yourself well.

This will be awkward at first. If you’re used to going out with others, you’ll wonder what you should do with yourself while you’re alone. Don’t try to hide from the discomfort. Accept it. And then laugh about it because, really, who the hell decided that you weren’t supposed to do these things alone?

Besides, to truly enjoy these things with others, you have to learn to enjoy them alone first.

12. Pursue an impractical project.

When you work on a team, the pressure to conform is great. You always have to think about the others in your group and regularly make compromises so that the end result is acceptable to everyone.

In my opinion, this is a terrible way to do something important and personally meaningful.

When you’re alone, you’re free to pursue any kind of project you want in your life. You have the freedom to be completely selfish and make no compromises about what you do or how you do it.

Take advantage of this freedom! An important part of life is doing things that look unwise or impractical to others. Do something that’s completely over your head. Start something that you don’t know how to finish.

Think of the wildest thing you’ve ever wanted to do, then take one small step towards realizing it.

If you’re afraid, understand that this doesn’t have to be your whole life. You can contain it to just a small part. In the piece of your life that you set aside, never, ever allow anyone else’s advice or opinions to direct how you work.

This is something you do alone, for the benefit of no one but yourself.

13. Volunteer your time.

If you’re a hermit when you’re alone, find others that you can be alone around. A great way to do this—and to contribute something positive to the world—is to volunteer your time to a cause you believe in.

Being alone and happy doesn’t mean sequestering yourself from the world. It means being confident enough to know that you can surround yourself with people, but not depend on them for your own happiness.

And one good way to get started is to surround yourself with good people—the kind you’ll find when you give your time to a cause that’s important to you.

Do you have any rules for thriving alone? Share them in the comments below.

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What smart people are saying about this...

  1. I agree totally Tyler. I have always loved my own company & felt totally secure in spending lots of time alone. But, over the years, I’ve also learned to value the company & input of others to expand & enrich my life. I just wish it was a bit more of 2-way traffic.
    For instance, I just recently started running training. Because I’ve had no formal training in the past, I figured it would be a good idea for me to join a club so I could get some coaching. Turns out, unless you’re already at a fairly high level, most of the local groups seemed to be more geared towards getting together for social contact rather than learning the technical side of running. The first guy I contacted was incredulous that, not only did I like running alone, but actually prefer it. I love running alone cos I can be a lot more aware of my surroundings & also of my stride, posture, breathing etc than I can if I’m distracted by others talking around me as they run. To me that’s perfectly logical. But he just couldn’t get it. Sigh!
    And Dick, excellent article from Susan Cain. So many people just don’t understand that introversion isn’t about shyness & that, far from us being weak, we are strong, capable, creative & productive people who are just as much a gift to society as extroverts.

  2. OMG this is so comprehensive, Tyler. I remember young women asking me at the end of my uni days why I didn’t want to find a boyfriend and get married and being confused when I said I thought I should learn to live by myself first.
    You reminded me of the first time I ever went on a dinner date with myself. Already a seasoned lone cinema-goer who could hide their lone self in the dark I had to do some tough talking to get me to the Chinese restaurant with my bottle of wine (byo Sydney) and a magazine I could bury my head in so no-one would bother me. The worst part was feeling very conscious of not wanting people to be sorry for me and my solitary state.
    Now where am I? In a country where they do feel sorry for a single woman and given half a chance would pick a partner for me.
    And I absolutely love number 7, having re-arranged furniture all my life and even moved house to get a new perspective on life!

  3. This really hits home. I’ve recently moved to the middle of nowhere in order to save money (just quit the corporate gig to start my own business). I am alone – there are few people my age, and those that are… aren’t exactly the kind I would enjoy the company of.

    Thank you – even though I’m alone, I really do need to start spending more time with myself.

  4. I completely agree with this post! I enjoy being alone as much or more as I do hanging with people. There are things you can do alone, you could never do with people; and vice versa.

    My only rule is to make sure I spend one day a week hanging with friends. Making sure I balance my introverted nature.

    Thanks for writing 😉

    • I totaly agree with you, I like hanging out on my own, because I find it really easy to make friends with people where ever I go, I tried to be in groups more than once but I failed. Since today I thought that something was wrong with me, but as Im seeing through internet, there are others like us, I came to a conclusion that people like us are much stronger than other people that hang out in groups

  5. Love this Tyler! I read a book called the Power of Introverts a little while ago. It made me feel so much more ‘normal’ – I love having an outgoing personality online – but if I’m around people too often I go a little crazy.

    Whole post resonated with me! :) Love it!

    • Oh god that’s exactly how I feel when I am around people,I go a little crazy, because I am so used to being alone all the time, that when I am around people I have this insurmountable amount of energy I want to release through communication.Then when am alone afterwards I realise what a great mistake it was

  6. Great article, and especially important for idea/creative types as far as trusting yourself, your own good taste, and running with it.

    There’s a strong (and warranted) wave of material promoting collaboration mentalities in workplaces, and almost all of them fail to provide any such counter as this, and blindly blanket promote it at the expense of “the isolated genius”, and the power of a single thread from one entity that’s allowed to grow by itself.

    Which ironically is where the bulk of concentrated greatness has ever come from.

  7. A very meaningful and a complete blog. I have known how it feels like being alone. Its a bliss to say the least. I feel very happy to know that there are people who share the same views. Thanks for reviving these feeling so well into words.

  8. I couldn’t agree more. Never thought of myself as an introvert as I have so many friends who’d like to spend time with me. Very often I turn down offers to parties and casual get togethers. The conversation is too superficial and being non-conformist (like my fellow AR’s) I have nothing in common with them. I enjoy being different and alone. Alone time is sacred and stillness is a joy. I grow more in silence.

  9. Amen and Amen. I am always surrounded by people but if I am truly going to hear God I must get “alone”. Coram Deo.

  10. Love, love, love this post! I like doing most things on my own, and this captures so many of the things I had to learn in order to truly enjoy it (and help others understand). Number 2 is the most powerful – stop always looking to others to help guide you; this will change your life!

    One of the first things I did and would recommend, is take a small (driving distance) trip alone. Pretend you’re on a business trip if needed, but do at least one touristy thing a day (I like to do an actual tour that represents the city – segway, bike, bus, etc) and capture your adventure with a camera. When I have the experiences on film, I look back on them with pride and it helps propel new adventures and creativity.

  11. As a self-employed bootstrapper I can relate to that. It is quite a change when you where used to work in a office where you would meet people every day. I really try to enjoy the time know more with my friends and my wife.

  12. Right you are, Tyler! I really like the second paragraph of #1. Most of us live in a society that thinks we should always have someone with us especially after a divorce. No! Not me! Now that I am in this space in my life, I feel I shouldn’t have been married in the first place. It is something that has to be lived out before you understand what it truly means to be on alone without having to tiptoe around someone feeling your thoughts might “make noise” and bother them!!

    • How right you are have had a lovely life on my own since divorce and would not want anyone to spoil what I do when ever I want, like you married too young, and in hindsight feel I should have remained alone.

  13. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve Tweeted it and will link to it from my own blog–it’s great to read someone else’s take on the immense value and beauty of solitude. I write best when I’m completely alone. Some of my friends can’t understand this, but they’re also not writers. :-) In order to get to the really, really good stuff, I’ve finally recognized that I can’t have a bunch of human commotion around when I’m writing. Thanks again for posting this!

  14. Totally agree, Tyler! I’m an extrovert, but sometimes being alone is about the greatest thing in the world. My favorite memory of visiting Taichung, Taiwan was when I embarked on a stroll across town to get dinner by myself (without knowing a lick of Chinese). I walked all over Washington DC by myself last year and completely enjoyed it. Not only do you learn about yourself, but you also allow yourself to enjoy learning about your environment on your own terms, rather than trying to please everybody in the group. You get to take your time and develop your own thoughts, which is exactly what you need sometimes. Great post!

  15. I love this post, Tyler! You’ve put into words so many things I think but have never said. I flip-flop back and forth between “E” and “I” on the Myers-Briggs, but deep inside I know I’m truly an introvert. I very much enjoy being around people, but the rejuvenation happens when I’m alone.

