Why I Am a Loner--as Much As I Understand It

Update, November 1, 2007: While all of what I wrote is true, a few things happened recently that have me rethinking it.  I have good reason to think there is a lot to like in some people, and maybe a little to like in just about everyone.  So I'm giving people another try. 

My lonerishness may be hereditary--my parents have very few friends, if any; my brother is a loner (two friends he sees a few times per year) and one of my sons is the purest loner of them all, although he holds a very brag-worthy job.  He has even less charm than I do; he holds the job simply because he's very good at it.  :) 

(Edited in to be honest: Sometimes I do get lonely and want to be close to someone, but that has always passed.  I have some social contact, but much less than most people--a half hour to an hour some days, casual stuff, and some days, only a quick check-in with my mother--since I live alone.  It's usually enough and I'm most happy when reading a good book or watching my favorite TV show--knowing no one is likely to interrupt!)

But as for distinct reasons.. I'd better be as brief as I can.

1. Bad family environment as a child.  My father was a very angry man.  My slightly older brother really hated having a sibling to compete with and pretty much bedeviled me.  So I escaped to the woods and fields, with my collie, and really loved that.  I'd much rather be out hiking by myself than at a party or other gathering.  I learned to amuse myself with many peaceful, solitary pastimes, such as reading, hiking and nature study, playing with animals, music, writing, TV....

2. Disappointments as an adult.  Failed marriage; failed love affair after that.  Lots of failed friendships.  All for different reasons, but they add up. 

3. I used to have very good hearing, better than the people around me had any idea I had.  Folks, there is a WHOLE lot of fakin' going on out there.  People lie their faces off.  They tell you one thing, and as soon as they think you're out of range, tell someone else the opposite. Okay, maybe not everybody, but I don't remember finding anyone who didn't.  Anyway, the hearing is slowly fading, but the memory is still sharp... I've also been fooled so many times by people I trusted, been lied to while I was looking them in the face and believed it, that I realize I can't spot a lie when it's happening.  As a result of these experiences,  I don't think I can really know anybody, or feel sure that I do.  And if you can't know people, can't trust people, what's the point of spending a lot of time with any one?  Maybe I'm an agnostic about people's true natures, just as I am with religion.  And you can't dedicate your life to something you don't know.   

4. My own restless mind.  Once I've known someone for a year, or at the most two, especially if they come around a lot, I get very bored.  Not just the passing, "I've heard this before," but "My life is passing by while I sit here learning nothing and doing nothing new."  This may not be the best way to treat people, but my mind just rebels and I feel that I have to get out.  I don't enjoy doing that, so I mostly avoid possible friendships, unless they're very light, with little contact and few expectations. 

5. Love of freedom:  I very much don't enjoy having to be at a certain place at a certain time in order to not hurt someone else.  If I see something interesting down the road, I want to be free to go there and investigate.  I'm not talking about infidelity in a romantic/physical relationship--I never did that--but about actual roads, actual things that look interesting and would take time to explore.  I crave the freedom to do that exploring, but I don't want to hurt anyone.  This conflict is easily avoided by not letting anyone start to depend on me to be anywhere at any time.   

Did you actually read all the way to the end of this?  Congratulations--I think. 

freeeedom freeeedom
51-55, F
6 Responses Aug 4, 2007

I feel you man. I think parents influence their kids most. Garbage in, garbage out. So if you lived a traumatic, childhood withour proper guidance or good role models then who is at fault?<br />
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Like what you do in the woods, I retreated to any where I can call my "Private Idaho", my own piece of heaven where I can just , well - be. Being over 40 I am aso glad I never got marrried.<br />
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I felt it was just me that is in such a predicament. Not much option but to move on....

well... my dad n mom dont make frnds easily either... even i dont make a frnd untill the person matches my nature n comfort level. all i want is a few true frnds,,, which is almost impossible in reality i guess...

I behaved just as you described once before. The only advice I can give is to take more risks. In this case we fear what others think and dwelling on the infinite number of things they are thinking confuses us. Our minds have difficulty being in more than one place at a time. We begin drifting in and out of the present moment. However to correct this problem you must give the person your full attention. If you fail to give them your full attention they will feel lied to and may even begin to dislike you (actually become interested, don't pretend you care). Focusing your attention on them instead of on yourself is the key to having livlier conversations. If you overcome this obstacle even the dullest people will tell you stories which you can learn from. If you feel like you have nothing interesting to say when asked how was your day/week/etc. exagerate or use color. If your day sucked say something like it was terrible I thought I died in my sleep and when I woke up I was in hell. If having interesting conversations doesn't come naturally it is because focusing your attention requires practice in order to get better. I suggest you volunteer at the nearest assisted living home for the elderly. You will find that many residents have nobody to love and are desperate for your attention. Add to this that many of them have very little time left before they will pass away and you have the perfect training grounds. Hopefully you will learn to create enough inspiring moments which make life worth living for. If anything I wrote has helped you out or hasn't helped I would love to hear your stories. <br />
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Your friend Sebastian.

Your reasons for sticking to yourself are in fact my reasons as well ... plus I get tired of telling people the same thing repeatedly when they continue to ask how I am with some great expectation that I'm magically going to be better because they cared enough to ask again ... I hate seeing the disappointment in their eyes when I've not improved since the last time they asked and I HATE seeing the pity in their eyes when they look at me ... <br />
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I'd rather be alone ... and I'm good with that.

Hi... enjoyed both of your comments, and will look forward to seeing you around the site. As Eeyore would say, "Thanks for noticin' me"-- (A.A. Milne)

That's very interesting. I never though about it in that way. This seems true in my case too. My mom has absolutely NO friends and my dad has friends but doesn't hang out with anyone but family. Same with me, I don't hang out with anyone. And when I do go out somewhere it's with my family members.