Not Every Recluse Suffers From Social Anxiety Disorder

Not every reclusive person suffers from social anxiety disorder.  Some people just don’t like to mingle.  Some people find themselves uncomfortable in social situations and avoid them not so much out of fear, but out of preference .

Personally, I love being home alone.  I love not having to explain myself, to persuade others to accommodate my needs, to wonder how I’m judged and not having to figure out my place and my position in unfamiliar surroundings. I’m King  in my home and “It’s Good to Be the King”.

Okay, I can see in the preceding paragraph, that these preferences can be limiting.  I can see symptoms which are also present in those who do in fact suffer from social anxiety disorder, but I do not regard a preference for solitude necessarily as a disorder.

“I’ve deliberately created a business which enables me to work from my home and avoid interacting with too many people, however as the economy continues to slide and  my business model is forced to adapt, I am having some difficulty adjusting to having to interact with other people and my finances are suffering as a consequence.” Should this person be unable to adjust, I believe you would cross the boundary from preference to disorder.

I, like many, really don’t like people as a whole. I find little value in trite everyday conversation.  In my youth I had a rich social life.  My hormones overcame my discomfort.  But as those needs diminished over time, so did my willingness to pay social dues. I would resent having to pay those dues again for the sake of a few dollars, but I could and would do it. I just wouldn’t be happy about it.

I understand extreme social anxiety, but I assert strongly that not everyone who’s chosen to sequestered themselves, suffers from a disorder anymore than those of us who prefer to eat vanilla ice cream suffer  from a chocolate anxiety disorder.  I personally would just prefer to be alone… most of the time. And I favor Cherry Garcia.

I’m encountering more and more people who have chosen the  path of semi-isolation, of adapting their careers and lifestyles to their personal preference of avoiding anxiety producing situations.  Perhaps the very fact that social situations produce anxiety, is a manifestation of a disorder, but I don’t think so.  We see enough television (news) and have enough negative memories to believe rightly that social interaction has risks. It can lead to conflicts, it can lead to friendships that invade boundaries, obligations which cause resentment and waste a lot of time that can be used for productivity and creativity. Only the individual can decide whether any gain from interacting is worth the price.

As long as it does not limit the quality of one’s life; as long as it does not prevent self actualization and the fulfillment of needs; and as long as it continues to feel like a choice rather than a phobia, creating a lifestyle of semi-solitude is just fine.

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  1. I searched reculse for a book I am writing. I read every comment on here. All of you explained very clearly why I live in an isolated cabin and enjoy living alone. Thank you all.

    • ABC
    • March 10, 2016

    im not a true recluse. i mingle when all friendly people are around me. whenever i see stranger i greet him/her or any people but i only greet and do not talk more with people who see the world differently than i see. whenever there are some tasks to do i become super recluse

    • Daisy Chain
    • March 26, 2016

    As long as it does not cause any depression, there is nothing wrong with becoming a recluse.

    • Daisy Chain
    • March 26, 2016

    I was always a quiet person who enjoyed being alone but it was never a problem for me. It was only other people’s attitudes to it that caused me problems. I hace tried to rethink my life and, instead of thinking myself as weird for enjoying solitude, consider other people intrusive for deriding my need for seclusion, so I am now far happier.

    • DC in SC
    • April 2, 2016

    So just by chance this morning….Googled “how to be a recluse”…and found these word: article + comments. Thank you thank you thank you for the realization that popped in my neurons as I discovered I not f’d up, but enjoying myself more than I thought. Not depressed, not anti-social, no phobia…just feel good hanging out with myself and not feeling the urge to “get out” more often in the world. And after my Google search this morning, took part in a 30,000+ 10K Run/Walk event and fully enjoyed the humanity of it all, with no guilt or shame about doing it on my own.

    I like me, I’m ok, all is good…..

    • Rena Miller
    • April 14, 2016

    When I was much younger I was a social butterfly.But now after battling alcoholism,and moving to my own flat,I prefer my own company and never get bored.I like staying at home,I have to force myself to go out,but I’m happy,that’s the most important thing.I’m getting to know myself and learning to like myself,I don’t consider myself weird,other people do I think,but they have the problem not me.

    • Mecki
    • May 9, 2016

    hey hey, I have joined the ranks of ‘being a recluse’ appreciating my own space!
    I Love it!
    I am a grandmother, divorcee…but still in love!
    but discovered my freedom to be me!

    its ok to be alone!

    and also enjoy a society life, I call the shots not anyone else

    thumbs up for a life without shackles

    xxx peace to all

    • Christi
    • May 29, 2016

    I came to realize I am a recluse. I used to put myself out there socially and after college and having people around me constantly, everything changed. I have no one around me and have grown accustomed to living and being alone outside of work. Even though I feel happy, I know I could be happier outside of this lifestyle. I think, for me, it has become habit, and breaking this habit of being alone is going to be extremely hard.

