• 53 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Edited by hencook (176 posts) -

I've been living under a rock. Maybe you have been too, be it from playing an MMO for years on end, or specializing in only one field of study, like comic books. So I need your help! This guide has a single purpose: To enable a person that's been living under a rock to be on a heightened level of conversation about a random topic.

We do this by ranking topics by their popularity. This guide is meant for the U.S. populace. If a topic has a ranking of 0, it is unavoidable in knowing it (not exactly talking about it though), like water and bread, or so commonplace that it is impossible to ignore without actively ignoring it, like soda drinks or chips. You should try your best to experience all the topics ranked 1 first, and so on.

The topics currently have the following criteria
-A random person is most likely to talk about this subject.
-Topics should be ranked with no regard to actual intellectual value. It's the viewer's choice on whether he wants to further study a particular topic.

Now I don't claim to actually know the correct order in which these topics go, and that's why I'm asking for help.

Food and Drink-
0. Water, the basic 5 food groups, Pizza, Fast Food, Junk Food (Candy, Chips, Soda)
1. Coffee, Alcoholic Beverages
2. Sushi (Not widely used, but highly conversed about), Healthy Diets,  Individual Cheeses/Chocolates/Breads/Fruits/Vegetables/Meats , Cooking Recipes

Essential activities
0. Digestion, Sleep, Work/School

1. Sex
2. Facebook
3. Exercise and Gym, Marijuana, Local Areas of Interest, Alcohol


TV
0. The News.
1. Family Guy,The Simpsons ,Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreations,American Idol, Glee, Reality TV  (difficult for me to tier because I really don't know)
2. Sports

Movies
0. ???
1. Comic Book Movies, Twilight, Harry Potter,  Lord of the Rings ,Star Wars 
2. Titanic, Back to the Future
3. Any of AFI's highly overrated classics.

Music
0. Kid songs, National Anthem, Holiday Jingles
1. Classic Rock (Metallica/GunsNRoses/Queen)
2. Pop (Ke$ha, Michael Jackson)
3. Rap (Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent)

Sports
1. Football/Basketball
2. Olympics
3. Baseball

Random Knowledge
0. Mathematics, English
1. US History
2. IPhones
3. Celebrities
4. Politics, Religion
5. Cars, Zombies, Clothing Apparel
6. Nature, Guns

Reading
1. Harry Potter. The Jist of the Bible.


Games
0. Solitaire
1. Texas Hold'em, King's Cup, Angry Birds, Chess, Monopoly
2. Call of Duty

#2 Posted by OmegaChosen (645 posts) -

I went in here expecting one thing from the title and now I'm just confused.

Also, who talks about water? Is this a thing?

#3 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

How to be a normal person: don't make convoluted lists about how to be a normal person.

#4 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@Kerned

That WOULD be the best choice if I were not emerging from living under a rock. But I am only now introducing myself to society, and as I do not have the time to acquaint myself to all these humanly pleasures, I must prioritize what I choose to learn about.

Nevertheless, your council is most appreciated.

#5 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

This thread makes me feel so very very sad.

#6 Posted by Levius (1140 posts) -

So most conversations include the unavoidable topics of digestion, solitaire and Beethoven. Man the US sounds wild.

Online
#7 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Nature and guns huh? Interesting pairing... lol.

This also looks to have a lot of errors. Family Guy and The Simpsons? I don't think those are terribly relevant these days as a whole. Much less so than Glee or The Office or reality TV.

I also think it's faulty to assume you can make such a broad, sweeping guide. Regional individuality can be pretty massive. The difference between the city I live in now, Seattle, and the shit hole I came from before is pretty massive. I went from a bunch of racist lazy pothead scum bags and a massive military community to a pretty wide swath of people. My neighborhood/area is pretty hipstery, but Seattle is a big place and you don't have to go far to find a lot of different people. This list might work better in Seattle, but it's such a liberal hippy dippy hipster city that it'd need some significant leanings.

As a list of stuff that people know about in America, it's ok. But what use would that be? What people know about and what people talk about are pretty different. Things change far too quickly anyway. A couple (few?) years ago, American Idol was the biggest thing since the Bible. Now, there are 40 rip offs and most of them ARE ON THE SAME NETWORK AS AMERICAN IDOL. Use the be everyone and their mother over the age of 27 was talking about Mad Men. Now, all the damn "youths" talk about New Girl, and the older demographics are waiting on Game of Thrones.

