Friday, 28 June 2013

What Do You Do For Fun?

"When the questioner seeks to be impressed and the questioned seeks to be approved, how then do we both get to know who we really are?"- Doyin

28th June 2013 07:00am Img:roy-lichtenstein-ohhh-alright-1964

I have often wondered why we need  to  be seen as 'doing' to have a good, fun day, and why we find it hard  to accept  simply 'being' as having a good day. From the various interactions I've had, I realize that the way a person reacts when being told by the other party, how their day was, speaks volumes; about the questioner, their preconceived impressions and expectations, and also, what can be expected from further interaction with them, down the line.


I have also wondered why we constantly need to qualify for others, what they should term as enjoyable or interesting. In many instances, I see that it really is about us trying to  make the other person's reality all about us. (I hope that makes sense)  And so, right from the moment we begin interacting, we instantly program ourselves to judge rather than understand, sometimes unintentionally. 


A common instance this is found, is when people ask us how we spend our days/time. For most normal people who live normal lives, the honest answers most likely would be what they do in the normal bump and grind of life. Wake, eat, study, work, sleep, internet, nap, game, facebook, music, read, chat, movies.... *insert other activities* Why then is it that these honest answers are almost instantly met with expressions such as "boring!" "haba, don't you have a life?" "so is this what you do everyday?".... or variants of these responses from the questioners?


While it is easy to react with seething anger and lash out at how presumptuous or judgmental the questioner is being, for me, I realize that it is futile, trying to convince the questioner about the 'goodness' of my day and how my day suits me just fine. The bigger questions to be asked then are:  "why bother asking when you expect the answers given to mirror what YOU do for fun?" or alternatively, "How about you answer the question yourself, and input what you want to hear?"


Perhaps its our false assumptions or expectations that other people have mega-exciting lives. Perhaps, we are so enthralled when we meet others, that we imagine that their lives are radically different from ours. We expect a lot from them and  then, feel thoroughly let down to realize their lives are pretty much 'normal'. If we were honestly, honestly to ponder about it though, shouldn't we be suspect of the 'normal' person who answers that he/she went skydiving and bungee jumping on Monday, clubbed with A-list celebs on Tuesday, hosted a champagne themed house party on Wednesday, dined at a Michelin starred restaurant on Thursday, travelled three cites between Friday and Saturday, and then gives variants of this exotic lifestyle every single time they are asked.


Sure, they would elicit adulation and wide-eyed 'wows!' from the questioners.  In many cases, if we answer in a similar fashion, awe at the 'exciting' lives we are presumed to lead.  Really though, to what extent do we want to or have to polish our stories to elicit approval? To receive affirmation? Besides, why exactly, should we constantly feel the urge to prove ourselves to people who in the grand scheme of things,  play no parts in our lives, save for the brief, fleeting minutes that we meet?


Methinks there is a temptation to mask who we truly are, and present a false version of ourselves because we are aware that even basic human interactions and the most basic of questions are judged from the get go.
The expectations and judgements we place on others breed dishonesty and lies. Little wonder after the initial dance around and acceptance because a person's replies fit into our reality, when we get to know them better we become hugely disappointed. Eventually, it does both parties no favours. When the questioner seeks to be impressed and the questioned seeks to be approved, how then do we both get to know who we really are?


So, how about we accept the other party's simply 'being' as a valid answer to the question "how do you spend your day?" How about that?

25 comments:

  1. Simply asking; 'why wont you just accept me for who i am?'

    Beautiful piece Doyin; I wish people could just accept answers and move on from there.

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    1. I also wish so, Iyun. Or at the very least, seek to understand the response and the responder before judging outright. Thanks for stopping by.... :-)

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  2. Ademola Bamgbose.28 June 2013 at 23:29

    A deep, well written and thought provoking piece..I believe the problem stems from the artificiality of our society..

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    1. I do see what you mean. I've always believed, that for the most part, individuals choose their behaviours; but yes, there may be a wider issue.

      Thanks for your comment Demola, and welcome to odoyin.blogspot.com! Enjoy the other posts and don't be a stranger! :-)

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  3. Nice and genuine. Very deep, and its true I usually suspect people that have a very fun day all the time. Are u micheal jackson?

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    1. Bwahahahaha! I seriously doubt that Michael... ... ...

      Truth is I have no issues with those who claim to or actually do have "fun" days. The moment I raise my brow, is when they begin to impose their definition of fun on others and make them feel like lesser people for not sharing same proclivities as them.

      Thanks Teewai Bello!

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    2. Bwahahahaha! Teewai Bello, you are a clown!I seriously doubt that Michael... ... ...

      Anyways, truth is I have no issues with those who claim to or actually do have "fun" days. The moment I raise my brow, is when they begin to impose their definition of fun on others and make them feel like lesser people for not sharing same proclivities as them.

      Thanks for stopping by, Teewai. :-*

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  4. :) Nice thoughts again! "When the questioner seeks to be impressed and the questioned seeks to be approved, how then do we both get to know who we really are?"

    People tend to think that they mean something to us when they have a say in how we lead our lives and what activities we engage in. They forget that variety/diversity is what makes life fun and gives nature it's colour. Would it be beautiful if the rainbow was monochrome or would it be fascinating if all animals lived in holes and barked?

