While being antisocial may have a negative connotation, it is not necessarily a bad thing. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself if you loathe, rather than crave, social interaction. Some amount of social interaction is healthy and necessary, but solitude is also beneficial in many ways.
We’ve outlined the major science-backed benefits to being antisocial, so you no longer have to feel guilty avoiding the crowd. And as it turns out, keeping to yourself is good for business.
1. Improved Creativity
Through Feist’s research on artists and scientists — two careers filled with those who embody creativity — he has found that a lack of interest in socialization is the most prominent personality trait. This disinterest in others could be attributed to the desire to spend one’s time creating rather than socializing.
2. Better Focus
It’s no secret that being surrounded by other people is a distraction from whatever you are trying to accomplish (for example: getting together to “work from home” with your friends — yeah, right!). But recent research has delved deeper into why this is true.
When other people are around, research published by the Boston Globe has discovered that your brain cannot completely ignore them, regardless of how hard you try, causing mental cloudiness. Solitude prevents this inevitable distraction and allows your brain to enter a state of active mental rest (which is also helpful for staying focused).
3. Allotted Time for Daydreaming
Spending time alone allows time to let your brain wander. Believe it or not, daydreaming is actually beneficial. It activates your brain’s default mode network, which not only improves your memory but helps to build empathy.
4. Higher Quality Friendships
Antisocial people are very particular when it comes to forming friendships, whereas more outgoing people tend to value the number of friends and social interactions over their quality. Those who identify as antisocial have been found to have fewer but more solid and healthy friendships, which is linked to greater happiness.
5. More Thoughtful Networking
Similar to forming friendships, those who are antisocial are more particular when it comes to networking. More social people will attempt to make as many connections as possible, while more antisocial folk will make a few, strong and meaningful connections, according to author and professional coach Beth Buelow.
6. More Developed Self-Awareness
“There’s a real danger with people who are never alone,” according to Feist. Solitude improves your relaxation, your introspectiveness, and, most importantly, your self-awareness.
Spending more time with yourself allows you to reflect on who you are as a person and understand your own behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Feist believes that those who prefer solitude “are trying to make sense of their internal world and a lot of internal personal experiences.”
Well there you have it. Next time your friend makes fun of you for staying in rather than hitting the town, you can just send her this lnk. It looks like your antisocial behavior can be a strong personality trait after all.