Full disclosure— I hate traveling. This goes back to college, when I lied and told my friends and family that my major didn’t allow me to study abroad… I like my own bed, sue me. Nowadays, if a guy’s profile on Bumble says “I love to travel!” or “just got back from traveling the world!” I immediately block his account and continue to swipe left in fear. Clearly, I’ve known deep down that this isn’t an interest of mine but only of recent have I owned it.
I don’t like trips abroad, cooking, manicures, the beach or drinking… so if you scroll through my Instagram, you may decide I’m the least fun person you’ll ever meet. But at least I’m being honest. You can’t tell me that everyone on social media enjoys unicorn toast in the AM, followed by a Starbucks unicorn frappuccino and the real magic is getting to SoulCycle that evening. We make it clear what our passions and hobbies are but leave out what we don’t like because it’s uncomfortable. Disliking something will make us sound less fun, right?
I get it though. We want everyone to think we’re a good time. I used to think that confessing my strong disinterest in things like traveling would make me sound less adventurous, independent or more introverted than I already seem… But I realized how communicating to others about what doesn’t interest me can be just as important as telling them what does. No brainer? Maybe in 2004. Personally, I found it to be difficult when social media wants me to portray an image of what most people like to do in their free time. Here are some of my do’s and don’ts I’ve been living by.
DON’T commit to going on a hike if you despise working out or agree to go shopping when you are poor AF this month. The more you agree to doing activities you dread the more anxious you’ll feel before them and chances are you will cancel last minute.
DO make a plan you’ll actually look forward to. While this might take a little extra creativity and research you can’t expect worthwhile, special memories to come to life when you’re busy doing the same old, same old. More fun=less flaking!
DON’T try to force your friends to be something their not. It’s ok if they hate SoulCycle or don’t eat sushi.
DO look for others who share similar interests by getting involved. Whether it’s a writers group, a book club, dance class or volunteer work… great clubs exist even after college!
DON’T plan activities around what’s “Instagram worthy.” I went to this tea place in LA because everyone was posting the neon light sign it had inside. The place was a hole in the wall, not to mention the tea wasn’t that good and was totally overpriced.
DO switch things up a bit and go somewhere you aren’t allowed to take photos, have to turn your phone off… or can’t share on social media because it’s that scandalous ;) On the podcast, The Other F Word, Billy Baker talks about the struggle of getting his group of friends together so he thought back to when they were kids and what their favorite day of the year was. Naturally, it was playing hooky from school. He decided to plan one day out of the year where all his friends would agree to call out sick from work and enjoy a Friday off together.
DON’T compromise with those who won’t compromise. When I was in college I would agree to go out and drink, because that’s what my friends wanted to do. When the next weekend rolled around and they originally agreed to do something else they would bail last minute and continue to hit up the usual club. I stopped compromising with people like this and stopped trying to like drinking to keep the friendship alive.
DO compromise with those who enjoy your company, regardless where you are or what the activity is. Compromise is going to the movies with your boyfriend, even though you hate thrillers, and him going to a new museum with you, even though he doesn’t give a shit about art. Compromise is key and those who love you show it through their selfless actions.