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niki's avatar

What to do when people around me talk about boring mundane things that i can't relate?

Asked by niki (699 points ) February 27th, 2010

Many people surrounding my life seem to talk more about, you know, conversations such as newest brands of cars, politics, who’s the most powerful in the business, etc
while what i always wish & yearn for is to find just a few friends who would love to talk about “deeper” things such as: life, philosophy, meaning of life, psychology, music, movies, friendships, observing people & various things & ‘spices’ in life.
I even seem to want to make a career out of those interests, yet find it really hard when people surrounding me seems so unsupportive & found me a “strange” person somewhat!
so what should i do?
and where do you guys think are the BEST places that i can start finding such ‘interesting’ people (or even girlfriend!) whom i’ll easily relate & befriend with them?
Note: I’m a guy btw.

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53 Answers

Just_Justine's avatar

Love this question! I am in the same predicament. I think though in life general social skills include being able to talk a bunch of shite it shows you are able to communicate. Perhaps take up a literature course, philosophy subject, or some other topic that promotes deep thinking amongst attendees.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

iPod.
I like being able to replace the random miscellany of people’s lives with some great music.

Cruiser's avatar

Social school or community groups and clubs of any kind are a great place to meet and hang with like minded people. Pick a activity, hobby or interest and sign on to that group and you will meet people you can then engage in these type of meaningful conversations you yearn for.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sing show tunes like Ethel Merman at the top of your lungs until they stop that$#!t! ;)

Vunessuh's avatar

I’ve been in this situation so many times where I’m around people who only indulge in superficial conversations and can’t go any deeper. Talking about things on the surface is fine, but it makes you question the layers of a person when it’s all they choose to talk about.
I’ve come to find that the internet and being apart of Q&A websites is a great way to meet intellectual beings with substantial conversations to offer you. I personally have had some of the deepest conversations online than I’ve ever had with anyone in person.
But you have to remember, sometimes it takes a while for people to open up to you, so don’t rule them out as having nothing better to talk about. Granted, I’m the type of person who likes to cut through the bullshit, but some people have to talk about shit on the surface in order to get comfortable with you.
I don’t know if you’re in school or not, but joining a club of some sort if a great way to talk to people with similar interests. Perhaps the debate club or something like that.
Good luck.

njnyjobs's avatar

You got to get yourself in the company of people that you share interest with. If you end up in a situation where you feel like a fish out of water, then you can either dance with the music til it hurts your ears, or try to sway the conversation to your field of interest. ... otherwise, take yourself out and do what it is you need to do. I don’t think anyone’s holding a gun to your head for you to stay, right.

DominicX's avatar

How are music and movies any more “deep” than something like politics?

Basically what you’re saying is you don’t want to talk about things that don’t interest you, which is fine, most people don’t want to talk about things that don’t interest them. But just because people are interested in other things, doesn’t make what they’re interested in somehow “inferior” or “superficial”. Get off your high horse; that will always make it easier to find friends. We can’t all discuss philosophy 24/7. It gets tiresome after a while. In fact, most times when I hear people discuss philosophy and the “meaning of life” it’s overly pretentious and trite and isn’t actually that interesting. :\

I’d much rather discuss music, the paranormal, computers, linguistics, or LGBT issues. :) We all want to talk about what we’re interested in. (Unfortunately for some people I know that seems to be drinking, getting drunk, and boozing it up). You just have to find people who are interested in the same things as you. (I don’t know where to suggest it. Rarely have I gone looking for friends, it usually just “happens”. Also, how old are you?)

CMaz's avatar

Visualize choking them.

fathippo's avatar

when i’m in that situation, i normally zone out and take @ChazMaz ‘s approach… ;)

talljasperman's avatar

when that happens I skip the next week of school… or I sleep in til 7PM then watch TV

OneMoreMinute's avatar

You’re not alone @niki I feel the same way. Adding to the list anything Super Natural.
Mundane conversations of politics, spectator sports, workplace gossip gives me ADD. or gas.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I’m going to remember that excellent tip! LOL

niki's avatar

@OneMoreMinute: hey, i love talking about supernatural & “out-of-this-world” things too!
man, I wish you’re here! :D

@DominicX: I’m 27 yrs old now. but yeah, your point is right, just because I don’t like talking about business, politics, doesn’t mean that those who talk about ‘em are “superficial” people. true that. maybe all i need to do is to get my arse off, and start go out & find & meet new friends who’ll share similar interests.

also, the advices about find & join a club or community groups which share similar interests seems like a good idea! never thought of that before, i wonder why lol
thanks!

