How to widen someone's interests?
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17-08-2011, 04:06 AM
 
How to widen someone's interests?
If I'm writing this that probably means that I'm no longer a theist. And as Seth sayed I also "have been sober for four years".

I'm struggling with a problem of widening other peoples interests spatially my girlfriend's but I'm always hitting a wall. No one is interested in nothing that is not effecting their every day life directly and visibly . A week ago we were at a weeding and I was trying to make a conversation with a friend and I found out that she was learning to be a horticultural engineer. So i started to talk about plants how do they live and stuff and ask question just for my curiosity . The mean wile my girlfriend was talking to some other friends. When we got home she asked me what could I talk about for so long with her? (and no it wasn't a jealous question Smile ) And when I explained she told me that I was probably boring the pearson to death. So I asked here what were they talking about, she told me that she and her friend were laughing about things that two drunk guys were talking about (woman, boobs, things that they misspelled) do to the effect of alcohol.

I really don't know if what em I doing is right, but I only feel comfortable when I'm talking about things that are like morality, human understanding of stuff, technology, the universe, life, evolution, religion, stuff that are not often talked about. When they start talking about a movie a music or actresses or singers or anything that is similar i fell like a fish out of water.

And after seeing these around me I can't wonder. Em I the one that is thinking about things that have no sense to think about , the other ones or either of us ?

And if they are the ones how can you widen someones interest if you are close to them?

My girlfriend knows almost no English so she is left out of all the interesting documentaries that are not translated even if she would be interested in them.
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17-08-2011, 11:32 AM
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
It's all personal interest. I can talk about pretty well anything and will if given half the chance. However I also prefer to talk about what I would call more interesting topics, such as religion, politics, history, science, etc. Unfortunately I don`t get the chances to have such conversations outside of the internet as often as I would like, mainly because the majority of people have little to no interest in such things unless as you stated before it affects them directly.

I pick my friends based on their conversation skills, I don't place them in the same categories because honestly it would be boring to have the same conversation with multiple people who are going to give the same answers. I have multiple friends simply because they have different interests and different points of view, and because they are funny, that's also important to me. They all have exceptional conversation skills, and are all interesting in different ways and some similar ways as well.

I find that the only times when I meet new people and am forced to talk with them, that I actually go "Hey I wonder if this person would actually want to be friends outside of this particular arrangement" is when they are good at conversation. This very rarely happens. Also I say forced, because I can be a bit of a hermit. I often have to be forced into group social interaction simply because I feel as though I've been there and done that so many times that I have seen it all.

My weak spot in conversation is rarely being uninteresting or a lack of dynamism but what can easily be witnessed on this forum, I rant and lose track of the original conversation. Read above Smile

Oh and as to how to widen peoples interests? You can't really. The best you can do is feel them out and show them yours and why they are yours. They might not care at all. My wife for instance shares few interests with me which can sadden me at times, but I like that she has her own things for me to learn from and leech info from.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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17-08-2011, 12:41 PM
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
I know what you mean OP, there aren't too many people with enough education, intelligence, and reasoning skills around to have this kind of conversations. Usually when some deep subject comes up, people start to grumble for killing the fun, getting too serious, etc. And even when you do get to discuss some of these themes, a lot of people will just parrot some soundbite they have heard on TV or radio that they don't even know what it means, let alone having actually thought about it. Generally I end up talking irrelevant stuff with people, but there's a few that I know can hold their own in some more intellectual conversation. It's also a very big part of why I come to this forum, because there are people interested in these kinds of discussion.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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18-08-2011, 02:50 AM
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
For me, "fun" is when I obtain new knowledge, especially if said knowledge relates to science. Once a while I talk to my closest friend regarding the meaning of life, and a lot of other things. It's fun debating on issues like ethics, morality and religion, especially if you play the devil's advocate to understand both sides of the issue. Still agnostic, as I'm interested with what both sides have to say. I'm not sure about people who talk about actress or actors or singers as I haven't really met such people (I'm very introverted Sad ). But here's a possible solution to widen someone's interest: Try linking a field of your interest to the other parties field of interest. Try to divert the conversation bit by bit so everyone will still feel comfortable. Get as much info to allow easier weaving.

