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A loner is a person who avoids or does not actively seek human interaction or prefers to be alone. There are many reasons for solitude, intentional or otherwise, and "loner" does not imply a specific cause. Intentional reasons include spiritual and religious considerations or personal philosophies. Unintentional reasons involve temperament, being highly sensitive, having more extreme forms of shyness, or various mental disorders. The modern term "loner" can be used with a negative connotation in the belief that human beings are social creatures and those that do not participate are deviant.[dead link]
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2013)|
There is no distinct type of individual personality deserving of the name of loner. Anyone who spends most or all of his or her time alone for any reason, belongs to the category. There are two well known types: The first type includes individuals that prefer solitude and are content to have very limited social interaction. The second type includes individuals that are forced to be isolated because they are rejected by society. This individual typically experiences loneliness. The first type often does not feel lonely even when they are alone, at least, not in the same way as would a social person who found themselves isolated. However, these are very broad generalizations and it is not uncommon for loners to experience both of these dimensions at some point. Furthermore, people sometimes force themselves into a life of solitude as a direct result of impulsive, often anti-social, behavior on their part.
Some people simply prefer isolation. They may feel they can reflect freely, mature faster, seek knowledge, reach goals more easily, and focus more on tasks. Disconnected from the people around them, they are more likely to make their own decisions and avoid peer pressure.
While expressing a desire to be alone, loners do not necessarily reject human contact entirely. Most loners are able to act "normally" in a social setting. However, the strain of being in a situation which is uncomfortable may leave some mentally and emotionally exhausted. They may have to retreat for a significant amount of time before being able to do so again.
The typical loner exhibits the personality trait known as introversion more than the average person. They are drawn to solitary activities instead of social ones. This may be due to both innate personality traits as well as life experiences.
- Platt, Paul (2005-07-26). "Neighbours describe bomb suspect as devout loner". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- http://baywood.metapress.com/index/JNQKAMHTF63FQ8PX. pdf
- Svoboda, Elizabeth (March/April 2007). "Field Guide to the Loner: The Real Insiders". Psychology Today Magazine.