Isolophilia: Healthy Love of Solitude (Solophilia)

Uploaded 5/5/2024, approx. 19 minute read

You are about to watch a video about solitude and aloneness as lifestyle choices that reflect the innate essence of the individual who is making this choice.

Do not confuse this with mental health issues.

I'll give you one example.


People who are depressed tend to isolate themselves, withdraw from the world, avoid others.

This applies equally to narcissists.

When narcissists lack narcissistic supply, are unable to regulate their internal environment with feedback from the outside, they become depressed and they tend to withdraw to the schizoid phase in narcissism.

But the following video doesn't discuss any of this because these are all manifestations of mental illness and underlying mental perturbance or disorder or disturbance or problem or dynamic.

Some people just love to be alone.

They adore solitude.

They find contentment and happiness in their own company.

They stimulate themselves and they thrive in a private space, devoid of any and all social interactions.

Contrary to popular myths and to many schools in psychology, this is not mental illness.

This is healthy.

It's a choice.

As a new buzzword afoot, isophilia.

As a collector of $10 words, I immediately lunged and pounced upon this new word in order to explicate it to you, enlighten you, elevate you and bring you to a state of solitary nirvana.

Why solitary?

Because isophilia is a love of solitude.

A proposed solitude.

My name is Sam Baknin.

I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology and currently on the faculty of CEPS as a professor of psychology and a professor of management studies.

Okay, introduction over.

Let's delve right in.

First of all, I take issue with the word isophilia because it's comprised of two words, isolation and love-feeling.

So I take issue with that because isolation has negative connotations.

We isolate dangerous prisoners in maximum security facilities.

We isolate ourselves.

We isolate other people as a form of punishment and so on and so forth.

So isolation is a negative thing while isophilia is not a negative thing.

It's a choice and it brings a lot of happiness to the isophile.

I would rather use the word, solophilia, the love of being alone, but it's too late.

What else is going on in the world?

So first of all, it's very important to understand there are multiple mental health conditions, multiple states of mind, multiple environments, many circumstances, diverse relationships in which isolation, solitude, being alone are an integral part and a determinant of the condition.

There are differences, nuanced shades between isophilia and these other situations.

Take for example, schizoid, schizoid personality disorder, schizoid core, schizoid behaviors and so on and so forth.

On the surface, they look exactly like isophilia.

Schizoids isolate themselves.

They avoid other people.

They constrict their lives usually, at least socially, but it's not the same.

Implied in the word schizoid is the assumption that this constriction of life, this withdrawal, this turning in and cutting out the world are the outcomes of some mental health issues.

Schizoid, in other words, is a form of mental disturbance, mental disorder, mental health problem.

That's why we have schizoid personality disorder.

This does not apply to isophilia.

It is utterly, unmitigatedly healthy and as I said, it involves a choice.

Isophilia may be a predisposition or a predilection or a proclivity or a tendency.

I'm running out of synonyms.

It may come from the inside, but it is who you are.

As an isola field, you are happiest when you are in your own company.

You're your best friend.

You're your best company.

You're your best companion.

The schizoid does not experience happiness and elation and euphoria and contentment when he or she is alone with himself or herself.

Schizoids don't derive pleasure from being alone.

The schizoid condition is an attempt to avoid discomfort.

This pleasure, the company of others is a form of torture.

So the schizoid avoids this pain and this discomfort by isolating himself or herself.

It is, in other words, reactive.

It's not a choice.

It's similar to recoil or startled reaction in PTSD.

Introverted people.

Introverted people also on the surface are identical to isonal fields.

Introverted people stay at home.

They prefer solitary activities.

They avoid company and socializing and so on and so forth.

And introverts feel comfortable with their lifestyle choices and with the environment that they have constructed for themselves.

They feel comfortable with who they are.

In this sense, introverted people are very close to isonal fields.

But isonal fields are capable of exiting the isophilic condition, socializing and so on and so forth.

And with introverted people, this is more rare.

It can and does happen.

Introverted people, you know, end up once in every 10 years, they end up in a nightclub or something.

But it's very forced, full of anxiety and usually not a pleasant experience.

While the isonal field can transition between states without any problem.

An isonal field can become social for a while and enjoy it.

There's a difference between the isonal field and the introverted.

