Enjoying Your Own Company
How comfortable are you with your own company?
I can still remember the first time I went out to eat by myself. I was 21 and I was headed to a coaching conference with a fellow coach, but this coach could not join me for breakfast before the conference, so I took myself to the Egg and I. I asked for a booth, like I did with my friends or significant other countless times before. I remember the hostess was so kind and genuinely said “I will give you the best one” and I was surprised at her kindness and non judgement of me asking for a 4 seat table for myself. As she took me to the booth, a very nice one, but they all looked the same to me; I was thinking about how I was going to occupy this time until the conference. I was currently off of all social media, my significant other was out of town on a fire and everyone else was at work, so talking to someone on the phone was not an option. I had myself, some reading material, and the company of the busy restaurant around me. My first experience going out to eat alone is one that I can still recall almost 9 years later.
Growing up I was so extremely shy, afraid to go to school, afraid to not stay at my own home, but then as I got older and the life events took place I found peace and comfort in the presence of other humans outside of my own home and family. I got so comfortable with the company of others I did not not know how to be alone. I can honestly say I have never lived or spent more than a few nights alone at a time. So why is being alone such a negative experience for some of us? Our culture has brought us the immediate availability of someone at our finger tips and it is some sort of wonderful, but has it negatively effected us by creating the loudest form of loneliness?
So what does it look like to hang out with yourself? No it is not sitting in utter silence exploring your inner most thoughts and feelings, well not all of the time. It can be going out to get a meal alone, reading a book in a park, going on a hike, going to the movies or going to the hot springs, all of which is done with yourself. Today another hot topic is how our society and culture here in the U.S. takes pride in being so busy and not just stopping, being present, and being alone.
Practice being truly present in the activity you are doing in your time with yourself. Take in your five senses, what are you seeing, what is the strongest smell, what are you feeling, any particular taste or sounds. This is an easy practice to try in being alone and being present. This can also help with the anxiety of feeling alone.
Schedule some time in your busy life to hang out with you. Get to know you and buy yourself a coffee. Enjoy you own company.