November 9, 2008

"I'm here on the internet and I can't find any communities for loners."

"... I'm so deeply put-off of people from my grueling experiences with extroverts and socialites. So, I'd like to get a chance to talk to my own kind a little. I know there are a lot of people who feel the same way as me... but I can't find a message board for them."

That's a new comment on a post from last August. Perhaps you'd like to respond to the commenter, whose name is Autonomous. I'll redirect him/her to this post, so use this comments section.

Oddly, I've joked twice on this blog about "the loner community": here and here.


knox said...

Isn't "community for loners" like "isolation cells for extroverts"?

I will say that being with a bunch of extremely loud, extroverted people exhausts me after a while. Learned that at the last agency I worked. My overriding thought on Monday mornings was: SHUT YOUR *&^$ MOUTH. Amusingly, most of the other designers felt that way, too.

John K. said...

What a sad thing it is to contemplate posting a new comment on a months-old blog post. Only Althouse herself, god-like, hears the forlorn complaints of this lonely soul.

Paddy O. said...

I have loner tendencies, to be sure, and that has certainly affected my choices over the years.

In the ministry world, where I've wandered for many a year, extroverts and social butterflies abound. And I've had to face that, and the reality that I don't particularly like acting like such people want me to act.

What I've realized is how much happier I am when I stop playing their game. And I've realized how that game isn't really as great as they act. Because there are weaknesses, and almost inherent shallowness.

Which is why, historically, communities of loners popped up in the deserts, and in the wildernesses. Called them monasteries and attached a whole spiritual aura to them, and spiritual rules. Only to the real loner does living in a cell, with others living in their cells, all with a vow of silence, have an appeal. There is human need for social contact, even for loners. They just want to avoid the banal conversation that extroverts bring.

This, of course, created the weird context that it was the extroverts who had to fit into that world. Caused all kinds of problems with that happening.

Real loners don't have hangups about it really, they just manage their lives to facilitate the isolation as much as possible. Which is probably why there aren't too many communities talking about it. The basic social interaction is fully enough for a real loner, and when there's no one around, then it's time for real existence to take place.

The biggest problems aren't for the real loners, but for the really lonely, who aren't really content in their isolation, don't have the inner resources to center within the empty space. They might adopt a loner identity, but that's more of a rejection of their self, an embrace of the rejection they feel from others. So, what such people really need isn't coping skills or more freedom for isolation, but a nice hug, applied morning and evening.

TitusGuessWho'sComingToDinner said...

Is everyone excited about Baz's new film Australia coming to a theater soon?

I am thrilled.

I am a loner but not lonely. I like being a loner therefore I really don't want to speak with or converse with other loners. That would make me not a loner.

By the way Althouse, have you seen that new blog from those two old ladies. I can't remember their names but they are hilarious.

This morning for my breakfast I had 1/2 a bagel with jam and a hot chocolate.

The city is beautiful today. The sun is shining and the squirrel are out.

I have decided that I am going to not go out for awhile or have sex. I usually do this every year at this time.

Time for self reflection, reading, walking, music, movies, arts, finding new little places to get take out (I was on yelp all night last night)and stuff around the house.

TitusGuessWho'sComingToDinner said...

No clothes or shoes shopping for a couple of months. No working out either. No yoga. No spa treatments.

Just deep thoughts and soul searching.

TitusGuessWho'sComingToDinner said...

Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)
Everybody's free, everybody's free, everybody's free
Everybody's free, everybody's free, to feel good, to feel good

Brother and sister, together, will make it through, oh oh yeah
Someday, a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know, you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there for you
And I'll be there, just helping you out whenever I can

Everybody's free, oooh yeah yeah (everybody's free, everybody's free)
Oh, everybody's free, oh yeah (everybody's free, everybody's free)
Oooh, to feel good (to feel good)
Oooh, to feel good

Darcy said...

Hey, Autonomous. I hope you find what you're looking for.

Oh, crap. Was that banal?

kynefski said...

I don't know. I've always assumed comments sections, etc, are for extroverts. Weblogs themselves are for introverts.

Lem said...

Consider a loner's myth

Think Silence of the Lambs. Think Dexter. Movies and TV shows overwhelmingly show serial killers as white male loners. According to a new FBI report, this profile is seldom accurate. Alex Cohen talks with FBI special agent Bob Morton about the study to find out what serial killers are actually like.

