By Bea Amador
Art by Grace de Luna
You probably think that folks who go out alone are losers who have no friends. We’ve all probably judged one or two people before–all by themselves at a restaurant, park, or a mall. Or at least, if you haven’t, in a world that glorifies the extroverted and the outgoing, most people have.
But here’s the truth: flying solo does not equate to you to being a loser. For one, stepping into a room full of strangers takes a lot of courage, you know. And if you’ve ever experienced dancing your heart out in the midst of guys and girls you aren’t familiar with, you’d know that it gives you some sort of high that you can never experience when you’re blanketed with the security of being with friends.
So for all you naysayers out there, here’s why you should try going out alone at least once in your life. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually more fun than you think:
1. Everything you do is up to you
Going out by yourself means that you’re in control of everything. Whatever you decide goes. You’re taking your own time. No annoying rush; no one else to think about. You also don’t have to compromise with anyone when picking what you want to do. If you decide to watch a movie, no one will ask irritating questions in the middle of the climax (“Ano raw sabi? ‘Di ko na-gets!”). If you go to a concert, you can push through the crowd easily all the way to the front row because you don’t have anyone to drag along. Without anyone else to worry over, you get to appreciate the music more, understand films better, and really look at the art right in front of you.
2. You become a social butterfly
It might seem like a stretch, but going solo pushes you to talk to people and become more sociable. After all, you’ve only got yourself to rely on. You’re lost? Ask that bystander for directions. You want to sit down but all the tables are taken? Ask that group of friends if you can take the free seat on their table. Approaching strangers may be a little nerve-wracking, but you’ll be surprised that there are actually a lot of nice folks out there. You may even end up with new friends at the end of the day.
3. You learn to be independent
I started living in Manila in 2013, and at that time, I never went out of the house without my cousins. I was afraid of getting lost, and a lot of things about the city intimidated me back then: the endless highways, the different bus routes, and especially the MRT and LRTs (There are two LRTs?!). But when I finally adapted to the hustle and bustle of city life, I realized that going out on my own wasn’t as scary as it seemed. I learned which train to ride. I learned how to blend in so I won’t get mugged. Being alone in crowded places forced me to rely on myself and it made me, as cliche as it sounds, a strong, independent woman.
4. You start appreciating yourself more
When you fall into the habit of going out on your own, all the little hurdles that you overcome are worthy of a pat in the back. Maybe you finally gathered enough courage to ask the band you like for a picture together. Or you went to a bar and you didn’t check your phone all night. Or maybe you went to an event by just commuting (Uber and Grab isn’t commuting, FYI). You learn to appreciate yourself and all your little triumphs, and you realize that you don’t always need anyone for you to have fun.
Going out alone may be scary at first, but it’s a valuable experience that will change you for the better. So when the time comes that you want to go somewhere and none of your friends are available, muster up your courage and just get out there. Keep your head high, shake off all the nerves, and most of all, have fun!