    • laura m.
    • June 14, 2016

    Hubby and I are social recluses in a mid sized city and we do lots of reading. We are retirees, do not play golf or tennis, and are also fed up with shallow conversation of most people. It’s hard to find people who discuss interesting topics like environmental issues and current affairs. Former co workers have nothing in common with us. We are also outdoorsy types, visit parks, and enjoy biking. We are not active in the community or joiners.

    • RM in C-Town
    • June 19, 2016

    No one does me better than me & I do me for free…..guilt free…
    learning to be my own best friend was the most freeing thang I ever accomplished and I choose to avoid social events due to know it all’s and busy bodies rather than anxiety or angst…I smirk at those that need to constantly be in “attention junkie” or “approval junkie” mode…I could care less what you think or how you feel I should be….I’m me & I like me & that’s all I need

  2. I concur. Why argue w/people who don’t understand or I agree w/my values and view point? Good vibes only, indeed!!! 😃😉😂

    • Happy Hermit
    • July 5, 2016

    When younger I was socially active. This diminished as the years went by due to a confluence of factors and my own preference. I am relaxed in my own skin.

    I live with a spouse. We have been together over 20 years. My career involved being away from home for long periods. In the workplace I am very proficient at the soft skills. Can’t do many sports due to a slight physical infirmity.

    Am not interested in superficial talk of others in my neighborhood and community who are absorbed in media programming, popularity contests, or one issue obsessions. Then there are others who pass judgement or try to change or manipulate what they see as my deficiencies. Many people want to use my free time or energy to benefit themselves alone. I’m in control of my thoughts, time, and energy. I help others but avoid getting dragged down by them.

    I enjoy my extended family but live far away from them. I enjoy animals, wildlife, and natural things.

    Occasionally I reflect on my solitude, but, after careful consideration, conclude that I am well adjusted, presentable in public, a tax paying, law abiding citizen. I am happy, not socially anxious, not a nut job, not imposing on others freedom. I enjoy life, and am content. Under these circumstances, I see nothing wrong with what some perjoratively label as reclusive behaviors.

    • Larpie lar
    • July 12, 2016

    I am a 26yo male. I see a lot of myself in all these comments. I feel everyone vying for my attention. I respect them less the more they try. I started off very social but I no longer feel the urge or spark when i meet a person. I dont look up to anyone and i dont know why i cant. Ive had desires to live off the grid but know its not for me. I do get bored but meeting with friends and family makes me feel the urge to get away. I am not sad but i feel its a problem in a way just like an alcoholic doesnt want to stop drinking because it feels good. I dont want to stop being a recluse cause it eases my discomfort around people. Thanks for time.

    • Gale
    • July 30, 2016

    I’m not sure where I fit in this. I’m married so I still have interaction with my husband. I’m a voice artist (a very reclusive profession) but also a professional singer so I’m in the public whenever I have a gig. I used to be a social butterfly. But now I just feel bored most of the time when I’m out. The worst part for me is the guilt I feel about it. I feel like I “should” go out and support other musicians and network for my career, but I don’t want to be a phony either. That’s a pretty insincere reason to go out I think. It becomes about self interest and “appearances”. I usually have to really drag myself out. Sometimes, I’m glad I did. Sometimes I actually have fun, but sometimes it’s not so much because I truly enjoyed myself, but because I felt like I “accomplished” the goal of just getting out. Clearly you can all see that I’m just totally conflicted about this. Yes, I get some anxiety about going out. I recently moved to a new place and I really feel like I don’t fit in. I don’t talk, act, think, dress or just in general seem to be like the people around me. But I don’t really think the anxiety of it is the reason as just the true, genuine desire to just stay home and do my own thing. Am I making any sense?

    • Jeannie
    • August 10, 2016

    I’m in my late 40’s and feel like I’m “done” with most social engagements. Weddings, showers, happy hours, parties…nothing appeals more than being home with a great book, cooking, doing yoga or gardening. I realize I’m part of “people” but I truly do not care for most people anymore. I am very interested still in travel but I’d rather travel alone or with someone that is equally quiet, contemplative and in it for exploring new landscapes, architecture, or just observing a new culture. Not to party in big groups in resorts and the like.

