Social Question

suzie271's avatar

I find most people to be shallow. What is your opinion?

Asked by suzie271 (284points) February 7th, 2011

I am a very introspective, observant person.

I find that most people seem to live life at a very superficial level.
Their values, thoughts and actions are controlled by what is popular and in the media.

They seldomly seem to think for themselves or question the mainstream.

They talk for the sake of talking. They seem to have a fear of peace and quiet to the extent that they don’t mind raising shallow empty conversation.

They make offensive comments because they think they are being cool. Not realising they are hurting another person’s feelings. And their excuse is always that they are joking.

They seem to think that the world they grew up in is the only one that exists and make assumptions about you based on their limited knowledge and experience or something they read in the paper or the internet without talking to you first .

They judge you by the way you look rather than what you say or how you think. e.g if you look young for your age they assume that you must be inexperienced and immature.

Why is it so many people don’t make an effort to be open-minded and to think before they speak?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

53 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Why? Because it’s easier not to think, not to have opinions that go against the grain, because people haven’t been taught introspection. You must question yourself as well, however. One person’s “I’m very observant” is another person’s shallow. Oh, and I find most people shallow as well. Not just shallow, practically walking cartoons. I know some think the same about me. I’m okay with that.

josie's avatar

You guys should form a club.

Aethelwine's avatar

I think you need to surround yourself with different people. It’s all in the company you keep.

suzie271's avatar

sometimes you can’t avoid these people…. e.g at work.. you don’t choose your colleagues.
my friends are not shallow.

Ellis1919's avatar

I think that it’s easier to appear shallow on the outside because that way we can distance ourselves from other people. I used to think that a lot of people were shallow and maybe we all are to some degree. I find that if you are able to sit down and really get to know a person, that you realize that there is so much more to them.

Aethelwine's avatar

I really like your answer @Ellis1919. I think if someone says they are open-minded, they wouldn’t be judgmental and consider most people to be shallow.

troubleinharlem's avatar

I would say that saying “I am a very introspective, observant person” is a form of being shallow, so it’s subjective to the person. You can’t judge someone by your first impression of them, it isn’t fair to you nor them. Maybe you should try to be more open-minded and not judge people based on one or two impressions of them.

Besides that, you’re contradicting yourself.

@Ellis1919 – I like how you put that. Let me start a protest so that I can give you extra lurve.

Ladymia69's avatar

Watch out, suzie! We do have to question ourselves once we start generalizing people too much. It is incredibly easy for people like us (introverts who see themselves as fairly intelligent) to see others as shallow, as we do not go through the trouble of truly extending ourselves and applying ourselves to getting to know others deeply. But it is an illusion. You have to face up to the fact that you truly know nothing about anyone.

Vunessuh's avatar

Some people who claim they are very introspective, observant and good judges of character think that proclaiming these traits means they can then make ridiculous and/or harsh generalizations about “most” people and get away with it as if to prove that because they know this inside information regarding how “most” of the world’s population operates, it makes them (you) so incredibly different, special and insightful. I think you’re trying too hard and contradicting what you are apparently trying to stand for.

That’s my opinion.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The behaviour of others has nothing to do with us, no matter how distasteful.

“Tend to your own garden”; that’s the best any of us can do.

suzie271's avatar

i do not hate anyone it is just an observation and feeling i get.

why some of you getting so heated…

i don’t think I am superior to anyone..

Vunessuh you need to chill..

suzie271's avatar

I am not generalizing anyone..

I said MOST not ALL..

and most is referring to most people that i have met in my short life..

some of you just getting defensive immediately without thinking about what i am saying.

suzie271's avatar

also i am not judging anyone based on a first meeting..

I get to know people first before I express an opinion on them

so trouble in harlem is clear that maybe you are a shallow person.. someone that judges people before you get to know them.


Seelix's avatar

I think everyone is shallow to a degree. People who make generalizations about anyone are at least a little shallow, because they’re judging someone they don’t know. Whether or not we’re willing to admit it is something different altogether.

Vunessuh's avatar

@suzie271 We’re calling you on your shit and now you’re trying to backtrack to cover your own ass.

Get over it.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
JilltheTooth's avatar

@suzie271 : You sound very young, the age where things are much more black and white. You did indeed make a gross generalization, that is why so many have reacted the way they did. @Ellis1919 has a very good point, especially if the people to whom you refer are teenaged. The vulnerability factor then is very high, and not revealing one’s deeper self is a form of self protection.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
JilltheTooth's avatar

Then stop shouting at us and act your age. I was giving you credit based on your perceived youth, now you just sound immature.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Seelix's avatar

Oh goodness. This has quickly devolved into name calling and terrible spelling and grammar. I was kind of hoping there could be a real discussion here.

N0name's avatar

This really seemed like a good thing to debate on. . I guess the discussion is ruined now.

Aethelwine's avatar

anger management?