    I’ve always felt pretty lucky that I’m comfortable doing lots of “public” things alone — I know so many people who would never dream of going to a restaurant alone, but it has never bothered me. One of these days I’m going to go to a concert alone — I haven’t tried that one yet, and I think it will stretch my comfort zone.

    And you highlighted something really important for me that I want to be more mindful of: Taking the time to truly be present when I’m alone, rather than filling up the time with distractions.

    Thanks for the good suggestions! I feel a furniture-moving-day is in order soon!

    • Lynn, going to a concert by yourself is actually really fun! I did that once (just because no one else could go wasn’t going to stop me from missing a good show.) You’re so much more open to meeting people rather than just sticking with the group you went there with. Yeah people may look at you kinda funny when you tell them you’re by yourself, but it’s also a great conversation starter :)

  16. Wow! i could have written this! what a wonderful Piece.
    I tend to get invited places because I am outgoing, however, as you rightly say, being alone is a choice, so I pick and choose . We should celebrate our “selves” .
    It is difficult not to get swept up into the collective consciousness in thinking being alone is a bad thing, I almost feel sorry for people who need to be around others constantly.

  17. I’m an extrovert and it’s actually hard for me to spend time by myself. Working on cruise ships has made this a necessary skill to develop so I’ve being *trying* to focus on 3, 9, 12.

    One thing I realize (and envy) about introverts is you have the ability to be so much more productive with your time. I never knew how much I was able to create when holed up in a room by myself rather than socializing.

  18. Thanks for this post. There is a lot of pressure to confirm, to the extent that some may be labelled socially anxious and forced to receive treatments.

    • That’s because being socially anxious is bad, and is not introversion. Social anxiety is the fear of others judging you, which is what this article says to avoid by being confident in being alone and who you are as a person.

  19. Very insightful post, particularly for a fellow introvert. I especially like your take on not valuing other’s opinions over your own. Success in blogging and other entrepreneurial ventures of course involves obtaining the support of others and “putting yourself out there”. This can be a conundrum for an introvert as it’s easy to get lost in the desires and expectations of others and lose your own voice a bit.

  20. Thanks for adding to the positive conversation about introverts. I think the tide is starting to turn; I hear more positive stuff now than I did when I started blogging about being an introvert about 18 months ago.

    I actually kind of don’t understand people who can’t be alone for any length of time. Solitude has so many benefits!

  21. This article really speaks to the fear that many of us (meaning Americans) have of being alone. I think we’re actually afraid of what we might find in that quiet space once the outside distractions fall away.

    A monk once gave me an exercise where he left me in a pitch-black room by myself for 2 hours. No noise, no talking, nothing. I had no visual or aural stimulation whatsoever. It really brought to my awareness my outstanding issues – for example, my fear of being alone, my impatience, my judgments of others. I recommend everyone to try something like this at least once.

  22. So many people don’t dare travelling by themselves, they always search for company. Being open to being by yourself opens you up to the world…

  23. Hello Tyler!
    I’m so glad I found your site. This post on being a happy and fulfilled introvert is just what I needed! It was like you were giving me a blueprint for my life! Haha..
    Thank you for such a great piece, and excuse me as I go watch a movie alone for the first time in my life!

  24. As a fellow introvert, I love this post, Tyler! Power to the Loners! : ) Silence and solitude are truly the sacred ground for creativity. I have come to believe, though, that collaboration is essential AFTER doing the visioning, creative work in solitude in order to evolve something that benefits broader humanity. The internet affords introverts with such a fabulous petri dish for collaboration because we don’t even have to leave our isolated desks!

    Here are other related resources your readers might enjoy:


    Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”

    A beautiful video poem “How To Be Alone” http://www.zefrank.com/zesblog/archives/2010/08/how_to_be_alone_1.html

  25. I really appreciate this post because it affirms my current life stance. I am not afraid to be alone and I like the challenge and freedom of doing things myself. I have a living family and a great bunch of friends; that’s all I really need. Thank you for the post. Cheers.

  26. Great post Tyler!

    It’s funny how often I have read that extroverts are very valued in our society. To be able to connect with people and surround yourself with people is very important, but what I’ve also noticed is that in conversation people tend to regard introversion as a characteristic of strength and complexity in a person. Especially during dating, it seems like finding a partner who is comfortable being alone is important, because the aspect of “neediness” or “clinginess” tends to be seen as unattractive in our culture. I imagine this has much to do with the types of attachment people learn in their early childhood.

    There are so many great points in the article and what resonated with me is the importance of being comfortable, and getting to know oneself fully and securely before having a genuine and healthy relationship with other people or a community. It’s interesting to hear about rearranging furniture, I find myself doing that on a regular basis and it feels great to have a fresh space for oneself.

    Well written and very insightful. Thank you for the inspiring thoughts!

  27. HEEEE, I get those “you’re so weird” comments and those “how are you going to find someone if you don’t go out” etc. It is inconceivable to my friends and family that maybe after trying it their way when I was younger,I prefer my way! I love being alone, I am very good with it, it is a beautiful thing, also, I too work MUCH better on my own! I love to run, I run every morning and I get up when it is still dark, before other runners go out, just so I can be alone when I run. It’s so nice to have the early morning all to myself, it’s really beautiful! Ha! I’m not weird, I’m an introvert…okay, I’m still a little weird but that has nothing to do with being an introvert!

    • Just found this site and I totally agree with you regarding being alone. I recently lost my husband of 32 years a few months ago. I told him when we first met and it started getting serious that I truly am an “alone” person and he wanted me anyway. I truly miss him and don’t intend on another relationship (I’m 76 years old). I am finding more and more that I love being alone. My family keeps telling me to get out and keep busy but with my two wonderful little dogs and my home, I feel very fulfilled. I have always meeded to be

  28. Ummmm, I have cats and I don’t have a television, gave my tv away nearly 4 years ago, I didn’t want to become dependent on tv if I got lonely. Also, I listen to music, a lot, but sometimes I really enjoy quiet and putter around with nothing but my thoughts and cats following me about lol.

  29. Great article. I’m not from the US but I can totally relate. It certainly puts my preference for being alone in perspective. I’m an Asian woman and the pressure from society to be “not alone” is very high. I do what I want to do anyway but it feels better knowing that my condition is not as strange or different as I thought it was. Thanks for sharing.

  30. I absolutely LOVE going to the movies alone; prefer it actually. It always surprises me to find other introverts who have never tried it. For me it’s such a relief to have 2 hours to unapologetically lose myself in someone else’s head – something that is discouraged in “normal everyday life”.

  31. Hi,
    I thank you more than you can imagine for this post.
    I seem to be the only introvert in the world I live and it’s really frustrating having to explain constantly that there is nothing wrong with me, that it’s not that I don’t like people or that I am not nice enough, it’s just that I prefer to do things on my own.
    Of course I like to meet friends every now and again and do some thing especial together, but just as you do, I always save the next day to myself.
    Thanks once again for sharing.

  32. There’s a big difference between WANTING to spend time alone, and HAVING to spend time alone.

    When I had friends, being introverted was fun. I even disappeared from my active social scene for two months to write a small book.

    Now that I have no one to call or talk to, doing things alone isn’t an option. I have no choice. That in and of itself is depressing.

    • I am in the same boat you are. Well, technically we are not in the same boat, if we were then we would have company. Same situation though. When I had friends I would periodically and purposely turn off my cell phone and toss it in a corner for a few weeks while I dedicated time to myself working on solitary projects. Although, one rewarding aspect of that time was being able to “show off” and share them with me friends later on. Now, I am not only without any friends, but I have lost the ability to make new ones. I thought this would be temporary, but it has spiraled further and further downhill over the last 3 years and affected every aspect of my life to the point that I have been unable to hold jobs for more than a few months and I no longer see any purpose to life in general and especially my own. It is very easy for me to enjoy time to myself, but I think life is about shared experiences. I think sharing an experience enhances the reality of that experience. I’m just searching at the moment. Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps there really is something intrinsically wrong with me and that is why I am alone.

  33. Love this! My family can’t believe that I’m supporting myself and my son as a freelancer — it’s much too unstable to be self-employed when you’re a single parent! Or so they think. But I am MUCh better off working for myself and being able to stay out of (most of) the office politics.