OneMoreMinute's avatar

I am here! ask any Super Natural or Paranormal Q. What’s on your mind most?

Vunessuh's avatar

@niki I don’t see an issue with your question. I see that you’re trying to find people who can offer you deeper conversations every once in a while, but not all the time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that and it doesn’t mean you’re placing yourself superior above anyone else. At the same time, you’ve also found a good friend/girlfriend when you can enjoy each other’s company without saying a word. Those relationships are the best. :)

candide's avatar

smile and nod….

HungryGuy's avatar

I feel the same way when I’m around a group of guys talking about sports. I have zero interest in sports and as much knowledge. Though I admit to an odd fascination in watching curling…

Symbeline's avatar

Well, around the water cooler so to speak, people aren’t bound to get very deep. Whatever bullshit they saw last night on some reality show or whatever new car is currently kicking ass just can’t be toppled by philosophy or psychology.
Maybe try in places where people have more time…I agree it’s not always a subject that catches, but it can happen, and for me it usually happens spontaneously and those are usually the best and deepest conversations, so I can’t really give any good advice on how or where to find the opportunity or the people to speak of such things with…you could try college or university, but I find most of what people have to say rather pretentious since they seem to merely parrot away what was told in class. (Including me lawlz.)

If nothing else though, booze and parties can make great openings, even if it’s half drunken people thinking they got something to say that everyone wants to hear.

In my case, I just start talking about zombies and hypothetical scenarios with dudes wearing people’s faces and running around with chainsaws. Granted that usually leaves me alone in some corner haha, but it does beat the mundane by a long shot and is great when it works and people get into it.

laureth's avatar

Mundane petty stuff is approachable as a subject of conversation for many, many people. It’s the sort of common ground that people can easily meet upon, and that lubricates the social machine, metaphorically speaking. It’s still boring as all hell when all the people can talk about where I work is what happened in the most recent episode of Lost.

Because you require deeper, less common conversational fodder, your ability to converse with common people is hampered. Not everyone will be able to do so. I have a hard time for the same reason. I’m lucky to have found and married someone with whom I am able, even pleased, to converse with interestingly and endlessly!

The key, I believe, is finding even a person or two that you feel that conversational kinship with, and then trying to hang out with, and meet, their friends. Take classes, or look for community groups that deal with those subjects. Use the Internet – all kinds of rare freaks find like minds on here, because distance is less of a barrier. Go see live music, for example, and see if you meet anyone else who likes your same music. Take a philosophy class. See if any of your friends (even the more interesting of the mundane ones) want to go see a good movie with you – perhaps you can talk about it afterward. But mostly, getting into your local community of similarly minded folks is the way to go – friends of friends. Good luck!

Jeruba's avatar

Either your friends have those depths and conceal them for the very reasons you list, preferring to remain on safe common ground, or they haven’t.

If they are simply shallow people without greater capacity, you will have to find other friends. (You can keep the old ones, but make some new ones, perhaps where those subjects are the common ground.) Volunteer work in a related field, such as helping out at a local repertory theatre or the library or the experimental psych lab at school, might be one good way.

If they do have the potential to relate to you on a deeper level, try them one on one. Go for coffee with one friend, not six, and see if you don’t have better success in shaping the conversation to your true interests.

babaji's avatar

Be Nice

Supacase's avatar

I think most people only talk about deep subjects with a few friends they are very close to. The “mundane” things are safe, conversational small talk – which happens often in large groups.

I don’t want to defend my political beliefs, thoughts on religion, or reason for being with a group of people who are acquaintances or casual friends.

bea2345's avatar

Be polite. Join in the conversation, you may learn something interesting.

wundayatta's avatar

Honestly? There’s no hope. There are no people in the world who will uniquely interest you. Oh, you can hop and jump here and there, and take everyone’s suggestions, but the truth is: you are unique. No one will be just like you. No one will even be the perfect match for you.

So I’m afraid you’re going to have to make the best of it. It is your job to be interested in things and draw other people into conversations you are not bored with. The best way to do this is to be curious. Genuinely curious. No attitude that you are smarter or better than anyone else. Just curiosity about their lives. You’ll find that people become endlessly fascinating if you let them. If you don’t have an attitude.

thriftymaid's avatar

Involve yourself in things you are interested in and you’ll meet people with similar interests. Don’t expect your friends who are Nascar fans to get into deep philosophical conversations. Not in general anyway.