    Other than that, I would love to have a job where I never had to leave my house. Early morning walks or bike rides are good. Most of my neighbors keep to themselves anyway which is a good thing. To be honest, conversing with a total stranger is something I enjoy, as long as its for just a couple of minutes and no phone numbers are exchanged. Maybe I have a fear of social responsibilities or commitments!

  3. I, too, have discovered that I’m not at all unhappy at the long hours I spend alone. I’ve always been that way, even as a young bookworm. Social as all get out when in public, I chose retail sales for a living. Enjoyed meeting all the people while I was there; even got the unhappy “entitled” to come around to laugh with me before buying. When I came home, I was done with the world for the day. For awhile, I delivered newspapers and loved the early morning solitude (although not the no-day-off aspect of it). Now, at 60 and looking for work again, I value every minute that I have alone at home to create my art. I don’t have a disorder, I’m making a deliberate choice.

    • Justin Case
    • August 10, 2016

    I’ve found this blog very refreshing because it reveals to me that other people have the same reasons for being reclusive. Me, I’m a 5’8″ tall black man with an athletic build and really good manners. This allows me to “blend in” into so many environments its not even funny. It also doesn’t hurt that I was born into extreme poverty, but lived with a white doctor’s family while I was in high school. Yet again an experience that helped me feel (on a surface level) comfortable with many, many different socio-economic, racial, and educational demographics. But it’s also the reason I don’t feel like I fit in with ANYONE except myself. There’s stories similar to mine all over the place, but mine is unique just like most of the others. I feel like I can relate to most people, but I don’t have the desire to create lasting bonds with other them. Not to sound overly judgemental, but I find the world to be profoundly shallow and materialistic. I’ve been guilty at times of this myself, so I’m not one to harshly criticize anyone else’s shortcomings when I’m well aware of my own. Speaking without reservation, the biggest problem I have with people in general is how much effort we as a species put into things that are either counterproductive, or just plain trivial. I’m bored with culture, but entertain learning about it. And the more I learn about modern culture, the less interested I am in it. I hope I don’t come off as vain or conceited, because I really do make a conscious effort to be humble, and keep in mind that I might have a more clear perception than some others, but I’m sure someone else is saying the same thing about me.

    • Ralph G
    • August 15, 2016

    This has been a very nice site to visit. I already knew I am okay, but all these nice perspectives reassure me. We all need reassurance, just not from the shallow people, which is most of society.
    Thanks Ralph

    • Nicole
    • August 20, 2016

    ‘Justin Case’ – your comment made an impact on me. You are very eloquent and it’s like someone explained my own cloudy thoughts in a very clear way. Thank you.

    • Anon
    • August 20, 2016

    I am not a true recluse and actually quite a social, bubbly and friendly person. I am a single mother with quite a few animals and even though I like to go out on the odd occasion and usually enjoy it I am starting to enjoy more and more time alone. I usually make up some excuse when invited out because I just couldn’t be bothered. We all have shit in our lives but I wouldn’t say I’m depressed at all. Gone are the days when I couldn’t wait to go out partying etc. But happy in my own skin. I’ve had two failed marriages which total a mere 4.5 years of my life lol but I am a free spirit, independent, selfish with my time and happy not having a partner. So over ppl asking why I dont have a partner. I don’t even think of it. I also am doing my honours in anthropology..I really don’t need drama in my life. I know it’s maybe wrong to box yourself in but I’m okay with it. I could happily become a hermit in a cabin in the mountain and never see a soul again. I’m an animal lover and the more I hear about what ppl do to animals the more I an starting to hate the human race in general.

    • Zinda
    • August 21, 2016

    Here it is months later after writing here the first time. I have read all of the comments that came after mine and somehow its all having a calming effect on me. The summer is almost over and relatives and friends have all but given up on me. I did not participate in any graduations, weddings, picnics, family reunions or anything of the sort. For whatever reason some are mad because I didnt go and mad because I made no excuses, I simply stayed away. I am more mad at them for thinking they can dictate my life. I prefer doing my own thing in my own time. Im happiest away from small daunting conversation and just prefer being home tucked away between my walls. I do enjoy seeing my 2 grown children and my grandchildren on a regular basis but am also ready to leave by the end of the day. I dont feel the need to date, talk, text, or email anyone. Its almost like I come here to read every now and then…to validate my anti social behavior. I like knowing that I am not alone in my aloneness. Keep sharing your thoughts and stories, I do enjoy reading them.

