For as long as I can remember I have been accused of lack of enthusiasm for things I do, even if I love them. When somebody asks "aren't you excited?" I simply can't find that connection. It's like that good feeling of being one with something is locked away and I cannot find and share it. I think it has to do with being an introvert and having ADD.

I'm not really good at expressing what's inside as an introvert so whenever I am enthusiastic you won't always see it on the outside. And as an ADD find it hard to focus with all the chaos inside. I can be motivated for an activity but that is something different than loving to tell about it (especially if it's for the 100th time).

Does anyone recognize this and the conflict with the outside world that expects and desires nothing less than enthusiasm?


As a closing note for myself, I would say that this is more of a created problem than a real problem. If people don't have this silly expectation, then there is no problem. And otherwise, it should be their problem, not mine.

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I can fake enthusiasm pretty well so people don't tend to comment on it as is the case with you, but I'm not easily excited by things I know already well.

I can get enthusiastic about new interests though. New hobbies, a new book, I can throw myself into it, and it can become the only thing I talk about, until the interest wanes and then I'm back to feeling "meh" about it. (I think that's how the ADD manifests for me)

This causes people to view me as inconsistent rather than unmotivated because I tend to be ALL about this or that new hobby and then I just stop caring after a few months.  This capacity to get "into" things, to connect with them goes away when I'm in bad phases of my life. I'm never outright, totally depressed but sometimes things suck and everything feels more distant and uninteresting, and then I'll never get into anything.

Ivy, what you tell is sometimes related to borderliners, that they never finish something, lose interest after a while. But I suppose it is simply the novelty that always excites the most, that's totally "normal". There is of course no magic trick to extend novelty.

I suppose that for me, I continued a lot of things for a longer time, without thinking why, just doing them because it was part of my life pattern. Piano lessons, lawschool, my previous IT job for 10 years, making electronic music...I didn't bother thinking every time, do I really like this? And some cool things like the music inspired me less after a number of years.

The novelty of something always wears off so it's important to dig deeper. My deeper need is to be creative and there are so many outlets for it. I cannot imagine doing the same thing all of my life even though supposedly that is the only way to become truly excellent (save some exceptions like Da Vinci he did a lot of different stuff and didn't finish a lot of things). 

Anyway, as I put in the PS, bottom line for me is simply to keep doing what's important for me, even if I think I don't feel like doing it (it is a matter of starting the engine and I cannot jumpstart it).

I think that ADD's (and borderliners) are much more sensitive to the effect of a novelty wearing off because they feel they need that extra amount of engagement and excitement. It's better to let go of that feeling and accept that very often, you don't feel like starting something but once busy it's not so bad as you thought or felt it was. And from time to time a fresh new start is vitalizing.

Anette Lesley said:

I only get enthusiastic if the things i do contain people and issues i really really love. Just "like" wont cut it. And it happens rarely, but when it does I feel alive and super excited.  

Sounds your work should be more about helping people. Easier said than done but it could be worthwile to investigate possibilities such as practicing psychology. I have done this investigating for a bit and concluded I didn't want to do an academic 4 year study (and I'm not always a good listener, have no experience and have serious doubts about the effectiveness of councelling), but there are other venues, everybody can call themselves councillor or coach these days.

Anette Lesley said:

Interesting you say that, I'm extremely interested in psychology, I research a lot online (just learned to avoid pop-psychology :/  ) and I've also seen all Open Yale courses videos on the subject. 

I'm 35years old though, so I'm afraid it's a bit late for me try college again, not to mention affordable.

I recently met someone who took a self study course. It is with remote assistance from teachers. These type of courses are much more affordable. 35 years old is not too old. It's actually better to keep your brain as active as possible, for as long as you live.

Pop psychology...yes well I have experience with one self proclaimed coach, it didn't work out for me, I often felt I was smarter and more knowledgable than she was...but like her, you could start small and without an academic title. 

I'm pretty sure I'm not borderline, just easily bored :) Except by the world in my head. Which might be the root of the problem.

Ivy White said:

I'm pretty sure I'm not borderline, just easily bored :) Except by the world in my head. Which might be the root of the problem.

Our society tends to make things that don't fit in a problem. Maybe there is a way you can see it as a power rather than a curse. I think I was supposed to get bored with normal corporate real life and go do creative and meaningful things. 


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