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How to do things alone without holding a pity party

Techly's How To Adult Series

As the saying goes, the only person you can depend on is yourself.

It’s a situation many of us have been in. It’s a Friday night, all your pals are out (or your partner is busy) and you’re just itching to go out and do something.

For many of us, that feeling lingers into the wee hours of the night and instead of making the most of our evening, we cop out and opt for a night in.

Because God forbid you go out in public by yourself.

Well, we here at Techly are ready to stamp out this thought process. It ends now.

Why? Because part of being an adult is realising there’s actually nothing better than doing things alone, and we’re here to teach you how to totally own it.

Going to a wedding as a single guest

Your friends are all invited, they’ve all got plus ones, and all you have is your right hand. We get it. It can be daunting. You know you’ll probably be the butt of a few jokes, and who knows what you’ll say once the champagne toast has kicked in.

DO put the effort in. Being alone does not equal being invisible. Dress up in your best suit or dress and mingle, because more often than not, shyly fading into the background will make you stand out more at weddings where everyone else is having the time of their lives.

DON’T bring everyone else down. Remember, you’re there for the couple getting married, not for everyone else to listen to you moan about your love life. Weddings aren’t a therapy session, and quite frankly, these people you just met at your table definitely don’t care.

Buying a ticket for one without feeling awkward

If you’ve plucked up the courage to go to the cinema alone, the chances are you’ll realise just how unsociable an activity it is. You’re literally not allowed to talk – so why does everyone have to go with a buddy?

DO embrace going to see a film you really want to see. The beauty of going to the cinema alone is there’s no compromise. You don’t need to share popcorn or go and see a chick flick if all you want to see is the latest sci-fi release.

DON’T sit in the back row, hiding out. Everyone knows the middle seats are the best seats. As soon as those lights go down and you’re immersed in your film, you’ll regret that life choice of choosing the most isolated seat. Do yourself a favour and choose the best seat available.

Woman by herself enjoying popcorn while watching movie in an empty cinema.

No sharing, no compromise, no worries.

Eat alone at a restaurant without attracting pity

Lone-eaters can get a mixed response at restaurants. Either the waiter will think you’re just owning life, or they’ll think you’ve been stood up. As a strong, independent individual, it’s your responsibility to prove the former of the two.

DO take your time. You’re paying good money to eat out and there is absolutely no reason for you to rush your meal. Enjoy it, bring a book, have some time to reflect. The more at ease you are, the less likely the waiter will think you’ve been stranded by a date.

DON’T skimp out. If you’re going out alone, it’s your chance to go somewhere you really want to go, so don’t choose to go somewhere more low-key just because you’re by yourself. How many times have you looked across the tables at a restaurant and noticed a couple who spend the entire time on their phones? You’re probably having a much better time than they are.

Making friends when travelling alone

The first rule of travelling is that you’re never really alone. If you’ve ever stayed in a hostel, even if you’ve been too timid to introduce yourself, you’ll have seen how many other travellers become friends with those around them.

DO speak up. If you’re in a dorm where everyone seems to know each other, it can be really daunting introducing yourself, but you’ll get nowhere by staying silent. The best thing to do is be friendly – ask what people are doing later, see if there’s anyone else who has just arrived. More often than not, half of the people staying at the hostel are there by themselves.

DON’T talk about people you’ve just met to other people you’ve just met. This is such a common mistake. The girl in bunk 6 gave you a greasy as you were unpacking, or the guy in bunk 9 snored all night long – so what? Their new friends are probably in the room with you, so find a safer conversation starter.

The reality is, there’s a bit of a taboo around doing things alone, but most of the time the only outcomes are positive.

So there we are my strong, independent readers. It’s time to attend that wedding with your head held high, see that film you’ve been sussing out for months, book a table at the restaurant down the road and strike up a conversation in the hostel kitchen.

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