It’s tough being a female sometimes, particularly with all the dangers that exist out there in the world. Being in my mid-twenties, I’m hyper aware of them. I have to be, or I wouldn’t be cautious. I wouldn’t know how to survive. But here’s the thing: far too many girls I’ve known have feared, dreaded, or just avoided completely going out alone, practically anywhere short of running to the grocery store in the middle of the day for a few essentials.
Now, keep in mind, that as I give you this advice, I am an introverted female who needs alone time. If I didn’t have it, I would definitely explode or go completely crazy. But there is something to be said, whether you are an introverted or extroverted female for being able to go out alone and do things by your own damn self.
1. Avoiding bad company
I see a lot of my friends on Facebook posting a particular event like a concert or a movie, asking if anyone they know on Facebook wants to go. This puts the message out to hundreds, maybe even potentially thousands of friends (who has that many friends?!) which is fine, but the problem is, then you have those acquaintances you don’t really know very well who could come and potentially make your outing annoying, exhausting, or just in general feel like a waste of time. It could turn out amazing, but it might not, and if none of your closer friends are available, you’ll get stuck having to lie your way out of it, or cancel completely. Or you’ll just have to sit through it awkwardly until it is over. No one really likes to go alone to an event like a show, but you might have a much better time without anyone you know there.
2. Solidify your independence
Do you find yourself lonely after five minutes of being without your friends? Are you constantly waiting on your boyfriend, or girlfriend or family to text you back, so you can feel that validation? You probably know this, but you have to be able to rely on yourself for a sense of validation, as opposed to everyone around you. Having a true support system is a beautiful thing. Relying on them all the time is not. Plus, when I go out alone, I have the satisfaction of saying out loud “Yes! I am an independent woman who can go out by herself! I don’t need anyone!” and for a few moments, I really do feel every single word of what I’m saying, and I know it to be true.
3. Get to know new people
If you have your entourage with you all the time, it blocks off potential connections you can make with new people. I know that personally, I get intimidated trying to talk to someone out and make a new friend if they’re surrounded by a big group. Maybe it all stems back to high school where I used to see myspace posts of girls saying, “Stop trying to talk to me, thanks. I have enough friends. And they’re better than you.” Try talking to people when you’re out, or simply being open to conversation. You never know what good things could come of that.
4. Zen time
When I’m with other people, I can’t control the noise level, or the topics of conversation because I’m too polite at times. There’s nothing so blissful as my living room when I come downstairs and everyone is either asleep or at work, and it’s so quiet and peaceful. The calmness I feel when this happens is so wonderful. When I spend time alone, I’m able to recharge my batteries mentally so I can be a nicer person capable of actual conversation with others when I spend time with them.
5. Mental health
When is the last time you left yourself alone with your own thoughts? Even being alone with your smartphone doesn’t truly count, I mean off the grid, no apps, no Facebook, no computer. Just you and your thoughts during a time you choose that isn’t wide awake before you go to sleep at night staring at the ceiling. If you actively take the time to be alone you’re actually able to check in with where you are during that point in your day or your week. You’re actually taking time to make sure you’re getting your needs met, and taking care of yourself. And this is incredibly valuable.
I challenge you to prove to yourself that you can go somewhere alone this week, take some quiet time, and do something you really enjoy. Try it once. It could be surprising. Take a book or a journal with you. You may find you love it.