Irrational Fear Week – Day 4: Eating Alone
Each day this week I’ll write a post about a fear that I used to have (some I still have) and how I have dealt with it in order illuminate some of the strange things we allow to get in between us and living a full and productive life.
Admittedly, this is a weird one.
I used to be very worried about people’s perception of me if I was eating alone in public. I’ve even had people I know think I was weird to do so. All those childhood insecurities and social anxieties seemed to still come up. Seems silly, doesn’t it?
Now, I often eat alone. I actually tend to prefer it on my lunch hours. This phobia was completely cured during my before mentioned solo trip to Europe. Funny thing about traveling alone—you’ll most likely have to eat alone.
This bugged me for days on that trip. I felt like people were always watching me. Sometimes they were—I’m referring to you, weird German couple, that kept staring and talking. But by the second week on the road, I could care less what people thought. Partly, because I didn’t have much of a choice. But mostly, because I realized how little other opinions mattered.
I experienced a surprising side affect of being alone on that trip. People were often more likely to engage with me. I met several people on that journey. Sometimes even ended up dining with a complete strangers. This would never have happened had I not been alone.
Eating alone is like traveling alone. Everyone should do it at least once or twice. You never know who you will meet. You never know what conversation it will start.
See you tomorrow for Day 5!