Scared of Flying Solo? | The Crippling Anxiety of Doing Things Alone

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about 14 years old and had read something online about the average person being unable to do things like go to the movies, or go out to dinner, by themselves.

Loving a challenge, I felt sure that it was something I could do. So, one weekend I chose a movie and asked my mother to drop me off at the mall.

Wait, before I continue; you might be wondering why I’m talking about this. Well, it all started walking through Hyde Park, London recently:

Challenge accepted

At first, it did feel strange walking into the cinema alone and seeing groups of friends chatting with each other, parents with their children, couples with each other, etc.

About five minutes or so after waiting for the trailers to begin, those troublesome things called my insecurities began to die down.

But then trouble walked in.

In the form of three of my classmates. Maybe if I hadn’t recognised them I would’ve stayed blissfully unaware, enjoying my ‘me-time movie day’. Oh, but we noticed each other. That’s where the awkwardness and desperate pleas for the seat to swallow me whole began.

So, How’d You Go From Chill to Counting-Down-The-Minutes-to-the-Movie’s-End?

Things took an ugly turn when people that recognised me and would realise that I was by myself, walked in. Maybe it was the fact that the other moviegoers were complete strangers, so their thoughts were irrelevant.

But I instantly wanted to leave. The only thing that kept me somewhat glued to my seat was that expensive movie ticket (I am not a fan of wasting money).

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Looking (embarrassingly) back, I realised a few things:

4 reasons why I've been afraid of _ doing things alone

 

And maybe somewhere in my mind

I was afraid that they’d think those mean things, maybe because I subconsciously thought them about myself (at the time); that I was a lame loner who wasn’t worthy of friends. Did I mention that I was new to the country and school at the time?

Being a lame, a loner, (all the words we unknowingly used back then to mean, simply, anti-social), someone no one wanted to be around. That was not  the mark I wanted to leave, in this new country, new school, about myself.

What it all boils down to.

That was, essentially, what it was. Fourteen year old me worrying about the impression that my ‘social solitude’ (the award for making up terms off the cuff goes to yours truly😅).

It may have been ‘the most embarrassing day of my life’ (just quoting what 14-yr old me would more than likely have said), but it later on taught me a very important life lesson:

doing things alone _quote_shesthatnewgirl.com

I, alone, am the Master of the mark I make on the world about who I am. Click To Tweet

Oh, incase I needed to update you; I clearly lost the ‘challenge’ I’d made to myself back then. But I learnt that doing things solo doesn’t have to negatively define me. If it does, I’m in control of the definition. Doing things solo doesn't have to define me. If it does, I'm in control of the definition. Click To Tweet

And that day at Hyde Park? I defined myself as a young lady, confident and chill, walking through the park enjoying the beautiful day.

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Do you ever feel anxious about doing everyday things alone? Can you do things like going to the movies, for coffee or for dinner, without friends or a boyfriend in tow? I’d love to hear why or why not below! Either way, remember doing things alone does not define who you are as a person! 

scared of doing things alone _ shesthatnewgirl.com _

Hugs galore!

Written by

26 year-old writer, unabashed bookworm and coffee addict.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • I’ve been traveling in my job for years. If I didn’t eat alone I’d starve! 🙂 It’s not easy, and honestly I opt for the grocery store for a quick meal sometimes. But I have found a great way to pass the time is to eat at the bar. You meet the nicest people and many “part of one’s” are there in the same boat you are.

  • Maya Maceka

    I always feel uncomfortable going out to eat by myself. Glad to know I’m not alone in this! I’ll be implementing some of your tips and hopefully learn how to get over it! 🙂

  • Steffi

    I used to be the same as teenager! So glad that we have the power to change how we act and I’ve since moved 3 times to different countries alone and travelled to so many more solo! Glad you are realising this too! whoop!

  • Ms. K

    I just started to do this. Recently went to a play by myself and it was awesome. I was too busy laughing to notice that I was ‘alone’. I think I can to movies, but a dinner sounds terrifying! Baby steps tho…

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