I recently had a female client say to me, “Oh, I’d never do that alone!”
It was her response after I suggested to a group of women that one of the many ways to meet men was to set up a time to meet a friend at a restaurant…and then arrive 30 minutes early. Especially if you are both single and looking, once your friend arrives, you have already settled in at the bar, been in contact with the bartender and likely started a conversation with the person seated next to you.
It had me consider though how many of us simply aren’t comfortable doing things alone. Why is that?
One of my fave authors is called SARK and she writes fun books about being authentically you and celebrating yourself every single day. Something I am a big fan of. She calls women who are afraid to go out to public places alone, “Captive Women”. (not including places like public transit, grocery stores, Laundromats, etc where we often do actually go alone)
SARK: Captive Women never do ‘social’ activities without a man or a group of women. If questioned about going out alone, they make a squeamish face and say, “I couldn’t go out alone. It wouldn’t be any fun.” Even women who are not like this are shy about going out alone. There is still a social stigma about being out “alone” (translation: boring, desperate, nobody likes her). Going out alone is a skill and an art that can be learned, shared, and implemented.
There are things you can have with you to assist in being alone confidently. I suggest a good book, a magazine, a sketchbook, some knitting needles, your journal. Whatever you like! Notice how I’ve very specifically NOT suggested your smartphone. I believe it needs to be an activity that is one-way communication or has the ability to create an experience while being alone in public. If you are on your smartphone the whole time, I don’t think it really counts as being alone.
Here’s a cute video on the power (and fun) of being alone:
The thing we worry about when doing ‘social’ activities alone is what others will think. Don’t worry about that and even if you are out alone and you don’t feel confident about it, just act “as if” you are!
SARK: If you learn and practice an attitude of confidence and take your own tools, you will begin to feel more free in the world, to go anywhere by yourself and create your own magic. If you already know how to do this, please help other women learn it! Practice saying this: I am welcome everywhere. A place is lucky to have me visit.
I believe going out alone can create new opportunities to get into conversations with people you might not if you were out with friends. Start simple and then build from there. Sometimes you will meet people and other times you will enjoy some quiet, reflective or creative time while in a public place. I have met some of the most interesting people when I was out alone – whether in my neighborhood or while traveling on the other side of the planet – it’s an adventure!
Don’t deny someone the pleasure of meeting you. J