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How do you "have fun"? (self.asktrp)

submitted by [deleted]

Up until about age 18 when I went off to college, I was your typical Omega: physically weaker than women, no friends (nobody came to my graduation party and even teachers joined in / encouraged bullying me), addicted to World of Warcraft and pornography and didn't care about anything other than receiving my next dopamine rush from video games and porn. Add a self-injury problem on top of all of this and you have me how I was just five years ago. As of now, I have two bachelor's degrees (one of which is STEM and both Summa Cum Laude), a career I am passionate about, can pass all military fitness tests (not a huge physical feat, but much better than how I was before) and live in a luxury apartment next to the beach which is next to a world-class city. Still don't have any friends or hobbies though.

Despite all of this, my family has always told me I need to "let loose", "have fun", "enjoy yourself", "be happy", etc.. The only time that I am truly at peace is when I am at my job / studying or doing the basic requirements of being an adult (paying bills, cleaning my place, doing laundry, cooking my food, exercising, etc.).

Any time I go out to do things outside of what I listed above, I just feel on edge. I feel as if I'm making bad choices and I am afraid that I will slip up and spiral down into how I used to be before: a waste of space that nobody saw any potential in. In fact, I even studied abroad in another country in college and I didn't "have fun" at all. Not only that, but everyone on the trip sensed it and didn't want to associate with me (the people traveling with me described me as "stoic", a few said they can see me being a "James Bond Villain" or "assassin", and even the professor / coordinator with us tried to get me to "open up") - the truth is I was the lowest-SMV person and didn't want to get in anyone's way.

How do you "have fun", "live life" or something along the lines? I am afraid that I will go back down into the depths of Hell and never come back up again. Even during sex, I don't have fun and am constantly thinking about shit I need to get done.


[–]xrKles 69 points70 points  (5 children)

I hope you get some good answers. I gotta sleep, but basically i think you have to work on being more comfortable with your new self.

Currently, you like to chill alone, do work, hit the gym, etc.. mostly alone time. That is all fine if it makes you happy. But you are obviously posting on reddit because you think there could be more that you have to work on.

In most if your social interactions it seems like you are physically present, but you aren’t really doing any real socializing. It’s ok to be on guard when meeting new people or in new places, but you seem to believe everyone is the enemy. If you wanna make friends you have to connect with them, but its hard to do that if you fear rejection.

So it just goes back to practice and keep putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. You arent going to make friends with everyone, but pick up a few high value male friends that you think would be a good influence and hang with them from time to time. Your main focus should be trying to get a solid group of FRIENDS for now, become acquainted with the social of groups of the friends you make. If you get invited to work events, start going to those too.

Fuck everyone else. No one cares what they think. Just go out there and talk to people, do some reading up. The more you practice the better you will get. You sre aways gonna fall and get scratched up when learning to ride a bike, but eventually those scratches will disappear and you will forget they were even there.

Stop hiding, and get out there.

[–]Nektaris 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Best answer here. You would make a good friend.

[–]xrKles 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ha. Thanks!

[–]relationship_padawan 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You arent going to make friends with everyone, but pick up a few high value male friends that you think would be a good influence and hang with them for time to time.

To highlight this I’ll add that you’re the sum of your five closest friends (something I learned from the Knowledge for Men podcast). Quality is more important than quantity. Don’t sacrifice your core values to become friends with someone. It sounds like you have your shit together now and you don’t want to fall into the ‘you suck at life/you’re a loser’ abyss that is addiction and no life goals. That’s a good thing.

As stated above you sense that you might be missing out on some aspect of this success. I’ve heard it put many different ways, but a simplified way of looking at your pillars of life are: health, wealth, relationships and personal growth. It seems you want to work on the relationship aspect of life. And I agree with the above. Learning the social skill is a climb and you will be uncomfortable but it’s well worth it. It’s one of the best skills to have.

The one tidbit I have is that with women it may be able attraction, tension, etc. but with men it’s about respect. Just put yourself out there, put your best self out there, but you’re going to get rejected, a lot, but that’s ok. That’s life. Failure is life. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s ok. People will change over time, for better or worse. Friends will leave you (for no reason you can understand) and some friends will forever be there for you (this lesson took me a long time to learn and hurts the worst). In the end, you can depend on yourself. Just take a deep breath, relax and talk. A lot of it will be empty filler bullshit, but that has its benefits.

[–]daxxipro 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'd also like to add meetup.com.