    I’ve talked to myself for years. I believe you can talk to yourself, and you can talk back to yourself. But when you get into an argument with yourself and lose — that’s when you have a problem! 😉

  34. ‘Give yourself permission to be alone’ – I’m generally an extrovert, but the times I am quiet I am forever asked ‘what’s wrong?’. I then feel compelled to fill the silence, but actually, I just need to be OK with it. Nice post, I like it. I’m sat quietly and alone and now have much food for thought

  35. Wel, guess I can cal it a day. Already feeling almost perfect after going through this session. I’ve just got the right amount of solace from the post.
    Being alone is not only fun but a better way to find the one within oneself. A perfect way to pamper our senses.
    Its been a hard year for me since I got into a relationship.i didn’t break up with him because I want to be alone, but since I broke up, wanna spend rest of my life in solitude, trying to rediscover myself I’ve lost in his company!
    Thank you Tyler…

    • I really relate to your experience of feeling as though you are regaining what you lost in his company…
      Recently over the past four months I’ve been involved with a guy who doesn’t share or reciprocate the majority of feelings I put forth. When I ask myself why I do this to myself, I think about how I don’t value my opinions over others. I have depended on him for my happiness and its gotten me absolutely nowhere.
      Although, I am glad that he came into my life because I finally want to learn how to be alone successfully.
      Its no fun repeatedly setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m ready to travel down a different path in my life… one of solitude and actions of my own choice! :)

  36. Its better to be alone than to be in the company of ones who make us feel alone…
    As I said, its been a hard year for me since I got into a relationship.
    I know my value, but waited all my life for someone to give a permission for it to be true. Now I got it, the answer! I don’t regret my many years of pain, coz they all led me to discover the answer finally. Solitude aka loneliness is the biggest gift people like me can ever get. I’d never ever let go that gift!
    Thank you Tyler for putting my feelings into words, which I couldn’t hav accomplished as long as I was in his company!

  37. Living in the presence of someone is never painful unless they start to make you feel alone…
    Receiving the right amount of love you deserve is fortunate, but finding the ones who can give it to you is difficult. Even if you find one and lose later, its more difficult to get rid of the pain and loneliness they leave behind for you to live with for the rest of your life.
    But, I guess I’ve found a way to cure it, by channeling the energies towards a more productive life by rejuvinating myself with my loneliness.
    Forgetting someone is of course difficult, but not impossible!
    Thank you Tyler

  38. I’ve been alone for 12 years now and in the last 16 months I’ve had three heart attacks and my appendix bust. Being alone when you are sick and disabled with little income is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.

    • Im so sorry you feel so alone, reach out to people around you. i to have had two surgeries but have kids who love me so i am lucky in that regard. Not having a companion wasn’t as difficult with my kids around me.

    • Late to the party, but your comment struck a chord with me, Don.

      I too am disabled — 13 years, now, and counting. It seems like every six months brings me a new health crisis. My parents died 30 years ago, my only sibling is mentally ill and estranged from me. Extended family (the ones who are still alive) are all much older than me; we were never close. The friends I had when I was able-bodied, driving a car, and making money at a job have more or less vanished into thin air. Some of them will entertain me or help me, as long as I don’t draw undue attention to the fact that I’m sick, poor, and sometimes not a happy camper. As long as I don’t stir their guilt or compassion, I’m welcome to hang with them once in a while.

      I’m lucky in that I have two closer friends who make sure to check on me from time to time. They don’t hang out 24/7, though, because they have active lives with many more important things to do than Marcy-sitting.

      And frankly, I don’t need much hand-holding. I value my alone time and already do many of the things listed in this article.

      It’s a lonely life, yes. Part of that is from my own crafting, and part is just due to human nature.

      I am perhaps an ambivert, but acting outgoing was more often than not just a cover for the general discomfort and sometimes distaste I experience when spending time with others, at work, at parties, etc. Now that I can acknowledge that I am probably an introvert (either by nature or by circumstance — can one have introversion thrust upon them? I suspect yes in our cases), I can start being okay with being by myself most of the time. I can stop longing to be in the midst of a crowd of friends, because that was a false longing, just something I thought I should feel. It’s just not going to happen, and as the AAs say, “Acceptance is the key to all my problems today.”

      There is a small part of me, though, that will always crave close, intimate company, like that of a lover. I’ve come to realize that it’s partly luck and partly reaching out that would make that a reality, and due to my disability, I can no longer reach out effectively. Due to my introversion (and also a rough childhood) I don’t do the intimacy part very well, either. So I need to learn how to be okay when the craving comes up. To feel it and tolerate it and be okay with it until it passes, and I’m happy once again with being alone.

      That’s what I’m wishing for us both, Don. That we can take the circumstances more or less thrust upon us and turn them into something we can be content with.

      I think we can do this. Good luck to both of us.

  39. Completely agree with Jason. There’s a huge difference between choosing to be alone and having to be alone. Some people just don’t have anyone in their life to share their experiences with. Yes I go travelling alone, yes I go to the cinema alone, yes I go to concerts/gigs/festivals alone, yes I eat out alone, yes I go for walks alone. I do all these things because I don’t want to miss out on life, but I would much rather sometimes, just sometimes, have someone to share these times with. When you have no choice it is very lonely to be alone.

    • I replied to another person about this already. We both (and several others who have posted) happened on this page in searching for help being happy alone when it is no longer by choice. I am an introverted introspective personality and I have always loved traveling alone and doing other things alone. Honestly, the idea of going to see a movie with another person (groups especially) is completely unappealing to me. Regardless of that, I crave deep intimacy

      • …..continued from earlier…
        I crave deep intimacy (romantic and platonic) and definitely need to have positive social interactions in order to maintain balance. It is difficult to meet other introverts by chance, because obviously, why would we talk to each other? There isn’t ever going to be an introvert social, a rally of 10,00 introverts to all gather and meet, so how do you go about putting yourself out there in positive ways to form new friendships? I sincerely believe that shared experiences are often the best in that they cement that experience in reality. I came to that realization while riding a motorcycle across the U.S. (alone of course). If I’m constantly interacting with other people its a no brainer to enjoy time to myself, but if you have nobody to enjoy life with, it can be dangerously depressing.
        I do appreciate many of your tactics Tyler. Some are new to me, and some I have not thought about in quite some time. I’ll try implementing them and see how things go.

  40. Humm this was very interesting, as i am an introvert i find it difficult going to loud and busy places, and i also try to make time to visit friends even when my nature is saying no no just be alone. It is nice to hear so many people living mirror lives, it makes me feel better. All my friends are coupled and the ones that aren’t are always tring to fix me up. I am so alset. I figure if someone can’t bring some enlightenment to my world i will just be by my introverted self, i am awesome company.

  41. you have now idea how your words can alters one’s thoughts of the concept of being alone. I tried to socialize with people but they always rejected me, I remmeber the lies, the cries , the promises…. but thanks to you , you made me realize that being alone isnt an awkward thing to happen. Thank you again and I hope the future is kind to you .

  42. i really like this reading. i love to be with other people and esp with friends. Reading this make me feel like to have time with myself. And rediscover my inner self. Thank you.

  43. Great post! Thank you for taking the time to write and share this, it’s got to be the best article i’ve found on the subject. I’m already feeling more excited about my life, thanks! :-)

  44. I’m an introvert and I’ve known for a while. I enjoy being alone and need some alone time after extended amount of time with people.
    I’m signed up to run a 5k next weekend and had envisioned running it with a friend, who is also rather introverted. She can’t make it however. I’m going through with my plans and I will run this 5k but I’m feeling a bit weirded out by doing it alone. There are pros such as going at my own pace and challenging myself without the worry of “keeping up.”
    Any suggestions on how to enjoy a solo 5k?

  45. Not only has this blog/article fueled me with reassurance, the comments by people who are just like me have ignited a flame within me that I thought was dead. Thanx guys. Thank you very much for this.

  46. This was really great–a lot of it I already knew, but it vocalized some of my vague thoughts and also gave me a few new ideas. And as it says at the beginning, it is nice to know that others people also enjoy solitude (especially when you are feeling a lot of pressure to be more social)!

  47. I just found this post after googling “I want to be alone”. As a self described hermit eccentric I can so relate to these rules. I’m going to hang them up on my office wall at work. Hopefully some of the busybodies will take the hint!


