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qawer
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09 Jan 2014, 11:10 am

Sometimes I come to think,

- If one does not enjoy social interaction and for the same reason does not strive for social status

and

- If one has "outgrown"/gotten too old for really still finding special interests interesting,


Then what's left?



bearsandsyrup
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09 Jan 2014, 11:15 am

Finding new special interests?

I just kind of focus my life around my family (primarily my husband and daughter) and my interests, which evolve every once in a while. I never really lose an interest, though, it just fades a bit. Like I started out interested in flying, which turned into an interest in planes and aerospace science, which turned into an interest in reconnaissance aircraft, which turned into an interest in ISR equipment and missions. It's all linked, so I don't really venture into something completely different, but the constant evolution keeps my interested over time.

What about your special interest has made you lose interest? Do you feel that you have learned everything about it that there is to know?



qawer
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09 Jan 2014, 11:27 am

bearsandsyrup wrote:
What about your special interest has made you lose interest? Do you feel that you have learned everything about it that there is to know?


The fact that I find I am fooling noone but myself spending time on it, having realized life is centered around survival. So I really feel I am just making a fool of myself spending any time on special interests that has no survival purpose.

The real problem may be that I do not know enough people I really connect with, making me have a more depressed view on things. But the way the social world works, I do not see a possibility for that changing.



CyclopsSummers
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09 Jan 2014, 11:47 am

qawer wrote:
The fact that I find I am fooling noone but myself spending time on it, having realized life is centered around survival. So I really feel I am just making a fool of myself spending any time on special interests that has no survival purpose.

The real problem may be that I do not know enough people I really connect with, making me have a more depressed view on things. But the way the social world works, I do not see a possibility for that changing.


I find that I have different motivations for different activities, instead of a single motivation to push me through life.
You mentioned social interaction in the first part of your post. To be honest, I could do without intensive social interactions, but it would be a bit complicated (and in my country probably illegal) to just build a little shack in the middle of the woods and live like a self-sustaining hermit for the rest of my life. So, I just bring myself to interact with the outside world every day, with the motivation being that I must eat to survive. I don't necessarily like all the social rituals that go on, but I just muddle through.

As for interests, I've gotten to a point where I can take them or leave them. I used to have two major ones from my childhood onward into my late teenage years (namely dinosaurs and drawing), but they faded away during a period of extended depression and apathy. Yeah, afterward some new interests surfaced, and one of them proved to be a keeper (at least so far), but there are weeks that I push even that interest to the backburner and do other things instead.

I now have a fairly balanced attitude where I don't attach that much importance to the 'need' to pursue certain interests and activities. I used to feel 'weird' about not having interests for a while. I used to equate that with apathy, or loss-of-'purpose'. But then I found that it could be nice to go without a special interest for a while, and focus on more basic things, fulfilling my primary needs first. Everything beyond that I felt was just a bonus, and was mine to shape with my own two hands. I might spend it a bit more idly, or a bit more productively, either way was all right once the belly was full.


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coffeebean
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09 Jan 2014, 11:48 am

Discovery, connection, and positive change.



bearsandsyrup
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09 Jan 2014, 11:52 am

qawer wrote:
bearsandsyrup wrote:
What about your special interest has made you lose interest? Do you feel that you have learned everything about it that there is to know?


The fact that I find I am fooling noone but myself spending time on it, having realized life is centered around survival. So I really feel I am just making a fool of myself spending any time on special interests that has no survival purpose.

The real problem may be that I do not know enough people I really connect with, making me have a more depressed view on things. But the way the social world works, I do not see a possibility for that changing.


Well, if you subscribe Maslow's hierarchy of needs or a similar belief about human motivation (which I do as well), I agree that our base needs are survival-centered. But that said, there are higher needs on the pyramid that we can fulfill as well. I've found that when I don't tend to myself (by reading, researching my interest, hiking, etc.), I get depressed very easily. We need to indulge ourselves, even if it's just in little ways, to keep that spark of happiness alive.

What is your interest? Could you find a group in your area that pursues it as well? That way, you don't have to be there under some pretense of bland, awkward socializing-- you could be there for a purpose. To learn about and discuss your interest, which could be a safe spot for you. I always feel more comfortable talking to people when we talk about topics that I am well-researched in.



Ashariel
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09 Jan 2014, 11:55 am

That sounds like depression. When I get that way, and nothing at all interests me, sometimes it helps to just pick one thing, and stubbornly force myself to obsess over it. I know that I feel happiest when I am obsessing over something – even if it's just a video game, or something mindless like that!

Hope you can find something that sparks your interest soon!



Soccer22
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09 Jan 2014, 12:27 pm

How can someone be too old for a special interest? Adults are not allowed to like cars, instruments, sports, real estate, cooking, etc? Those are all adult special interests. You just gotta find something that interests you. You can never be too old to have a special interest. Sorry if I misinterpreted you because that sometimes happens.



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09 Jan 2014, 1:54 pm

Just this monday I joined a book club at my local public library. I used to love to read, but haven't read a book solely for pleasure in many years. I thought joining this book club would motivate me. Something about deadlines brings out the best in me.

Good luck!


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redrobin62
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09 Jan 2014, 2:24 pm

Qawer, don't you have a girlfriend?



CockneyRebel
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10 Jan 2014, 12:12 am

I can be part of the social world and indulge in The Kinks at the same time. Those two things need not be opposite worlds in my world. I'm also 39 and I guess age does make a difference when it comes to people accepting me as I am in my social circles. I just don't talk about them all the time, because my mum pounded fear into my head every time I went on about my special interests as a child.


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qawer
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10 Jan 2014, 4:10 am

Thanks for your responses. It is really nice with some inspiration!