    We mask almost every waking moment today because we want to live up to preconceived notions of what is acceptable and how it should be done. True friendships stem from knowledge and acceptance of individual diversity while cohabiting for the common good. It is therefore no wonder that true friendships, the kinds we have come across in oral and written literature, are hard to come by these days. Masking (deception) makes family units disillusioned and in turn make for bad societies.*Ooops! I've started again yea?* LOL

    Bottom line: Be true to yourself and in your expectation of others. My way of doing things isn't always right and will not be compatible with everyone. Enjoy the variety/diversity of life... :)

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    1. Femi, once again, you've hit on the very essence of what I aim to capture! (Heck, you do a better job of it and with fewer words it seems. loool)

      Really, the aim of this piece isn't to stir up a debate about good or bad or right or wrong. It is just as you clearly said, simply accepting the the ways of others may not be our own ways. Accepting without snap judgements and unsolicited advice. #dassall

      Thank you Femi. Perhaps you should help provide abridged versions of my long rantings. loool. Really.

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  5. Looool! It's like you were reading my mind!
    Why will you force your definition of 'fun' on me? If sleeping all day is my idea of fun what is it to you biko?

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    1. looooool. Nike dodo, you just had to reply with this comment, didn't you? You just had to! smh while lol.

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  6. Doyin dodo nice writeup. Sometimes we need to live outside the box and stop being too comfortable with our natural state. Often times your consumed in this 'boring'lifestyle and forget there's more out there.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong in doing normal activities all by yourself. The problem is learning to enjoy and live a broader spectrum of life, we need to step outside the box and enjoy more than we've programmed our head to think is fun.

    The problem is not the influence of the society but the effect of how often we program our brain/mind to live in a restricted space.

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    1. Hey Tunji B! (I think?) Yeah I see your angle.I still believe strongly though, that the effort to, and act of pursuing the constituents of that word 'exciting' is one that can only be decided and defined personally and not through those who try to bully the other into accepting their versions of 'exciting'. I think trying to do that is quite arrogant behaviour. We can encourage people to try, invite them to join,but never try to shame them into accepting.

      Yes, I agree, there is something to be said about trying out new things and 'living'. Yes, there is a need to live a broad spectrum of life. The issue I have is with us thinking we are in a position to decide for others how they should carry out their 'living'.

      I can decide that broadening my spectrum is visiting an art gallery every Friday as opposed to going paint-balling with friends. The majority of people who judge will call my broader spectrum boring, won't they? That is the angle I'm viewing this from.

      Thanks a lot for bringing a different perspective to this discussion dearie!

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    2. Of course its Tunji B! Did he actually think he could hide under 'anonymous'??? loool
      Teejay.... only you calls Doyinsola 'doyin dodo' (no wonder u were her first guess.laffs

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    3. Hahaha. Dupe, same thing I thought only to realize its not Teejay o. *insert shocked face* Far from it sef. I just found out who and the person prefers to stay anonymous. :-)

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    4. Huh!!!??? *shocked face* *sealed lips*

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  7. Wow...I read this piece twice and I must say this is completely true. What I do most times may not be fun to me but its what I see as comfortable most times. Well I call the extraordinary fun as oVERSABI. Lol. But well being bored sometimes makes u get the essence of things in ur life cos u tend to gather up ur thots. U don't have to have fun to please others. If people say u have a boring life they shld try to make u have fun and not bend their brows lol...I wrote what was on my mind.

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    1. I see you've interpreted it you own way, which really is the essence of these writings. Thank you for speaking your mind jare. Be wary of oversabi boredom though. loool. Love ya, Tutsi.

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  8. I really don't know how you do this, but your write-ups always touch on a raw spot - seems more like you picking my mind.

    Someone earlier commented about there being too much artificiality nowadays. I concur that's true for the most part and maybe there just is very little individuality (/personal touch) nowadays. It seems more and more like every one strives towards the "right way" to act/be/dress/look/behave/manage relationships/...(the list is endless) and so when an action/activity does not fit into these ideals, brows are raised.

    Hmm....dis aint intended to be another write-up. You do it a lot better. Thumbs up girl. Keep up the very thought-provoking write-ups and till you come up with the next (which i'm soooo looking forward to already), i'll keep re-reading and re-reflecting on the previous ones. (They remain everfresh!)

    Luv ya...

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    1. lool. I guess at the end of the day, we mostly experience and wonder at the same things, just in varying degrees. Many of these things, we just see and shake our heads only to rehash in discussions with others at a later date, or when someone writes or speaks about something similar to what we experience.

      Thanks for your constant prompting and prodding and pushing. I hope I come up with another piece fast. Thank you!

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  9. To start with, the 'how was your day?'(Or other variatiants) part of everyday conversation has become cliche... Tending towards becoming a primer to fish out topics for further disussion. Do I really care how your day turned out or am I looking out for something from Your response to trigger some exciting conversation? Do I get dissappointed when u reply truthfully with routine activities that I engage in, everyday? Do I need to make up a splendid, funtastic story.. Things I wish for myself but colored in a way to say: hey! I am doing these things and am loving and living life?
    ...I get put off by that question, trust me. When u ask me how my day was, what's your motive? The question itself is a ritual, same old 'boring routine' perharps we should seek other means of enriching our conversation...(Understanding the questioner)

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    1. loool @ you getting put off by the question. I guess many times, its just seen as a neutral conversation starter. To quote you, "Do I get dissappointed when u reply truthfully with routine activities that I engage in, everyday?" That part for me, says it all.

      Thank you very much for dropping by! Thanks for your comment. Do check back soon. Cheers!

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  10. hmmmm, what a depth in bringing to the fore what we experience everyday, but do not give thought to.

    But really, the point here is (in the words of AJ*T, I believe)

    "Be true to yourself and in your expectation of others. My way of doing things isn't always right and will not be compatible with everyone. Enjoy the variety/diversity of life... :)"

    Cheers to another good one Odoyin!

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    1. You are very right in your saying that these are things we experience but just shrug off. Just curious, though, who's AJ*T?

      Thank you, 7up!

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