I am an introvert. I love people and going out and enjoying myself, but I have my limits, and sometimes I enjoy myself more while flying solo. There was a time in college when it bothered me to have to eat at a nice restaurant alone or see a movie by myself, but it was short lived. I got to the place where I was comfortable with my need to have space.
Now that I am in a relationship and inundated by family (something I did not have to deal with living in New York), I value the time I spend alone. Part of this is because many of those closest to me don’t enjoy my hobbies.
We all have our routines that we love. I like to try fun ways to get fit, usually flying solo. BUT, after giving the class the seal of approval, I tend to get a couple stragglers who want to join in-male and female cousins, Facebook acquaintances, and I’m cool with it. My requirement is you go at my pace. Meaning, don’t drag your feet.
Many of us will suffer through a mediocre experience with another person we dragged along rather than savor the moment with our thoughts and emotions. Nothing annoys me more than someone’s distaste when I’m having a ball.
Not sure what I mean? Think about this. You asked someone to try a class/meeting/restaurant with you and you feel like you’re selling the experience the entire time. This is me, and it takes away from my fun worrying that my friend is enjoying herself.
It may take time to get comfortable being alone, and here are some tips on how to adjust:
- Figure out what bothers you about being alone, and try to address it. Are you worried about what others will think? Chances are, nobody will notice you sitting at a restaurant by yourself eating, and if they do, I doubt they will judge you and think you are a loser.
- Engage the rest of the room. I’m great at this. I introduce myself to others, and in a class setting, I may comment on someone else’s amazing form, or how I’m envious of their perfect brushstrokes. Jokes help too.
- Focus on your own pleasure. Occasionally check in with yourself, figure out what you are feeling.
- Take photos. That is a big one for me. Everything I do, I want to share with Joe, my grandmother, and my mom. Since they can’t join me, I take photos of the experience. This is especially important when traveling solo (so much to this, that it will get its own post later). Buy a tripod or selfie stick, or even ask a stranger to take your photo. I’ve never had an instructor seem annoyed when I asked for a photo when trying a new class, and oftentimes instructors love the publicity.
I will also note that it can be difficult meeting new people if you are always a part of a large group. Groups can be intimidating to new friends, just as they are to a guy at the bar. People are more approachable alone or with one other person. I encourage anyone who doesn’t have fun alone to try it. It can be very rewarding, and hey-you may even learn something about yourself.