My Dilemma (4)

1 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-31 07:11 ID:CGA7jmpD

Last year I got accepted into University (transferred from College) at last after many hardships. I love my new University, even joined a sports/martial arts club at school even though I'm not entirely fit and not entirely social. Before summer started I got up the next belt rank in my martial art. After summer ended I finally got accepted into the program of my choice-not sure if I will do this for the rest of my life but it is the only degree I wish to obtain at this time. To top things off, I was previously very worried that no one would hire me since I have no experience, but I've been hired for just over 3 weeks and I work retail now (I'm quite amazed in that myself).

Now here is my dilemma. I remember hanging out with some of my club members, and I generally didn't have much to say. I think over these past few years I've become much less afraid of talking to people, but I still don't have ANYTHING to say. I just don't know what I can say. I'm generally uninterested in Western culture although I was born in North America. (I'm very much interested in Asian culture, Japanese and Chinese in particular-I speak near fluent Cantonese and am learning Japanese) Anyways, I notice people at school always talk about some insane school stuff that I have little interest in or they talk about the latest sitcoms or whatever TV shows are hit now, while I lack interest in that either. I am not a fan of sports either, to make things worse.

Why am I making this post? Well my company's boss decided to treat everyone to dinner, and almost everyone was talking about something but I was just sitting there just listening or pretending to care. I just didn't know what to say, or have anything to say at all. It was very awkward and I wasn't even sure how I should leave to go home, but I just did it anyways.

I'm not really sure what's wrong with me. Should I try to fit in somehow? Any tips? It took me a lot of courage to do these things like finding a job, or participating in the club at all. The me in the past would never would have imagined doing these things, so I must have at least 'levelled up' in life.

tl;dr Things aren't going too bad but it seems I stepped on an old wound.

(Sorry for the essay, I think I ramble too much but I will appreciate any comments or advice...)

2 Name: 43 : 2009-08-31 11:56 ID:yE7T8tP+

Try talking to them about things that interest you. You might be able to find compatible conversation topics such as languages, or martial arts.

3 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-31 16:34 ID:Ix+DnRmj

I think this boils down to how well-rounded you are. Start reading stuff, and over time you'll draw connections between what's being said over the dinner table and what you've read in a book two years ago. It's those connections that you need to be able to survive in conversations.

And when I mean "reading stuff", I don't necessarily mean books. You can read newspapers, online articles, magazines, your cereal box (whatever, it's still reading), and anything else with text. Whatever you read will build your database from which you can make your connections, so don't be afraid and read broadly.

A good place to look for starters is the news. You should keep updated with the latest in what's happening around you and in the world, right?

Anyhow, if you think the problem is entirely something else, please share! Good luck!

4 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-31 17:44 ID:gDs2Gs4+

I think people are giving you good advice. The only thing that I would add is to also explore other people's interest. First of all everyone has several interests, and some may cater better for your own interests than others.

Also, when discussing something that is not your initial interest, take time to be curious about the other people, and open up to then. To take the extreme example of sitcoms and soaps, if people are that obsessed with them, it means they are experts on that subject. Why don't you ask them about which kind of show would be of interest to you? They will be happy to advice on their favorite theme, and you might discover something new that might make a bond.

For instance, I'm not interested in TV shows, but I upon advice from other people I got to see Carnivàle, and found it very cool. Do some reaching for the people in your environment. If you do it right, it does not have to be a chore.

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