ChaosCross's avatar

A:Leave
B:Distract them and then quickly change the subject

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I experienced the same problem when I was younger. I chose to surround myself with a small number of people whose depth and breadth of intellect and interests I found stimulating. It worked.

If you are seeking to participate in the pursuit of great popularity, then you will have to stick with the mundane masses. If you don’t care so much about that, then you will get what you really want.

Good luck and be brave and audacious!

CaptainHarley's avatar

I had that problem too. Those who discuss those topics you like are rare in daily life. You need to find out where they hang out in your area: colleges, book clubs, discussion groups, etc. Also check out online discussion groups and stay alert for anyone on them who lives near you. Other than that, about all you can do is wait until some of them just drift into your life.

stardust's avatar

I think @Jeruba ‘s suggestion is great. Volunteer in a field of interest to you.
Maybe then you’ll meet more like-minded souls

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I think everyone has had this problem. I know I have. If you’re stuck with no cell phone or Ipod, just listen in and try to get the conversation more what you need. If you’ve got them, use’em.

mammal's avatar

Are Politics mundane? wow you must be deeper than purple

partyparty's avatar

Sounds like these people are power striving.

Try to start your own conversation about something YOU are interested and see what the response is.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@mammal

I wouldn’t say politics is “mundane,” but it certainly is absurd and frustrating. : )

CMaz's avatar

Conversations go in both directions.
Yo are just not in the same lane.

jctennis123's avatar

Maybe you should start being interested. Sometimes your predicament is just an excuse for not being able to truly connect with people on a deep level. I used to feel the same way. When I started valuing people I began to value what they had to say.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Roll your eyes. If you don’t want to be obvious, then imagine mentioning the stupidity to a close friend of yours and think back on how they’d respond and smile to yourself. That’s what I do.

@DominicX I get what you’re saying and all but I would love to be in a predicament where people are discussing philosophy 24/7 – because, it seems to me, that more people talk about superficial crap – okay you may think philosophy is superficial crap but I don’t agree. You can call me out on my pretense but life is short and I’d rather hang with people that know who Hegel or Derrida are rather than people who know the cast of Jersey Shore by heart.

DominicX's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Why do you assume the alternative to discussing philosophy 24/7 is discussing Jersey Shore? TV and philosophy are not mutually exclusive. I am not that interested in philosophy. Like I said, I would rather talk about music, linguistics, news, LGBT issues, the paranormal, writing, etc. People want to talk about what they’re interested in.

The pretense of it is that I have met people who think that if you do not want to talk about philosophy, you are some kind of “moron” and that is just not true. I have also met people who are interested in philosophy and for the most part, they come off as being full of hot air. People seem to think that if you’re not discussing philosophy, you’re not discussing anything worthwhile. It’s elitist and it pisses me off.

This is not to say I have never discussed philosophy before, of course I have and I have discussed it with people who were not elitist and pretentious. I am not wholly uninterested in it, but it is not one of my core interests. For the most part, I wrote what I said up there as a shock to people who might have made the assumption that discussing philosophy automatically means you’re enlightened and you’re above people who would rather discuss politics or social issues or art, which is not true.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Hey! Fluther ate my very elaborate answer. Bah, wtf?!
Anyway to re-sum up: those two aren’t mutually exclusive – just so happens that more people talk about daily fleeting things rather than timeless concepts which philosophy offers. Plenty of things besides philosophy are worth discussing but those aren’t being discussed either. there was a lot more stuff I had but I’m mad fluther ate it all

DominicX's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Well, the thing that bugs me about some people who are interested in philosophy is that they don’t seem to be satisfied with talking about it sometimes. It has to be either all the time or most of the time. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always in the mood for an in-depth discussion about the meaning of life. Sometimes I just want to talk about how excited I am to see my boyfriend or how much I love mountain biking or the crazy things my roommate has been up to lately. I enjoy life on many levels and I discuss it on many levels as well. In fact, I would rather talk to someone who could relate to and discuss the down-to-earth topics rather than someone who was always philosophizing and speculating. Someone who can do both is always a plus, of course.

