The "Loner": Facts and fictions | INFJ Forum

The "Loner": Facts and fictions

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    The "Loner": Facts and fictions


    There's quite a few prejudicial assumptions, stereotypes, and misunderstandings about the "loner." They're often judged negatively, and seen as being mysterious or having something to hide, antisocial, liars, dangerous, hidden desires, selfish, etc.

    Many serial killers or mass murderers have been labeled "loners" as if to say that because they were more reserved than most, that made them more dangerous personalities, etc.

    In the end, if you're quiet, reserved, and prefer to deal with the world a little more introvertedly, then this is automatically perceived as unhealthy, isolationist, and selfish.

    So, let's have it.

    The "loner": Which ones are the facts and which ones are the dubious little fictions?
     
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    #1 Gaze, Aug 1, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
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  2. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    Fact: Regardless of what people believe in, be it creationism or evolutionism, people are introverted for a reason. If it's evolution, there's obviously some benefit to it, and if it's creation, we were created this way for a reason.

    Not everyone has to be, nor should be, an extrovert.
     
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  3. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    Fiction: loners are, by definition, not functional and would become more social if their dysfunctions were fixed; this is why if someone is a loner, you know that there's something wrong with them

    Fact: many, if not most people, become more withdrawn when under high stress; however, some people are naturally loners
     
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  4. sassafras

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    I think it's more a matter of perception and social relativism than fact vs fiction. I think in a society that rewards extroverted go-getters, yes, the loner type can be seen as "dysfunctional" because their traits may interfere with their abilities to best maximize on the opportunities presented by their worldly environment. But in a society that values introspection and mysticism, a loner mentality is something to be respected (and maybe even desired). In parts of India, some Hindus adhere to the four stages of man (ashrama) where the last two stages encourage hermitism after a man has fulfilled his duties to his household in order to become closer to his God(s). These men are held in very high esteem by their society and welcomed wherever they pass. Similar practices have been observed in indigenous tribes as well.

    In the end, there are always going to be people who are born or raised to be better equipped for navigating their environment. None of a person's naturalized traits are ever inherently right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy. You can't really help the sort of society you're born into, and most of the time, you don't have any say in what sort of cards you've been given. But you do have in a hand in how you use what you've got, and how you choose to play. And that's all that really matters.

    As for prejudices against loner types, they're just that: prejudices. They're most certainly not "facts."
     
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    #4 sassafras, Aug 1, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
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  5. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    For me I started out being out going and became a loner because of people's treatment of me. I would say that now I avoid extroverts. Their overbearing attitudes and style make me run the other direction. If I am a loser I am okay with that. I think it really does not matter unless and introvert wants you dead. Then maybe you might be in trouble.
     
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  6. OP
    Gaze

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    pretty much agree. But it is a problem when people are taught to look at introvertedness negatively or see someone as less developed because of it. These negative perceptions are often internalized and someone may come to believe that something is truly wrong with them because of it. Consequently, their quality of life is less because you're told that you're not a happy person and you're bringing everyone down with your unwillingness to extrovert. It's also a problem because when we're around those who are very extroverted - especially in cases where there's little choice but to interact with them, they either ignore you completely, or spend time prodding you out of a perceived shell. This is why social interaction becomes draining, because your choices are either to participate in the extroverted display, later on feeling as if you're drained, maybe a little anxious instead of relaxed, or remaining fairly reserved only to be pegged as moody or antisocial.

    So, it is a problem.
     
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    #6 Gaze, Aug 1, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  7. sassafras

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    Any kind of prejudice is always a problem. It was not my intention to give the impression that things are this way and that's that. You deal with this type of prejudice the way you deal with any other kind of prejudice: education and advocacy. It's not going to go away by itself.
     
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  8. Renaissance

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    20% U.S. population are introvert,which means there are likely a larger number-by far-that are non psycho than there are truly- self motivated scary people.Media Journalism leaves much to be desired."He was a loner"is just a weak way to not deal with real problems behind why someone go's off the deep end,using the profoundly disturbed one as scapegoat.They never seem to mention that everyone- should be accountable for they're actions and inactions regardless if they're sick or not.That's my story,I'm stickin'to it...
     
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  9. OP
    Gaze

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    I agree, education and advocacy are the key. I think i responded too sensitively to this so my bad :). But I think as a society we are unfortunately too content to continue believing the stereotypes and seeing someone as weak or inadequate because they're not fitting into the expected molds than teaching some form of appreciation for these kinds of differences, and realizing that someone can be just as or even more effective at work, in relationships, in everyday social engagements, with differing personality traits.

    Yes, unfortunately true.
     
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    #9 Gaze, Aug 1, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  10. Inquisitive

    Inquisitive Steering By The Stars

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    Accepted Fact: Individuation, the process through which a person becomes his or her true self, is a healthy thing. (Simple, developmental psychology definition of individuation.)

    Personal Truth: I could not achieve individuation apart from isolation. And it
     
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  11. eidelweiss

    eidelweiss Regular Poster

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    It's hard to be an introvert in American society where producing of every kind is valued. How many organizations, how many leadership positions, numbers can be a kind of materialism. It seems like quantity of whatever it is is valued over quality. We value the product, and not the process.