Ron said...

Yow! What if Oswald had commented on the Blog that Time (and Althouse?) Forgot?

Lem said...

A Chicago loner with a Harvard degree.

He recalled not fitting in with the older children and being subjected to their verbal abuse and teasing. As a child ... played beside other children rather than interacting with them.

Freeman Hunt said...

I guess I'm weird around here. I'm definitely extroverted. Not in the social butterfly, small talk, loud sense--I don't like boring conversation and some of this social butterfly talk seems to imply that--but I definitely enjoy the company of people. I like people, all kinds of people, a lot. Call me crazy.

In fact, I've always hoped that there will someday be a nationwide Althouse get together. You people interest me. :)

Lem said...

In fact, I've always hoped that there will someday be a nationwide Althouse get together.

Will I be able to bring a laptop ;)

chuck b. said...

Is it better to be a loner in the city, or the country?

Ron said...

nationwide Althouse getogther?


Daryl said...

Better in the city!

There are people all around but you can be anonymous to them and you don't need to rely on any specific people to get by (except bosses/coworkers)

Darcy said...

nationwide Althouse getogther?

I'll bring my greek pasta salad. I can't wait to see what Chip Ahoy brings.

ricpic said...

The great world cities are the only environments that loners can be comfortable in. This may sound paradoxical: all those people good for loners? But it's the all those people that makes the anonymity possible. I lived in NYC for decades and for me it was "the big room" I could walk around in all day, endlessly fascinating and with the presence of those others that even loners need but no personal contacts all day long. Many days spent like that. The dream of many a loner is a room, a single room, far above the traffic's din, from which he descends to mix and move through the multitudes and then retreats to: his silent lair above the ceaseless throb.

Lem said...

As cities become more and more populated and there is less and less room and the apartments in which marriages are supposed to work get smaller and smaller, more and more people are going to rush out onto the streets and kill everybody they can find.

My hero Orson Wells.

Meade said...

I like Freeman's idea but wouldn't it be a riot if we all got together only to find out that in person we all rub each other the wrong way because in person we're all just a bunch of loud annoying energy-sapping attention-seeking opinionated extraverts who do nothing but talk over each other?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think that being a "loner" and being extroverts are traits that are both inherited and learned, with a heavier emphasis on the inherited.

Being a loner is different also from being alone. I don't have a lot of social interaction after work and prefer to spend my time at home or doing activites with with my husband (who is also pretty much a loner, reading books, cruising the net, working in the yard, going for Sunday drives etc. If we have company it might be a couple or two at the most. I'm perfectly happy not to be in a crowd or with a bunch of people. I don't "need" to be around other people.

Taking the Jung Myers Briggs typology test and other personality tests are fairly revealing and explain a lot. I alway turn out the same no matter which test.

Being a "loner" is genetic.

Lem said...

in person we're all just a bunch of loud annoying energy-sapping attention-seeking opinionated extraverts who do nothing but talk over each other?

Oh no, like Fox & Friends ;)

Darcy said...

LOL, Meade.

I've been a regular contributor to a sports blog, and have ended up meeting quite a few regular commenters at sports events. What amazes me is that the overwhelming majority of these people are very much like their online persona. What a pleasant surprise.

Maxine Weiss said...

Mob Rule is ok in which of these situations:

a) Californians supporting Obama were courageous and doing the right thing.

b) Californians who trooped to the polls en masse to support Prop 8.

c) All of the above.

Guts Strongman said...

Christy said...

Parties are my art form of choice. I love giving parties, from Tea for 4 for one of my bookclubs (no one read the book that month) to Cocktails for 225 at the beach house(which was heavily crashed by at least another 100 or so. Police showed up, but that just put the seal of success on the party in my estimation.) I organize weekend house parties; I organize charity events; I organize sports parties. I also love going to other people's parties. I've walked in not knowing a soul (host was out making a beer run) and had a great time. So I guess you could call me a social butterfly.

And yet I have a deep need for alone time. I can happily go a couple of days without talking to another soul. To me, this is balance. I'm happy alone and with others. All times I have enjoy'd/ Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those/ That loved me, and alone as Tennyson said.