Take for example:
A: ... and then this girl has very long hair. I envy how she takes care of her hair...
B: Long hair? How long can it get?
A: It's so long that it touches the ground!
B: Tell me more about the condition of her hair.
A: Well, it's silky smooth, just what I always want my hair to be, but I can't get it right...
B: Maybe you used the wrong chemical to clean your hair? Some brands of shampoo can, instead of making your hair smooth, ruin your hair. Interested to know how?
A: Yes!
B: (Probably talks about hair structure, maybe examining A's hair to see it's condition, talks more about how chemicals alter the proteins in the hair, at the same time linking back to the initial topic of conversation)

Try to play on the other party's curiosity. Feed it, and they will crave for more. Repeat and build interest, and possibly better friendship Smile

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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18-08-2011, 09:57 AM
 
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
Richard Feynman, late in his life, made an arrangement with an artist friend: he would teach him Physics, in exchange for the friend teaching him to draw.

Feynman became a remarkably good artists, to the point where he successfully sold many of his drawings.

His friend never learned Physics.

Sometime an experiment can work half way.

You may challenge your girlfriend to teach each other one of your own interests. It may work or it may end the relationship (or anything in between).
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18-08-2011, 10:21 AM
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
Ending the relationship doesn't sound like such a terrible thing to happen.... Imagine being stuck with someone who bores you and whom you bore - for life!

I think robotworld's solution is a good way to go: expand on something she already shows an interest in.
Am i correct in assuming that you both live in an English-speaking country, but grew up somewhere else? In that case, she'll probably be at at disadvantage - and depend on your greater fluency - in situations outside the back-home social circle. So take her out to the zoo, or museum, or aquarium, botanical garden or art gallery - places of your choice, that might spark an interest through eyes and senses. Not too intellectual, but stimulating. If anything grabs her attention, you can expand on that.
You might also get books - easy readers on a variety subjects, with pictures - it doesn't matter if they're meant for children, because the excuse is language practice.
Or you can maybe sneak up on her mind through a skill she already has - cooking, taking care of a pet, painting, decorating - whatever activity she enjoys. An existing interest is easier to build on.
If she has no interests, no curiosity, find another girl. there are plenty of bright ones.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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23-08-2011, 05:03 AM
 
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
I would agree with robotworld's approach, Zatamon well yes there is the possibility but i'm always an optimist and Peterkin I can imagine what you mean but as being an optimist I'm always comforting my self that it will change but the change is slow so I will not see the change only if i go back in my thoughts and realize that "hay she wasn't interested in these kind of things".And if I think back we both changed over the last 6 years. And just for this I wont consider braking up with her. This is a minor issue in our relationship so its not a big problem for me. She has here logic and reason most of the time she thinks more logically and uses reason then the other girls around her but she lacks the "thirst for knowledge" And no we don't live in English speaking country. We are Hungarians born in Romania and still living in Romania. So our native language is Hungarian but we speak Hungarian in our every day lives and Romanian when dealing with official stuff so that is why she doesn't knows English that well.

PS: I love how Richard Feynman explained stuff.
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23-08-2011, 09:04 AM
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
All the Hungarian girls i've known were fairly bright. (Polish, Romanian and Czech ones, too, come to think of it.) I'd go with music and arts, as they're not language dependent. Some people are more sensual than verbal.

PS - Be wary of the social boozing; it can get out of hand.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-08-2011, 05:35 AM
 
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
(23-08-2011 09:04 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  All the Hungarian girls i've known were fairly bright. (Polish, Romanian and Czech ones, too, come to think of it.) I'd go with music and arts, as they're not language dependent. Some people are more sensual than verbal.

PS - Be wary of the social boozing; it can get out of hand.

My problem is not language, well it is but because she doesn't knows English she can not have access to new information. All of the new discoveries are translated in English but not in hungarian/romanian end because of this I can not show animations/clips/movies/documentaries and explanations about exiting discoveries to get her attention, I can explain to here some of it but if she doesn't have the base witch upon to build then its boring for her and i totally agree but science is beautiful and it is more interesting then any other topic if you get in to it deep enough in my opinion. It is the way to understand everything.

Art and music ... we already made a lot of beautiful art/music and now anyone who has the right amount of money can advertise and make him/her famous even if he/she doesn't have any talent at all at least in my opinion. Or maybe its just my taste.. and everything that is liked by one person is considered art or music. But it could be a start.
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24-08-2011, 07:22 AM
 
RE: How to widen someone's interests?
Why not suggest to her to learn English? Do you live in Hungary now? When I lived there it was very fashionable to learn English -- I don't know which language is popular at the moment (German?) but English can open up the whole world for her. Not just science but anything she might be interested in.

PS. What have you read from Feynman? Just curious.
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