But I suppose this is just part of being an extrovert. I am a people person who is interested in people and wants to hear about what they think, what they feel, and what they experience. To me that encompasses everything from what they did last weekend to what food they like to what they look for in a person and to what they think of string theory and the nature of the universe. It’s all a part of it and I don’t like to settle for less. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DominicX I think I, a lover of philosophy, can and do discuss much more than philosophy but philosophical and sociological concepts inform much of how I view the world and how I form my opinions on other subjects. I am not always in the mood for deep discussions (okay, I am) but it seems that it’s hard to find even for the once in a while. Fluther is great because I get to be inspired by people’s minds. And I consider myself an extrovert as well and am someone who is interested in why people do things…maybe you and I have a different understanding of what philosophy is because string theory ain’t it.

DominicX's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

I was referring to the “nature of the universe” thing to be the philosophical topic; the “meaning of life” and religion and all that. I think of the reasons for people doing things as being more psychology than philosophy, but the Greek-based “p”-word doesn’t matter. Many things people discuss are probably philosophical in nature without them even realizing it. The point is we are just interested in different things and it’s the belief that a certain is “above” another one that irks me. I like to socialize; I like to have fun. I also like to go deeper sometimes, but not all the time. I am satisfied with friendly conversation about worldly topics. Call me a sentimentalist, but there is something appealing to me about someone who is down-to-earth. My boyfriend is that way and that’s a big part of why I am so attracted to him.

Like I said, I wouldn’t want someone to never be able to discuss something deeper, but I would not want someone to only discuss philosophy and psychology and such.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DominicX well neither would I but I’ll take most people to even attempt it once!

CMaz's avatar

“but I’ll take most people to even attempt it once!”

“[Luke:] I can’t believe it.

[Yoda:] That is why you fail.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz I’m not well versed on Star Wars..sorry

CMaz's avatar

And that is ok. :-)

And, THAT is my point.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz Your point is that just because I don’t know Star Wars, I shouldn’t expect others to enjoy philosophy? Yeah, great point.

CMaz's avatar

Everything has a “philosophical” twist to it.
You just have to find it. Instead of labeling it an act of “stupidity”, “boring or mundane.”

What would be the challenge to that? As most conversations are just that. A challenge.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ChazMaz I’ve never said those things – those were OP’s statements and some things people talk about are mundane if it’s the same damn thing every day. I don’t agree with you – not everything has a philosophical twist to it. You can talk about a random topic like the weather – trivial, I think..it doesn’t turn philosophical until you discuss what it means, why we talk about it, what’s the point.

bea2345's avatar

It was in an idle conversation that I learned that the overhead wires that festoon our cities don’t all belong to the electric company. The utility owns the poles; but the cable companies, the telephone company, etc., use them too. That is why sometimes, one sees an old and beat up pole next to a brand new one and only the electric wires are connected to the new; that is because the others haven’t got around to changing over.

epu's avatar

Niki, I am aware of a person with your name through a friend. To start: 1st seperate from people – to individuals. 2nd Individual at a time, see if you can restate, in your own words, the boring mundane things that you are hearing and unable to relate to. 3rd After you have done the first two, then you will be in a better position to assess whether to continue to listen to their boring mundane chatter. because 4. you might get agreement individually and collectively from the group of people to allow you the opportunity to return the favor.

Kindest regards, epu

Joybird's avatar

If you do some research into “circles” for spirituality you will come across nature-based, wiccan, non-denominational, new age and other similar type groups. These often offer transpersonal workshops and gatherings that would provide you with the kind of socialization you are looking for. They often also host spiritual retreats and experiences. “Circleinc.org” is one such organization but there are many more.

Earth7's avatar

I must be the female equivalent of Niki….I much prefer to talk about and discuss the deeper meaning of life because cars, politics, houses and the latest sale at Myers have never bought me any lasting happiness. It lights up my soul and makes me feel alive.
I think when people get past the fear that consumes them and starts to listen to themselves, that tiny voice within, not the ego rather than ‘society’ then there will be more love and humanity on the planet. I read a really good saying many years ago – hurt people hurt (others), healed people heal (others).
It’s true, when I’m unhappy in myself and not taking care of my needs properly I lash out at others or am mean, sarcastic etc. When I really take care of myself I want others to share in the joy and love too.
I think it’s our mission to get in touch with our spiritual self – some people do it through God, others spirituality etc but whatever it takes for a person to be more loving and heal their inner wounds thus being kinder to themselves which filters out to others then go out and do that.
I have found that once I started on the path of self development and started healling my pain and fear within I enjoy life much more, even some of the mundane things, after all we are on the earth plane at the moment. By being ourselves we have the power to spread change and so long as we nurture what is really important FIRST, all the other mundane stuff will be met :)

niki's avatar

@Earth7 that was really beautiful answer… thank you for sharing it :)

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