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The Stigma Of Doing Things Alone


02/16/201608:25amET|Updated2daysago

19k Like 369K

ChristinaLing
Justanotherhuman.Thinking,exploring,creating,andhopefully
inspiring.

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Iwasdiscussingprospectivetravelplanswithagroupofpeopletheotherday
Gettopstoriesandblogpostsemailedtome
whenoneofthem,afterexpressingherinterestinvisitingLyon,remarked, eachday.Newslettersmayofferpersonalized
contentoradvertisements.
ButIhavetofindsomeonetogowithImnotgoingtotravelthereby Learnmore

myself.Nobodywantstodothat.
address@email.com

Thesameafternoon,Iwalkedintoacafewithafriendtograblunch.Upon SubscribeNow
seeinganacquaintancethereeatingsolo,myfriendcommented,Aw,hesby
himself.Maybewecansayhi.Nooneshouldhavetoeatalone.Thatsso 1.78M 308K
sad.

ThesestatementsstartedatrainofthoughtonwhichIhadembarkedmany
449K Podcast

timesbefore:
AddusonSnapchat

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10/22/2016 TheStigmaOfDoingThingsAlone|HuffingtonPost

Whyisitstillseenassociallyunacceptabletodothingsbyyourself?
Andwhyisitalwayspresumedthatpeopledontwanttodothings
alone?

Idounderstandwheretheseopinionsoriginate.We,ashumanbeings,are
socialbeings.Weareinherentlyinclinedtobearoundpeopleandthrivein
communityitisonlynaturalthatwewanttoshareinourexperienceswith
others.Socializingandconversingarehowweforgefriendshipsandultimately
helpeachothergrow.

However,itbafflesmeastowhytheideathatsomeonewantstodo
somethingaloneissobizarre.Surebysocietalnorms,activitiessuchas
eatingoutorseeingamovieareviewedassocialactivitiestobeenjoyedwith
others.Butseeingsomeoneoutandaboutontheirowndoesnotequateto
himorherbeinglonely,orhavingnofriends.(Alright,sometimeswhenIam
doingsomethingbymyselfIamfeelingalittlelonely,oractuallycouldntfind
anavailableorinterestedfriend...butthatdoesntmeanIneedordeserve
pity.)

Moreimportantly,Ithinkweareperfectlyentitledtosimplynotbeinthemood
toentertainsomeonethroughoutanactivityorsocialize,ingeneral.

Isitreallysoabsurdthatsomeonedecidestoridesoloforaneveningand
appreciateamealalone?Residinginafirstworldcountrynowadaysentails
considerableimmersioninenvironmentsofdistractionthroughouttheday,
wereinvariablystaringatscreensofallshapesandsizes,andbeing
bombardedwithstimulithroughthem.Ontopofthat,wemustmakereal
humaninteractionswithhandfulsofpeopleonadailybasis.Itgrows
exhaustingwhetheroneisanintrovertorextrovert.Andweallneedalittle
metime.

Time spent by myself is time spent alone


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10/22/2016
Time spent by myself is time spent alone TheStigmaOfDoingThingsAlone|HuffingtonPost

with my thoughts, which I relish in a world


of distraction.

Butwhoistosaythatmetimeisonlyintheconfinesofoneshome,inthe
formofapantslessSundayspentwatchingNetflixandbingingonpizza?Why
isdoingthataloneacceptableanyway,butnotgoingoutsideanddoing
somethingintown?Timespentbymyselfistimespentalonewithmy
thoughts,whichIrelishinaworldofdistraction.Oncealone,Ihavethe
opportunitytoponderovermatterstowhichIhavebeenmeaningtodevote
mentalattentionortothinkaboutnothingatall,andsimplyappreciatethe
presentmoment.

Isupposethatisanotherexplanationforwhydoingthingsalonehasasocial
stigma.Wetendtoprojectourowntendenciesontoothers,particularlyin
situationsweviewnegativelyandIfindthatthepeoplewiththegreatest
aversiontodoingthingsaloneincrediblyuncomfortableatandalmost
disgustedbytheideaaretheoneswhocannotbeinsolitudewiththeir
minds.Forwhatreasons,IcantsayIknow,buttheyseemtomovethrough
lifefromonedistractiontothenext,fromscreentoscreen.

Beingalonewithyourmind,however,isoneofthebestthingsforyour
soul.

ThatisoneofthegreatestpleasuresIfindindoingthingsalone.Anotheris,of
course,thefreedomtooperateonyourownschedule.Youcanspendafull
hourtryingonclothes(whichseemstohappenfrequentlywithme...)without
thepressureofawaitingcompanion,orspeedthroughahistorymuseum
becauseyoudontfinditthatinteresting.IfIneedtobacktrackforaphotoor
standthereforafewminutestogetitright,Ihaveallthetimeintheworld.