  48. Your post is simply awesome! being alone indeed opens up our mind more than it would when we are surrounded by friends/groups. Thank you for this wonderful post tyler, it gives me more confidence to be out there in the world all by myself. :)

  49. Understanding what I know took me a lifetime to be comfortable with myself and my decisions. Confidence builds daily, being careful to shun arrogance it can run wild, sometimes I don’t see it coming, were all human. I find myself correcting me to be humble once again. I love being alone and I love me. I listen to and hear what I say to myself, that is a good marriage. Reading yours and other people’s comments strengthens my foundation. I thank everyone for their input. It tells me to hold my head high and look at what’s to come in my path in life with a smile on my face. (:

  50. Hey Tyler! I’m so happy I found THIS article…I couldn’t agree more with your viewpoint bout ‘being alone or spending time alone’. I can SO relate and I’m just happy that I finally found an article on line ’bout it. I’m kinda like that but I like being with my friends too. I always say “I don’t mind being with other people, it’s just that I really prefer to be alone, most of the time”…and all the time I was thinking I was anti-social…^.^ thing is…there’s really something about spending some quiet time with yourself…I like taking long walks, I like eating out alone, most of the time I put plugs on and write stuff (sometimes using my unused table napkin if I don’t have a notebook with me)…I always choose a corner table and from time to time I watch people walking by…people may think I’m crazy but…I FEEL WHOLE when I’m alone…^.^ I appreciate the crowd but there are times when I’m just glad not to be a part of it…or just watch them from a distance…

  51. Hi I love your post I have been alone most of my life. I really don’t have much direction in my life I live at home and I am 36 years old. I dream of owing my own block of land and just a small home with a cat and me. I work in nursing but don’t like it. I did sex work for a while as a cross dresser loved dressing up and just loved the excitment of it and it was differnt to most jobs I was my own boss I just don’t know if I should do it again. It seems like it is the only thing that makes me feel like I am good at and can move ahead with my life. Would love to know your thoughts thanks Pete

  52. Thank you. Just…thank you. I have never been able to make real friends, I feel uncomfortable around others. I always thought there was something just weird about me. There isn’t. I’m close to my family and my husband. My parents are old, my husband is older than me, I’ve started worrying about what will happen to me when they’re all gone. I’ll deal with it, that’s what I’ll do. Thanks for letting me know that.

  53. Saving myself the trouble of reading every comment before this one, mine, so I beg your pardon if I repeat any points made earlier by other people.
    When getting out of a long-term relationship the first thing many people will recommend to their newly single friend is to move, get away from their old space, haunts, memories, and go see something they’ve never seen before. That said, it is entirely unimpressive to picture any westerner living in Asia alone. Most people I know whove gone to Asia to teach English are females, a fact that, on it’s own, already stands to be more impressive; “Women can’t/don’t/shouldn’t travel alone,” the dialogue says. “Especially someplace so different than where they are from!” And yet we do it all the time.
    Living alone and traveling alone are two entirely different animals; traveling alone person is guaranteed to meet other travelers who’re also going out alone and solo travelers most often bond over this single fact. Living alone, however, there is no common area – no cafeteria, TV room – inside the walls of your apartment or home, that’s it. And when nothing is new the old things have memories attached and there’s no distraction from the stark difference between the way things were in the way they are

  54. Introvert here!! I like being by myself. An extrovert would find it odd because, well, its not in his nature. Maybe introvert isn’t the word because people think of it as shy. I am not shy! I just really like being by myself a lot. And a social butterfly wouldn’t understand this but I truly don’t mind being by myself, I umm like it that way 😀 . Sure sometimes I want to see people or miss someone and that’s where that thing called phone comes in or email or visit! Some people couldn’t even eat if they were alone or feel bad if left alone, then stability depends on someone else and that’s bad!

  55. I am an introvert too. I work all day by myself and I am single…but I am not happy about it. I do enjoy people and I want to bad to be in a relationship but my lonely nature makes it hard for me to find a man. I feel like Ive already done all the things you said, I even traveled all by myself but now I crave companionship. How do you deal with this loneliness when you’re over the state of knowing yourself and want someone by your side (and you being an introvert)? Id like to read an article about that too.

  56. I am an extravert, and I love being alone. Being an extravert alone means I can party with a whole new country if I travel alone, make new friends if I go to a party alone or be that weird guy that asks couples if they want that picture taken together!

    I was so happy to see what you said about being silent in a dark room. I often tell people my secret to happiness is all those moments of absolute silence and dark where I let my thoughts flow. You have to be able to face yourself. I have learned to do a lot of things alone. I even play scrabble against myself. HA! (And I am not joking about that.)

    I advise an additional step that, just like with the silence and darkness, when one is enjoying alone time, one soaks up the environment with heightened sense; leave the earbuds at home.

    I figure this alone-liking thing stems from the fact that I am gay, and the best way to hit a gay bar is alone. It opens up opportunity, as opposed to the static created by a wingman or a group. So the comfort of going out alone started there, and just branched out into other areas. I find it also creates mystery. So people are drawn to the interesting person who moves about the room, party, event, acticity…and connections are formed.

    Good Luck!

    • Brian,

      As I was reading the comments of others, I found something in each one I could relate to, and YOURs hit me IMMediately! Your first line is ME EXACTLY! I am an extrovert and I love being alone. I am more into being alone, but I love connecting, too. I am not sure I get recharged being alone, or recharged being/connecting with others. I think I am right in the middle on that one. Thanks for posting. Cheers, Marty

  57. HI Man,

    Really great post. I follow most of the things which you have mentioned . People call me i am different etc etc. I used to feel for it sometimes. but after reading your post i feel being different from all others is indeed different

  58. I really enjoy your article. i agree with you. i love freedom and doing things alone but people around me is quite dependent. They were surprised when i told them i went to the movie alone, i don’t think it’s wrong with me. i prefer a small group when hanging out so we can have the deep and opened conversation.

  59. Totally agree with you. I dont make a lot of friends only friends I consider they dont demand me a lot of being an extrovert. Is it going to okay if introvert people gather together? 😀

  60. Thank You. Im tired of reading things that already tell me what I know.
    I have always been in relationships because I had a rough childhood and did not have any friends whatsoever. Maybe for that reason I felt I needed to be with someone. But the happiness I felt was to only one extent. Was I gonna accept my faith to have a normal life like everyone or was I going to chase my dreams. Im starting to learn how to be alone and work hard to do what I love. I have friends now but I do my own stuff, I dont depend on them and I may not understand this feeling yet but I feel really happy.
    Thank You for letting me share my story.

  61. I’m impressed of you man.I won’t never ever learn how to be alone,im trying but I can be just sick of being all time just with me.Probably that’s why im here.With regret.Aneta

  62. I was looking for sth different but found your post and this simple advice. Nowadays being alone is really often perceiced as sth weird and people are ashamed of e.g. travelling alone but I believe it is a great experience.Thank you for your post !

  63. every person is intravert to some extent,and in sequence extravert to some extent.it’s not like people are this color or that color.it’s a rainbow! :)

  64. Hey Tyler,
    I love your message. I think I have always been a loner. I grew up with two older brothers (10 and 12 years older), so they were out of the house by the time I was 6 and 8 years old. And we lived in a rural area with hardly any neighbors. SO…I mostly played alone when I was a kid. My parents were not into my being in numerous activities. The only reason I was in girl scouts was because they said had to be “involved” with others.
    I quit college after the first year…not my bag…and I packed backpack and traveled across the country by myself for almost a year. I loved that time alone. However, I was not alone. I met people every day. Sometimes it would be on a long bus ride and we’d share a lot. Sometimes I did not connect or meet anyone. It really depended on my mood. A few years later, I joined the Navy and ended up spending the next 24 years on active duty. I had to be a part of a lot of groups and functions. I learned to like it somewhat. On weekends I did not have duty…friends would invite me out to go to dances/bars/shows etc. I never wanted to go. I felt so weird…like I should want to go. However, sometimes when I said “no” and stayed home…I would feel sad or guilty and second guess my choice in not going. Now today at age 53, I cherish my alone time. I am in a singing group…and I love it…but maybe not as much as I think..because I often don’t want to go…when the time comes. We have a concert coming up and I have no desire to sing in it. I am so happy just being alone and doing my art (painting, writing, singing, reading, hiking, treasure hunting, etc.). Now that I am retired from the Navy, I work for myself in a pet business…and very rarely deal with people (only in the beginning when we are doing up the contracts). I actually have to make sure I go out with friends and stay connected – because if I don’t, I fear that I may turn total recluse.
    I took the Myers Brigg test a few times over the year and it always indicated that I was an Extrovert. On the outside I am. The last time I took it…it indicated 50/50 Extrovert/Introvert. What I really understood that last time I took that test…when answering the questions it was what do I prefer? Not what I appear to be or need to be, but rather PREFER. I actually prefer to be alone.
    Thanks for writing this article…it really felt great to read it…and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote! Cheers, Marty

      • You know I am so shy to meet people. I can’t say to my best friend that, hey what’up. And I notice this? this is my best friend? So I choose to be alone. Have you ever had a thing can’t tell anyone? It seems like you are alone is better than being in a group of people.

