Finding Your Interests [ADV; DISC]

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Post by caliseivy on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:00 pm

I searched DNL Prime and NerdLounge but couldn't find a previous topic about this.

I want to spend time with the guy I'm interested in. He seems game for most things, but he's the one who has been suggesting things to do. He finally asked me the dreaded question:
"What do you like to do?"

I have no answer to this, and it bothers and frustrates me that I don't.

Up until maybe 5-6 years ago, I was suffering from severe depression, where most days I couldn't struggle out of bed; on the days I could, I had no interest in anything so I did a lot of floating around the house and not engaging in anything. After getting the depression under control, I've spent most of the past few years of my waking hours working or playing video games when I get home. I hadn't really gone out to do anything, and thanks to the crippling depressive episodes where I had no interest in anything I now have no answers to his question.

So that's my problem. My sister has tried to help by telling me to think of things I like to do but all I have is a blank space where ideas should be. I'm not particularly against trying new things, but how can I know to try them out if I don't really know they exist? My problem isn't that I'm not interested in anything anymore, it's that I don't really know what's out there to try, I guess?

I'm hoping maybe someone on here has ideas for ways to discover new things to try out. Not necessarily looking for a list of things to try (though if you want to give me that, that's fine I won't snap at you Wink ) but a way to go about discovering things myself when I run out of ideas.


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Post by Guest on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:18 pm

Honestly, for me it was just doing things without knowing if I'd like them.

Groupon pops up things to try all the time (discounted mini golf! Kayaking! Rock climbing! Bowling! Roller skating!) and I would do them if they didn't look awful and were in my budget.

Watching the community for events helped, too -- dances, plays, concerts, talks at the library, garden clubs, book clubs, etc, came up in my local paper's event calendar. has groups devoted to specific hobbies (crafts, cycling, gourmet cooking) and some that are just "young and active", where they do lots of different things.

Are there any fictional characters you admire and want to be like? What are their hobbies? Anyone you know personally who you hold up as a role model? What do they do?

Try some things because they're cheap and easy (go for a hike; draw a picture; bake some bread) and see what you enjoyed or didn't enjoy about the process.

Try things you'll be bad at, and give yourself permission to be bad.


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Post by Caffeinated on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:42 pm

I know what you mean about feeling awkward when asked about your interests. That one tends to make me a little tongue-tied, like I'm expected to be an expert in anything I mention as an interest. Of course, that's not really true, but that's the fear.

One way to find new interests is to try the stuff people you know are doing. Whether that's the guy you're interested in, family, friends, coworkers, facebook acquaintances, or whoever. Like if someone is talking about doing something that seems like it could be something you'd like to try, you can say, "That sounds really cool, I might like to try that myself. Maybe we could do [activity] some time?"

Another way is to look in the local free weekly alternative paper for things happening nearby, and just pick one thing every week and go to it.

Another is to peruse and find meetups that look interesting. Could be a meetup for a particular activity that piques your interest, or it could be one that's for meeting people and exploring the local area. In my area, there are a bunch of meetups with titles like "Exploring [City]", and their meetups are a whole variety of local activities.

Something I like to do sometimes is go to the library and wander the nonfiction section just looking at books about different subjects, and check out a couple that catch my eye. There's a whole section for art, for crafts, for sports, for history, for science, for nature. Just see what jumps out at you.

Last, when asked about your interests, you can answer that right now you're mostly interested in exploring new things, that you'd been in a place of spending your time mostly on work and now you're looking to discover the world.

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Post by HSavinien on Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:03 pm

Libraries and community centers often host activity groups of one kind or another - writing, service groups, book clubs, gaming, knitting, quilting, etc. - that are open to new members popping in to try things out.

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