Friday, October 16, 2015

solo adventures!

I talk about this all the time. I am an advocate of solo adventures. People often express reluctance to go do things if they don't have a person (****even when they don't enjoy that person's company, they would still just rather not be alone- this is how many people end up staying in relationships way too long, but that's another story).
As someone who *loves* doing many things alone, I appreciate the shift in understanding that doing things by yourself doesn't mean "nobody loves me" or "people will think I'm a loser" (the most common fears). What I often tell people is harsh but true: "People don't give a shit about you." Meaning: nobody is really paying any attention or putting any thought into wondering whether you have friends or not or feeling sorry for you. Nobody is going to put the effort in that is necessary to judge you for being at dinner or a movie alone. People are largely not even noticing you. (I know this is hard to accept, but truly: how often do you fully register the people around you or spend any time thinking about them?) I'm at breakfast by myself right now and I seriously doubt anyone gives a single shit about me or is wondering whether I have anybody in my life who loves me.
From the article: "The reason is we think we won't have fun because we're worried about what other people will think," said Ratner. "We end up staying at home instead of going out to do stuff because we're afraid others will think they're a loser."
But other people, as it turns out, actually aren't thinking about us quite as judgmentally or intensely as we tend to anticipate. Not nearly, in fact. There's a long line of research that shows how consistently and regularly we overestimate others' interest in our affairs. The phenomenon is so well known that there is even a name for it in psychology: the spotlight effect. A 2000 study conducted by Thomas Gilovich found that people regularly adjust their actions to account for the perspective of others, even though their actions effectively go unnoticed. Many other researchers have since confirmed the pattern of egocentric thinking that skews how we act."

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