    Leaders can be introverts, but I never seem to hear about it other than historical people like Gandhi and MLK Jr.

    I hate to say it, but I don't enjoy myself much in the company of large groups of people. The people in my design studio got that I was an introvert and a very private person, and still appreciated me for who I am. Others do not seem to be so understanding, especially my friends who are extroverts. I have actually had not participating in gossip held against me.

    I am happier alone with my books or my art or whatever I am wanting to do at the time. Introverts NEED this. We need time to be alone to be able to enjoy being with the people we enjoy.
     
  12. NeverAmI

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    Fiction: All loners are alone because they cannot make friends.

    Fact: Maybe that is true for some. I personally don't have any problem making friends, it's more a question of actually wanting, and taking time out of my schedule to honor, friends.

    Some people seem to think that you have to have someone attached to you 24/7 or there is something wrong with you.

    My old roommate was freaked out by me because I spent so much time alone. He couldn't spend a minute of his day by himself or he would start freaking out. He came down and bothered me a lot, really annoying.
     
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  13. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    ^^^Yep, there's a lot of neurotic individuals of both camps (intro and extro). I'm not sure which one to be more afraid of.
     
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  14. just me

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    "He was a loner and neighbors say they rarely even saw him" and the likes, to me, are ways to excuse the fact they knew or know almost nothing about them. "Antisocial" is a way to use a negative word-type
    (anti) to further substantiate their not knowing anything about this person. I also see this used to enduce thoughts the person was "up to something all the time" and therefore stayed away from the public. They did not want their pic taken at wallyworld or the local stores.

    If I were in a sleeper cell or a criminal, I would not hide or go underground for fear of causing suspicion. Yet, some criminals do just that. That, in itself, does not make people that are that way suspicious or dangerous.

    Remember the old man in "Home Alone", I think, the kids were scared of? I think he appeared to help them in their time of need, did he not? May have the wrong movie. Many people escape troubled seas by staying alone til the storms pass. The "loner" stereotypical descriptive use in criminal investigations has proven to be true at times, but so have other types been proven true at times. I hope people do not worry about me when they should not, and hope those with bad intentions leave me "alone".
     
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  15. Faye

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    The people who call me a "loner" are the reason I am one.


    In middle school people thought I was a drug dealer. Fact: I have never sold any drugs in my life.

    Others have pegged me as a serial killer in the making, though I have a hard time killing anything- unless it is a mosquito.

    Really I don't understand why people are so afraid of people who are "loners". To me it seems so obvious why they are that way, but others can't comprehend it. They think everyone needs to be super extroverted or they are messed up in some way.
     
  16. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    depends on who you talk to. in some contexts, being a loner is seen as a good thing.

    source? although i wouldn't be surprised if it was true, but i think "schizoid" would be a better term to describe such individuals. schizoid people really don't give a fuck about relationships, loners are just independent, but still receptive to the thoughts and feelings of others. slight distinction maybe, but i feel it's an important one.

    it's true in some contexts, but not all - really does depend on values of the culture you grew up in or currently live in.


    being a loner means being in the minority, and that's probably where a lot of the negative connotations associated with loners are coming from - people are less likely to meet a loner by statistical probability, and therefore are less likely to understand them. when you don't understand someone, you're more likely to dislike them. though that's just a hunch, but it's been true in my experience.
     
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  17. OP
    Gaze

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    I'm referring to general assumptions and stereotypes. Being a loner is rarely perceived as positive in modern American culture.

    Source isn't necessary. The media does a good job of purveying these misconceptions. The issue is that these personality disorder distinctions are not made in the media and in the larger culture. Instead, there is a tendency to describe introvertedness as a some sort of precondition or prerequisite trait predisposing someone to commit violent crimes. The underlying belief is that being introvert signifies a dislike or some hatred of people, and so those who are introverted are boiling with resentment against humanity. It's one of the biggest misconceptions. Even introverts have a tendency to accept misconceptions about themselves because we hear them so often being stated as facts.

    Of course, i'm more referring to Western culture or to be more specific American culture. Although it's a generalization and depends on context, there are clear patterns which show this is a prevalent misconception.

    Well, yeah.
     
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    #17 Gaze, Aug 2, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  18. deadred

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    We are all something to one degree or another. I am quite the Introvert unless I'm around people I know really well, then all bets are off. I enjoy being a loner because I am comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings, and do my best research when alone. Inquisitive used a word I dearly love, and that is "Individuation". It seems obvious to me that many could seem to care less about finding their true selves, but it also seems equally obvious that most of us here are deep into that path. It's one reason I like this board so much. There are all kinds of bias about all kinds of things, but what would we expect out of the naive and unevolved among us?
     
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  19. IndigoSensor

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    Myth: loners are terrible at socializing and are akward.
     
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  20. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    really? i haven't noticed this tendency..? well from the news articles i've read, just as many extroverts commit crimes as do introverts and loners, so if such a correlation is being made, it's clearly false. pretty disturbing if people are making such a mistake though - it's one thing to label loners as weird or unusual, quite another to assume they're all criminally inclined! :/

    this conversation kind of reminds me of when people say that all atheists have no morals, because they don't attain their morality from an established religion.
     
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