Not Finding Your In-Group? You Might Be a “Wolf Pack” of One (and That’s Ok)

Photo by Cameron Stow on Unsplash
Yes, I guess you could say I am a loner,
but I feel more lonely in a crowed room

with boring people than I feel on my own. – Henry Rollins

By: Allison McClintick

According to just about everyone — you are supposed to “discover your in-group”.

Oh, that coveted entity! That sacred clan who will naturally “get you” and vibe with your very “essence.” They will “protect” you and explore life’s adventures with you and feed you with their own fingers and — I’ll stop.

My mockery betrays me. (In fact, it even smells a little like resentment.) However, the truth is this: I’ve discovered that I’m a bit of a “wolf pack of one”.

I haven’t found this group yet. I have also discovered, that I don’t want to find one.

Let’s explore the contradictory messages we are offered about this dynamic: 1) Being deeply connected to a like-minded group is the Holy Grail of belonging & 2) only inside that safety, are we then praised for being courageous, independent and self reliant.


If however, you are someone who actually prefers to walk alone (as I am) and find yourself outside of a group (yet, self reliant) —  you might be viewed skeptically. In fact, you may be told that you just haven’t found it yet. (It may also be decided that you haven’t experienced the real joy of life.) Worse yet, potentially viewed as an unapproachable loaner.


My own intense reaction to the idea of seeking all of this, is actually a little laughable. For years I’ve tricked myself into thinking I was experiencing profound feelings of loss and loneliness because of my status. I’ve always felt like an outlier, alone in a crowded room. But, I have also discovered that group after group, didn’t fit my vibe. The notion of becoming “an in-group member” actually made me feel strangled, forced and confined. I found myself trying to back away.

Not sure if you prefer to be group-less? Here are a few things I joyfully observed about myself, as the “lone wolf”.

Perhaps you will relate:

  • Groups fail to energize you. You might hang out with a group, feeling like you have nothing to contribute to the conversation. To be quite honest, it just doesn’t interest you all that much.
  • The topics don’t fit. In many groups, you find that the things you want to talk about — are things that pretty much no one else wants to talk about. (Frankly, you are a little relieved, because they may not do your awesome topic justice.)
  • You avoid the hootenanny. You don’t want to go to Wanderlust with a bus full of people — or discover sand in crevices where it should never be at the Burning Man festival. (I won’t even mention another Young Living Oil party, drinking wine on a Wednesday night.)
  • “Give me space” is your mantra. You might actually love Young Living Oils, but you would rather shop online from the privacy of your own home.
  • Just no. Shopping with another person makes you itch.
  • You are a not a “regular”. You walk into a yoga class and everyone stops talking and turns to stare. “Who is that?!” someone asks and everyone shrugs.
  • Your need for contact is “camel-like”. You intensely enjoy a few really great people and every time you see them you think “I love being with him/her” — even if you don’t see them again for months.
  • You simply don’t drink the Kool Aid. When people start a conversation and it starts to remotely resemble “group think” you want to bolt.
  • You are content with doing your own thing. You genuinely do not feel a bit jealous when you see group photos of everyone’s fabulous groups having great fun posted (just about everywhere).
  • You totally, genuinely, love being alone.

For all the group-centered folks reading this, please know that the notion is great if that is what you are seeking. But, not everyone requires one.

If you are like me, try not to automatically feel that you are less of a full spirit — or missing out of something “deeply sacred”.

Finding this group may be important to many people.

However, that doesn’t mean you are one of them.

Keep doing what makes you feel energized and whole.

Be that wolf pack of one.

As for myself, truth be told — my pack consists of my son, my daughter and my husband.

Because you know what?

They totally “get” me.

Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to choosing the right gift. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

8 thoughts on “Not Finding Your In-Group? You Might Be a “Wolf Pack” of One (and That’s Ok)”

  1. Ok so I love being alone ! Wow so there are others out there like me. Thank you. I have friends that worry that I spend too much time alone! Really? I deal with people all day….my family is my tribe and I like it that way


  2. I am very grateful that you wrote this! I’m an only child and I do really well alone. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely. It’s space to learn. I like studying and reading so that requires some alone time, right? Indeed there are those who have real convictions that if you’re not out with friends or family all the time, you must be lonely or not happy. Blessings!!!! I like select people and have a pack but a close tight knit one. I also have three wonderful dogs!


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