    • Chris
    • August 25, 2016

    I too found this site by searching to see if my reclusive tendency was a result of a mental problem. After reading most of the posts here I looked into myself and am not sure how I am feeling about this.
    As background, I was the youngest of 4 girls my father/hero was killed when I was 7 in a trucking accident. He was my world, I have been clinically depressed since age 8 and developed severe anxiety disorder in my 20s. I have always felt like I didn’t belong in my family since I was so different from them and for awhile I was angry at my father for leaving me with these strange people lol that anger passed of course but still never felt part of my family except with a few of my aunts and uncles.
    I married young and stayed with my mom who was handicapped to care for her since no one else would. I have always been a caregiver taking others problems onto myself with the need/want to help everyone. I dropped out of school as soon as was legal. I didn’t feel I was learning anything and when I would correct the teacher on facts they got wrong well let’s say things didn’t go well for me.
    My husband and I started dating when I was 13 yrs old he was 16 dated for a few years married and had 3 children. They along with my mom were what I lived for. I had a very active social life that I had to force because my children needed the right connections to succeed in our area. I was the classic soccer mom coached everything joined all the committees sponsored all the classes you name it I did it, he’ll I even brought back girl scouting to town. So I was involved in the school, community and politics. It was exhausting. Three kids successfully raised off to college or military highest IQs in the area like there father, my sister and me. All married successful with children sounds perfect right? My husband was abusive and a drunk and was a high functioning man with autism (can’t think of the word). Kids moved away divorced husband finally and went socially and sex crazy (no sex 20 yrs). Met and married current husband highly social man in a band tons of friends super large family and I panicked took it as long as I could and finally just withdrew from most social activities he also has 10 children. Tried to be a good stepmother but got them to late. They used me as an ATM that’s it.
    I finally got tired of trying to hold intelligent conversation with any member of his family. Yes I sound like an intellectual snob but my kids and I would have such highly intelligent debates it got to much. I finally just shut down and now only hang out with my 3 dogs my books my music and the TV.
    Everyone thinks I’m looking down on them and maybe I am but would rather be alone in my own head then to listen to the crap that comes out of their mouths.
    Even my anxiety and depression meds don’t help me overcome the need to be alone. I will admit my guilty pleasure is bingo on Facebook lol.
    Maybe I’m just arrogant but I got my GED and my B.S degree they didn’t even try to better themselves. They are good people and I care about them but socialize with them I can’t. I have one friend lives far away the only one that doesn’t drive me crazy to converse with.
    Thanks for listening. Is there something wrong with me or am I just who I am.

    This site is great, has me asking hard questions of myself thank you

    • Susan K
    • August 27, 2016

    I garden, walk, have multiple projects at home, work part-time, see family and friends occasionally. Mostly, I am alone by choice and seldom (if ever) bored. I am curious about the world and learn new things daily. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I prefer to be alone. I am happiest on my own. Now I read that this preference is not uncommon. Thank you all for posting. I feel more content to celebrate how I am and enjoy it even more!

    • Rachel Jordan
    • September 7, 2016

    Rena your post and liked it..I’m a wasn’t really a major decision happened organically..but it is deliberate..once you see through people/friends/family…there’s no going’s a catch 22 situation..I often wish I was ignorant ..because it’s not arrogance that begets a recluse it’s transparency.. I feel safe now only when I’m on my own..from the outside looking in I’ve created the perfect front…

    • Ricky Butler
    • September 23, 2016

    I have commented here many times. I am and have always mostly been reclusive. I prefer to be alone for many reasons. my mother passed away suddenly and tragically.
    she had long ago lost her ability to speak from a stroke. yet having her in the world got me to get somewhat involved with people since I did most of the looking after her life. she was 81 and a sudden illness and infection took her life. mom was reclusive too. she did shop and make the best of her situation. as did I. I was always heartbroken she could never speak again. I knew once she was gone it would be very hard for me. I felt a connection to her and only her. though she could not speak. since I have noticed most people are sympathetic yet ‘removed’ from how I feel. I get nothing out of interacting anyway. it does not change what happened. and I feel more distant from the human race than ever. but the indifferent attitude just further makes me want to be alone. I don’t like to be told how to feel or grieve. I loved and love and will always miss my mother. I loved visiting her. she is the only person I visited. it was somehow just me and her against the world. this has caused me depression and increased my anxiety and sometimes numbness. but I didn’t like being around people before or now. I do feel alone now. but that is because she is gone. mom liked living alone as do I. so it is a weird feeling now. but I feel my ‘social anxiety’ disorder is well founded as most people really are just trouble. humans are dysfunctional and tend to bring one another down. I have been sick of the drama, games and pettiness for years. I did what I could do for my mom. I did my best to keep away as much trouble from her as I could and keep her in the privacy she wanted. wish I could have done more, but I could not hold back the tide (aging and illness/death) now that she is gone I plan to stick to my solitary life. but miss her painfully. she was the only person who ‘got’ me.
    I do wonder though if these tragedies (her stroke, most of my Families tragic and untimely deaths, as well as many friends) just add to ones reclusive nature.

