It’s Okay to Feel Uncomfortable
If you’re more used to being surrounded by people, it’s perfectly okay if you feel uncomfortable being alone. Sometimes, we want company because we are scared of being alone with our thoughts. My friend told me once that she chose to have people over on the weekends because she tends to overthink and critique herself if she spends them alone.
Being an introverted homebody, I can’t relate to her point. However, I do see why having some alone time can be daunting, especially if you’re not used to it. You might end up questioning your decisions, think of could’ve beens, and look through expectations you’ve set on yourself. Everything you do is a distraction, so when you are alone, the feelings you’ve held back all come out.
You don’t have to force yourself into something that’s out of your comfort zone suddenly. You can ease yourself into trying things alone first. For example, try spending lunch alone or watch a movie by yourself. We grew up with the stigma that there’s something wrong with you if you prefer being alone or do things alone. However, you will also be missing out on the chance to get to know yourself better if you always have company.
You are Just as Enough
The key to liking being alone is if you find it enjoyable. Try out new habits and activities that you are putting on hold because you are considering other people. We need constructive criticism in order to grow, but you also need to have a firm grasp of your belief with yourself. This way, you won’t question your idea of yourself despite the criticism from other people.
It’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to listening to the opinions of other people. However, we tend to easily forget that we also have our own values and beliefs. If you start learning how to enjoy some time alone, you also build trust with yourself. And if you feel confident, you’ll feel much more capable of conquering challenges. If you think about it, if your happiness doesn’t depend on someone, if they’ll leave, they wouldn’t take the happiness with them.
You should understand that your happiness and validation aren’t dependent on the approval of other people. Just because you are always alone, doesn’t mean you are less fun than your coworker who is always surrounded by the crowd. Quantity doesn’t always equate to quality. You could be genuinely happy being alone, and doing so will also help you realize that it’s okay to cut other people that aren’t fit for you because you know your worth.
Appreciate Your Company and You’ll See the Perks
The best way to realize that being alone isn’t that bad is if you notice the perks it has for you. For starters, it’ll be much easier to observe not just yourself, but also everybody else. You have no distractions, and you don’t need to please the crowd that you are with.
You can finally get the things you like without worrying that other people will say negative things about them.
For example, I’ve always wanted to try collecting copper cookware. I was reading some articles to convince myself that having them is worth the investment. Fortunately, this guide has given me some ideas, and I ended up getting a set that I did not regret. I know it must be a very simple thing to be petty about, but shopping with friends always ends up in me not getting what I really want in the first place.
The idea here is that you should get your copper cookware. But seriously speaking, always being surrounded by crowds makes it easier for us to forget our own identities. I know I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to kitchen paraphernalia, yet I end up questioning my knowledge when I hear doubts from friends.
Because you can observe better, you might get surprised that you are actually interested in something else that your peers or clique hasn’t done before. Or maybe you’ll find the joy to look at ordinary situations and notice them in a new way. Perhaps your favorite restaurant also has other delicious meals that you haven’t tried before because your group always gets “the usual.”
It will also give you a better understanding of the people around you if you observe them. Maybe your coworker does not really appreciate the banter in the coffee room, so next time you could be nicer to her. Or maybe you can only catch your dad smiling when he thinks no one is looking. In an ironic way, being alone allows us to be more empathetic.
The Capacity to Be Alone is a Superpower
You read that right; the capacity to be alone is a superpower. The world is busy and fast-paced that if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss out on the good things. You have to take a moment to step away and be on your own to appreciate not just the world, but also yourself.
My friends have learned that I’ll always be that person who leaves early on a party and sometimes cancels on plans. I also have no problem going to events alone, which is something that they can’t get why. The truth is, being alone makes me feel more comfortable.
My emotions wouldn’t be dependent on other people, and I can predict how I want my day to go. How many times have you been in a good mood, but have it turned because a friend is being mean because she’s having a bad day? Yes, we have to be understanding of other people, but it can be draining if you always do that. There’s no harm in cancelling plans sometimes and have the day to yourself instead to recharge. This way, you’ll be a better friend next time you’re with them.
You will enjoy being with yourself because you have a better grasp on what your priorities are. You can do what you want because you don’t depend on what other people will think. And even if you make mistakes, it’s a learning lesson unique to you. Being alone lets you know what inspires you and what drains you. And there’s just something so powerful with being in touch with your own emotions. Overall, you’ll understand why you feel them, and you can let go of what needs to be let go.