    • Like me, I have no choice. I have to be in my room alone and do play games and watch movies alone. That is what I regular do. I like to talk about being alone so much, so if you would like to talk to me when you are alone, it’s find. I like it, too. I am Thai, not from USA, I am Thai, but I am friendly to those who have no friends like myself. Thanks.

  65. […] I’m a big advocate of being alone. I’ve traveled alone, I’ve moved to a different city alone, I’ve gone to the movies alone. Alone time is good. It’s something I NEED. But when you’re in a relationship with someone or live with roommates, etc., it’s easy to fall into a trap of never doing anything by yourself. In my opinion, if you can’t be comfortable and happy spending time with you and you alone, how can you be comfortable and happy with anyone else? 13 Rules For Being Alone and Being Happy About It […]

  66. Good article. I thought I am the only one who enjoyed being alone, atleast I know I am not the only one….love it…two thumbs up….

  67. Great piece of writing here for me. I tend to end up alone a lot in my life and am trying to leverage this time as a positive and change things so that I can have the sort of life I want.
    What I am finding is that it can take a lot longer than one would like and needs a lot of small steps and a lot of willpower!
    Old habits die hard!
    Thanks for this it’s given me a lot of food for thought

  68. Tyler,
    I have read and reread this post of yours. It is so TRUE and timelessly relevant!
    I am an extrovert but I love being by myself, alone. I enjoy going to parties and have fun with my friends then coming home, I would certainly enjoy being by myself, kick of my shoes, and plop on a low chair, watch TV with a glass of water and stay there until it is time to go to bed, on my own time. And not have to think of a partner all my life!
    From the posts, it is obvious that there are so many people like me, enjoying traveling alone, seeing a movie alone, and having dinner my myself. It takes so much from me to make a relationship work with someone who does not think the same way, feels like drag.

  69. The issue if being alone comes up especially during holidays. My friends ask, don’t you feel lonely during these times? What do you mean by lonely? I have things to do by myself and not have always have another person to think of when I pack, when I have to leave the house… you know. The idea of feeling lonely comes from the meme and dynamic of doing things in twos, we were born alone and will also die alone: one to a box theory as Les Brown so well said it. Realizing that reality is so liberating!

  70. I love to travel alone but now i need a woman who fear God you know why cause i was at cape t 2010 alone i spend five days alone when i was at water frant mall one girl said can i join u i say yes why not after we sleep together oh God forgive me for sin

  71. Jesus was a wonderful person.
    Tyler, your a great guy too.
    There’s nothing new under the sun…

    I’m sure your article made a lot of people feel better about being reclusive or at least hesitant about society at large.
    God bless our simian nature, wishing to preserve our self-isolation just isn’t possible!
    Bless you too for the communion. Love, Ralph

  72. I thought this was very good. My husband died this year and if I go with our old friends I feel like the third wheel. My kids invite me places and thats great but I still feel like the odd woman out. I have started going to plays and movies by myself. At first it was scary but it is amazing how many other loners I see.

    • Hi Pat, I too, lost my husband in May of 2012. At first, I felt panic about being alone with so many responsibilities of running a home but I am beginning to really like it. I’m 76 years of age and can go many days without seeing anyone. I have 2 little dogs who are great companions and get me out of the house for walks everyday. I truly loved my husband and he understood that I am introverted and, believe it or not, loved me just the same. I read a lot, draw, watch TV and like to keep a clean house. I have a wonderful family and accept me just as I am. Best wishes, Jan Snow PS I would love to hear from you.

  73. wow!! what a great thinking you have tayler. I realy like your post very much thank u for sharing wanderful thought:-)

  74. Simply said.. amazing!! Just reminds me of how I was so comfortable being alone, it brought me closer to myself. Now that I am more extrovert, being alone drives me nuts. But your work reminded me of those simple things that made spending time with one’s own self so valuable.

  75. First… Happy New Year! I stumbled across this article and never really thought of myself as being an introvert or extrovert. But as I read this, I find myself more as an introvert, with a little bit of extrovert. I guess that’s possible? As I have grown older, I don’t mind staying at home and frequently turn down family and friend’s invitations to socialize. The funny thing is, when I do get out, others would describe me as an extrovert… so is it possible to be equally both?

  76. Yes, Brenda, I totally understand where you are coming from get re-juvinated by being around others. I. I used to be around people a lot, be very social and even entertain a lot. However, while doing all the social connecting, in the back of my mind I would SO be looking forwarded to when I could “go home” or “break away” and I remember it feeling odd. Now, I am happily a “half-n-half” extrovert/introvert. Ha ha…seriously. I love my alone time…I mean LOVE my alone time, however, I also can guess what I am saying is I need both and that is okay. Actually, personally, I think it healthy to have a good mix. As I got older I felt less “obligated” to say yes to all requests to get together and/or go out. There sure is a nice feeling of freedom being able to say “no” without having to make up an excuse, too! Have you ever heard of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test? If not, I highly recommend checking it out. Many years (25) when I took the test, the results were ESTJ…and they remained in that category for about 20 years. More recently when took the test…the results were ISTJ. One of the MOST important things to remember, when taking answering the questionnaire is what you “prefer.” I had the longest/hardest time keeping that in mind, as I would often feel compelled to answer the questions with how “I am” or want to be seen. We live in a “social” world with lots of obligations and expectations, so it takes a while to find that inner (true) self.

  77. I apologize for some weird wording…in my last post, I was trying to cut and paste…and it got jumbled up….hope you get the gist of it…

  78. I really do not know how to live alone and am still learning. I am still dependent on someone for my happiness and wish to get out of it. I want to live alone and happy. But I am also scared that I will be left alone in life and will not be able to talk (which i love) and share or give or receive love or good words with nnyone.

  79. Tyler,
    thanks for the post. It’s very clearly written and full of kindness, to self and to the world, consequently. I have enjoyed being alone for quite a few years and recently started, tentatively, a relationship. It is good to remind myself that a relationship with someone else can only be (at its best) as good as the one you have with yourself. It’s good to be grounded in being content alone, then — perhaps sharing.

  80. I am a uber hyper extrovert. This was enlightening as I need to learn to be content by myself without the attention of others. Thanks!

  81. My problem is my girl friend is getting married to someone else because of my parents & i am feeling like killing myself.
    i don’t know what to do ??
    I was never like this, even i was having very cool & jolly nature, but now i am not able to do my job or anything.
    Sometimes i am trying to be happy but not for long.
    Don’t know what should i do.

    • Ankur,

      Life can be really sad sometimes. I have also been through very sad dark times. Sometimes they lasted a day, sometimes a week or a month. However, as I have “weathered” these storms I am less taken by them. Try some journaling…creating art/doodling…or walking in fresh air, petting a cat or dog, or listening to peaceful sweet music. I feel you pain…it will not last…time will heal and you will feel stronger for working through it. Tere really is NOTHING more important than you feeling good. Sending love your way Ankur…

  82. At 46 and a professional worker, I have been struggling in a long term relationship of 17 years. I have always been drawn to long walks just with my dog, happily travelling for work on my own and wanting to stay in on an evening when others want me out. Some say I was depressed, others that I needed a holiday. Some said i needed to work at my marriage and others I needed a divorce. For me and for the dignity of my partner, I needed to know why. There has been no one else,no children to think of, I am not an abusive drug taking, wife beating husband…I just wanted peace. We separated for 4 months and I found I did many of your 13. I loved it.
    However, I have recently moved back home and am slipping back into that daily struggle with myself and my marriage.
    I would just like to thank you for giving me a possible reason why I am feeling the way I do and possibly the person I am.
    Ankur, having lost my brother to suicide, please don,t do anything. Life is a challenge but it is one for living. There is a great future. Please contact calm zone or the Samaritans. They will help you through.

