Earlier this week, it hit me: I’m never invited twice. Whenever there’s a social outing with a group of friends or a catch-up session, or a date. People don’t want to talk to me after we share a conversation. Why? They were friendly and polite when we finished our last conversation. They said, “Definitely hang out again”. But when I message them again, there is no reply. Nobody wants to hang out with me. You’d think that as an unemployed person, I’d be going out often; I’m often home and very few answer when I message them. Why?

I have to recall what happened during the last time we’ve met. We shared a conversation, of course. What was the topic about? Did I say something bad?

Yesterday, I expressed this frustration to someone. I almost thought this person was going to abandon me, too. But before that happened, I was told that I am always trying to lecture in the conversation and that 90% of the conversation fills up with me telling them about solutions to their problems, or how to solve them. I was also told that I can simply listen and not say anything about it. So here’s my problem: I tend to drill down into someone else’s problems as soon as they mention them.

But I have the solution! I see the clear path to be happier! Why won’t they take my ideas? I’ve had this exact same problem before, and only if they were to understand how I approached these types of problems, they’ll never face this issue again! ARGHHH!!!

I have the problem-solving hammer, and everything that I encounter looks like the problem-solving nail. Whenever I see something broken, I find ways to fix it. If there is no chance that I can fix it, I let it go. But if I can, I feel a personal responsibility to leave it better than how I found it. After all, isn’t that the meaning of my existence beyond personal satisfaction? I’m already happy, so I might as well help others be happier. I’ve got all these good habits, I should help others adopt them too!

That mindset is simply incompatible with others. I have a certain set of beliefs about what the good life is, and I assume that others are also looking to live that good life. My version of the good life is becoming a better person every day, helping others be happier, and eventually leave with something that others can appreciate. But that is such a narrow perspective compared to the variety of versions of the good life that normal people have today. I’m projecting my values onto others. If I am preaching the values of reading to someone that doesn’t care about old ideas, then I’m definitely doing something wrong.

For example, when I was out with a two friends and a girlfriend of theirs, I was so busy talking about how to solve problems at work that I never had a chance to get to know the girlfriend. I don’t even know how old she is, what she likes to do, what her favorite color is, or even what genre of music she listens to. The whole time, I was lecturing about how the creative workplace is burdened with destructive paradigms that lead to their demise. In retrospect, I should have shut up and listened to what they had to say.

Another way to say that I’m an independent thinker is to say that I’m full of myself and my own ideas, and that I’m inconsiderate of others and their feelings. I am frustrated that my ideas are rejected, and that I find other mundane unfruitful topics boring. I’m constnatly having new ideas that I want to validate with others, but they can’t care less about the way I think about how humans should implement machine protocols for workplace communication. I’m never at their wavelength, and make no attempts to change gears to get there.

Dedication to self improvement and learning is not normal, and because I’m so drenched in it, I’ve forgotten what it means to be normal. Trying to bring the university of the mind to a social table isn’t what they signed up for when they go out. But my identity is so infused with trying to give what ideas I have before I die that if I stop sharing my ideas, I may as well be dead. If I’m preaching, I’m annoying. If I’m not preaching, I’m boring.

The more I find what I like in this world, the more I find what I don’t like. I like growing. I don’t like that others don’t care about growing. I like giving. I don’t like that others don’t care about my gifts. I like being independent. I don’t like being unpopular. I like sharing ideas. I don’t like being boring.

Maybe I should be where there’s other yearning learning souls.