What is it about being alone that makes some of us so uncomfortable? I know some may thrive on independence and self-reliance, but most of us enjoy the emotional security that others provide, and that’s completely understandable. We’re wired to socialize, to be wanted, to connect with others, and when this is not achieved, we become anxious. We begin thinking there’s “something wrong” with us, when in fact, everything could be just fine. Unfortunately, this anxiety of being alone may drive us towards problematic situations such as serial monogamy, entertaining unhealthy relationships of any sorts, or forgetting who we are as an individual.
With that said, I propose doing something completely radical and out of the ordinary…fall in love with yourself all over again! I’m not talking about staring at your reflection in a mirror like Narcissus from Greek mythology and say multiple times, “I love you. You’re beautiful” (no, no no…that’s just weird!); I’m suggesting spending quality time with me, myself, and I to rediscover who you are and rebuild that comfortability with yourself.
In the medical world we call this “exposure therapy,” but it’s not nearly as daunting as it sounds. You may initially experience some anxiety brewing, but I assure you, that’s a normal part of venturing into activities alone. I would suggest to start slow with a stroll in a park or going to a museum since people are still in the vicinity and then gradually progress to going to the movies or eating a meal alone. During these times of solitude, take a few mental notes of what you’re experiencing:
- Is there anything new you’re discovering about yourself?
- What about this moment are you particularly enjoying?
- What thoughts are coming to your mind?
- What are feeling at this moment?
This exercise is not intended for you to practice becoming a hermit – life is too enjoyable to be locked away. It’s meant for us to recharge and realize that it’s ok to enjoy the company of yourself, as well as, a group of friends. So go out there and have fun with me, myself, and I – you won’t regret it!