Similarly, the socially anxious person, social anxiety, the avoidant person, the shy person.

These are people who are terrified of feedback, social feedback, social judgment, social opprobrium, criticism.

They're terrified of this.

They're terrified of failing.

There's a performance anxiety involved.

So socially anxious, avoidant and shy people are driven by what we call negative motivation.

They avoid society not because they want to.

Many of them crave to have a friend, to socialize, to go out, to date.

But they just can't.

They can't because they catastrophize.

They anticipate the untoward, the negative outcomes of attempting to interact with other people.

They have such a bad object.

They have such a coalition of voices inside them that informs them that they are unlovable and worthy, inadequate, ugly, stupid and so on.

So this bad object informs the socially anxious person, the avoidant person, the shy person, the person.

Don't go out there because you are transparent.

People are going to see right through you and they're going to realize how defective and deformed and deficient you are.

And you don't want this to happen because it's very painful.

None of this applies to the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes of the eyes.

So if you are a healthy self-esteem, he or she is self-confident, sense of self-worth is highly regulated internally.

So that's not a racist. It's just someone who prefers his or her own company, prefers to be alone.

Why is that?

Why would anyone prefer to be alone?

Well, let's start with some objective facts.

The overwhelming vast majority of humans, of people, are as dumb as nails in a buried coffin.

They hope the metaphor is apt.

I mean, they are dumb beyond imagination.

And not only are they dumb, but owing to the Dunning-Kruger effect, they consider themselves geniuses, experts on everything and so on.

This is very irritating and annoying and aggravating.

Next, most people are dishonest.

Most people are dishonest.

Studies have conclusively demonstrated this.

Third, most people nowadays are narcissistic.

They feel entitled.

They are grandiose.

They are divorced from reality.

They are aggressive or passive-aggressive.

In short, most people nowadays are difficult and high-maintenance.

I just gave you three excellent reasons to avoid all people without an exception.

I gave you excellent reasons to become an isofil, to choose the isophilic lifestyle.

I'm not talking about the Unabomber option, a hermit-like, monkish seclusion.

That is constriction of life.

That is chitrude. That is chitruddha.

That is not healthy.

That is not isophilia.

It's giving up on the world, rejecting life and impairing reality testing.

That's a choice that drives people into insanity, into mental illness, as has been the case with the Unabomber.

In the best case, it's a recipe.

In the worst case, it's a recipe for mental illness.

That's not what I'm talking about.

Isolophils are schizoid to some extent, but they are schizoid only behaviorally, not psychodynamically.

Some of them are also asexual, which is a legitimate sexual orientation, not being turned on by sex, not liking sex.

They all, isolophils, all crave solitude.

And they crave solitude because the alternatives to solitude are obnoxious, dumb, dishonest, difficult people.

And that is the vast majority of humanity nowadays.

Statistically, you're far more likely to come across such people than across nice, kind, interesting people, intelligent people, far more likely.

So why bother?

There's a feeling of why bother.

So they crave solitude and they must enjoy their own company.

They find their own minds and their own company stimulating, thought-provoking, transformative.

They're able to conduct a dialogue with themselves, which yields results, outcomes in terms of personal growth and development, acquisition of knowledge, insight and excitement and thrill.

These people, isolophils, are happiest when they're engaged in solitary activities.

The problem is, society, isolophilia, I repeat, is an utterly healthy choice.

It's a choice and it's utterly healthy.

It is founded, of course, on the ability to enjoy one's company, on the capacity to function perfectly and healthily, even without other people.

You need these prerequisites to become a healthy isolophile.

But society regards such people as weirdos.

Society says something's wrong with you.

You're mentally ill.

You need treatment.

Medication and well-meaning people attempt to impose on isolophils companionship, group activities, dating, matchmaking, I mean, you name it.

Society, which is comprised, as you recall, of inordinately stupid people.

Society is unable to comprehend difference, the other.

And so it tries to homogenize.

Society tries to homogenize and to level the playing field.

So everyone is the same.

Everyone is equal.

They are not superior people and inferior people, as is the reality.

Of course, some people are vastly superior to others.

But there's no such thing.

We are all equal.

We are all equally endowed, equally educated, equally expert, equally knowledgeable, equally everything.

And these mores of equality and equity and false modesty, they are in position on the isolophile.

Whatever else, the isolophile is usually highly intelligent.