  4. I too am a writer and a recluse, and I’m perfectly happy! I live next door to my daughter and grandsons and do mingle with them and my neighbors, but when they are busy I am perfectly content. I find plenty to do and can keep myself entertained quite nicely, thank you very much! 🙂

    • Kel
    • October 4, 2016

    I too do not see or am interested in putting so much time and energy into relationships that always seem to end in betrayal of some sort. I used to think maybe I am just too cynical, yet after much reflection I know this is not the case at all. I do not enjoy the fake “caring”, get together’s, especially when it came to dealing with my in-laws. I spent years caring too much and dumping my personal time (spending much needed time alone with my husband instead with his family on vacations) trying to “fit” into their thoughts of “normal”. Apparently if you like to spend time alone, without them you are judged and told you are “pushing them away”?? I learned my lesson the hard way. After years of torment and listening to the nasty, ugly comments, I now just refuse. If my gut tells me I’m better off avoiding people, that’s what I do. I agree totally with the comment by another poster who said once you see through people it’s impossible to turn back. Be true to yourself and do not ever let people influence you in a negative way. My rule of thumb is if I feel worse as a person after seeing or speaking to someone else I stick a fork in it. I am happy alone and limit my time with others. It’s too exhausting dealing get with the drama because no matter how much you try, in the end people who are going to talk crap do just that. The less I say and the more I keep private the better off I am.

    • Dru
    • October 15, 2016

    With Halloween right around the corner, I get inspired. I can leave my hermitage and safely immerse myself into some “one night” masquerade disguised as an evil clown, a priest, even a vampire-lesbo-drag-queen-from-Hell. The point I want to share, in continuum with this blog topic, is I used to be a professional social drinker, a philanderer, and did not behave well, overall, being alone, with this “thing” called loneliness. I have survived my mid-life crisis and the injury that was delivered with it and now I am just cruisin along, just slow and easy, and flying high and solo. Everybody out there who is happy to be alone, like myself, please acknowledge we are very blessed that we can make these choices in life, and not live by the laws that govern vice.

  5. Have really enjoyed this ‘blog’ (if that’s what it is, being a technophobe, I’m not too sure). I’ve retired after an enjoyable work-life, and have just one friend, my tremendous wife. I have many acquaintances, but no other friends. A friend, is someone whose company I’d miss. I can truly say of all my acquaintances, that if I was told today I’d never see any or all of them ever again, I really wouldn’t be upset. I can socialise fairly easily, provided that all interaction is at arm’s length. People just don’t really interest me (this is why I’ve given up on Facebook, I really don’t care what others post. I enjoy my own company. Solitude, with a good book is my idea of bliss. Christmas is coming. Awful business. I refuse to attend parties, as it’s too much effort interacting with others, who interest me not the slightest. My wife sends Christmas cards to all our mutual ‘friends’, can’t see why she bothers. Nothing from us for a year or two, and they’d all give up and leave us in peace. I find the jolliness of Christmas (usually forced) quite loathsome. I was once told that I observe life, rather than act in it. That’s fine by me. I’ve never felt lonely in my life. As Dru says, we’re blessed to be able to make these choices.

    • James Elias
    • November 11, 2016

    Most of the comments are those that desire to lean towards being reclusive. I once heard someone say that we can be surrounded by all kinds of people, friends and family and still be lonely. I suppose it depends entirely on the motives of ones heart…what are your hearts desires. Luke 4:31-44 shows Christ Jesus taking a break from the crowds, it was overwhelming Him. We all need that rest every now and then from all the distress, and need to DETOX our mind, emotions, and body. And we also need to be loved and cared for by others and care and love others…for that also gives us a sense of well being. Matthew 9:36 and Matthew 14:14 show that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had COMPASSION for the welfare of others. We also will find that showing compassion and mercy towards others, whether its just saying a friendly HELLO, HOW ARE YOU TODAY to helping others with lifes challenges will be rewarding. God Bless, God Speed, In Christ Jesus Name Amen.

