Let’s start from the beginning. I have always done things on my own from going to the cinema and shopping and eventually eating out on my own. This was all good when I mixed it with socialising with friends and family.
In my early twenties, those moments of socialising grew less and less. I wasn’t in a place where I spent lots of time with people outside of my immediate family. People were either just busy, life got in the way or in all honesty, my mind stopped me from reaching out to people and organising a catch-up.
There is a difference between going to the cinema alone and spending weeks or weekends with minimal interaction with the outside world. As social beings, it is important to recognise the difference they can have. One is empowering, while the other can be debilitating.
As a natural introvert, I know can see the signs in my mood and how I react to people if I need to spend time with others or if I am still good headspace staying in my cave. When I lived in Leeds, I would leave for work at 7:30 am getting back at 7:00 pm and didn’t work with a lot of people my age who I would call friends which could be isolating and even though, I had no problem popping into town on my own to pick up some groceries but I also knew it was good to see friends so I would make sure to arrange time for brunches and cinema dates with one friend at a time. That way I wasn’t too overwhelmed by having too many people around but also got the human interaction I needed.
There would also just be times I needed to get out of my house and being surrounded by strangers is enough interaction I need. This is how I feel the majority of times. As a self-professed loner, staying within the four walls of my room can become a habit. This is one of the reasons I got the Cineworld unlimited card. It means I force myself out of the house to do something I love. Even if it on my own, it makes a difference.
Being a loner has its perks. It has allowed me to move out of my parent’s house, go on an airplane on my own at six years old and eat at a restaurant while reading a book but it can also mean my conversational skills muscle needs to be consciously stretched from time to time and that is ok.