"The trouble is not really in being alone, it's being lonely. One can be lonely in the midst of a crowd, don't you think?"
~Christine Feehan, Dark Prince
There seems to be a bit of a theme in my coaching sessions that surround the idea of being comfortable in your own skin. I'm not talking about loving yourself or accepting your appearance. I'm talking about being comfortable doing things in life as just you.
Women have a much harder time with this I think. When I ask women if they have ever gone to a movie alone, had coffee or even a meal by themselves, or the real test, traveled alone, I often get a look like I'm asking if they ever died their hair neon pink and went to the grocery store naked.
One excuse is, "I don't want to be that pathetic person people wonder why she is alone."
When was the last time you noticed someone by themselves and even gave them a passing thought?(Unless you were on the prowl for a date....different scenario.)
One of the best weekends I've ever had was a New York trip all by myself many years ago. It was empowering for me to do what already countless women do every day who live there. It sparked me taking my daughter back often so that she could learn that cities don't have to be intimidating.
Having a lot of time early in my divorce, I went to the occasional movie or a meal with a book for company. And of course, I had years of international travel meeting Dan in some part of the world but the travel section was me, myself and I in airport bars or stuck somewhere due to any number of reasons.
Maybe it's the McCaskey grad in me but I'm often shocked at women who tell me they won't drive downtown alone. I look at them with sadness at all of the amazing things they are missing.
A certain strength and confidence come from doing activities that are usually social by yourself. Rather than make small talk (you can do that by yourself but unless you pretend you're on the phone people look at you funny) you learn about who you are or even, on occasion, strike up a conversation with someone completely new.
So I challenge you if you've never done it, to try something by yourself. You'll be surprised at how easy it can be. And you might just gain a bit of confidence.
"If you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone."
~Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road