    • Krystal
    • November 18, 2016

    I googled reclusive because I wondered if there was something wrong with me. But reading this blog makes me feel okay about my reclusiveness. I really like my own company. I don’t see the point of superficial chat. I love gardening and cooking and reading and I enjoy computer games. But I don’t do facebook and I don’t reach out to people. I really have to force myself to go out in the community. And I am currently psyching myself up for a family celebration over two days. That is going to be really tough. But apart from that I content in my own space in my own company.

  6. Before I got married, sometime I would go weeks staying at my own home with the only social contact that being a my job. That would not bother me at all. I liked it like that. Being King of my own kingdom. I’d come home from my factory night-shift work and build models while listening to late-night talk radio, staying up until three in the morning. With nobody to mess with me. Other times I would be quite active socially. Especially during the Holidays. Visiting with friends and family and just having a good time. Then I would go home to my quiet house. I’d unwind alone and perfectly happy and content. Perhaps not a true recluse but I do understand those who prefer being alone. Perhaps I’m bi-social?

    • Zinda
    • December 1, 2016

    I am immersed in reading everyones responses. It amazes me that there are so many of “us” that prefer to exist alone. As others have said, I can relate to people and have no problem socializing but only if they do not invade my personal space. I have absolutely no desire to have long, deep and meaningful friendships with anyone. I feel I bore easily and need to move on. Im okay in passing, a wave or hello here and there but nothing beyond that. I live alone, I work alone and I cant imagine it being any other way. Im so glad people are engaging in this conversation from afar and I love reading your thoughts. Thank you again for sharing.

    • PawlieGirl
    • January 4, 2017

    Hah! I don’t call this reclusiveness…I call it recuperation. My vocation involved working with people almost 24/7 8 days a week for decades. I choose to heal uninterrupted…quiet is exquisite and far too underrated.

    • Elizabeth
    • January 13, 2017

    Thank you for all your posts. I googled recluse because I also wondered if there was something wrong with me. Thank God y’all are here. I am ok! I, to, struggle with dealing with people and the drama they can bring into our lives. I had always felt more comfortable I in my own company than in a crowd. I can remember this from when I would take walks in the woods when I was 8 years old. I can do “social” situations when needed, holidays, but I have always needed my “recoup” time afterwards. By myself in the quiet with only my thoughts. I do find if I can’t get “my” time I get irritated and moody. Does anyone else do that?

    • Zinga
    • January 15, 2017

    Elizabeth, I dont allow myself to get into situations where I have to recoup, I try and avoid those situations. Im not going to lie, family, friends and coworkers get very frustrated with me and I can not make them understand that I PREFER to be alone doing my own thing. I dont need constant conversation and mingling with others in my daily life. I dont need over the top stimulation from others and hate being in the middle of a group setting. I suppose the holidays would be the closest I come to needing to recoup, I dont go to Christmas parties or dinners but do have my kids and their families over for dinner and gifts and Im totally fine when they leave and go about their own lives. I never feel lonely and actually feel happy alone. There are so many of us that exist with our own selves. It makes me feel better knowing others are the same. And I’m not sure why I find that comforting.

    • Mark D.
    • January 27, 2017

    I am a kindred spirit to many here. I find that trends in modern civilization, most notably social media, contribute to some introverted people’s desire to further disengage from others. I am in my 60s and being an avid reader, have frequented coffee shops in book stores for decades. I like to read but did enjoy occasional conversations with strangers and have made friendships. (Interactions sometimes resulted from the passing comment “are you done with that newspaper?”) About 15 years ago, coffee shop patronage evolved to laptop use, people busy with their personal affairs. Many “laptop zombies” commandeer whole tables and send out clear signals they did not want to share neither space or conversation. That was tolerable, as chatting in line was still a fairly common occurrence. Not any more. Past 2 years at Starbucks, nearly ever person in line is texting on their cell phones, ignoring people around them. Yesterday all 12 people in front of me were texting. This phenomenon, a subtle form of dismissiveness to strangers, dominates in all our public space. It probably leads some introverted people to further isolate themselves by avoid public spaces that were once known for community spirit. No problem.

