How do you avoid talking about special interests?

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BugsBunnyFan
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21 Nov 2021, 9:44 pm

I feel like this is what trips me up the most. It mainly happens when people are too quiet around me. A lot of people are for some reason. If people are outgoing enough and the conversation is flowing well, I can go without talking about my special interests.

I think I’d ideally be able to talk about them in moderation like NTs talk about their interests. But I often find it easier not to talk about my special interest at all than talk about them in moderation. I also find that the more stressed out I am, the more I’ll talk about special interests.

I think some NT interests are just as intense as my special interests. People just tolerate them more because they have reasons and justifications. NTs can talk about their job, upcoming wedding and kids nonstop. I can’t talk about studying Hebrew non-stop because I have no good justifications for being that obsessed. As a non-Jewish person I think it’s acceptable to have a mild interest in Judaism. I used to, but it turned into a special interest very quickly. I bet it would be far more acceptable for me to be obsessed with studying Hebrew if I was a Jewish person planning to live in Israel.



OutUponATreeBranch
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22 Nov 2021, 1:30 am

So my theory is when people are being quiet it's best to be quiet along with them. Make someone else break the ice.

So yes, I was unclear as to what may be happening here. Religion is not one of those topics people like to hear about, whether it's interesting to then or not. And some of them probably think you are ✡.

So I'd personally like to here about Hebrew because it's one of the more interesting languages, but again it's something I'd talk about for like 1/2 before changing the subject. Unfortunately that's how conversations go, people want to find shared interests to talk about because that I'd how friendships develop. If someone doesn't share your interest, they're only going to want to talk about for a little while.



BugsBunnyFan
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22 Nov 2021, 8:03 am

OutUponATreeBranch wrote:
So my theory is when people are being quiet it's best to be quiet along with them. Make someone else break the ice.

So yes, I was unclear as to what may be happening here. Religion is not one of those topics people like to hear about, whether it's interesting to then or not. And some of them probably think you are ✡.

So I'd personally like to here about Hebrew because it's one of the more interesting languages, but again it's something I'd talk about for like 1/2 before changing the subject. Unfortunately that's how conversations go, people want to find shared interests to talk about because that I'd how friendships develop. If someone doesn't share your interest, they're only going to want to talk about for a little while.

Silence just bores me too much. I have this bad habit of filling silence. I think people having issues talking about my special interests has more to do with my interests being too random or obscure. People have always had issues with me talking about tech related special interests. People have no issue with me talking about Hebrew or Judaism if I talk about it in a non-autistic way. It’s pretty hard for me to since it’s been a special interest for a while.

I’ve had some pretty normal interests where I could get away with talking about them for a long time. But even those had their limits. Once my mom said “I’ve noticed you’ve been interested in [blank] lately,” and a few people gave me weird looks I knew I’ve gone too far. Eventually that interest sort of faded away. Now it’s back to being at an NT level. So maybe I’ll enjoy it again one day in an NT way.



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22 Nov 2021, 9:25 am

BugsBunnyFan wrote:
But I often find it easier not to talk about my special interest at all than talk about them in moderation.

That about sums it up for me. People who don't know me very well often tell me I'm too quiet.


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nadhirfinna
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22 Nov 2021, 9:54 am

BugsBunnyFan wrote:
NTs can talk about their job, upcoming wedding and kids nonstop. I can’t talk about studying Hebrew non-stop because I have no good justifications for being that obsessed.

What? That sounds like the most boring discussion ever, don’t lose sight of what makes you happy in life. If passionately speaking about Hebrew makes you happy, please continue to do that. There is no problem, only a problem that lies is in the minds of those who reject others for their personalities. Of course, don’t expect everyone to react energetically, as I would gladly listen but due to my health I would have to listen for a little bit.