Otherwise, he would not have been able to stimulate himself or herself.

The isolophile is honest, sometimes abrasively and brutally honest.

And society demands that the isolophils give up these things.

Society says it's very bad to be alone.

It's a bad choice and it's an indication that something's wrong with you.

And you must compromise.

You must compromise.

You must pretend that you are modest and humble.

It's known as pseudo humility.

You must not display your intelligence.

You must suppress it or repress it somehow.

You must pretend that everyone is equal and you are equal to everyone else.

In other words, you must be dishonest.

And these demands are not acceptable to the isolophils.

People are well-meaning, but they also idiots and moralists.

And that's not acceptable to the isolophils.

So some isolophils react aggressively to such incursions and invasions of their private space.

They hate it.

They resent the implication that something is wrong with them.

And they doubly resent the imposition and the brutal attempt to somehow take over their lives and mold and shape their lives for them.

For many isolophils, having been exposed repeatedly to society's inexorable attempt to change them, many isolophils become misanthropic.

Men haters or women haters, people haters.

They become cantankerous, grouchy, grumpy.

They become ordinary, difficult to deal with, offensive, haughty, which resembles not a narcissism very much, but is not.

The hotiness of the isolophil is not based on grandiosity. It's based on the recognition that the isolophil is different to other people.

And so that the isolophil has a right to choose the lifestyle that best fits the isolophil.

That is a bit of an arrogant, grandiose, in-your-face, defiant statement.

And it is misperceived as narcissism or even psychopathy when it's not.

Most isolophils become defensive. And the more defensive they become, the more they withdraw. The more they avoid society. The actions of well-meaning people who are trying to match the isolophil with someone or to invite the isolophil to parties or to go out with the isolophil to a nightclub or to cinema or whatever.

All these activities of well-meaning people drive the isolophil away. They have a counterproductive impact. They just demonstrate to the isolophil why isolophilia is actually a great idea.

So isolophilia is misperceived as dysfunctional behavioral strategy. But it's not.

What is dysfunctional behavioral strategy is when the isolophil begins to drive or attempt to drive everyone away. When the isolophil tries to secure the aloneness and private space by behaving aggressively, arrogantly.

So isolophilia in itself is actually an adaptive behavioral strategy because it caters to the internal constitution, composition and psychodynamics of the individual of the isolophil.

But when society pushes the isolophil to the corner, besieges the isolophil, attacks the isolophil all the time.

Some isolophils develop dysfunctional behaviors, which include aggression, as I mentioned.

And it's a desperate attempt to drive away the nuisances that people make of themselves, to set some boundaries, to somehow render the firewall that isolates the isolophil impermeable and efficacious.

And society is so insistent and so judgmental that many isolophils end up becoming highly dysregulated and dysfunctional, aggressive, unpleasant, unkind, haughty, grandiose, offensive, cantankerous, misanthropic, reticent people.

It is society that drives isolophils to become actually, schedule or worse.

Isolophilia needs space, private space, in order to thrive.

That is a requirement of the isolophil.

As a minimum society can respect this preference and let the isolophil be, live and let live.

But we are in an age of intrusion via social media and in other ways into people's private lives.

There is no privacy anymore. And there is no real ability, despite atomization, despite technological self-sufficiency, there is no real ability to isolate yourself truly as in the old days.

Today you can't go to a mountaintop and then spend 40 days wandering about the universe and the riddles of divinity or whatever it is that you wonder about because you will find yourself surrounded by 20,000 other people who have had exactly the same idea.

There are too many of us, simply.

This makes isolophilia an isolated phenomenon, very difficult to maintain.

Bon chance.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Loving the Borderline in Her Fantasy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the love life, sexual fantasies, and relationships of borderline women, as well as the connection between borderline personality disorder and promiscuity. He delves into the origins and manifestations of the disorder, including its link to childhood trauma and heredity. Vaknin also explores the impact of these dynamics on relationships and the potential for resonance or exacerbation of pathologies in such pairings.

Tips: Survive Your Borderline Enchantress

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses coping with borderline personality disorder, including abandonment anxiety and object constancy. He suggests establishing rituals and procedures of presence, permanence, stability, and predictability, involving the borderline in activities that can be misinterpreted as forms of abandonment, and introducing object constancy into the relationship through mementos, programmed reminders, and shared sentences. He also discusses decompensation, acting out, and mood lability in individuals with borderline personality disorder. Finally, he offers advice on how to deal with a partner who has borderline personality disorder, including restoring reality testing, preventing suicide, and countering transient paranoid ideation.

