“Table for 1, please.”
Did you think any of the following?
“They must have no friends”
“They must have gotten stood up”
“I would never go out and eat alone.”
Being alone is not a bad thing. However, eating alone is seen as taboo, cringeworthy and sympathy inducing.
One of the reasons for these reactions may be how we were raised. If we were sent to our room, sent to sit in the corner or ignored when we got in trouble as young people, then loneliness would feel like a bad thing.
Loneliness = ostracization.
And ostracization is the biggest fear that humans have on a very basic level. We are a community reliant species. We need acceptance, comradery and togetherness to survive.
If we were punished with being sent “away,” we are not going to view a “table for one” as desirable.
Now the adult version of us is not going to be sent to our rooms or the time-out corner. One way to try to re-program ourselves of this thinking is to tell ourselves “I am safe when I am alone.”
Perhaps, afterwards, we can confidently go into a restaurant one day and say “Table for 1, please.”