Being alone and loneliness are two very different things. While loneliness and purposely isolating ourselves aren’t too great for our wellbeing, learning to enjoy our own company every once in a while is.
Going out with friends can make our experiences more enjoyable because we get to share them. But, we shouldn’t always depend on others to have a good time. Many of us don’t even try to do anything that we enjoy unless our friends are available. This can result in us hating doing things alone and consequently always feeling like we’re waiting around for others. By learning to do things on our own, we are also learning to not fear being by ourselves. Here are three tips to help you get started.
Do Your Favorite Things Alone
A great first step to take is to start doing your favorite things alone. For example, if you love going to the movies with your friends, then go by yourself next time. It might be nerve-wracking at first, but it’s normal to be anxious when doing things outside our comfort zones.
Over time, you’ll find yourself enjoying it. Going out alone can be liberating because you don’t necessarily need to plan anything. In fact, being spontaneous about what movie you watch, for example, or where you eat will help you love your own company. You’ll be able to better put your wants and needs first which can be a struggle when constantly being around others.
Don’t completely stop spending time with others, but rather make sure to create a balance between that and doing things alone. Both are great in different ways, but doing things alone will help you love your own company. It will also help you enjoy spending time with others even more because you will want, rather than need, to spend your time with them.
Do New Things Alone To Build Confidence
After you’ve gotten the hang of doing your favorite things, the next step is to challenge yourself even more. Many of us feel uncomfortable going out alone because we lack confidence. When we’re at a restaurant, for example, we may feel self-conscious because we believe all the attention is on us if no one else is around. But, the truth is, no one is really paying attention to us. We are simply uncomfortable because of the newness of it all.
What we need is to build confidence in ourselves, and the best way to do that is to try something new. If you’ve never taken the train alone, for example, then do that. You can even start a new hobby and go to classes alone. Most of the time, we tend to wait for others to do those things because we believe we need some type of extrinsic motivation. By doing new things without others, we’re building confidence in ourselves after every little new success. That confidence will relieve our anxieties and allow us to enjoy our time alone.
Get Inspiration From Others
Comparing ourselves to others and their social lives can make us feel like “loners”. Social media can be the worst tool for comparison, but if used correctly, it can actually be a great place to go for inspiration and encouragement.
“Me time” and ” going on a date with myself” are all concepts that are slowly gaining popularity online. Find blogs and social media pages that are based on those concepts and filter out all the other content that only results in you feeling bad about yourself. Doing this will help you normalize spending time alone as well as give you some ideas and tips. The goal here is to not compare yourself to others. Normally, people would completely get off social media to avoid comparison, but, exposure to others doing what is so unusual for you can make your journey so much easier.
Balance Is Key
Being able to enjoy doing things alone is extremely important. People will come and go, but that doesn’t mean that our lives should just stop. Feeling confident and comfortable doing things by ourselves will prevent us from depending on others. This doesn’t mean that we should isolate ourselves or not ask for help when we need to. It’s all about balance. There will always be things that we need others for, but, when it comes to enjoying ourselves, that’s something we can depend on ourselves for.
1- What are some of your favorite things to do with others? Next time, do them alone.
2- What’s something you find challenging or that makes you uncomfortable? Make a list and do one thing a week.
3- Research blogs or social media pages that encourage alone time. Journal some tips or ideas that you get from them.