Do you worry what people would think of you if they found out what you’re really like?
Maybe you like World of Warcraft?
Or you’re into Legos?
Do you like anime or science fiction or rare insects?
Or maybe it’s some other hobby or interest that isn’t so mainstream…
Is there a way to be completely honest about these “weird” passions of ours without people thinking less of us?
Because I won’t lie…
Sometimes people can quickly stereotype you in a negative category in their mind. And it can be hard to break out of that category.
So here’s a couple tips to prevent that from happening while still being your full beautifully-weird self.
Before We Go Any Further…
…let’s get one thing straight: You need to let others know who you really are.
That’s the only way they’ll get to know the real you (not some fake watered-down version).
And that’s important.
Because if no-one knows the real you, you’ll never truly be happy. You’ll feel you’re living someone else’s life…
So having said that, let’s continue…
Acknowledge Your Tastes Are a Bit “Out There” or Different
We’re all weird in our own ways. That’s what makes this world such an interesting place.
For example, I’m a geek. I’m into science fiction, science proper, technology and more.
- I can’t wait for the Oculus Rift or No Man’s Sky, or Star Citizen.
- I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Star Gate and Firefly (which, even tho it doesn’t include the word “star” is the best of all!).
- I understand why the Higgs Boson is a big deal and I think Solar Freaking Roadways would be crazy cool if it ever works out.
But here’s something else I know…
I know many people stereotype nerds and geeks negatively.
So when I bring up geeky topics around some people, I fully admit, “Hey I know this is geeky, but I’m a big nerd and I love this type of stuff…”
In other words, I wear my geekiness as a badge of honor. Then I introduce whatever topic I want to discuss.
This does two things…
- It shows I have social intelligence. It shows I understand the fact many people view geeky stuff in a negative light. And showing I have social intelligence goes against the negative stereotype of being geeky or different than the norm (whatever the heck that is…).
- It displays courage and confidence. Because admitting I know many people look down on the topic, but then talking about it anyway, shows I don’t care if they think poorly of me. Again, that’s a quality not associated with the stereotype of a geek.
So that’s the first step: Show social intelligence by acknowledging you realize you’re a little weird. And that you’re totally okay with it.
Because being unapologetic about who you are is seductive.
Start With Feelings And Passions Instead Of Details
If you’re into a certain video game for example and the other person isn’t into games at all, they aren’t going to understand the fine details.
In fact, starting with details will likely alienate you more.
I mean imagine if you were talking to a doctor and you weren’t in that profession. They started using medical jargon and talking about the specifics of surgery and such…
You’d be lost and the conversation wouldn’t much be interesting to you.
Yet on the other hand, if that doctor were to reveal why he enjoys being a surgeon, how it makes him happy to feel he’s saving lives. That would be compelling.
Because it’s about passions and motivations and those are things we can all relate to.
That’s how you engage people in a topic they don’t know much about or don’t understand.
Then if they show interest in the topic, you might go into more detail.
But even if they don’t, at least you’ve let them see a glimpse of who you really are. And like I mentioned above, that’s crucial to being happy and making true friends.
So just keep those two steps in mind if you’re into some offbeat hobbies or interests. Acknowledge it’s different or little known but bring it up anyway, then start with why you’re into it instead of facts and details.
“Sell-Out” Just a Little Bit
You may want to get involved in other activities and subjects that are a bit more mainstream.
Topics you have some interest in that many others are also likely to be interested in. Because it just gives you more to talk about with people.
Maybe that’s a sport or travel or popular TV shows.
Now don’t get into something just because it’s mainstream. Only do it if you genuinely have at least some interest in it.
But the point of this is to give you stuff to connect on with a wider variety of people. I mean, I don’t beat people over the head with my geeky-ness 24-7.
That would be self-centered.
I also don’t necessarily lead off with it.
No, we talk about plenty of other stuff too which helps them see there’s more to me than my geeky side. So even if they think Big Bang Theory is stupid, they might still see us getting along as friends.
So get your weird on.
It’s part of what makes you beautiful and unique.