    • Amanda
    • March 2, 2017

    Wow what a relief valve…I have felt understood and healed by reading the comments of all previous writers… I live of the grid so to speak down a dusty old country road In New Zealand…since 16years with my partner We have no immediate neighbours aside from a few Pukekos and our pets and a coolish breeze whippin up the Native bush beside our temple home.
    It seems to me at age 55 there is a need for the inhabitants of earth… to become more reclusive and we walk closer to the edge of time.
    It has been the power of life lived so far since the year of my birth in1961… the world our Mother has seen such terrors, traumas, and acts of Human ignorance and yes it is these atrocities that have brought this reclusive soul to her knees.
    To some degree that has brought me here to this place of reflectiveness now..and that is perfectly in balance with what our reclusive Natures require…the reflection of solitude.
    Having also lived in India for periods of time in the general chaos that goes with a vast population… I also know having the means and ability to live in a reclusive way is a great blessing
    With much love or Aroha for the honest and open hearted people conversing here.

    • Susan
    • March 16, 2017

    Can’t believe I found this blog! Looks like many of us wonder about our mental state and think there is something wrong because like solitude.

    I am retired but have also continued working off and on, My children are long gone and I don’t have grandchildren close by…they along with my sons and their wives are the only ones I am interested in seeing.

    Much of my story mirrors some of yours. Married to an abusive alcoholc for years but kept that quiet. Still did everything as a mother, belonged to parents committees, social committees etc, etc. I had friends and an extended family I never felt comfortable with but was dedicated to. Did everything for everybody overboard for years on end. Caregiver personified and always looking out for others. This cost me time, money, but was given freely. Over time, I began to see how used I had been, that the people I had tried to help and did had no problem stabbing me in the back, including my extended family members. I had never spoken up, but always kept the peace. Some situations arose in which I determined I had to speak up and that was it. A few relationships did not survive when I did this. I have suffered severe betrayal from people I should have been able to trust. Today, I am done, have very few people around me, and frankly I have never missed those who are missing from my life today once I understood how superficial these relationships were.

    For awhile it was odd and I may have worried that I came to like being alone so much. I like not having drama, I like not forcing myself to go places and do things that bore me and waste my time. I like politics, reading, walking, ….thinking. I like doing what I want, when I want. I am never lonely, I was social because that was how everyone was,,,,only today I understand that I don’t need to fit in anyplace, I can still work here and there, talk to someone here and there.,,but, I dictate the terms. There is no better life, and no one would convince me otherwise, it is complete freedom. Nice to meet all of you here. Just be happy with the best person you know….you!

    • daisy
    • March 30, 2017

    i am a wanna be recluse. i’ve always been fascinated with that idea. even as a child i’d hide under my bed when playmates knocked on the door. i have always been able to occupy my time all by myself. nothing brings me more pleasure than being alone in my small home, puttering inside or out in the garden. i love being able to live just as i please. i enjoy homemaking with the very basics. i love to hand wash my laundry and hang it to dry. i love baking my own bread and cooking from scratch. i’m a vegan for compassionate reasons and enjoy the added health benefits. most people think i’m strange for being vegan or that i do it because it is now popular but i none of that interests me. i wake early and read and journal and meditate. i take long walks and love cleaning house with the windows wide open. in the evening i light candles and will enjoy a movie or a good book. most tv bores me so i’m quite selective on what i watch. i do enjoy PBS. i get my exercise by walking and working in the garden and add in some daily yoga. i rarely visit the doctor as i believe that’s the best place to get sick. i live by my own rules and ideas and they seem to work for me.

    • Little hermit
    • May 29, 2017

    I noticed all the ads down the right hand side of this page are all about social anxiety. Like the author says, you DONT have to have social anxiety to be a recluse! And I can vouch for that, I am a recluse and don’t have any ‘personality disorder’.. It irks me that those of us who think a little differently have a personality disorder of some kind. LOL. Those shrinks are the ones who have the issues. I just don’t really like people all that much, they mostly irritate me so I enjoy a peaceful and baggage free life. How do you get that? Get away from society… simple 😀

    • Anne G
    • May 29, 2017

    I don’t prefer solitude. I find people really annoying so I ended up alone. Had ‘friends’ but they were always shallow, very selfish, unreliable and even cruel. After being a good friend so many times and having nothing but disappointment and heartbreak I decided it is better to be lonely than be hurt. Not all hermits PREFER solitude, Im guessing a lot have been disillusioned too.

