In this day and age I feel like there is a stigma attached to doing things by yourself, going out for dinner by yourself draws up the assumption of being stood up and going to the cinema to see a film by yourself is considered odd. It just seems to paint a picture that an individual is lonely or without friends. In reality it is quite the opposite people don't look at you and give you sympathy looks, waiters don't question someone eating by themselves etc.
"I have no one to go with... no one wants to come with me... everyone is busy..."
I have overheard the following sentences and even been guilty of saying them myself but there is something so liberating about going out and doing things by yourself. Yes, it is sometimes nice to have company but I have always been a firm believer that if you really want to do something then you should not stop yourself from doing it just because no one will come with you.
Even though I am a shy person and can really struggle with social interaction, I have always considered myself to be an independent person and having to do something by myself never bothered me. Growing up a lot of my friends had no interest in doing the things I was interested in for example going to gigs. My thought at the time was why should I miss out on seeing a band I like/love just because no one would come with me, I actually went to so many gigs by myself when I was younger. I remember queuing up outside Rock City when I was 15 years old waiting to go see The Kooks, this to me was also my first 'real' official gig (because it wasn't blue, steps or Gareth Gates) I was slightly apprehensive at first, worried people might notice I was there by myself but I also realised I wasn't the only person who had come alone, and to be honest once you are inside everyone is crammed together that no one even notices not that they cared in the first place. The gig itself was such an amazing experience which I would have missed out on if I didn't go alone.
Doing things by yourself may come easier to some than others, I can understand that there are those who may suffer from social anxiety. However, if you are one of those people who uses the above sentences I challenge you go to do something by yourself.
Below I have compiled a list of things I like to do by myself.
- Go shopping, okay this is an easy one and I assume most people are comfortable going shopping alone but if you aren't this may be a perfect way to ease yourself into trying something solo.
- Have something to eat or drink, I can recall the first time I went somewhere to eat by myself and I just wanted to rush eating my food because I genuinely thought people was staring, it was silly really, I've seen plenty of people enjoying food alone and never gave it a second thought. - Going somewhere new or getting a new hobby, you should really be doing this for yourself because life is too short not to explore or try new things!
On top of that a lot of people might eventually enjoy doing things by themselves, you can go at your own pace, there is no need to make small talk, you can have time to reflect on life.
Let me know what are your thoughts on doing things solo, is this something you do already or something you want to work on?