I was reminded of all the times I went on business trips and had to eat alone. Yes, it can be hard the first time. Saying "I can't" was not going to be an effective long term solution, though.
So the challenge was set. Go out tonight, on your own, and eat dinner. Out. In a restaurant. No shrinking back to the hotel room.
Sometimes you have to just do these things. There are no shortcuts.
Today, I received a "high five" as one very proud woman conquered her fear of "looking odd" and dined out, alone.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days in Budapest. I traveled alone and though I saw friends there, I spent a lot of time on my own. Had I not dined out alone, the whole experience would have been far less fun.
In 5 days, I had 4 quality restaurant meals alone. For the first one, I allowed myself a prop - my Kindle book, "Budapest Breakfast Club" kept me entertained.
In the end, knowing it would be at least a year before I could enjoy such a meal at such a price again, I put my assumptions about the thoughts of others to one side. I entered Café Kör.
Yes. They recognised me. Did they think I was a weirdo? No! Were they grateful that I paid them the ultimate compliment of repeat custom? Of course.
Be careful that your assumptions of what "other people" are thinking don't hold you back.
My new friend will now be much more willing to dine alone in future. And the knock on effect of tackling something she'd previously deemed "impossible"? Massively increased confidence. Are you brave enough?
Treat yourself. Go out for dinner for one and enjoy every moment. The confidence rewards will be massive.