    • KPJS
    • June 1, 2017

    Recluse here! I love being alone. I’ve been working from home too, although I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do it. I have lost all interest in small talk, or hanging up my authentic self in order to work in an office for 8+hours a day, 5 days a week. We didn’t come here to be a robot or someone else. We are only who we are. So many of us have been brainwashed to feel we must be like everyone else on the surface, but we all have so much more to us, that authentically, probably isn’t like everyone else! I’ve found this hiding of ourselves to come off as insecurity, because we’ve altered ourselves to fit in, but we aren’t that altered self so we’re not good at it. So we keep trying for approval of that dramatic role we play. I know. I’ve been there, probably still there, which is why I don’t want to be around others. I seem to have interests that others don’t, or I get fascinated by things others don’t, and when you start sharing yourself, people may poke fun at you. Why? Because you aren’t playing that “I’m the same as everyone” role, so maybe I’m a threat. As such, I’m not fascinated by people, or their accomplishments, or their money, or power, and so on, so I don’t belong. But I really do. If everyone would just be themselves and not try so hard to be someone or something they are not just to fit in, we’d all actually fit in the way we are supposed to. 🦄

    • Ricky B
    • July 22, 2017

    I am with you Anne G… I was reclusive, met people. mingled had what I thought was friends. most were back stabbers and many cruel. I did not realize how much they disliked me. or maybe humans don’t know how to be nice. the ones that were true friends. just all seemed to die….my mom was my best friend. a stroke took her voice away in 1997. seems then all the true friends are gone. she passed away in 2016, suddenly after a short illness. even though she could not speak. I knew she was at least real and trust worthy. disappointment has certainly drove me into seclusion over the years…you should read up on silent film star Clara Bow. she chose solitude for safety. ..

    • trunkfish
    • August 1, 2017

    I love reading these posts. Like some posting here, I was very social when I was younger and now, aged 53, I seem to be becoming more and more reclusive (I live with my soulmate husband, a cat and we have no children). My older sister and brother also followed this pattern. I’ve discovered I’m not that interested in people. To make up for that, I always practise smiling at people (it does wonders to the muscles of your face, apparently) and it’s remarkable what good it seems to do them. Even those looking the most pissed off will usually smile back in amazement that someone is taking the trouble to smile at them. I regularly attend yoga and pilates classes and closely observe how groups of women will just sit and chat about seemingly anything and become completely lost in the chat. I’m there to do yoga, and I look like the women who sit on the mat, busy themselves on the smartphone before the teacher shows us, in their own world and also meaning business. The chat irritates me and makes me think women are stupid. It’s the same in the swimming pool. When I get in the pool I do lengths and I don’t muck about. So many other people treat the pool like the coffee shop and stand at one end endlessly chatting. I find people a whole mixture of things: inspirational, frightening, ridiculous, not fit for purpose, intelligent, stupid – for every plus there is a minus. For whatever reason, and I think getting older has a fair bit to do with it, I enjoy my own company more and more, go out less and less and choose who I spend time with with care. I don’t think being reclusive equates to any kind of disorder – it’s a valid and beneficial choice I feel and suspect humans have been drawn to it ever since humans have existed. What I’ve learnt is to listen to yourself and trust your judgement about who you are, and who everybody else is.

    • Sue Dot
    • September 23, 2017

    Lovely to hear there are others out there who, like myself, prefer solitude. Don’t mix easily and get really uncomfortable with people around me. I much prefer the sanctity of my home and live quietly with an occasional hello to neighbours, but mind my own business.

    • Tracy
    • October 1, 2017

    Wow I have loved reading this article, I will share this with my children, cos they don’t believe me, when I tell them how much I love my own company ! I use to go out a lot and sometimes have a great time and enjoy the company of others. However most of the time , I would find people who wanted something from me , attention, creating drama , talking rubbish , gossiping , showing off , I always wanted to just be at home and quiet and peaceful solitude. I enjoy the occasional outing with a friend, or go out into nature and my garden .. Ive become more and more reclusive and I like it ! After reading this article , I feel more freedom to be myself ..

    • MtnSitca
    • October 4, 2017

    There’s a difference between solitude by yourself (decades in my case) and solitude with your partner/husband/wife/kids family. I always get a kick out of those who declare, “I’m a loner! My husband and I . . . .” Please.

    • bushbaby
    • October 10, 2017

    Great to feel that you are not alone in wanting to be…alone! I’m a writer, very happily married so not a recluse in the true sense, but as active conservationists, very closely involved with the environment, we find few people who truly share our concerns. Our precious planet is being trampled to death by greed and ego. I love a quote from Carlos Castenada:…”most of our energy goes into upholding our own importance…if we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen. One we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and two, we would provide ourselves with enough… energy to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.” I am at the stage that if people don’t genuinely share my concerns, then I am not interested in their company, and if that makes me a grumpy old recluse, then so be it!

    • Julie
    • October 17, 2017

    Thankyou Amanda. I am also a recluse who has been brought to her knees by the current state of the world. In my humble opinion we cannot do anything else.

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