Deprecating "small talk" makes me angry. Listen to Louis Armstrong in "What a Wonderful World" sing I see friends shaking hands saying How do you do / What they really mean is I love you. Small talk is simply a safe way of exploring possibilities. If you don't click, then no feelings are hurt when one or the other moves on. Devastatingly clever opening remarks may be more entertaining, but the underlying meaning is the same as an ordinary comment. Thus endeth the lecture. Sorry, as a former shy girl, I resent others who never overcome it.

Meade said...

Well, Darcy, I would try to remember my manners and compliment you on your delicious Greek pasta salad - perfect balance of garlic, olive, and feta... and then I'd make furtive eye contact, smile a little, and then hightail it out of there before Trooper York has time to recognize me and bellow out my name in front of the whole darn convention.

Meade said...

The big oaf.

ricpic said...

I thought California means mob rule in Spanish?

Darcy said...

Excellent, Meade. :) Though you shouldn't let Trooper run you off.

John Burgess said...

Not 'Althousia'... !Vortex!

An introvert is one who leaves a party with far less energy than with which s/he arrived.

An extrovert gets charged up on other people's energy and leaves on a rush. Sort of like vampires, actually.

People are fine, in small doses, though I'm quite content to not be forced to deal with other people and their issues. I can go days without using using my physical voice to talk with other people.

I'm happy; they seem happy. Win all around!

Darcy said...

Isn't there something in between an introvert and an extrovert?

I'm definitely not a vampire.

Meade said...

a mesovert?

"I'm definitely not a vampire."

Well no, of course not. Not with all that... ENORMITY of good garlic in your Greek pasta salad, you're not.

Darcy said...

Ha! I like that. Mesovert. And definitely no aversion to enormous garlic.

Meade said...

By the way, where the heck is this Autonomous cat? Does he just leave a comment on a wasted thread and then lurk?

Come on, Autonomous, we might all be loners but we're a community of loners because we comment... one lonely communiqué after another.

But don't worry -- we're not a bunch of lonesome weirdo communists. We won't try to steal your autonomy or make you join in a singalong while playing a banjo.

Freeman Hunt said...

wouldn't it be a riot if we all got together only to find out that in person we all rub each other the wrong way

Yes, that would be funny. See, part of the draw is finding out what would happen.

Christy, I didn't mean to deprecate small talk. You're right; it's the best opener. What I don't like is going to some function where small talk is the only talk. I've been to a number of political functions like that (bureaucrats and future wannabe bureaucrats mingling) and found them very boring.

Donna B. said...

"An introvert is one who leaves a party with far less energy than with which s/he arrived." -- John Burgess

Ohmyyes! That perfectly describes the way I feel about most social gatherings. The ones that do not affect me this way are family reunions. I love them, yet I get the feeling many people dread them.

Is that because I know exactly where I fit in my family, but I'm not sure of that in other social gatherings - where I feel I don't fit anywhere?

Meade said...

Oh right -- enormOUS.

Dang, less than one week and President Charisma already has even me talking all goofy. Resist change. Suspect hope. Must. Use. Dictionary.

dick said...

Definitely a bit of a loner. I am kind of hard of hearing so being in a crowd is very disorienting and makes it very hard to concentrate on the one I am trying to listen to. I love small gatherings, up to 6 or 8 or so, because then there is a lot of interaction and I can deal with all of it. Much more than that and I just want to go park myself in the corner until it is time to leave.

Christy said...

Freeman, you're right. Political functions can be more boring than the average get together. I'm sorry, I projected into your comment more than was there.

Paddy O. said...

Being a loner is different also from being alone

As Batmanuel said (and I quoted in that earlier thread), "Not alone. Lone. Alone is an unfortunate predicament - lone is an aesthetic choice."

Being a loner in the country/wilderness/forest is an utterly different experience than being lone in the city.

I've had both, and entirely prefer nature, where there is a real wholeness and stillness to be found that is never punctured by human frenzy.

Paddy O. said...

Good places to find communities of the assorted people preferences is in the various forums dedicated to the Myers-Briggs types.

On a whim, I was part of an INTJ forum for a while, and now realize that loners can get tiresome pretty quickly.

Bob said...

Conan Doyle thought up The Diogenes Club for his Sherlock Holmes stories.

jdeeripper said...

Oddly, I've joked twice on this blog about "the loner community"

Black(s) for McCain.

"I'm alone".

hdhouse said...

at my desk at 7am on a monday morning. no one else here. is work a community for loners?