The idea of doing things alone is foreign to most people. The thought of being that person at the movies all by themselves doesn’t even cross your mind because you have great, reliable friends, right? Well believe it or not some of those “sad and lonely” people are actually alone by choice! I know, it’s weird. Who would choose to be out in public doing fun activities by themselves?! But it’s true. I’m one of those strange people, and I’ll tell you a secret, it’s not that scary.
For most people, it’s not a fear of doing something on their own that discourages them from solo outings, it’s what they think people will think of them if they were to be seen alone. I admit to seeing people by themselves in generally group settings and thinking, “I hope I’m never forced to do that” or “someone stood them up, sucks to suck.” I just knew that if I was thinking those things, then someone would definitely think that of me, and that kept me from even leaving the presence of my friends when we went out. But then I realized something: who gives a flying f*** what other people are thinking?!
One night I really wanted to go out, but none of my friends were in town and I wasn’t seeing anyone at the time. I said screw it and decided to hit the bar by myself (I’ll add that my pepper spray was locked and loaded though, safety first!) I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy myself. I drove my own car and parked not too far from the door so that I could get out of there as soon as I became uncomfortable. I really didn’t expect much, but I had an amazing time all by my lonesome! It was so freeing to choose where I wanted to go and when without worrying about if it was okay with the group. I saw some familiar faces that I could go stand by if I felt too awkward, but I never needed to. I was singing along with the songs and dancing in the crowd and I hadn’t even been drinking! I was having a good time solely because I knew that if at any moment I wanted to leave, I could. I was there on my own accord and it was nice.
Since then, I’ve been to parks, movies and even restaurants on my own. I admit, being alone in public in the day time, among sober people, was a tad more intimidating, but equally satisfying. If you’re worried about what other people may think, just remember that you are not a mind reader. Do not allow anxiety about other people’s thoughts to stop you from doing things you want to do. You cannot tell what other people are thinking just by looking at them so don’t assume that they’re thinking the worst of you (if they’re even thinking about you at all.) You know that you’re a party of one because you chose to be so it doesn’t really matter if they think otherwise.
I recommend trying a solo outing if you haven’t already. Especially if you are an artist or just the creative type. Going to an art museum or a local garden or even just a stroll around the block by yourself can allow you the space to connect with your surroundings. You can spend as much time as you needed and develop your thoughts with minimal distraction. No need to stifle sudden inspiration when you’re on your own time.
If you’re still struggling with the idea of being in public alone, you can start small and work your way up to romantic dinners for one. Maybe bring a book to a coffee shop and read for half an hour or show up to that lunch date a few minutes early and wait at the table. Social anxiety has become very common and keeps a lot of people from going places alone, but the whole point is to become more confident in doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, even if it’s by yourself. With that being said, don’t start flaking on your friends to eat chips on your couch. Just treat yourself to a day or night dedicated to whatever it is you want to do and watch your relationship with yourself flourish.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Where are your favorite places to go for solo outings? Let me know below because I’m curious! Can’t wait to hear from you.