Different groups, different people. Sure, you're not going to click with everyone but you will meet some good people/discover new hobbies along the way.

[–]vertex_racer 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Here's one of the most fundamental things I've recently learned: feeling joyful is a skill, just like everything else.

You're clearly a disciplined person and know to do what it takes to reach your goals, since you've achieved so much already. Now it's time for the next challenge and, after building your career & fitness, start building your happiness. See it as a challenge just as you've approached your previous challenges.

Okay, so now, what can you do practically? Basically, you train your mind to feel happy.

  • Start by acknowledging that working makes you feel at peace, lean in to that feeling and enjoy it. That's perfectly normal (especially when you compare to so many people who hate their jobs and/or chores)
  • Start a gratitude journal. Every night, before you go to sleep, write down three things you're grateful for. Do this for at least a month to start. Important elements:
    • Keep lowering the bar of gratitude. Getting a promotion after 5 years of hard work is awesome and you should feel grateful for it, but bring in some really really basic stuff like "damn, these sheets feel great" or "you know what---I actually really love the sound of the waves crashing all day long" or "shit, 150K people have died today and I'm still here"
    • Don't just write it down. Feel the gratitude. Take a few seconds and breathe in to the feeling.
    • Repeating the same things is okay but don't list the same 3 things every day.
  • Set a few reminders/alarms throughout the day. Mine say "Bring the joy! Live with enthusiasm." When you see them popping up, stop what you're doing, stand up, get a grin on your face, breathe, strike a power pose (put your hands up in the air) and fill yourself with the joy.
  • Reward yourself for the little things. This can be extremely simple: after an hour of working, just take a few seconds and think "hey, I've been working for an hour fully focused and it's awesome." then just continue. Reward yourself for the big things too, of course. It's just important to learn to celebrate.
  • Meditate. It will teach you to listen to your thoughts, help you understand them and teach you to direct them better.
  • As you start going more in social settings, you'll use these skills to detect what you like about them and acknowledge it. Don't work yourself up if you're more introverted than most people.

Here is something you can do right now, it's less than 10 minutes and make you cry tears of joy and gratitude.

Watch this video of Tony Robbins' gratitude exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-1mxzHlEKI(get some headphones on and stand up, you'll have to close your eyes)

[–]PraiseBasedDonut 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Do what makes you happy man , if working out makes you happy you may consider picking up a martial art. It will make you more confident , you’ll learn how to defend yourself , you will have fun and meet new people.

[–]HumbleTrees 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Seconded. Martial arts is remarkably social as you have to talk to your sparing partner and they always swap. Builds great confidence because next time someone gives you shit, you simply know they pose no real threat so you laugh it off. Increases your SMV for sure.

Aside from that, what were your parents like OP? You might be unconsciously trying to appease them still, acting the good boy you think they modelled you to be. Do you actually not enjoy letting loose, or do you feel guilty if you do? You need to examine the emotions of it and find out your real reason for not letting loose.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My father was quite distant since he was not expecting me as his third child and had plans to live it up with my mother after they had two children. During my childhood, he did not really seem interested in associating with me and would constantly be angry because I was disruptive in regards to his relationship with a woman he was cheating on my mother with. My mother, on the other hand, was so focused on making a great career for herself that she put my well-being below her success. There have been times that she would punish me when I get bullied simply because it made her look bad in front of her coworkers. As of now, I am on much better terms with both of my parents now that they see I'm not the WoW-playing fuckup that I once was anymore.

[–]ShadowOfAnIdea 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Sounds like you could benefit from a mindfulness meditation practice to focus on potentially pleasurable activities rather than extraneous responsibilities.

Additionally, you can try focusing your energy on something creative like music or visual art.

Traveling alone in south america is something that helped me tremendously, although there are volumes of literature about this so I won't go into detail on why you might find it valuable.

Dancing might be a little next level if you are thinking about work even during sex, but ultimately dancing and just focusing on music and movement is a great joy that any person can experience, and also the kind of fun it sounds like you are describing.

Are you present during your orgasms? Do you feel free to move without thought and writhe in ecstasy as you accomplish the main goal of all sexually-reproducing organisms?

You could try drugs if you're into that kind of thing.

Mostly daily meditation though.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

During orgasms, I just feel the physical sensation and nothing else. While the feeling is great, it does not invoke the ecstasy or euphoria that other people, both men and women, describe. To me, it is comparable to scratching an itch that has been bothering you for over 10 minutes: feels great, but still care more about other things.

