How Solitary Hermit Families Influence How We Think: Family Types Part 2

gray tortoise walking on green grass field
“I left home at 17 and haven’t been back since,” the Solitary Hermit.

Solitary Hermits

Solitary hermit families are loners and withdrawn. Their motto is “every man for his self.” Independence and individuality are promoted and is more critical than togetherness. Members tend to be logical and react to emotions with distance. Solitary hermits tend to develop avoidant relationship styles. Avoidant relationships seek emotional distance to regain a sense of self and reduce anxiety. Rigid boundaries are often put in place to protect and keep others from getting too emotionally close. There are little communication and trust of others. Respect is the codeword for love which is far less threatening. Their loyalties are to their selves.


In the wild, solitary hermits tolerate others to procreate. They prefer to be alone, or in a small group, however, they will assemble if food and prey are plentiful. Sometimes, members are kicked out or chased away. They are very patient, quiet, and don’t mind being alone.


In relationships, solitary hermits become anxious when others are too close and tend to withdraw when stressed. When confronted, they become aggressive or merely walk away. They are easy-going until they are backed into a corner, then they tend to become aggressive. They emotionally explode to create distance. Rather than work through emotional hurt and pain, solitary hunters will emotionally cut off family members. It’s not uncommon for these members to hold and nurse a grudge for years.


Members have a no-deal mentality and simply withdraw rather than work out their problems and conflicts. They fear conflict but will use it to push others away. They mask their insecurities and present themselves as decisive, independent, and confident. Others may perceive them as emotionally cold and disconnected. Members are emotionally and intellectually independent of each other.


Be sure to check out Part Three, The Herd.


Dr. Dave
Dr. Dave Jenkins, DMin, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist in the Northern Virginia area; retired US Army counselor/medic. He's the founder of Fredericksburg Relationship Center. He's been married to the same woman for more than 30 years and has four children, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law.