    • Dear Phil Marsh,

      You seems to be a fighter.

      Unknowingly we help others by sharing our own experiences. Thanks

  83. Ankur I hope you are doing better! I hope you took Phil’s advice and contacted someone… Just know you are not alone with emotional pain. I do know your pain will slowly go away if you just take one day at a time. Life throws a some difficult and painful situations in which you feel you won’t survive or you don’t want to survive. I have personally experienced the darkest moment in my life a little over 2 years ago when I lost my oldest and only daughter to cancer. I realize it is not the same situation but it did feel like the end of the world at the time for me. I still have my bad days, but I have accepted my loss. I frequently said the Serenity Prayer to get me through each and every day.


  84. Hello Tyler, thank you for writing this post. It’s truly inspiring and motivating for me as I wish to become a person on my own like as you said, an extrovert learning to become a better person on my own. :3 It is definitely very helpful in my current trial.

  85. i really like this post. i thought i already know enough about introversion. apparently, learning some more could never be enough :)

  86. Hello Tyler, thank you for writing this post. It’s truly inspiring and motivating for me,I have been alone with no friends from a long long time and lately i was becoming too depressed for being alone and having no friends but this post have made me very positive, thank you :)

  87. Let’s be truthful, the reason introverts like being alone is because we’re essentially selfish, grumpy and believe everybody else is stupid. If we didn’t, then we’d join the party. Live together, die alone

  88. Hello, I always find what I’m looking for….this website came in just when I needed it! I have been “alone” married and now have been happily alone not married and have just started to enjoy it much more than I thought I could. I have always been very independent, but recently because I developed feelings for someone I almost forgot the difference in being alone and being lonely. Don’t worry alone won…its hard not to want to enjoy being with someone but whether I decide to tell this person I like them or not, a risk in itself, enjoying my alone time has become a precious, healing and fun time in my life!Thanks!

  89. Your Truest Friend Lives Within You…
    A Friend You Don’t Always See…
    If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone.

    I Love Being Alone, But I Hate Being Lonely.

  90. Such a wonderful post.Just what I needed.You’re truly right.I usually have so called friends that mostly ignore me so I really try to enjoy myself alone in my college by spending time studying and observing.Your optimistic post about being alone has made my day today!Thank you!

  91. Thank you so much for this advance. I feel like I really needed to learn how to be happy being alone. Reading this alone made me feel happy. Thank you.

  92. Very nice thoughts.I read this article multiple times to soak it fully. I think sometimes its your destiny that drives you being alone.I don’t know but it can be good & bad at the same time. But since you are “alone” , you should focus on positive aspects of it. Positivity helps nurture creativity & this should be the way of life.

  93. you r amazing………….this article just changed my whole perspective towards life…though i don’t know you but i love you for posting such an inspirational article

  94. amazing article.though i have never spent time for me. . hereafter i will spend maximum time being alone.thank u for this great article

  95. I can relate to the message, after being in a serious relationship for four years it ended. I have been single for 5 months and I’m starting to accept being alone, its been a challenge. After reading your message board I will look at my single life different and start to appropriate it more.

  96. This post brings positivity in my life. I am now looking forward to be more productive on my time alone.

  97. Thank you!!!! I have never felt bad about the choices I’ve made in this life until the invention of Facebook. Everyday I see people posting photos of themselves surrounded by friends. For them, Thursday night is ladies night, Friday is poker night, Saturday is game night with the kids and friends. Every holiday is a gaggle of people and they all look happy. And dont bother asking me to go out with coworkers!! For me however, I spend my nights reading a great book, volunteering and trying new recipes. My husband worries that I don’t have a group of friends like he does and worries even more about our 13 year old son being the same as me. I see friends every now and then but the close ones are use with husbands and kids…..just like me. I am happy alone. So please leave me alone.

  98. tyler. this is the words i needed. you see i was perfectly fine being alone and doing things by myself. until ive become emotionally attached to my boyfriend. he is an extrovert. and being with him at first hits me as if im completely different. i was never okay with it and i finally understood why. and it is because i didnt enjoy being surrounded with people and i cant find the fulfilment that i was looking for. i became unhappy and suddenly as if i dont feel secured being bymyself. i figured that ive become a different person loving a completely opposite of me. i gave in and tried to be more like my boyfriend which damaged who i really was. and who i really am. then suddenly as months and years passed i saw my self changing to a person i never really knew. i wanted to go back to being an introvert because with it i understood more. and i find peace being alone. i want to go back. thanks to your words ive become more confident on my own thinking and saw that i wasnt really different from many people. im just a normal person who is an introvert.

  99. I love this, I totally relate to everything you are saying. I didn’t realise i was introverted really until my early 20’s when flatting, I’d go out on a Friday night then stay home on Saturday night, loved it, but everyone else went out all weekend and thought i was strange I wanted to stay at home. I can do one night out but not two in a row in a rowdy scene. Living in a world of extroverts always means you are judged for your introverted ways but confidence and happiness are the true revenge (or just happy in you way of living). In my experience your true extrovert critics are the ones trying to find their own way of being.

  100. I just stumbled upon this. How funny, I am introvert, but have had plenty of time alone in my life. 43 and still single as a matter of fact. This does not change the fact I can only had so much “people” time. But I have had a lot of time alone with myself in those years. Now, I would love to find another person to spend the rest of my life with… preferably another introvert, because honestly an extrovert will never get the fact I still need time alone, but it would be nice to have someone special in my life.

  101. hi,

    thanks for the post.. it made me realized that being alone sometimes is not as sad as i thought.. I like the way you express your feelings and point of views.. it made me realize that I can still bring back my old me.. Its difficult to b alone especially if you’ve depended your whole world to a person who can barely give everything to you..

  102. Thank you for this post! I am also an introvert. On top of that, I was very very shy when I was younger. I am glad that I am not alone like this. And there is certainly nothing wrong with being alone.

  103. We live in a world where everyone is and is encouraged to search for love and acceptance in another, when in effect, what they are looking for is connection with their own inner being and that unconditional love and acceptance. When we are happy in our own company, connected with life and happiness we have far more to offer to the world in general. The more individuals do this, the more we educate a world dedicated to chasing love ‘out there’.

  104. Wow this really made me think. I don’t have many friends and I guess that’s why I buried my life in video games when I was little. Thanks for this post it really helped!

  105. one came alone crying, one will go alone smiling(depending on actions), then why fear living alone happily and that too when the fact is that everybody is actually alone. one and only true friend , philosopher and guide is GOD.

  106. But when you are alone don’t you feel like crying sometimes? Don’t you why am I doing this?

    • Everyone cries sometimes, whether you are alone or not. But it’s really all about mind frame and perception. Am I “alone” or I would rather say I am “free”. I have no ties to anything and anyone and I can do whatever I want. Not everyone can say that; they could be stuck in a loveless marriage, have terrible kids, social pressure…etc. Being alone could be a blessing, but sometimes you don’t know that until you lose it.

  107. This is amazing. I love being alone and sometimes I do get very sad because I wish I was like other social people. I can get along with people, but I enjoy my company better. This cheered me up today!

  108. Society sees us loners as somewhat weird, and I have started to believe them like there is something wrong with me. I enjoy being around people in small doses, but have always enjoyed being by myself and my own thoughts more. I have also never care about fame or leaving my in history and any of that other things that some chase…I just want to live my life quietly like a ghostly spector or something…lol. Anyways, glad to know there are others out there that feel the same way, and that there is nothing wrong with us, that we are just unique, but to us, in a good way. Power to the Loners.

    • Alone time is all i have,im always alone,i work alone sleep alone, live alone and i love it! My inner voice is i admit,mostly negative but im working on that greatly, Peace.

