Table for One Please

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in ComLead, Organizational Leadership

When is the last time you saw someone out eating alone? Did you think twice about it? Traditionally people may view eating alone as a consequence of not having a companion to dine with but that is often not the case. Actually it is highly likely that is not the case.

More and more people are beginning to realize the benefits to eating out alone and voluntarily choosing to do so.  A recent analysis by OpenTable showed that single table reservations have gone up by 62% in the last two years.

An article dating back to 1985 states that preparing dinner for one can be a psychologically and physically healthy way to end a day. When you take time to eat by yourself you can choose what you want to eat, how much, and at what pace you eat it.  This is a time for you to relax and enjoy the peacefulness that comes with dinging alone.  You can reflect on your day and about what you would like to accomplish the next day.

There is a catch though. There may be a significant possibility that this increase in single diners is a direct correlation to the increasing popularity of portable electronic devices. Many people do not rank high on the communication competency scale for social relaxation. When the cause of this social anxiety is due to the fear of being judged by others, eating alone can seem extremely daunting. So, people have turned to cell phones to help them through the process. This way they can eat alone and still look like they have friends they’re talking to.

The reality though, is that 1) who cares if the person in the next booth over thinks you’re weird because you’re eating alone? You don’t know them and 2) that person probably has better things to think about then why you’re eating alone. The benefits listed above only apply if you are OFF your phone and actually taking in the experience.

My Challenge to you: Try it! In the next week find time to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner by yourself, and as hard as it may be (believe me I know) do not sit on your phone. Who knows, you may just enjoy it and decide to do it again sometime.

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