If you’re stressed, try incorporating your interest with exercises. I personally like walking, with each step sometimes I say in my mind a syllable of a mantra. Maybe you could try and remember a sentence you find interesting and incorporate it into a form of self care, that’s an idea! Hope that helps :D

Of course good intentions always helps! Meaning the well-being of yourself and others in mind, with that in mind you’ll never go too far.



Erebos42
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22 Nov 2021, 10:49 am

I think that I'm lucky, as my dominant interest is in the human brain, how experience emerges from bottom up complex dynamics, and how those experiences relate to an external environment. It's not something that most people think about, but it is something that many people understand is relevant to them, so they tend to take interest when I talk about it. I just have to be really careful not to interrupt what someone is doing or talking about, not get hung up on specific details (tangents!), and avoid highly religious people who will take offense at the idea that who we are comes from an unfathomably complex ballet of biochemical reactions, and not a supernatural soul. Suffice it to say, that's all easier said than done.

When other people are having a conversation, I'll usually just quietly listen, or go do my own thing. I'm not good at the normal back and forth, so my contributions are usually made once my input is asked for (assuming I'm even able to keep up with the conversation). This has earned me a reputation of being "the quiet guy who doesn't say much" with people who don't know me well, and "the deep thinker who will blow your mind" among those who do know me well.

I've also been told that listening to me talk is like watching a PBS documentary. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a compliment or an insult, but I choose to take it as the former.

As for how I avoid talking about them. I think about them to myself. If other people express interest in my thoughts, I'm happy to try to get them interested in what I'm thinking about.



Last edited by Erebos42 on 22 Nov 2021, 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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22 Nov 2021, 10:52 am

Erebos42 wrote:
... I've also been told that listening to me talk is like watching a PBS documentary. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a compliment or an insult, but I choose to take it as the former.
I have been told that listening to me talk is like listening to a cross between sales pitch and an encyclopedia entry.



nadhirfinna
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22 Nov 2021, 11:26 am

Personally, I think both of those would be very fascinating and amusing. If you both ever start up a YouTube channel, or a podcast I’d love to hear it :mrgreen:



kraftiekortie
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22 Nov 2021, 11:38 am

PBS Documentaries are great!



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22 Nov 2021, 11:00 pm

I don't avoid talking about my special interests because of social conventions. I don't have nor a need to learn it.
I don't have the same urges to express it the same typical way an active but odd types do.

Because I really prefer to keep my interests to myself -- either because I deem some of it as a guilty pleasure, or because my default mode of interaction isn't me sharing my interests nor 'my world' to everyone I meet but the opposite -- by observing or asking others' interests.

And how I express special interests are largely nonverbal.
The best way I share it is by not info dumping nor show casing it, but by actively performing it out on the open.



So...
I don't know what lessons are involved "restraining" info dumping as an expression of sharing special interest in real life, other than being told off and get embarrassed or learning to read the room or whatever trial and errors involved which I don't typically experienced.


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Mona Pereth
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23 Nov 2021, 12:42 am

Ever since my teens, I have always felt that it was of vital importance to find people who share my interests, and who thus would not be bored by me talking about them.

Luckily that's easier to do now, in the Internet era, than it was earlier. To find in-person groups devoted to a particular interest, one can try Meetup.com.


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02 Dec 2021, 8:19 pm

I learnt this the hard way. When I was 14 there was a new girl in my class and nobody wanted to talk to her, so I found myself making friends with her. But all I kept talking about was a futile crush I had on this older guy. Although it is normal for teenage girls to talk about crushes, this girl didn't know this guy at all and I also talked about his whole family too. I was just obsessed, a bit like Simon from the comedy show The Inbetweeners who had a crush on Carli and couldn't think of anything else to talk about but her. So I think that's partly the reason why I drove my friends away. I do wish I could go back and not have any obsessions, then my social life might have been a bit different.


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katzhutte
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02 Dec 2021, 9:34 pm

I'm not sure I've ever been an info-dump kind of person , my special interests are mine and mine alone. I'm not a big sharer but some of the easiest conversations I've have revolve around my special interests but I'm more of a listener.