For some people, doing things alone is as natural as breathing. For others, it’s such a challenge. And no, it’s not a case of being a damsel in distress. There is so much more going on behind people’s unwillingness, or sometimes, inability to do things alone.
The stigma around it
Humans are social creatures. We thrive when we are in a pack, a community. The norm is to be as sociable as you can because it is a matter of survival. This is why when you are out with your friends and you see an acquaintance eating alone, the initial reaction would be, “Should we say hi?” or “Should we invite them to our table?”
People naturally assume that anyone who is doing something alone needs company or is sad. This is not the truth all the time. Maybe it’s because things like eating out or watching movies are a social activity. And when you do them alone, you look like you don’t have friends which goes against the general rule of being social creatures.
This is the exact reason why so many people don’t know what to do when they are alone. They immediately get bored when they are left with no one. They constantly crave the company of other people because they are not used to entertaining themselves.
The truth about it
Just because you decide to go alone to a dinner restaurant or catch a movie, by yourself doesn’t mean you don’t have friends. You could simply be not in the mood to socialize. Or maybe you need some time with yourself, no noise, no direct conversations. You spend the majority of your day interacting with people so maybe you just need a break.
In fact, if you are the kind of person who has never done it before, or has no plans of doing it ever, there are benefits in doing activities deemed to be enjoyed with company.
You are free when you are alone
One is you get to do what you truly want. How many times have you postponed going to that new message parlor because your friend keeps bailing on you? How many places do you want to visit but you can’t because you can’t find anyone who can join you? In these situations, the company is the variable. Why not take that out? All that is left is the decision and you. Now, it’s all up to you when you want to go.
Your interests become your only priority
Next, you don’t need anybody’s opinion. Remember that last trip you went on? You really wanted to sleep in because you are tired but your mom said you should not miss the schedule. And so you got up, despite your unwillingness and the actual fatigue that you were feeling.
Or that time when you wanted pizza for lunch but your workmates said they preferred something else. You ended up getting a bowl of expensive salad while all you thought about was a tasty pizza the whole time.
If you decide to go on a trip alone, you can sleep in if you don’t feel like getting up. You don’t need to be careful about hurting someone’s feelings. Your own interests and preferences are your only priority.
You get to know yourself better
Another benefit of being alone is you get some time to reflect on your life. During the moments when no one is talking to you, you get some headspace that makes enough room for your own thoughts. Take solitary moments like this to genuinely ask yourself how you are doing. Make some plans. Check your younger self. Are their dreams coming true?
Also, in situations where you don’t have anyone to depend on, you get to know yourself better. Getting lost in another country will make you realize how resourceful you are. Spending time alone is such a gift to self-discovery.
Train yourself to be happy being alone
If you’ve been as social as a butterfly your whole life, it will take a lot of time for you to adjust. But as always, it’s not impossible. Take small steps. Start going to the mall alone. There are so many people and yet you are alone. Soon enough, you are on your first solo overseas travel.
You can only truly live a happy life when you know yourself. And you will never get to know the real you if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. The more you become alone with yourself, the more you get to know what you truly are.