Saturday, May 24, 2014

Have You Ever Eaten Alone Outside?


Eating alone sounds like a trend recently due to our hectic and uncertain schedule/location. Nonetheless, some people just can't eat alone when they are in the public. 

The reasons to eat alone: 

1. Save time. You don't have to fix your schedule for eating and think of where to eat. Most of the time you will get the answer from others - "I am ok with anything", then you suggest "McD", you will get the answer - "ha? McD ah? Got other choices?" See? You get what I mean? 

2. Blank out moment. Linked to point #1, you are too lazy to even socialize with people about the What and Where to eat questions, why don't just leave yourself alone during that hour? Some people just do not want to be disturbed during that golden hour because it's simply too stressful to even talk, sometimes. 

3. Flexibility. You can eat whatever, whenever, wherever, however you want. You can even take a nap in the car park before/after your meal. 

WHY not to eat alone then? 

1. Fear of loneliness. You tend to think that people would pity/stare at you because you have no friends or whatnot. You know what? It's partially true. Just happened that my lunch mate told me when we were having lunch "That guy so pity, he is eating alone." I was like, "geez, what's wrong with eating alone, you don't really need others to feed you isn't it?" We care too much on what others think about us, when those people don't really matter at all. It's actually one kind of insecurity/inferiority, where you are not confident enough to stand on your own feet when you are alone. 

2. You don't know where to put your eyes on. Thanks to smartphone, you're physically eating alone but not virtually. Some people will try to overcome the fear of loneliness by keep swiping their screens. It's good actually, if you are eating alone, and spend some times during lunch to read on some news or watch some clips. 

3. You need to talk. Some people need to talk and talk and talk when they are eating. Therefore it's a big no no for them to eat alone outside. They are most likely to feel too sad and skip their lunch, then start calling friends from office *roll my eyes*. 

4. Habit. I have friends who would literally skip their meals if they can't find a lunch mate. Again, how on earth eating is so directly related to companionship? Don't we go to the loo, shower, sleeping, all alone too? They literally lose their appetite when they are alone. 

Personal experience: 

There is NOTHING wrong to eat alone. It's a good time to learn on solitude. I am not asking you to be foreveralone. Rather, it's a mental training for you to enjoy communicating with yourself. It's called self-reflection (I will talk more on self-reflection next time). It's not literally end of the day. You can actually still think of what to do next in the afternoon to make your working life easier. 

I enjoy eating alone in about 60% of my time. Waiting and deciding on budget/where/what to eat is simply exhausting for me when I have a long day to go. Eating alone makes me happier to stay put for the afternoon working hours. Oh ya, I get to choose what I want to eat, and change the plan 2 minutes before i reach my destination too. 

I also need some privacy of myself to text some people, call up my mum or read on something to refresh my mind instead of gossiping/whining about negative stuffs (don't you realize you gossip most of the time during lunch? It's because you have nothing else to talk about when you keep eating with the same people!). 

Therefore, I would like to share with you HOW to ease the uncomfortable feelings to eat alone. 

1. Be firm. Don't be afraid on other's stares. Most of the time, people don't really care, unless they know you. Else, nobody really gives a damn who are you eating with. 

2. Read. Use your phone to read. Or bring a magazine/book which doesn't fold itself, as screen tends to go blackout if you don't touch it. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable as your eyes and attention are occupied with something meaningful. 

3. Be grateful. You will have the tendency to devour your food quicker than usual because you want to leave the eating place asap since you are solo. What I usually do is, when the food arrives, I take 10 seconds to look at it and thank God, that I am given food, can still afford to dine in a comfortable environment. Trust me, it helps to slow down your swallowing speed because eating too fast isn't good for digestion. 

For those who read this and don't usually eat alone. Try to practice what I suggested above, I am not saying it's better to eat alone, but you can learn to eat alone and be confident about it. :) 

So, have you tried eating alone and continued doing it? :) 

Share this post if you like this. Thanks! 

Scott

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