COVID-19 Punishes Our Narcissism (Original Sin, WATCH 1st VID, Links in Description)

The coronavirus pandemic is seen by some as a solution to the ills of modern society, with the hope that it will restore solidarity, family, friendship, community, and harmony. However, this nihilistic state of mind has resulted in people violently castigating anyone who tries to restore calm and good sense to the conversation. The pandemic will be followed by a massive global but short recession that will probably last two quarters, but will be followed by a period of prosperity. The disruptive psychological effects of these health crises and the strain on interpersonal relationships will be felt long after the virus is gone, and possibly the greatest effect will be on the increasingly more atomized social fabric.

Narcissistic Coronavirus for Narcissistic Civilization

The panic and mass hysteria surrounding COVID-19 is due to a confluence of factors, including ignorance, social media, distrust of authority, and narcissism. The virus itself is relatively harmless, with a case fatality rate of 0.7%, and has killed only a small number of people, mostly those with pre-existing conditions. The measures adopted by governments and individuals are far more dangerous and detrimental than the virus itself. The author hopes that we survive not the virus, but ourselves.

Pandemic Slaves and Their Neo-feudal Masters: Envy-fuelled Insurrection

The text discusses the impact of the pandemic on entrepreneurship, income inequality, and the economy. It predicts a future of economic downturn, deflation, and a shift towards financial markets. The author also explores the causes of recessions and the potential long-term effects of the pandemic on the economy.

Borderline Woman: Partner Devaluation, Self-harm, Alcoholism

In summary, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the psychology of borderline women, focusing on splitting, self-destructive behaviors, and substance abuse. Splitting is an infantile defense mechanism that leads to idealization and devaluation of others. Self-destructive behaviors can include risky sexual encounters, reckless behavior, and defiance. Substance abuse, particularly alcohol, can serve as a coping mechanism for negative emotions, restore self-confidence, lower inhibitions, and allow for the accomplishment of goals that would not be considered when sober.

Long Distance Relationships Of Narcissist, Borderline

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the challenges of long-distance relationships for mentally ill individuals, particularly narcissists and borderlines. He explains how the abnormal nature of long-distance relationships exacerbates mental health issues and leads to intense emotional turmoil, including romantic jealousy, fear of loss, and mistrust. Vaknin emphasizes the detrimental effects of long-distance relationships on narcissists and borderlines, and advises against engaging in such relationships, especially for those with mental health disorders.

Anxious People - Narcissists? (2nd Webinar on Stress and Depression Management)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses anxiety from various angles, including the philosophical angle. He explains that anxiety disorders are often misdiagnosed as narcissistic personality disorder because both types of patients are worried about social approval and seek feedback, admiration, and applause. However, the narcissist is egosyntonic, while the anxious patient is egodystonic. Anxiety is an essential component of existence, bad faith existence, inauthentic existence, and authentic existence. Anxiety is intimately connected to the schizoid core of personality disorder, to the need to maintain an authentic existence, and it's intimately connected to narcissistic spectacle, to displays of grandiosity, to attempts to solicit narcissistic supply.

Borderline’s Partner: Enters Healthy, Exits Mentally Ill

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the impact of individuals with borderline personality disorder on their partners, suggesting that they can induce narcissistic behaviors in them. He also addresses misconceptions about Freud's theories and delves into the psychological dynamics at play in relationships with individuals with borderline personality disorder. The borderline's need for object constancy and the partner's response to it are explored, leading to the development of narcissistic and borderline behaviors in the partner. The complex and challenging dynamics of these relationships are thoroughly analyzed.

Anxiety: Root Of OCD, Paranoia, Panic Attacks

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the nature of anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and paranoia. He explains that anxiety is not fear, but rather a reaction to catastrophizing and counterfactual narratives. People with anxiety disorders may prefer to be anxious because it is familiar and provides a sense of control. Paranoia is described as a combination of anxiety and grandiosity. The paradoxical nature of anxiety leads individuals to trigger it in order to alleviate it, creating an addictive cycle.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy