We have lived in the Sangre de Cristo mountains for over 20 years and with each new day we seem to learn something different about our environment and ourselves. I was reading through a social media venue the other day and came across an article about loners. We all know that social media sources are not always reliable and often difficult to verify. As unreliable as some articles are this one really impacted me. As I read the short topic it was describing me as a loner. I had never considered myself a loner but this article was hitting all the points of my life. That information got me to wondering if being a loner is a prerequisite for remote living. After much thought I have concluded the answer is both yes and no. I came to that definitive answer after very careful self examination.
Some people prefer to have a smaller circle of relationships and are not the least bothered by being alone. Loners are very selective over who they choose to be friends. When they are alone they do their best thinking and never seem lonely. They could be the last person on earth and never feel lonely. They are believers in having firm boundaries and also respect the boundaries of others.
They are loyal to a fault and do not crave attention. If you happen to be their friend you have a very loyal friend indeed. The article says they are open minded but introspective. It is sometimes perceived that loners are antisocial and not friendly. Nothing could be more wrong as healthy minded loners simply value their own company over others and are quite friendly and sociable. Loners do not panic or run in the face of adversity; instead their self analysis and thinking usually has them prepared for adversities. They may feel stressed on occasions but when that occurs they usually take some alone time to recharge their batteries.
Loners value time and they are rarely ever late. They don’t waste others time and don’t want others to waste their time. Loners recognize that no one is perfect, both in others and themselves. Therefore they are not easily distracted by the actions of others and simply keep on doing what is right for themselves and others.
I wouldn’t qualify as even an amature on defining personalities but reading that article hit me like a bolt of lightning because I had never considered myself a loner. Regretfully I was unable to find the originator of that article as it disappeared before I could reference it. However by putting ‘loner’ in any search engine will bring forth a plethora of pages with articles on being a loner.
From my own observation on loners I have discovered we seem to fall into different categories. There is the extreme loner that is a recluse and prefers their own company above any interaction with others. This to me does not seem to be totally healthy but I have known such people over my lifetime and they have functioned very well and were good citizens. They did not seem to possess any nefarious intent nor were they radical in conduct.
Then there are what I would term as occasional loners who seem to function satisfactorily in dual worlds. They thrive in large social circles but regard their time and boundaries as sacrosanct and hence based upon their own need for aloneness they too are loners. Take away that alone time and they quickly become agitated and frustrated.
Finally there are those who are forced into being a loner. Being pressed into being a loner is not all bad as we are perfectly comfortable and content to be in our own company and thoughts. Having a partner which is very compatible or maintaining pets can go a long way to being self satisfied and content without being lonely. Those compelled to be loners can either be self induced or they can be compelled by environmental circumstances to be alone. Living in a small community as we do where some in the community are insincere, deceptive, antagonistic and retaliatory can compel a person to be a loner for self protection purposes.
So returning to the original question regarding whether it is beneficial to be a loner in order to live remotely - the answer is still yes and no. Some people can live remotely and be very content, happy and not lonely. Others may move in and out of being a loner or a combination of any of the above. If people thrive on external events and relationships to be happy there are few places left whereby even living remotely they would be deprived of that more extroverted lifestyle. On the other hand a true loner will find solace in being alone and stays clear of non-stop interaction with others.
So again the answer solely depends on the individual and the environment they choose to exist in. In my case I had no idea I would gravitate to being a loner until we moved remotely. I quickly discovered I liked the alone time which, when I was in the working world, was next to impossible to find on any consistent level. Being alone with my wife and our dogs can be highly therapeutic and not stressful. Living remotely and being completely comfortable if not deliriously happy in your own skin is something that envelops you in peace, happiness and tranquility.
It is not that we don’t have our occasional crisis but when you are happy and content you are able to deal with it on a much calmer basis. Doesn’t everyone seek a little alone time or peace and quiet sometimes? When stress does come our way we take a little alone time and deal with it more effectively.
For more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray and remote living in their cabin with their three dogs go to: www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com
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