  109. I just got out of a relationship because I realized that somewhere along the way, I lost myself. It’s scary being alone, and at times I do feel insecure, but I’m looking forward to getting to know myself again and figuring out exactly what I have to offer this world. These are great ideas – I’ve been journaling alot, got rid of TV, have been volunteering, lots of things that are helping me. I hope one day to be ready for a relationship again, but it will be quite some time.

  110. Hi,
    Found this very helpful. Got out of a bad marriage a year ago, and was really content to have alone time for a short while. Without looking for it, got into a good relationship for about 6-7 months. It just ended. I find myself feeling so lost and sad about not having my companion around, but I really need to just embrace being by myself. I am someone who is often uncomfortable around my own friends. I’m not necessarily an introvert, but when I am spending time with friends I find myself looking at the clock and wanting to be somewhere else. I think that’s why I latch onto boyfriends. I find someone I mesh really well with, and then I don’t have to spend time with others making small talk and trying to relate. I need to find a balance of some kind. Thanks for the tips and insight.

  111. Hi Tyler,
    I type “how to enjoy life alone” in google and i found your blog. and WOW, this is awesome and you know what i did no.11 today after reading this post.
    Just want to share the story behind my search. For a long time, i have a plan to visit new places in my host country, travel in other countries, or watch a movie in IMAX,but everytime i ask my limited friends, they have always alibi to say NO. So that’s why i search google out of frustration, and found this blog. And i think this is a blessing in disguise.

    This blog ignited something inside me that will make big changes in my life.

    More power.

  112. Thank you for this posting Tyler!, I have not only enjoyed reading your post, but am joyed to see how many others enjoy themselves alone! I admit I love very much to be alone away from all distractions and think it is a great way to live life. Getting into the right crowd of people to mix with and hopefully meet new friends, is what I am working on motivating myself to do, as I feel that uplifting friends in life can inspire us very much! The self realization fellowship has helped me in many many ways to love myself for who I truly am more and more!

  113. it’s a learning process but i really like your post i’m alone but not lonely, being alone and happy is not easy if you are not a strong person.But as days goes by i realize that i want to experience these 13 rules..and someday i can prove to myself that i can be happy being alone.it’s your choice not a destiny.

  114. I wrote: “how to feel good about being alone” on google and this website came up. What an interesting article. Personally, I have to say that this relationship with myself is a love/hate one. And I do some things you mentioned on this article, but I can’t help to think that if I was a different person, I could be happier. Being alone is an adjustment for me, not a goal. And I feel like I’ve been alone all my life, even when I had a girlfriend and lots of social interaction. Now I choose not to do those things, because I got tired of felling that I didn’t belong. I understand the message you are trying to convey in this article, and I appreciate the intimacy. I’m alone and there’s nothing wrong about that, even knowing that it is my only choice. I purposefully run after enthusiasm and quietly rest on regret, but what I would really want was to be less like me…

  115. being very much alone is no fun at all for a good man that certainly hopes to meet the right woman to have a love life with, especially after my wife of 15 years cheated on me. i was a very caring and loving husband that was very much committed to her as well, and i thought that i had finally met a good woman to settle down with to have a family too. now that i go out it is very hard since i seem to meet so many very nasty women that have an attitude problem, and are really not good to meet at all since they just don’t know how to act anymore. women have certainly changed over the years, and most of them are nothing like the real good ladies that existed years ago.

  116. ….it inspired me a lot as there are many inspiring thoughts in this content which are connected to our life……..

  117. This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a really long time, and it has really helped me a lot. Thank you.

  118. THANK YOU!!! Finally!! I know what is to feel happy about being alone because i always liked to be alone but never get happy with this, thank you from now on you change my life 😀 I can express how thankfull i’m with this!!! THANK YOU!!!

  119. Well said, after leaving a bad marriage after 20 years I didn’t know who the hell I was. I am alone now by choice and it is so wonderful. I have been brave and allowed myself to talk to the inner self finally,seems like I could avoid knowing the real me by focusing on the other person who made me miserable…. and even though there are discomforting truths there, life is better. New energy and new life replace the old tired habit I used to be. I hope and can see a future I will build now. It is good. Wish I had the courage to do this long ago!!

  120. Thank you so much for this post! I can relate to it. This is just what I needed right now. I am in college pursuing my degree and I frequently see most of my friends going out and enjoying themselves. I was worried why I didn’t feel the urge. I was afraid if I wasn’t enjoying my life as i should be. But now I understand enjoying is doing what you really like to do. Thank you.

  121. I have been married most of my life and have been around people. It bothered me a lot at times having to deal with the constant scurry of feet and chatter. Everything came to a screeching halt suddenly in my life when I lost my wife and the children were gone. The silence was deafening. I grieved, alone without comfort from anyone. I have never felt so alone and sorrowful in my life. 4 years later, I find myself in the same place, alone with the same silence. I live in the woods with neighbors about who I have all met, but alas find being around them turns out to be toxic. I despise being alone and desire a companion but I am so sequestered and financially strapped I can’t seem to escape. I am having great difficulty being alone yet dislike greatly the very thought of losing my solitude. Am I nuts? What to do…? I have found that the 13 step has given me a direction to travel in.

  122. Stephen it seems like it might be a good thing to try changing your daily routines around, make some changes. Go some place or walk somewhere you don’t usually walk; look at what’s around you. I was with a partner for many years and I too had trouble learning to be alone again. But now, I relish my alone time. However I have interests that excite me (art, ceramics, drawing, walking, etc) I hope you find a new way to be, that is more satisfying. It’s hard to meet someone when you feel so empty. I do understand about others being toxic – that is so often true! My neighbors sometimes hang outside drinking beer and having bar-b-ques; I’ve gone but really hate being there; I almost feel trapped! But on the other hand, as many people here have mentioned, it is a good idea to set aside some time to spend with others. My only fear is the day that will come, when I am older and have no one around. I already went thru cancer alone – right after my break up. So I know it’s not fun. Not that a partner/spouse could make it “all better,” but I literally at times had no one call for 2-3 days. So, I would recommend to all us introverts, keep contacts going and make an effort; we do need some kind of connection, most of us anyway, and the older we get it does not seem to get easier. This is turning out to be my pep talk to myself! Great posts and enjoyed reading others’ stories.

  123. I’ve been single for a few years .there has been a lot of growth as well as self discovery . I have done well living and being happy on my own ,but as an extrovert I’m tired of being alone

  124. Great stuff. I like being alone, or at least I don’t like being around a lot of people. I dated someone for 3 years who enjoyed noise and people all of the time. I was extremely uncomfortable, but tried to conformed. It was almost painful because I felt unsafe. I enjoy watching people when they are happy, and their happiness is often not what makes me happy.

  125. “but when you have high standards for the people you allow into your life, you’re telling yourself that you’re better off by yourself than with someone who isn’t a great fit for you”
    “quote from rule number 1 -”

    This is very true unfortunately.
    And the way it is i guess.I think it’s harder for older people though(for obvious reasons)(i hope i never get old…;)
    For younger people we have so much choices compare(as long u got the energy in you) to do so much with your life.You can do what u want nobody really care what u do ore don’t do.I think many people they care to much of the norm and standard of society so it completely block their life.
    Being alone can be great it keep you sharp and focused and u can make/visualize great plans.But it don’t enhance your people skill further which is important to handle the world.
    Personally i prefer 50%/50%.
    As my father told me when i was younger “its the person who hold out the longest that win”
    So don’t give up on yourself ore plans just hold out!
    Nice site Professor of Riskology(Tyler)
    I will check it more out:)

    • Better to have loved and lost then never loved at all:).Love is a complicated thing for most people.Why settle for “nothing”(bad match/don’t fit) when u can have something(good match/fit/love that last forever).I don’t know where u come from and the standards but love that is not true love dont last..:(
      If u after a quiky shure go for it

  126. It’s very rare that I actually stay on one page and read it all through (I’ll admit I skipped a paragraph or so but no more!). I know from a while back that I’m an (extreme!) introvert and I’m really greatful for your tips and ideas – THANK YOU. I really wish you the best and btw, I signed up for your newsletters which is also extremely rare.

