Study authors Rebecca Ratner and Rebecca Hamilton asked people about various activities and if they preferred doing them with other people or alone, and found more often than not, being alone was just as fun as having friends around. Here are five reasons why you should get over the fear of looking like a friendless freak and just go to that party anyway, alone or not.
1. It's totally likely you'll have just as much fun as if you'd gone with friends. I know it seems like nothing could be more fun than going to the movies with your favorite humans, but the study authors found out that people thought they wouldn't enjoy going to an art gallery alone, but once they did it, they actually had as good of a time as if they'd brought a friend along. So you might just be psyching yourself out to think it won't be that great, but science says you're probably wrong.
2. Brunch is brunch, whether you go with your best friend or not. Even though you might feel awkward about it or feel tempted to just awkwardly text the whole time so you don't feel like a leper, Hamilton says, "Going to a restaurant [alone] might be a little different, because there's that element of conversation [missing], but that doesn't preclude the reality that going to a restaurant alone is still enjoyable." Waffles are waffles. Whether you talk about Serial while you eat them or not. Great, now I want waffles.
3. You're missing out on life when you wait around for someone to do things with. It totally makes sense to want to go to a movie, then immediately get frustrated because you're like, "Great, now I have to find someone to go with me and coordinate schedules," which is one of the quickest fun eliminators ever. But really, spending all that time waiting for people to text you back and trying to find the perfect person to go with usually results in you not going at all, which is hands-down worse than going alone and having a (probably) pretty good time.
4. The more you go out alone, the cooler going out alone becomes. Ratner says most people think they won't have fun going solo because "we're afraid others will think [we're] a loser," but also adds that's what keeps the stigma of solo-outings alive. "We need the norms to shift a little. We need for people to think it's a gutsy cool thing to have fun on our own," said Ratner. "Someone needs to start the new trend." So the more times you go out alone looking totally hot and interesting, the more likely this pointless stigma will go away forever, which would be nice.
5. If it really scares you that much, bring a book and look like a studious badass. If you're that scared of going to a party alone, but don't want to miss out on it all together, just bring a book. Hamilton says it won't make you look like a friendless weirdo, it'll just make you look like you're really busy and engaged with something, which if nothing else is way cooler than being the girl who came with friends but is just texting the whole time because she still feels weird even though she's surrounded by her people. Being the girl with the book is always better than being the girl who stayed home because she was scared. You can do this!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.