Millions of British men describe themselves as “antisocial”, and a quarter haven’t had a night out with male friends in over two years, according to a new study.
The survey of 2,000 male adults also found that twice as many men are happier being on their own than surrounded by other people.
Six in 10 blokes consider themselves “loners,” spending an average of six hours a day by themselves – with 20 per cent saying they simply don’t like other people.
And almost a quarter say that avoiding people saves them money.
The study was conducted to celebrate the release of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back now available on Digital and DVD and Blu-ray 27th February.
Behavioural psychologist Honey Langcaster-James said: “Jack Reacher is the quintessential loner – his experiences over a hard career have led him to believe that the only person he can really trust is himself.
“This study shows that many British men feel the same way. People do often look to movies and TV shows for guidance on how to act in different situations and the characters become role models. Much like the men of Britain, Reacher does have a more sensitive side – but he keeps it hidden.”
Four in 10 British men think that their introverted attitudes make them appear self-reliant, and 30 per cent would like to be thought of as “the strong and silent type.”
And more than half say they can’t decide if they’d rather be thought of as tough, or sensitive.
On average, British men have just four good friends each, and often go six weeks or longer without seeing any of them.
A quarter have gone for over two years without a night out with their friends, and a fifth of respondents say they’d be happy to go over four months without seeing them at all.
65 per cent of men actively avoid going to social events, with four in 10 saying they wouldn’t attend one if they didn’t know anybody else there.
And over half say they feel anxious when going out socially, and a quarter have to prepare conversation topics in advance just to have something to say.
Men continue to make friends until the age of 20, after which point they report it difficult to make new acquaintances.
And when they’ve got a problem, 20 per cent try and tackle it by themselves, 27 per cent ask their parents for help and 48 per cent rely on their partner, over their friends.
Many favourite film heroes share antisocial or “lone wolf” characteristics, with James Bond the most popular movie hero, followed by Jason Bourne, John McClane from Die Hard and Jack Reacher.
Some of the traits men try to emulate of these stars include bravery, intelligence and self-defence skills.
Langcaster-James said: “This seemingly male inclination to want to spend time alone, enjoying their own company, could have its origins in our evolutionary history, when our ancestors would have had to fend for themselves at times. The ability to be able to go out and hunt, in a self-reliant manner may have had survival advantages.
“Psychological research shows that females are more attracted to traditional masculine features and some women may be drawn to ‘strong, silent types’. This could be due to a primal instinct or subconscious belief that loners may be more self-reliant and therefore better providers.
“When men want to be by themselves we shouldn’t necessarily label them as anti-social – sometimes it’s just in their nature.”
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is available on Digital now and Blu-ray & DVD on Monday 27th February