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“But I thought you liked [this thing]?”

I’ve often confused people by holding back from something that they thought I liked.

For example, imagine I’m out with family at some kind of outdoor event and we see an exhibition of something related to one of my hobbies or work. Everyone might start walking towards the exhibition thinking that I would enjoy seeing what was being shown and even enjoy having a chat to the people exhibiting it.

What’s going through my head though, is usually stuff like this:

  • Oh god, I don’t want to talk to them because I’ll feel embarrassed. Either I’ll know more about it than they do, or they won’t want to talk about the aspects that fascinate me. Either way, there will be an awkward disconnect.
  • Yes, I do like [those things] but not that particular type. I have no interest in that type that’s being exhibited. That’s *really hard* to explain to people who don’t know or care about the difference between different types of an obscure thing.
  • I’m only interested in examples of [those things] that I actually own. I don’t want to look at one belonging to somebody else and I certainly don’t want to talk to them about it.
  • My interest in the thing is for reasons that other enthusiasts of the thing probably wouldn’t get or be interested in, and I’d feel disconnected and embarrassed. (For example, see why I enjoyed Train Spotting as a child).
  • I’d feel embarrassed talking about the thing in earshot of my family and friends, and God forbid they would join in the conversation and say something embarrassing!

So as we are walking towards the thing, I would get increasingly interested in *not* going to see the thing, and eventually someone will say “Why are you being weird? I thought you *liked* [this sort of thing]?”


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