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utterly absurd
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20 Mar 2024, 2:33 pm

A lot of things interest me but none of them really reach the "special" category. I used to spend a lot of time photographing and categorizing lamps, but that interest has waned and nothing has replaced it. I feel kind of empty now. When I have free time I just sleep or stare at the wall.
Does anyone have advice on how to find a new special interest?


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bee33
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20 Mar 2024, 6:03 pm

I don't currently have a special interest either, but I think by browsing around, looking at various things that appeal to you in some way is how to get captivated by something new.



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20 Mar 2024, 7:47 pm

you sound like you're burnt out


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utterly absurd
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20 Mar 2024, 8:09 pm

honeytoast wrote:
you sound like you're burnt out


I don't think so. I'm just bored.


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jamie0.0
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20 Mar 2024, 10:28 pm

One thing I've noticed is that special interests just kind of happen when you're not expecting them.

I've tried to force myself to like something but it didn't happen. My current special interest happened one day when I was browsing social media.

Just give it time, keep doing what you usually do and something may make you exited again.



Edna3362
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20 Mar 2024, 11:52 pm

Well, I lost mine.
It used to be one of the things I'm able to look forward to because it's consistent.

As far as I know, one doesn't really choose their special interests.

It's a genuine interest with an element of positive based compulsion (as opposed to anxiety based).

Else, it's just an obsession your head picked up and kept fixating over it whether you like it or not.
Or, well, a mere 'like' but no excitement or drive that can compare over passion.

I try my best to just focus on daily living. Maybe exposures to several ideas.
And, figuring out how to do just that while running empty.
Which is very frustrating -- since it's all about fighting this sort of inertia in one's head, if not the conflict between the conscious wants from whatever less conscious whining.


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CockneyRebel
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21 Mar 2024, 12:36 am

There are days that I wish I didn't have a special interest.


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elotepreparado
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21 Mar 2024, 3:42 pm

I am so sorry for how boring it is but my advice is the typical: try stuff and expose yourself to new things whether it's through wikipedia scrolling or in media like youtube or streaming services or looking through subreddits on random topics. Jump into the internet and documentaries and thrift stores and libraries.

I think it's good to try and focus on having a hobby that you can enjoy sometimes instead of trying to have a special interest /if you have a history of interests being harmful or really distracting and stuff/. But if your special interests have been more like a hobby you really adore then yea go for it.


My vent that's unrelated to your question but related to special interests topic:
Sometimes I feel like there should be some distinctions between "special interests" and the versions of it that kind of cause issues. Just because it is hard for me to find anyone talking about their negative experiences with having a special interest.

I have an interest in knitting, crochet, and embroidery. I enjoy it a lot and talk about it sometimes and often take projects with me to places. My hobbies can be kinda intense sometimes but I differentiate them from my "preoccupations" (what I call my special interests that were more intense and causes issues because of intensity), because I never sought them out and it was like my brain chose it for me.

I didn't have I considered a preoccupation for me as an adult until my husband started flying school. Getting his hours, studying, etc. I watched a plane incident video with him that explained how everything happened. And I spiraled.
I needed to watch more. I needed to have them in the background. I needed to watch more videos and read posts and articles about commercial aviation such as the manufacturers, airlines, airports, seating design, safety features (especially), cargo policies, pilot training, etc etc And then eventually I realized I kept looking at a specific type of plane. Then I was looking up more stuff about that plane on top of all that. Then I was also obsessed with MD-80 aircraft (including other douglas jets like DC-9 family and Boeing 717).

My special interest is what I would call my fiber arts thing but my preoccupation would be commercial aviation.. It's kinda bad.. I enjoy it a lot but it affects my life and my family. My life kinda revolves around it especially since my husband can enable it a bit (with him also liking commercial aviation and possibly getting a career in it).

Maybe this is kinda offensive to others reading this that experience "preoccupations" like mine but OP, I hope you find a special interest and not a preoccupation lol. :lol:



utterly absurd
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21 Mar 2024, 4:41 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm too busy to do much exploring right now but once the semester is over, I will try to explore new topics and see if I can find something. I'm sure there's something out there, I just don't spend much time out in the (physical or digital) world right now.
Thanks again!


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Have very strong opinions so sorry if I offend anyone--I still respect your opinion.
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Feel free to PM me--I like to talk about most things other than sports.


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21 Mar 2024, 5:01 pm

NASCAR is having one of their best seasons ever. If you're not busy Sunday it might be worth your time. :nerdy:


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utterly absurd
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21 Mar 2024, 5:23 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
NASCAR is having one of their best seasons ever. If you're not busy Sunday it might be worth your time. :nerdy:


Not really my thing but thanks for the suggestion.


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Have very strong opinions so sorry if I offend anyone--I still respect your opinion.
He/him (or anything, I don't really care)
Feel free to PM me--I like to talk about most things other than sports.


funeralxempire
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21 Mar 2024, 5:37 pm

utterly absurd wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
NASCAR is having one of their best seasons ever. If you're not busy Sunday it might be worth your time. :nerdy:


Not really my thing but thanks for the suggestion.


Fair enough.
I didn't really think it would be my thing either, fwiw. :lol:


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bee33
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22 Mar 2024, 1:24 am

The problem with special interests (one of the problems) is that we find them so fascinating that it's hard to imagine that someone else wouldn't be equally fascinated by something so interesting, and then we have to consciously remember that they are not interested in long winded explanations or just talk on the subject and it's hard keeping all that goodness to ourselves.



JamesW
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22 Mar 2024, 3:10 am

Sometimes you don't even realise that a special interest is a special interest.

For example, one day I was talking to a Manchester United fan. I am very much not a Manchester United fan. But during the conversation, I suddenly realised that I knew far more about the history of the club than he did.



2ukenkerl
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23 Mar 2024, 2:03 pm

[quote="utterly absurd"]A lot of things interest me but none of them really reach the "special" category. I used to spend a lot of time photographing and categorizing lamps, but that interest has waned and nothing has replaced it. I feel kind of empty now. When I have free time I just sleep or stare at the wall.
Does anyone have advice on how to find a new special interest?[/q

You never know! Some people have "fish in the water syndrome"(my own term for it), and don't notice the most obvious thing! As for it lasting? My interest in electronics only ended up lasting like 20 years. My interest in computers pretty much lasted for about another 40 years. LONG TIME, but not forever. BTW I started with electronics not long before the end of tube based products. I started with computers before there were any real winners in what would BECOME the consumer market. It was an expensive fad that was kind of looked down upon. IBM was literally LAUGHING at the prospect of putting out a microcomputer!

You can find something that interests you a bit, or is useful. and get VERY good at it. 8)



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23 Mar 2024, 3:31 pm

Passion for special interests ebb & flow for me. I thrive & am happiest when I’m fully “in”. My special interests seemed to find me, not the other way round. Always incidental, as I’m going about life. Losing a special interest has always involved either depression, trauma or something negative to have occurred, some major change. Ability to engage in special interests can be very affected by health, life events & general well-being. Equally, partaking in special interests can improve each of these things. I’m unable to engage in special interests at the moment & cannot wait to feel happy enough to engage again.

Advice to you: If you can engage for any length of time in ANY of the things you have once really enjoyed, then do. Be it reading a book, going to the cinema, exercise, writing, gaming, anything creative at all … only when we get positive feedback to our brains, are we likely to want to do it again… through the doing, you might discover the passion …