I’ve always thought of myself as been really good at being alone. I’ve never had a problem with spending time with just me whether it be at home or out in public. I thought this was relatively normal, to be comfortable enough with yourself to sometimes rather go out on your own— but I’ve come to realize that’s not entirely true.
I was talking with some friends and the topic of going to the movies came up. I mentioned that I had gone to the theatres to see a movie by myself, which I didn’t think was a big deal, but my friends were like “what do you mean you went alone?” and I realized then that maybe everyone isn’t comfortable being without a companion in certain situations. I then started to think about the situations where I found myself more at ease alone and times where I felt anxious when I was by myself. I started to question if I was as comfortable with myself as I thought I was.
I think, when it comes to being comfortable with being by ourselves, and with others, it goes along with being comfortable with who you are. I like going to movies by myself, going out to eat by myself and going shopping by myself, to some people that might seem sad or intimidating but some days I would just rather do these things alone. It’s true that a lot to be secure enough to be able to sit in a restaurant by yourself without feeling like everyone is looking at you for being on your own. I like going to movies by myself because when I go with certain people I don’t really know how to sit in silence without feeling the need to talk to them to keep them engaged, even though I know that’s what the movie is supposed to do.
I am pretty comfortable with myself as an individual, I think I’m fun, creative, intellectual, sometimes funny, I like the way I think most days, and I know, for the most part, how to make myself happy. Even though some days I do struggle with that, I am very comfortable with who I am as a person.
Where I find my discomfort with myself is my body, that’s where I struggle, especially when it comes to being on my own. Take going to the gym for example, my boyfriend and I both got memberships to Goodlife a couple of months ago, and since I’ve been going I feel great. Though, the only person that I feel really comfortable going with is him. It’s not because I’m dependant on him or anything, it’s because he’s extremely aware of my body insecurities, and my limitations. When we go to the gym together he does his own thing and I do mine but when I need help or feel uncomfortable I know I can message him and he’ll support me. But, he goes away to work so when he goes, I go to the gym by myself at 9:30 at night. A time that I know is relatively slow and there will be less people to watch me workout (or judge me). My friends sometimes ask to come to the gym with me and as much as I would LOVE to go with them and try to force myself to do it, I always bail because I’m not secure enough to go with anyone else. I don’t want to hold anybody back in a workout or do something wrong and be judged. I know my friends would never do that but that’s what insecurities do, they draw on your fears until you give in.
I think I’ve learned how to be on my own, and it’s something that I excel at. Though, what I need to learn is how to be more secure with myself around other people.
We all have parts of ourselves that we’re more comfortable with than others, but are there ways we can become more at ease with the things we are self conscious about? Try doing the things that scare you but will help you grow. If your friends cancel on going to the movies but you were looking forward to seeing it, go alone. If your friends are going to the gym and you want to go but don’t want to be stuck if you get uncomfortable, meet them there instead of carpooling. Acknowledge what makes you uneasy and try. Don’t push yourself so hard that you cause yourself to spiral into anxiety, but a gentle nudge. Enough to know you’re making progress and making yourself proud.
It’s empowering to know you’re growing as a person, so keep flourishing and keep loving who you are.