I remember the first time I realized that I might be kind of a loner. When friends would invite me to hang out, usually I would tag along regardless of what was going on.
But then I started growing up and getting older, and solitude started to actually mean something to me. I grew more and more comfortable simply being by myself, alone with my own company.
Loners get a bad wrap sometimes, simply because they're not super extroverted or concerned with having an active social life. But that doesn't mean anything is wrong with them or that they need someone to help them socialize.
There are actually two different types of loners. The extroverted loner, who has no problem making friends or being social, but chooses to be alone, and the introverted loner, who actually feels more secure and safe by being alone, not having much of a choice.
Extroverted loners carry great potential to be some of your best friends, because after all, they'd rather be spending time alone anyway, so if they want to spend their time with you, it's because they really like you. They're not about to hang out with just anyone.
The introverted loner is easily overwhelmed by crowds or large groups, so they choose different social avenues, like online forums or communities rather than concert venues or bars. They still crave human interaction just as much as their extroverted peers, they just go about pursuing it differently.
But if there's one thing to take away from this article, it's that being a loner is entirely different than being lonely. There are numerous reasons for a person to enjoy simply existing in solitude, so if you're starting to realize that you might be a loner, don't worry about being persecuted or stigmatized, embrace it.