Ivan's avatar

Seems like she just copied and pasted the stuff in the details section.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t see it that way.I enjoy interacting with most people.
If I thought of most people in a negative way,that is exactly what I would find.
Simply put,I want to enjoy my life and the people in it.;)

Ladymia69's avatar

She actually had a lot of good points up there, observations about people.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@suzie271 : so trouble in harlem is clear that maybe you are a shallow person.. someone that judges people before you get to know them.

We’re all shallow in our own ways, no problem there. But I’m saying that we have to dig deeper to find the gold sometimes – it isn’t always just sitting there on top waiting to be picked up.

DominicX's avatar

What I find so incredibly entertaining about this is that these people who make these claims of being introspective and non-judgmental and that everyone else is judgmental and shallow are being judgmental themselves. It’s a fundamental hypocrisy. “I’m so introspective, I’m so deep, what I say is so meaningful. Everyone else are just shallow sheeple”. Uh huh. And I’m sure you came to your conclusion that most people are shallow through a deep investigation of all the people you are writing off.~ It’s a refusal to see people for anything other than what they are on the surface that leads us to believe that there’s nothing more to them other than what’s on the surface. It takes two to get to the “core” of a person.

It’s so easy to fall into this trap of hypocrisy in regards to “judging” people. I don’t know anyone (including myself) who hasn’t on occasion.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I would agree with the assessment that most people are indeed shallow.

I too would consider myself fairly observant and introspective.

I do not understand the claim that some are making about those who think this way. I dont understand how exactly it is that I would be being highly judgmental and or shallow. I dont understand why I can not just observe those around me and see how they interact with one another or in direct conversation and what they value in their lives, and then from that, drawing on that acquired knowledge, make a claim such as that. I not be claiming everyone is, but a vast majority of people I interact with on a day to day basis are indeed shallow. Its that simple.

I must note that the majority of the people I interact with on a day to day basis are college students so that definitely explains some of it.

DominicX's avatar


I don’t know anyone who doesn’t consider themselves “observant and introspective” even if they don’t use those exact words. What does that say to the claim? Is anyone really going to say “I’m actually not observant and quite shallow”. Very few people think of themselves as shallow and judgmental; they’re not things you’re going to admit to or even necessarily be aware of. It’s also incredibly easy to judge people based on superficial encounters with them without actually getting to know the person.

And keep in mind I am not saying no one is shallow! I know some shallow people and it’s unfortunate (I know some people who are incredibly judgmental about outward appearance for example). But I also know that most people have more to them; for some it might take some delving, but it’s there.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m pretty sure that most of us are deeper than we are perceived to be, we just don’t feel the need to show it every minute. It can be exhausting to be all there all the time.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Personal attacks are not permitted and have been removed. Let’s remember to disagree without being disagreeable, folks.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@DominicX fair enough no one actually thinks of themselves as shallow or whatever but it simply doesnt make it so. But I suppose it negates my claim of saying I am observant and introspective. Thing is, most dont even seem to get to that level of thinking about things like that. It seems most dont really ever spend any time intellectually exploring their mind at all. Also being told you have such qualities by those around you seems to reenforce those beliefs that you do indeed posses those qualities. im like a fucking jedi when it comes to judging character :P Though I suppose that isnt worth anything in this conversation since I have no way of backing that up either.

Is it really a superficial encounter when you see the same people day in and day out?

JilltheTooth's avatar

The OP has left the building.

incendiary_dan's avatar

It’s presumptuous (and supremely ironic) for someone to refer to themselves as introspective and talk about observing people, and calling them superficial. After all, you can’t know what’s going on in someone’s head; they could be fairly introspective themselves, and you have no way to know.

Of course, I do think most people in this culture are egocentric and shallow. Our culture hasn’t done a good job teaching people to have skills relating to deep interpersonal communication. The focus more and more is on being a “productive” member of society, which really means participating in the economy as much as possible. And you don’t need to be nice or relate to other human beings (in fact, it allows you not to).

El_Cadejo's avatar

@incendiary_dan you dont necessarily need to see whats going on in ones head if their outward actions speak clearly enough for them….

JilltheTooth's avatar

Wow, what a poor opinion some of you have about “most” people in our culture. I have found that engaging almost anybody in a few minutes of one on one conversation proves just the opposite. Granted, not everybody is Proust, but I’ve noticed that there’s often a lot more going on than can be simply observed without wading in.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@uberbatman And that is an entirely superficial judgement, which is my point.

Not that such signs can’t point to something, but it is at best a series of clues.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I know the OP is gone, but I wanted to share my thoughts as well.

To me, the details sound more like a person that is immature (in growth, not just behaivor) than shallow. Things change a lot as we grow and mature. Sure, the world around us is the center of our universe when it’s all we’ve known for the first 18 years of our lives (just picked a random time frame of growth for this part), but we have to consider what makes up those first 18 years of life. The world changes a lot as we grow and experience new things.

