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On being an uninteresting person

aegidius
Community Member

I'm on my own at home (unusually) and listening to music that nobody else likes. The realisation came that it's a microcosm of life - I'm interested in a whole stack of stuff that nobody else is, so I often come across as a rather boring person. I assume everyone else has stuff swirling around in their heads that they don't or won't talk about, so we have all learned to shut up about it and make small talk instead. That's all fine and good and I can do it too - for a while, then it gets exhausting. It affects everything from keeping friendships to love and romance, and I'm a crashing bore at parties! There's this thing called "mutual disclosure" where you reveal something, then they reveal something else, and it goes back and forth building on this. In practice it just stops when nothing I disclose is of interest to them.

Now this is relevant to me in a special way - I've retired a couple of years ago, and all the conventional wisdom is that old folks do better if they can stay socially engaged, whatever that means. That's the standard advice for everything from retirement to forestalling dementia. My future isn't bright by that measure.

15 Replies 15

Guest_128
Community Member

Hi,

Tell us,what is the whole lot of stuff you are interested in???

Later

solabear
Community Member

I get you aegidius, I find small talk quite exhausting to be honest. and there is nothing wrong with it. I'm interested in ideas like 'higher consciousness" or "speciesism" which most people are not interested in. So I read about it instead of talking about it.

I would be really interested the staff you interested in. Please share it with us. You might find people here who would enjoy engaging in a conversation with you.

Look forward to your post

Hugs from Sola

Whole lot of stuff: science (generally) with a tilt towards consciousness/intelligence, philosophy, history (esp. the history of thought, science and religious history), engineering, making things.... all round geeky stuff. My career was spent in software development, so straight out of Big Bang Theory, except less funny.

A motto that I resonate with is (I think) from Eleanor Roosevelt: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." I would all the proviso that ultimately people (thus far) are the ones that generate all the ideas, so they can't be regarded with too much disdain - but then she was talking about gossip and scuttlebutt.

Hello Aegidius

Good to meet you and very interested in your take on life. I am also retired and keep myself busy so that I do not die of boredom.

The process of getting to know people does start with small talk as you say, and I often find this difficult. In the end I have decided I will say what I am thinking (within the bounds of courtesy) and it often works to promote interesting conversations. Whether the other person was really interested I cannot always tell, but I suppose if that person does not avoid me in the future no irreparable harm has been done.

I am interested in history, philosophy, communication, reading, spirituality, disability. I think I would be interested in other topics depending on who I am talking to. I have always enjoyed listening to those who are expert in their own field.

Why do you think you are boring? While some folk are not interested in your interests there are many, like the people who have posted above, who would be happy to talk with you about almost anything. Can you think about what you do and how you speak to others, but not about the content. I'm sure have heard it said that communication is about 75% body language and voice tone. Maybe this is your difficulty when talking to someone.

Love to know your thoughts on this.

Mary

"I'm sure have heard it said that communication is about 75% body language and voice tone." Absolutely agree. Also there is a whole lot of unwritten, semi-conscious cultural stuff about when the appropriate time is to talk about things and when not to. I've got that mostly right in maturity, but in younger times who knows? I have a lot of embarrassing social moments in my past, as I'm sure we all do - maybe I need to get better at forgetting them? I have to be careful what I wish for here.

As age advances, and loss of attractiveness kicks in, these things get more important not less. Old people are largely invisible.

I don't think there are any good answers to these questions, but thanks all for listening anyway.

Hello Aegidius

Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote. I went away for a few days and came back feeling unwell. I have spent this past week doing little.

I have to take issue with you about advancing age and loss of attractiveness. Years ago I may have thought along similar lines but as I get older I find the appearance of others is of less importance than their personality. It is the essential person that has always been there that we connect with. Looking objectively at people of all ages I'm not certain they are all super attractive, physically. In fact most are not.

We have fallen into the trap of the marketing mind. Gorgeous models, male and female, doing all sorts of what appear to be 'fun' things is not real life. We know this yet still acquiesce to these demands to be perfect and beautiful. I would never describe myself as lovely but neither am I the ugliest person in the street. In reality it is a false way to measure your worth.

I used to have a saying over my desk at work. You are beautiful and lovable just as you are. That's the simple truth. Goodness me how many married couples are beautiful? They stay married despite this because they love the person inside, not the shell.

Running out of energy so need to go back to bed. Being unwell is the pits.

Mary

I don't think there is very much such thing as an "essential person". I think what I tend to do, value, and experience these days has very little to do with those of when I was 1 year old, for instance. And this unrelation to one's past self holds for any time period, to differing degrees in differing domains.

I think what's happened with you, Mary, is standard biological programming. When we're young children we have no sex drive, and then we get to young adulthood and get very frisky, and then hormones go away and we aren't interested in sex (nature's way of tricking us into reproducing) anymore.

Vegetarian Marshmallow
Community Member

aegidius, I do think the things you're interested in are not the mainstream (speaking from personal experience as they're also the things I'm interested in), but that's kind of necessary for anything. The way people interact with each other to begin with can only be a simple fashion (small talk, cultural norms). Because everything is so ridiculously complex that if you tried to start out relating directly with a new person in your own internal "language", it would make no sense to them. So "mainstream" is necessarily "highest common denominator" (I've corrected the common phrase so it actually makes sense mathematically).

There are places to talk about things you're interested in. I like some Facebook groups - there's one for a philosophy podcast called The Partially Examined Life which has interesting conversation. Others I can't think of now and being on a mobile phone presently makes it irritating to check. In real life, I think maybe hang around universities or book clubs. Try Meetup (a website for interest group meetings).

Also, as a youngish person (30), it's completely irrelevant how attractive a person is except for the purpose of wanting to sleep with them.. which is like 0.0001% (made-up rhetorical number) of social interactions I have.