At Ease or Anxious: How Personality Types Feel about Being Home Alone
Being home alone: for some of us, it’s a rare, delightful luxury, but for others, it’s a trigger for anxiety. Even for people who live by themselves, it can sometimes be both of these things. How we feel about being home alone may depend on our personal experiences in the past, or on external, unpredictable factors. If we feel uneasy, maybe it’s because there is crime in the area or a severe storm on the way. Perhaps we simply miss the company we’re used to.
But what might nervousness about being home alone have to do with our personality type? To find out, we asked our community to agree or disagree with the statement, “You get anxious when you are home alone.”
Only a modest number agreed overall (28%), but there were clearly some personality types who are less comfortable with being home alone than others. Namely, those with Turbulent Identities agreed with our statement the most and were 21% more likely to agree on average than their counterparts with Assertive Identities (38% vs. 17% agreeing, respectively). The Intuitive and Feeling personality traits also played a role, but to a lesser extent.
Let’s review the data in more detail below.
Diplomats (36% agreeing)
Diplomat personality types showed a notably higher level of concern about being home alone than the other Roles, but even so, only a minority agreed with our statement. Diplomats’ core combination of Intuitive and Feeling traits certainly influenced their responses. Intuitive types are highly imaginative, and they sometimes let themselves get carried away with their wild ideas. It’s not difficult to picture those Diplomats who don’t like being home alone imagining every ominous possibility that could happen.
On the other hand, it’s just as likely that Diplomat personalities take advantage of their solitude not to dwell on being alone but to think about other things, like brainstorming a solution to a problem at work or a creative idea for a new project, and thus become so fully absorbed in their thoughts that they forget their surroundings. In such a state, even the smallest, most innocuous sound or disturbance could frighten anyone as they snap back to reality. And because Diplomats’ Feeling personality trait means that they filter everything through their emotions, the more experiences like this that they have, the more likely they are to develop an anxiety about being home alone.
Analysts agreed at a lower rate than Diplomats. Although they share with Diplomats the Intuitive personality trait (and are therefore also prone to letting their imaginations run away with themselves), this tendency is balanced out by their Thinking trait, which makes them more rational. They can easily dismiss any paranoid ideas that may come to mind while they’re home alone by reminding themselves of what is and is not logical. Analyst personality types also tend to be more independent than other Roles, so they may relish having time alone to enjoy their personal interests or work on projects without interruption.
Explorers and Sentinels (26% and 24%)
Only about a quarter of Explorers and Sentinels agreed with our statement. These Roles share the Observant personality trait, which makes them down-to-earth and focused on the present. If anything unusual happens while they’re home alone, they can rely on their Observant trait to help them deduce the facts of the situation and deal with it calmly and pragmatically.
Explorer personality types, for their part, are generally spontaneous and flexible, so they can easily adapt to whatever happens, whether they’re with or without the company of others. Thanks to their Prospecting trait, they excel at thinking on their feet, which means that, should a crisis occur, there’s no better personality to handle it than an Explorer.
Sentinels, as stable and focused personality types, are generally too practical to get worked up over being home alone. Their Judging trait also makes them well prepared for it. Aware of their surroundings and probably having preplanned procedures for any emergencies that may arise, they feel little reason to worry when home alone.
Social Engagement and Constant Improvement (41% and 36%)
The Identity aspect, as mentioned earlier, was the single greatest factor in whether our community members agreed that they get anxious when they’re home alone. Our Identity gets to the core of how confident we are in our abilities and decisions. Personality types with Turbulent Identities tend to suffer from lower self-confidence and, when home alone, they may feel doubts about their ability to cope with whatever it is that makes them nervous, whether it’s the possibility of a stranger knocking on the door or simply missing the comfortable presence of their family or roommates. Moreover, because these personalities tend to be emotional and quite sensitive to stress, these feelings could feed into a larger anxiety about being home alone. As such, we saw the two Turbulent Strategies, Social Engagement and Constant Improvement, agreeing at the highest rates.
Of all the personality types, Turbulent Protagonists (ENFJ-T) agreed the most (46%). Turbulent Protagonists are Intuitive, Feeling types, and they’re also Social Engagers. Natural leaders and motivators, they’re at their happiest when they’re guiding and inspiring others, including their family and friends at home. Deprived of their company, Turbulent Protagonists may feel uneasy. This personality type also has a tendency to reflect on and analyze their emotions – sometimes overanalyzing them to the point that small problems become big ones in their minds. That tendency could easily grow into an anxiety when it comes to being home alone.
People Mastery and Confident Individualism (19% and 14%)
People Masters and Confident Individualists agreed at very low rates that being home alone makes them anxious. Their Assertive Identities make these personality types much more self-assured than their Turbulent counterparts. They’re also more even-tempered and don’t get easily stressed out, so they’re less susceptible to allowing their emotions to get the better of them. Even if they get nervous from time to time when they’re home alone, they’re unlikely to let that nervousness develop into an anxiety problem. Confident that they can handle whatever comes their way, Assertive personality types are well-suited to being home alone.
Assertive Adventurers (ISFP-A) were the personality type least likely to agree with our statement (10%). Assertive Adventurers are Confident Individualists who often prefer to be alone and to do their own thing than to be in the company of others. Time alone at home may actually be one of their favorite things – it gives them the space they need to experiment with new things or to reflect on who they are and where their lives are going.
One might have expected that Extraversion and Introversion would have been a key factor in this survey. It seems natural to assume that Extraverted personalities, who seek out social situations and draw energy from their interactions with others, would feel uncomfortable – and maybe even anxious – when home alone, while Introverts, who often need to have time alone in order to recharge from social situations, would be quite happy spending time at home without others around. But that was not the case. Extraverts and Introverts were tied in their responses, agreeing at just 30% each.
While the vast majority of our community indicated that they are perfectly comfortable being home alone, those personality types who agreed with our statement did so along certain lines: Turbulent Identities, Intuitive Energies, and Feeling Natures. For some of these types, insecurity, active imaginations, and emotional reactions to their surroundings can make them anxious when they’re home alone. Taking care to stay aware of what’s happening around us and having a plan for emergencies that may arise can make being home alone a safe and enjoyable experience for all of us.
What about you? How do you feel about being home alone? Let us know in the comments below.