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Is preferring to be alone all the time a bad thing?

Gabby97
Community Member
Hi, so ever since i was a kid i've liked having my own space and used to being by myself just because of how i was raised. I do like hanging with my friends and seeing my family, but only when i want to (this doesn't include birthdays, plans ive agreed to etc). i was just talking to one of my friends who likes to hang out with his friends all the time to show he cares, and the way the conversation (and others before with other people) has made me feel is that i am not a good friend. like im selfish. i like being needed and wanted, but i really enjoy being by myself most of the time and i feel if i have to hang out with someone to show i do care about them than that makes me feel like its a chore and i feel ughh about it and i would want to avoid that person. i really do care about my friends and if they need me im there, but i dont like owing anyone anything and i feel like i should be able to have my own time. But then i'm like well thats not a good friendship at all, but what do i do? force myself to hang out more so everyone else feels ok and i feel shit? i dont know. its not that i never miss them or never want to hang out, it just takes me longer to reach that feeling i guess.
6 Replies 6

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Gabby, can I welcome you to the site, and there is nothing wrong with being alone, I think we learn this as we grow up, some people can't be without their friends being with them, but I don't believe it matters at all.

You grow with independence the way you want, whereas if you're with your friends, you may develop another way whether that's the way you want is up to you.

I wouldn't worry too much about it and all you need to do is stay strong.

Geoff.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Gabby

Thank you for sharing your story and welcome to the forum. I want to reassure you that it's ok to enjoy your own company and choose how much time you want to spend socialising with your friends.

I don't know how old you are but I'm now in my 50s and have experienced this issue with different people throughout my life, mostly as a teenager. Some people are very needy and it's not always been possible for me to give as much as they need. Sometimes people have very different understandings and expectations of friendship.

Give what you can. Be true to yourself. And you are likely to find your friendship group will end up being composed of like minded people that get you.

Kind thoughts to you

kned
Community Member

I just wanted to reply too and say that it is absolutely ok to prefer being alone. Everyone is different and I have found exactly the same has happened in my life.

I'm in my 30s now and I still prefer time to myself. Over time, I have worked out a good balance so that I can see people regularly/maintain a relationship but also have that time to myself.

I think as you get older, you do find like-minded friends. Like a previous person said - be true to yourself and never force yourself to be someone you aren't. It is absolutely fine if you aren't overly social and prefer solitude.

BeyondDepression
Community Member

Hi Gabby97

I used to have the same problems with friends as you do. They would say that I wasn't doing enough to maintain friendships by opting out of doing things. I thought for a long time that there was something wrong with me.

Then one day I did the Myers Briggs test. Basically the theory is that all people can be put into 16 personality categories. Well I found out what personality type I was and on researching a lot of the description rang true.

Fast forward to now and having read many books I now feel so much more comfortable with who I am. The books I read helped me to understand and also had good strategies to replying to the sort of conversations that you are having with your friends. The first thing is to know yourself and stay true to yourself. In my case I found I was introverted and read up on all that entailed. It was a big weight off my shoulders to know that I was not the only one out there!

You are not selfish .. you are just a person that needs more time alone than other people. I need downtime to process thoughts and things that have happened through the day and "recharge". This helps me stay connected and grounded. There are lots of free online tests if you want to pursue it further. Knowing you are one of many sometimes helps more than anything!

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Gabby97,

I struggle with the same issue you describe, and find that I meet up with my friends a lot of the time because I feel like I ‘should’ and not because I want to. But the problem is, if it was up to me I’d rarely see them and that’s not ok with them. I don’t know what’s wrong with me as I seem to hate all the things that regular people find fun, I hate big parties or large groups of people for the most part. I can be very introverted but then when I find “my people” I can be quite extroverted. The problem that I have is that I just don’t like a great many people, I guess I have fairly specific tastes and that extends to people. But I am making an effort to get out more and try and seek out those people as I also don’t want to be alone my entire life. I think there’s a part in all of us that craves that connection, we just get disappointed when we don’t find it.

Kija0180
Community Member

Hello,

You are obviously not alone so find comfort and strength in that. I think it's truly a blessing but sometimes a curse 😉

I spent so many years unhappy, participating in all things when I never really wanted to go to any of them and wasted so much time trying to fit in and please "friends".

I agree with what someone posted earlier, some people have different needs and expectations from friends. I have met so many wonderful people along the way where I feel no pressure and it just "flows".

It is important to socialise, but to your comfort level. I personally only like one social engagement per week, otherwise I just become bad company and it's not good for anyone that I over commit. All my friends know and love this about me, and we all have a laugh.

You just do you, embrace yourself and find your own median.