How to Eat Alone

There is a huge stigma about eating alone in public, FOR SOME ODD REASON. Eating alone in public is nothing to be ashamed about, it’s totally okay.

For some, I understand the social anxiety that comes with sitting alone in a public setting eating food.  For others, it’s the difficulty of doing something alone. As for me, I am familiar with eating alone and enjoying it, so I’ve come up with steps on how to start being more comfortable with that idea.

 

1. Find a place that does not have a lot of traffic (people coming in and coming out). I would suggest maybe a local coffee shop, and Starbucks is not a local coffee shop. If coffee is not your thing, then try eating outside of a library or a building you’re close to, and know that eating outside won’t be weird.

 

2. Once you find a place that you like you can then decide what you want to eat (sidebar: this step should be step 1, but for first timers you want to visualize yourself somewhere and think about what you would want to eat after). You can choose a simple peanut butter sandwich, or any sandwich really, but not something that is crunchy or may drip on you. Reason being is that if you are not accustom to eating alone then you probably wont like people looking at you, because they heard you crunching or having people ask you why and when you got a stain on your shirt.

 

3. Once you are settled in with the location and your food choice, then think about what you want to do to occupy yourself. You can bring a book, use your phone, browse your laptop, blow bubbles. An activity that is appropriate for your surrounding as well as convenient to pick up and go. (However, if I saw you in a local coffee shop blowing bubbles I would sit next to you, it wouldn’t be weird….for me).

 

4. Now here comes the tricky part. You can’t always be looking at your phone, or reading or blowing bubbles. You will have to look up/get up, yes that means eye contact. I am going to be completely honest with you, NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU. Now lets not get emotional, what I mean by that is that people are doing their own thing, they are either eating in a rush, eating alone as well, waiting for someone OR literally anything else. Nobody will be paying attention to you, unless they find you incredibly attractive, don’t have the courage to talk to you and just know how to stare at you (or maybe they are some weird serial killer and you have to move, like immediately).

 

5. Have you visualized yourself yet? Sitting alone in a quiet shop, diner, restaurant, library, eating a sandwich or a salad? Do you see yourself on your phone or reading your book in your own world? GOOD, now just imagine how empowering that moment will feel, you being able to control where you are, how you’re feeling and just enjoying time with yourself.

 

6. I understand that it can be intimidating being alone, having all eyes on you, but eating being alone is not the same as being lonely. Enjoy being with yourself, have some time to understand who you are. That might sound dramatic, but from someone who goes into local diners and asks for a seat for one, that feeling is empowering.