Buttravelingalone?Doesntitgetalittlesolitary?

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10/22/2016 TheStigmaOfDoingThingsAlone|HuffingtonPost

Well,yesIwouldbeindenialifIsaidotherwise.Oneofthegreatestjoysof
travelisrevelinginthepresenceofawesomehistoryorartwithsomeone,and
IdefinitelyfindmyselfwishingIhadafriendwithmeattimesseeingwhatI
amseeing,eatingwhatIameating,discussingourexperiences.Itsniceto
havesomeonetherewithyousharingthatephemeralmomentthatcannotbe
recreated.

Whichleadsmetomyfollowingpointdespiteallthat,Iamdeterminedto
notletsuchfactorsimpedemefromdoingwhatIwantandwhatspeaksto
me,andyoushouldnteither.Ifyoutrulywanttodosomething,whyshouldthe
prospectofdoingitalonebeanobstacletoyourwill?Intheend,the
connectionyouhavewiththatobjectorgoalisthemostimportant.

If you truly want to do something, why


should the prospect of doing it alone be an
obstacle to your will?

Thisisntallwiththeaimtodenigratepeoplewhodontlikebeingalone,or
makethestatementthatsuchpeoplehavenosubstance.Toeachhisown.

Butsatisfactionultimatelyliesinthesubstanceofanactivityandifthatiswhat
youarereallyafter,thengoforit.

TakethattriptoLyon.Gotothatundergroundmusiceventnoneofyour
friendscareabout.Enjoyanicedinner.Andallthosepeopleyouthinkare
judgingyou...theylikelyare,giventhestigmaofdoingthingsalone,butwhat
doesthatmatterinthegrandschemeofthings?

Doingthingsaloneeventuallydissipatesthefeelingofselfconsciousnessin
publicplacesandfostersselfawarenessinstead.Ittakesadegreeof
The Stigma Of Doing Things Alone

confidenceandinitiativetodothingssolo,ofwhichyoushouldbeproud.And
ifImgoingtobefrowneduponbecauseImeatingdessertalonelikeIm
fuckinStevenGlansbergthen,well.Sobeit.

AversionofthispostoriginallyappearedonMedium.Checkoutmoreof
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CONVERSATIONS
The Stigma Of Doing Things Alone

157Comments Sortby Top

Addacomment...

TomMonkUniversityofGeorgia
Ilovetravelingalone.IgowhereIwant,whenIwant,doingwhatIwanttodowithouthavingto
compromise.IlovehistoryandprivatetourswhereIcanhaveadialoguewithmyguides.Usually,
otherpeoplejustslowmedown.
LikeReply 214Feb17,201612:31am

MaiaHarrisSanFrancisco,California
I'mwithyou,Tom!
LikeReply 6Feb20,20165:16am

DonnaMcCulloughJohnsonStateCollege
Yep.Igotothetheateralone.HalfthetimeIfIbuyticketsIhavetobegforthe
money...nope...goalone...talktowho'saroundyou....enjoythemoment....It'syoursto
enjoy.
LikeReply 34Feb20,20169:22amEdited

IsabelHarrarMysteryWriteratSelf
Itraveloverseassolofrequently.Neverhadaproblem.Otherpeoplewouldbecomea
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christinaling/thestigmaofdoingthingsalone_b_9239900.html? 6/8
10/22/2016 TheStigmaOfDoingThingsAlone|HuffingtonPost
problem.
LikeReply 19Feb22,20168:28pm

Show4morerepliesinthisthread

JesseSmithVancouver,BritishColumbia
Greatarticle.Doingthingsinagroup,espeicallytravelling,requirescontinuouscompromising.Iam
vocalabouthavingatleastafewdaystobecompletelyonmyown,itslikeavacationinavacation.
LikeReply 128Feb16,201611:46pm

DonnaMcCulloughJohnsonStateCollege
forsure!
LikeReply 1Feb20,20169:20am

BungaM.FaisalLondonSchoolofPublicRelations
vaception
LikeReply 2May16,20163:58pm

JohnObermeierAtlanta,Georgia
FormostofmylifeIthinkothershaveviewedbeinganintrovertasacharacterflaw,andalltoo
oftenpeopleequatebeingalongwithbeinglonely.Articleslikethisinrecentyearshavegivenme
themotivationtoembracemyouterintrovert.Mytshirtsays:"Introvertsoftheworldunite!We're
here,we'reuncomfortable,wewanttogohome."
LikeReply 76Feb17,20167:29pm

MarkLoweWorksatWww.minimalistlifestyle.wordpress.com
Hellsomepeopledon'tgetus!Someonewasgivingmegrieftheothernightforpostinga
commentsimilartothetitleofthispost!!
LikeReply 2Feb20,20164:29pm