[–]DayGameChirality 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Meditation, yo. The best answer anyone can give you.

You're also giving too many fucks. Try Manson's book.

[–]idgaf- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I too have had trouble “having fun” with “mundane” activities. To this day I cannot get riled up by watching sports or alcohol fueled parties or random pointless banter. When others get hysterical I often get bored.

I’d suggest trying some more physically and mentally demanding hobbies. Try salsa dancing, snowboarding, airsoft. I enjoy activities that are challenging and risky. Even... gardening, which is much more complex than it looks, and could help relax your mind.

[–]Radioactivebuny 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Become a pilot. Sounds like you have the brains, conviction, and most importantly the dosh to do it.

THAT is fun. Beyond fun. Fuckin spiritual. And it’s easy to make friends in that community. You’ll find business opportunities, make professional and personal connections, and fulfill man’s oldest dream.

Also calm the fuck down and understand there’s always a balance. Go to the bar sometimes. Sometimes. Not all the time. Just sometimes.

[–]red_matrix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lift weights, run, swim, take the MSF course and buy a motorcycle and learn to track race. Possibilities are endless.

[–]yesbuthereswhy 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Jeez, you sound like me from a parallel universe. I was bullied a lot when I was younger. I played video games, did the porn, and always kept to myself. I did have a small group of friends but I’ve always been somewhat distant from them.

You say you don’t know how to have fun and I hear that all the time from my friends. Having fun for me was learning something new or creating something after the video games stopped. My wife even tells me now that I don’t know how to have fun. I think the real question to ask yourself is what are you doing with your time and how do you feel while you are doing those things.

If you don’t feel good while doing those things you need to ask why and get to the root cause. We have to go to work so it’s not always fun. You can’t change too much about that but you can change your attitude. The same can be said for anything if you have the will.

As dumb as it may seem, google some hobbies and fun activities. Make a list of a few and then go out and do them. Think about how you feel when you do them and keep experimenting.

As far as the social aspect goes. You sound a lot like me. I am really defensive. In person I think a lot of people are out to get me either verbally or physically. I was bullied relentlessly as a child. I would be verbally and sometimes physically abused at school. When I got home I was verbally and physically abused by my older brother. I’ve been wrapped up in blankets and thrown around. I’ve had knives to my throat. I even thought about killing myself around 10-12.

My parents split up and neither looked out for me. I was always off to fend for myself and I know now that I am independent and defensive because of this. I don’t know what your childhood was like but even as a 25 year old man I still struggle with my past. Secretly I want to see a psychologist to clear up these demons from my past but I’m afraid to remember. Maybe you’re like me and maybe that’s what we both need to begin to start trusting people again.

[–]_MysticFox 0 points1 point  (1 child)

How did you get a wife if you can't keep her constantly entertained?

[–]yesbuthereswhy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s easy. Constantly feeling the need to entertain your wife is needy. Don’t be needy and you’re automatically attractive.

[–]Khiv_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You seem to have social anxiety and maybe some other disorder. It would be good to see a psychologist, I like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You're never going to change your personality 100% (and you shouldn't) but some sort of therapy might give you strategies to face your difficulties.

If you want to do this on your own, try to beat down in your head the idea that escaping from a difficult situation gives you instant gratification and relief, but reinforces your difficulties. To put it simply, you need to expose yourself to situations that you find uncomfortable

This is harder than it seems. Like working out, the results will come gradually and with a lot of pain. To make it easier, you can play it as a game. Imagine a level 1 situation and start there, and when you feel you have enough experience you go into a level 2 situation, and so on. Still, this requires a lot of discipline and self examination.

[–]BurningOrangeHeaven 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is a problem i can relate to without the successful career etc.

So far my only answer to how i can have fun is just doing whatever i want. Theres no "fun" formula. You can try doing something you find interesting that you arent actually very good at, imo thats what a hobby is.

[–]bluechipmonk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I kind of saw myself when I read your post. I used to be like you and I think it's because of that cultural pressure you have that you have to be super successful. What is your definition of being successful? If it's having a degree and a good full time job then you're already successful. Now you gotta relax and rip the benefits of hard work that you put in. Even if you don't feel successfully, doesn't matter we are humans not robots, we need to take breaks. Otherwise you'll have serious health issues and all the work that you put in would be for nothing. Take a vacation, go travel somewhere. Even if you suddenly end up losing your job and become homeless, so what? It's not the end of the world. Being a good boy and successful is defined by our society not by universal laws.

