Welcome to MTV Australia's brand-new advice column, penned by Tropical Fuck Storm's Gareth Liddiard. Sit back, grab a cold one, and be enlightened. This is The Moment Of Truth.
First of all – I love TFS immensely! Can't wait to catch a show once the apocalypse is over. MTV said that "dating" is a question category, so here I go: When I meet people at first (friend, date, etc), they see me as cool and mysterious, but when they know me better and see I'm just an average person, it seems like they're bored of me. What should I do about this?
Thanks, you legend!
I hear ya. I'm 44 (I think) and I get that feeling a lot. It's a huge drag. But the good news is, I give less of a fuck about being liked than I used to. I'm not a psychologist obviously (Welcome to MTV). But I would hazard a guess that what's going on inside your noggin is a mild form of social anxiety. After the initial thrill of meeting someone or dating someone there's going to be a comedown. Not that I've ever been on a date. When I was young "dating" was something that happened on Happy Days. In reality people would just get wasted and "root" each other and figure out if they got along later. And you could just get on the dole and never have to pretend you wanted a job. They were simpler times.
Anyway, if you were one of my hundreds of male friends I would dismiss it all by saying "your thoughts are bullshit, ignore them," but you're not one of my male friends so I'll try a different tack (with tact).
You say "it seems like they're bored of me", but I think we should take a closer look at the word "seems". How can you know for sure that they think you're boring? You can't. Unless they tell you and if they do there's not much you can do about that.
And check this shit out. There's a cool philosophical thought experiment where you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that everyone else isn't just a bunch of hollow mindless zombies that appear to be alert and alive like you. They'll say they're conscious when you ask them, they'll duck when you chuck shit at them, they'll laugh and cry and do whatever humans do, but how do you know they're not all just meat robots with the awareness of a chunk of rock? It's actually impossible to demonstrate that you're not the only sentient being in the universe. But there is something in you that knows that's bullshit. Something innate. You can feel it isn't true and you're right, it isn't true. You don't live in a world of zombies. On the flip side, if you actually believed that every other sentient being was in fact dead inside you'd be nuts. You'd be having a mental malfunction and a pretty serious one.
Social anxiety is just a less serious malfunction. People like you and me who feel like everyone else would be having a better time if we weren't talking to them are missing a kind of certainty similar to the one I described above. Lots of people take it for granted that their company is pretty good. Just like you take for granted that everyone else is sentient like you even when believing that is actually a huge leap of faith. But people are right to assume they're decent company because people generally like other people. And if they don't, they just find new people to hang with.
You don't need to be the world's most amazing and entertaining person. No one expects that. If somebody does then they're just a fuckwit.
You can't be expected to gauge whether or not you're stimulating company for a particular individual. How are you meant to do that? And why do you owe it to them?
Plus, what's a more likely scenario?
A: you, unlike most people, are boring.
B: you, like all people, are a fucked up, insecure, imperfect, neurotic social mammal that must, at all costs, above and beyond everything else, feel loved and accepted and therefore will become as apprehensive about your ability to acquire that love and acceptance as a fox is apprehensive about getting its next meal.
Know what I mean? You have to be a bit rational about this kind of stuff because nothing is ever perfect. If you could go to a party and hear everyone's inner voice instead of their outer voice you'd think they were the most miserable bunch of people you'd ever come across.
I hope that helps.
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