SamWagenerChristchurch,NewZealand
Introversionhasnothingtodowithsocialskills,it'sabouthowmuchsocialactivityyoucan
dowithoutneedingalonetimetorefresh.
LikeReply 18Feb21,20161:57pm

MelissaButzUhlDingle
SamWagenerIconcure.Ilovethesaying...Introvertsunite.Inyourownhomes.lol
LikeReply 3Feb22,20164:13pm

MattHearnden
Itotallygetthis.Ilovedoingthingsonmyown.IknowI'mjudgedforit,but,honestly,thatjust

The Stigma Of Doing Things Alone


makesmeloveitevenmore.Greatpost.ThanksChristina
LikeReply 59Feb17,201612:33am

GabbyNelsonDirector,CommunicationsandChangeManagementatCargill
I'mcurrentlyatacabinbymyself.Ispenttwodaysreading,journaling,drinkingwinebesideafire.
Allbymyself.Ifeelreenergizedafteratoughfewmonthsatwork!It'sagifttogooffandbeby
yourself!AndwithAirBNB,it'smoreaffordablethanevertotakeasolominibreak!
LikeReply 68Feb17,201610:52pm

GracePhua
thatsoundssoawesome!I'dliketodothissomedaytoo
LikeReply 2May12,201612:31pm

ReneeMwendaaPresenteratCapitalFm89JubaSouthSudan
Iamsojealousofyou!!WishIcoulddothiseveryothertime
LikeReply 1May12,20167:49pm

DougRobersonBostonUniversity
Havingacompanioncanbeusefulandcansparknewideas,yetitalwaysinvolvescompromise
andquiteoftenleadsapersontorefrainfromanactivityornotengageinitfully.Irelishthe
experienceoftravellingalone.
LikeReply 43Feb16,20169:17pm

AngelaFloyd
Hikingalonegivesmesomuchpeace.Thereisatimeandplacefortogetherness.Butmypeace
comesfrommyself.
LikeReply 28Feb16,201611:18pm

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10/22/2016 TheStigmaOfDoingThingsAlone|HuffingtonPost

DianeWise
Ihearyourloveofnature,butbecarefulbeingaloneoutthere.Sad,butunfortunatelya
necessity.Justbesafe!
LikeReply 4Feb22,20162:06am

JoanneThomasNorthernMichiganUniversity
"Oncealone,IhavetheopportunitytoponderovermatterstowhichIhavebeenmeaningto
devotementalattentionortothinkaboutnothingatall,andsimplyappreciatethepresent
moment."Possiblythemostconstructivethingyoucoulddowithyourtime~
LikeReply 22Feb16,20169:06pm

IvanaGraceBellingham,Washington
Peopleseemtoassumetheyhave'donesomething'toalienate,upsetorangermewhenI
sayI'mgoingtodosomething'bymyself'...Foraccommodationtotheir'selfization',Inow
justsay,'I'mtakinga'sabbatical',tolistentoGOD',andsofar,everyoneis'respectful'of
that...noboundaries/explanationsnecessary!
LikeReply 3May19,20163:39am

JanicePetersUCLA
IdecidedwhenIwas19andmovedtoLAthatIwouldneverletthelackofacompanionstopme
fromdoingsomethingIwantedtodo,andIneverhave.I'vetraveledallovertheU.S.aloneand
spentawonderful2weeksonmyowninGreece,meetinganassortmentoffriendlypeoplefrom
othercountriesandexploringalltheancientsitesthatfascinatedme.Iactuallyprefergoingto
moviesalonebecauseIliketositwaydowninfront.Dinneratarestaurantaloneisfun,butIdo
takealongabook.I'vedonelotsofthingswithfriendsandfamily,too,butthealonetimeshave
oftenbeenthemostemotionallyrewarding.
LikeReply 17Feb18,20163:32pm

PennyDiannaUniversityofIowa
Igotaccustomedtobeingalone,fromkindergartenup,despitebeingbornintoalargefamily.My
firstschoolwassegregatedandallblack.ThefactthatIwassmallformyage,underweight,and
lightskinneddidnothelpmetomakefriends.IwasoftenpushedtothegroundwheneverI
attemptedtointeractwiththoseclassmates.Exceptforthecompanyofayoungboy,crippledby
polio,Iwasmostlyalonewhenhewasnotaround.Noonewantedtoplaywithhimeither.
Strangely,Ihavenoregretsaboutanyofthis.Igottodothingsanddiscoverthingsonmyown
withouthavingtodealwithpeerpressure,turningmeintoanindependentthinker.Today,asan
adult,however,Ihavemorefriendsandacquaintanceswhosharemyexperiences,interests,
values,andtastesandI'veneverfeltlonely.
LikeReply 19Feb17,20165:14am

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