  127. I am so glad I came across your page. I like to be home alone. I don’t want to go out and “party” I am happy alone in my house with a really good book or just working on a project. I have been lead to believe that there is something wrong with me. No I don’t want to go to happy hour after work. I want to go home and relax. Don’t get me wrong. I will go out every now and then but I am perfectly happy by myself! Phew! I am so glad I am normal. :)

  128. Over the summer I went backpacking through Europe by mysef; my friends and family were worried that I’d get hurt, maybe kidnapped and sold into sex slavery (I’m a petite female). I always thought I was an extrovert because I was active in the community, was a collegiate coach, and even did state “beauty” pageants. But after that trip I realized, I enjoyed it. I didn’t mind not being able to speak to anyone for days at a time, partially because I couldn’t understand them and vice versa. Seeing beautiful cities across Europe by myself was fun and stress free.

    Although I am single, I find myself telling people, ” I’m seeing someone. ” to avoid hearing ” I should introduce you to…” or getting asked out….simply because I don’t feel like talking or the stress of getting to know someone new.

    This article definitely brought me comfort.

    • Travel alone I never done that.When I travel it must be with somebody i know:).But I guess u learn more about yourself and the ladys i meet maybe I try it the manly way:D

  129. I think another rule that could fit is reading a book of interest and think about what i have learned from this book that can help me in the future. it could a tutorial book or a novel or anything and the idea is thinking about the knowledge i gained and how it benefit me.

  130. Just now when I felt completely alone, I looked upon google & found this page, read everyone’s messages & I know I am not really alone.
    I have you guys. Very grateful to find this valypuable article. Thx.

  131. I’ve spent 3 weeks alone walking in the south of France (Gorges du Tarn and Cévennes, look it up) this summer, and people were also wondering why I decided to do that by myself. I really enjoyed it, especially being free to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, at my own pace, but around the 10th day I could feel the need to speak to someone and to share what I was doing.
    One of the point I really agree with is the rule #3 about being an observer. Wether it is people or nature, there’s almost always something interesting happening.
    Congrats on your article.

  132. Im so glad i found your sight it inspired me to embrace what i thought was lonelyness was really freedom to live and make my own choices after being martied twice and ruled by my partners im enjoying simple pleasures of wearing what i like eaying what i like and going out alone keep up the good work tyler all the best from the uk

  133. i completely agree wid u….staying alone is talking to ur problems to ur inner voice and finding out solutions,comfort and happiness….thanx this encouraged me

  134. I honestly felt alone all the time. I really want to have ONE good friend rather a bunch of friends that I do not know very well, but apparently whenever I found one, circumstances do not allow me to maintain close contact. Either we’re in different college, different cities, or even different countries. That sucks. Your tips actually made me think that I’ve actually done several of the tips mentioned but maybe I’m still denying the fact that I am alone.

    I’m going to do every single one of your tips but this time, I’m going to commit to it. Thanks.

  135. Wonderful post, insight and follow-up comments; thank you.

    For most all of my life, I had always felt the need to enter into one romantic union nearly as soon as the last one expired; something, however, triggered the need to break the pattern after my last relationship. The turning point, was in examining what I had interpreted to be pitfalls within the union: the need to always account for my whereabouts (when I was without my mate), explanations and justification for doing the things I’d done, validation, the obligatory tasks that always needed to be done for others, instead of for myself. I couldn’t be myself, and was a mere “appendage” of someone else! As I am a lifetime believer in the “quality over quantity” philosophy, this life style was in conflict with my inner core…my own purpose for being. I have now been without a relationship for over 3 years, and feel better than I ever have! It’s hard for my married friends to understand this…the strength that it takes to fight the expectations society places upon the importance of being “coupled off”, not to mention the deep, inner strength one must have to live life alone…but realistically, some of these married couples make so many sacrifices for their demanding spouse that behind their own closed doors, I know that they aren’t happy. It takes a special person to accept another unconditionally, and that is the only viable relationship worth having (as far as I’m concerned). I love me…I am for the first time in my life, feeling secure about who I am, and what I really want out of life. (Having animals in your life doesn’t hurt, either…:). In addition; my career, while I do regularly work with clients, does require my spending a fair amount of working alone. Perhaps my work environment laid the foundation for my current situation; who knows?!? What I do know is that my substantial alone time and continuous introspection has allowed me to be the intuitive, insightful individual that I have enjoyed becoming.

  136. I’ve always loved being alone since a child though for years lead to believe this was wrong, bad and I must be depressed…
    I didn’t have a great life indeed but I know now that all mistakes made as an adult were because I tried to do as others said I should.
    Since I’ve stopped listening to others and during my healing from past pains I have embraced being alone, I love who I am and what I stand for, I listen to myself, I understand me better than ever and follow myself and desires which never lead me into pain :)
    At the end of the day no one knows you like you do, not your best friend or love of your life, they can support you do their best to understand your thoughts feelings, but it’s you yourself that has all the answers and weapons to survive in this life…
    People may think this is sad or feel sorry for me at times but actually I feel sorry for them that they can’t embrace or spend a minute alone and for ever searching for another to fill their lives…
    I am not shy or do I avoid social set ups, quite the opposite, When I choose to attend I can mix with everyone and anyone, I have no restrictions in beliefs or do I judge those that do, I accept everyone for who they are and what they bring…
    But returning back myself is bliss and beautiful :) I love me….

  137. That was a wonderful article and I totally agree with everything mentioned there. Being in the crowd or with unfamiliar people is really difficult and tiresome. If u ask me, my favorite place is my own room.

  138. I don’t mind being alone,but there are lots of things that I put off doing because I do not feel safe travelling alone. Especially to another country.

  139. I have plenty of acquaintences but only one real friend. Being alone, unwanted, unloved makes me wonder whats the point of life. It seems everyone is married or dating except me. I feel like I will spend the rest of my life alone. I cant connect with people on a deep level. I am middle aged, unbearably sad and have a hard time not crying daily. I fake it at work though. Act happy. I will end it if I dont have a boyfriend in five years, til then Im trying to become likeable and interesting. Hasnt workd so far. People say your health is the most important thing – thats bullshit. To love and be loved is the most important.

  140. I am now fed up of being hurt by people close to me. I have seen that I trust too much and then end up being sort-of betrayed. It’s been quite a while now since I have decided to not make any new “good” friends. Since then I have started enjoying alone. Initially it felt a bit awkward but then eventually I became habitual to it. There are many time when I lie to my friends that I need to go and do some work and actually go to a restaurant for dinner to to a movie. I lie because that is the only way I can be alone. If I tell them that I am going to eat out then they may also want to join, which I don’t want. I also take long walks these days with good music in my ears and think about almost any random thought that comes to my mind.

    I was all good till last year when my girlfriend broke my trust in a fatal way. We are still together but now when I am alone I just get depressed as instead of those random thoughts that used to come in my mind, these negative thoughts about what happened occupy my mind. I don’t know hat must I do. I already don’t like to socialize and now I can’t even be alone. I feel stuck now.

  141. That was a beautiful article Tyler. It was more than an article. It was wisdom and empowerment. You wrote what I’ve known inside since I was 5 yrs old wandering the woods, mountains, and streams. It demonstrates the depth of which you know thyself and how comfortable you are within your own skin.

  142. absolutely right idea,being alone enables you to live with your God,to be far from conflict,feel happy and forward your aim with out any challenge.and remember that you are able to do anything by your self if u stand with the great friend, GOD.

  143. I completely agree with this article! Being alone can become an amazing, transcending experience IF one knows how to spend their time. If not, then it’s easy to get caught up doing things that bring no long-term benefit. The way I see it is that being involved too much in a social world can make you forget what is really important in life, what will really make you an exceptional human being. For example, society often tells us that having a romantic partner, a large social circle, and other forms of high social prestige are what will bring us happiness. It is only when we are alone can we realize that none of that is what is truly important; that all we really need is a healthy mind.

  144. I’m all alone ,this does not mean I live alone. But….,I too have to learn to live and enjoy my loneliness . I will surely try to follow these 13 rules . My idea and experience of being alone says – believe in yourself and maintain a working schedule and keep yourself improving so that one day you can get reward of your improvement ,which will make you feel happier, proud and confident .

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