Granted I’m going to be 30 this year, but I definitely don’t feel that most people are shallow. Quite the opposite really. I know many wonderful people that have seen and done things I can only imagine sometimes. I’m constantly meeting people that fascinate me for one reason or another and I love it!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@incendiary_dan ok, but I still dont see how that disables me from calling one shallow. IE guy wont talk to some girls because they are fat. Now, he may be the most introspective and brilliantly deep person, but he’s still fucking shallow. Or am I missing something?

josie's avatar

The OP committed jellycide.
Obviously not Fluther material. You have to have a pretty thick layer of bark in order to hang with @Vunessuh et al.

VS's avatar

I can speak only from my own perspective, but I am certain that I appear shallow to some people…generally those that I perceive to be the judgmental type that have already formed some erroneous opinion about my intelligence or upbringing or education. Yes, I am being judgmental – we all are whether we chose to admit to that short-coming or not. It is part of being a human. Anyone who does not form an opinion instantly about people is simply not thinking at all. We may later change that opinion with sufficient evidence to the contrary, but we do make judgments. If I meet someone and realize they have already formed some opinion about me based on whatever information they have, I will occasionally try to reinforce that negative preconception for a few minutes and then throw a curve with some totally out of left field piece of intelligence that leaves them reeling. No, I’m not as evil as that sounds, but head games are head games and more than one can play. And I made a real effort to be open-minded before thoughtfully answering this question.

ratboy's avatar

My friends and I are all so shallow that we’re entirely surface. “Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!”

incendiary_dan's avatar

@uberbatman I forget if I have a point, besides the fact that it’s ironic to judge people’s superficiality using purely superficial observations. Not incorrect, per se, just ironic.

FutureMemory's avatar

@josie The OP committed jellycide. Obviously not Fluther material. You have to have a pretty thick layer of bark in order to hang with @Vunessuh et al.


longtresses's avatar

RE: talking for the sake of talking; empty talks

Not everybody speaks up for the same reason. Sometimes people talk incessantly because, like children, they can’t help it. Some people talk because, in a group setting, there is an enormous pressure to acknowledge others, to bridge the gap between them, or to appear friendly. In that case the purpose of the talk is a social one, not to convey information. Some people, unlike you, find it difficult to remain cut off from the scene.

Different people have different comfort level, so it’s not about not fearing peace or quiet. When they’re at home, who knows, they could be very quiet. Some people may act silly to elicit laugh; they could be mean or insensitive just to be a part of their gang. Whatever it is, don’t take it personally.

It’s the dynamics that push people. Behavior is not set-in-stone; it’s contextual.

RE: living life at a superficial level; thoughts controlled by the media

To a certain degree I think most of us have a built-in value system. It’s a matter of being aware of what you’re carrying, or from what filter you’re looking out into the world. To be aware of how you form your own opinions will help you understand and relate to others more. Nobody is free from bias.

What you can’t tolerate today, you may find that you can deal with it the next day. What you don’t understand today, you may tomorrow. What you think is your authentic self today may not be so a few years from now.

I think it’s equally important to relate to others and to be yourself. You could easily be them, as they are you.

ucme's avatar

…....& boom went the dynamite! I consider myself to be Deeply Dippy….... just for the record you understand ;¬}

iamthemob's avatar

I would say all, or at least the vast majority, of people are shallow most of the time.

We only interact with most of the people in our lives some of the time, and the great deal we deal with more often we only deal with in limited contexts.

Therefore, it’s always likely that if we generalize the behavior we see in people at those times to the rest of their lives, most people will come off as simply shallow.

I’ve found that most people, when given the chance, and in the right circumstances, can exhibit great depth.

Perhaps the most common psychological fallacy is attributing another’s actions to their personality, particular negative ones, while if done by oneself attributing the actions to the situation.

This thread and the OP’s reaction is sublime – it’s a profound example of that very fallacy. The OP clearly made snap judgments about people here not realizing the act was contrary to her opinion of herself, and because it was so extreme, we were given only a glimpse of her as a person – and a very shallow one at that – and we’ll never know whether it was just a bad situation.

mattbrowne's avatar

Being shallow refers to the topics people are interested in or to what they usually talk about. Not the people themselves. Any person can be become interested in topics that go deeper and that really matter. If we think of them as being shallow and don’t even try, it’s us who are arrogant and shallow. Give people a chance. Say something that is thought provoking for example. The human brain is curious by nature. Like, what will you do when the gas station charges $6 for the gallon? Most people who talk about Paris Hilton also got cars. And cars need gas. Your question will get their attention.

longtresses's avatar

@iamthemob “Perhaps the most common psychological fallacy is attributing another’s actions to their personality, particular negative ones, while if done by oneself attributing the actions to the situation.” <—Is there a technical term for this? I thought I’ve heard of this somewhere..

iamthemob's avatar

@longtresses – Failing to consider circumstances and instead putting undue weight on personality when determining why certain actions were taken is the fundamental attribution error, and the phenomenon of doing that to others while considering circumstances more when you act is the actor-observer bias (or asymmetry).

yankeetooter's avatar

I have to agree with the author of this question. I find the above true for many of the people I come in contact with, especially those at work. Whenever I encounter someone that does not fit the criteria above, it is like a breath of fresh air, and I feel drawn to them.

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