You're waiting at the bar alone. Your date is late or your friend is lost or your roommate sucks and ditched you. For many the bar is an intimidating place when solo but it really shouldn't be. Here are a few simple tricks and tips for redirecting your discomfort:
Own That Bar Stool Although you may feel like people are looking at you and thinking, "poor, lonely, sad girl," it's quite the opposite. The poor, lonely, sad girl sits in her car until she sees her friend arrive, or hides behind her phone in the foyer. The self-confident, contented woman sits at the bar and owns her bar stool. People will look at you and think "self-assured," "comfortable," even "sexy." So work it, girl.
Order a Drink No, not water, honey. That's for that girl who sits in her car. Wine, beer, bourbon...something. If you're super out of your element ask for a drink that comes with a straw to keep your hands busy (think mixed drink). Don't shred the cocktail napkin or contort the straw. Just enjoy your independence and check out the scenery. And if you dare, make eye contact with someone.
Study the Bar Menu Check out the snacks, the drink specialties, the prices, the typography, the font size, whatever. It's something to do and still way better then turning to your security blanket, AKA, your stupid phone.
Chat to the Bartender As long as she isn't drowning in drink orders, she'd love to keep you company. You can ask her about the best drink she makes, what the restaurant is known for, or her wine recommendations. The best bartenders are the best gabbers.
Strike Up a Conversation Nothing will make you feel more comfortable and less alone than a conversation with a complete stranger. The entire point of a bar is to interact with other people. So go for it. Talk about the weather, your drink, last night's break-up, your shoe addiction..it doesn't matter. It's not an 18-hour flight to Sydney. Relax. There are like 100 exit strategies if you get stuck with a whack-o.
My advice of course is to choose all of the above. What many people don't realize is that the bar is actually the best seat in the house. Even if your friend does eventually arrive, stay put. Maybe you've finally found your spot.