Also stop thinking too much and worrying. You'll be fine. I change every year, my behavior, my thoughts change every year so you're fine. In fact you're way ahead of many people.

[–]AncientDragons 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sounds like you have done some remarkable self-improvement and overcome a lot of trauma built up during your youth.

You already have a career you are passionate about, which is great! What do you like about it? What makes you enjoy it?

Basically, what makes you enjoy your time and not think about the time, but rather get absorbed in the activity? Even if it's your work, that tells you something.

"The only time that I am truly at peace is when I am at my job / studying or doing the basic requirements of being an adult (paying bills, cleaning my place, doing laundry, cooking my food, exercising, etc.)."

Sounds like you are an introvert, and you enjoy mindfully doing the basic activities of life. That's nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe expand on those things a little bit- learn to cook more advanced dishes, study outside of your area, work on learning a martial art or another physical skill.

Not everyone enjoys social activities very much. If you feel more peace and satisfaction alone, there's nothing wrong with being an introvert. However, if you would like to connect more with other people, I would suggest working on your self-image and social anxiety even more. Perhaps with a therapist. It can be helpful and you can learn how to maintain your peace and composure even around other people. That's not always easy to do.

Like everything, lean on your strengths, and slowly push past them into areas that need to be developed.

[–]jkp99 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would recommend taking Peterson’s personality test, based on the big five personality model. You can find it at understandmyself.com - it helped me understand what things are just innate about me and what things are conditioned.

Extroversion is low? You will just not want to go out as much. You can learn it- but it isn’t you.

I realized I was way more disagreeable then I thought, helped me understand why I had a really hard time getting along with people- now I can correct for that more.

[–]Peter_B_Long 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With practice. You're so textbook in doing things. You're too technical IMO. Consider meditating so you can be less judgmental of yourself and of others.

Start by giving yourself small challenges. Tell yourself, I'm gonna google a cool Tiki bar in my area, go have a drink, and I'm going to have a conversation with the bartender.

Challenge yourself so that next time you're at the gym, you ask someone if you can work in with them, and then you find out some basic information about him (his name, what his fitness plan is, and maybe what side of town he lives on). My previous 2 job positions were both acquired from guys at the gym. Just random guys that I started talking to one way or another and they end up reaching out to me about a job opening.

Even during sex, I don't have fun and am constantly thinking about shit I need to get done.

Try meditating. When I meditate, it helps me stay more in the moment, be more present, and not dwell on the past or worry about the future. Like right now, I'm at work. I have to go home, pack up, and then drive 4 hours to visit my family for the weekend. Without meditation, I would be worried about what if I forgot something or thinking all day about things I need to bring. But I'm completely relaxed and just focused on work right now. If any thought comes up that I need to remember, I simply just make a quick reminder on my phone, and then go on with my day.

Having fun is simply just enjoying the moment. Being outcome independent. No matter what, you're always having a good time. Even in a tough situation, you can just laugh it off, take care of it, and move on with your day. You're what, 23? You're already miles ahead of dudes your age. The only thing you're lacking is experience (real life stories). Challenge yourself to let go and go out and have fun. Start by doing things you actually want to do. What are your favorite music artists? Are they in town? Make plans and go see them. Check out festivals and events in your area that you're actually interested in.

[–]Musicgoon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check your testosterone levels. And do what makes you happy. That's how to have fun... WTF...

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some people are destined to have businesses and some people who are introverted have fun when doing their own stuff. But if you are unhappy you need to get your shit together. The things we offer most resistance to are usually the ones we need the most. You already workout wich is good, now perhaps get out of your comfort zone. You dont need to go to the extreme and start clubbing, just start with something lighter. Go to some meet Ups, join a crossfit class, do workshops etc... If you think that socializing os a requirement for your happiness take some time each week for it, consider it a workout

[–]dream-hunter -1 points0 points  (2 children)

When people say to have fun, I imagine turning into the Logan Paul personality type to have fun. High energy, immature, etc.

Can someone correct this mindset from me?

[–]sirfuckboysupreme 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You watch too much youtube. Never watched that kids videos, looks like a douche from what I’ve seen. Fun can be fine dining at a restaurant with a few friends, fun can be skydiving. Find what fun is for you.

When you do fun, you will eventually meet other people with the same interests.

[–]vertex_racer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't think that mindset should be corrected but adjusted slightly. This question will get you started:

What is it about the Logan Paul personality type you're describing that you like? What do you think is great about it, and what not?

Keep the good parts and ditch the rest.