For some reason, I am overcome with emotion and a sense of care when I see people sitting alone. If someone’s eating by themself in a restaurant, I get the instant urge to want to join them, even though I’m sure most of them are perfectly fine.
My friends at church tend to find me a little weird when I approach and start speaking to strangers who are sitting on their own, but I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, I think it’s the right thing to do — as Christians, aren’t we supposed to make everyone feel welcome.
It’s not only at church where I approach people who are sitting or standing alone though. I do it in a number of places, as long as I’m feeling comfortable and in the right mood to talk. And do you know why? Because I never want anyone to feel the way that I feel.
I’m someone who struggles with being confident in a social setting, when I am simply being me. I’m fine with being at an event for a purpose, like when I’m going to write a review, because sitting alone makes some sense and talking to people for an interview is easier, as the questions are set. I’m fine being out on the floor dancing, because I don’t have to speak to anyone and there’s nothing wrong with dancing by yourself. However, I find starting conversations, and at times carrying conversations, with people extremely difficult.
If I don’t know anyone or am not part of a group, I will sit awkwardly on my own, not knowing what to do or where to look. It becomes very lonely, very quickly, as there are only so many things you can look at on your phone (well, for me anyway). I want to be able to say something, but no words come to my mind. I want to be able to approach people, but I don’t want to intrude on their group, so the only thing to do is sit (or stand) alone.
I’ve never been one of the cool kids and I never will be — I’ve always been the awkward loner or nerd who wants to get on with their work — and I’m fine with that. However, feeling out-of-place and like you don’t fit in can be upsetting, and I hate that.
I approach individuals who are on their own and make the effort to make everyone I meet feel welcome, because as I said before, I never want anyone to feel the way that I feel. Feeling like a spare part, someone left on the sidelines, is horrible and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
So to all the people who have approached me and made me feel comfortable, welcome, or at ease, I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You made me feel like I wasn’t alone.