Online
#8 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@Azteck
I thank you for your pity and envy your normality.
#9 Posted by TobbRobb (4653 posts) -

I find this 1 part hilarious and 1 part insane.

#10 Posted by Shrimpy (96 posts) -

@hencook said:

Essential activities
0. Digestion, Sleep, Work/School

1.Sex
2. Facebook
3. Exercise and Gym, Marijuana, Local Areas of Interest

Marijuana an essential activity along with exercise? If so alcohol should be on there as well.

#11 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@AmatureIdiot said:

So most conversations include the unavoidable topics of digestion, solitaire and Beethoven. Man the US sounds wild.

It's unavoidable that you already know about these topics enough to converse about them. Water is also on the list. Sure, you don't go around talking about water everyday, but imagine if you didn't know what water was... even talking about it in passing counts, like mentioning you had a soda. Digestion too. "He kicked the $%^ out of him", you can't know the reference to  that without knowing digestion.
#12 Posted by TheDrewggernaut (23 posts) -

My best advice here is to let you know that people know when you are a mile wide and an inch deep. You should decide what on this list interests you and then find people who share those interests. While you may be eager to jump in and be friends with everyone, having just a thin knowledge on any one topic is likely going to result in a pretty short conversation.

#13 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@TheDrewggernaut
Good advice, I appreciate putting the validity of my guide into question.
#14 Posted by Kidavenger (3556 posts) -

Guide: How to be a Normal Person

Step 1) Do not write a guide on how to be a normal person.

#15 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Just talk about the weather. That's all anyone ever fucking talks about. You'll be a social butterfly in no time.

#16 Posted by Coafi (1488 posts) -

@McGhee said:

Just talk about the weather. That's all anyone ever fucking talks about. You'll be a social butterfly in no time.

So true. I hate talking about the weather.

#17 Posted by Levius (1140 posts) -

@hencook said:

@AmatureIdiot said:

So most conversations include the unavoidable topics of digestion, solitaire and Beethoven. Man the US sounds wild.

It's unavoidable that you already know about these topics enough to converse about them. Water is also on the list. Sure, you don't go around talking about water everyday, but imagine if you didn't know what water was... even talking about it in passing counts, like mentioning you had a soda. Digestion too. "He kicked the $%^ out of him", you can't know the reference to that without knowing digestion.

Then my advice would be to move Beethoven way down.

Actually my advice would be to read newspapers or read a few news sites for various subjects that you have, or could see yourself having an interest in. You should pick up the basics. Making a list of general essential subjects won't work because even people of the same age group can have massively different interests.

Online
#18 Posted by DeF (4893 posts) -

@hencook said:

5. Cars, Zombies, Clothing Apparel

I love how these are grouped together :D

#19 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@AmatureIdiot

People of the same age group have different interests, but certain interests are more popular than others. The farther down the list a subject is, the less it matters, that much is true, but what about the most popular subjects?

I imagine myself going to a bar, talking to a fellow, and that fellow would ask me how I thought about the Lakers. My response would be that I have not actually seen the full extent of a basketball game, so I do not like or hate it. I simply don't know. He is more likely to ask me about the Lakers than a certain hockey team.

Even being simply aware of the lack of knowledge in these areas is important, I would consider.

#20 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

@hencook: Thing is, even if people have different interests, it doesn't actually benefit you much in the long run if you know extremely little about a lot of things. People like to have conversations that don't end in two seconds because you knew one thing and then get stumped. Find people that share your interests, alternatively learn about a broad subject, or just learn to ask questions and gauge what the person likes/dislikes in a subtle way. Talking about Mozart with someone who couldn't care less about Classical music is a bad idea, just like talking about water in general probably won't win you any favors.

#21 Posted by Rasmoss (456 posts) -

You've come to the wrong place.

#22 Posted by believer258 (11914 posts) -

This sounds almost sociopathic.

All right, look. If you want to fit into society - well, first off, fitting into society is an oxy moron because after high school, you learn that no one fits in like a puzzle piece. Anyway, if you want to fit into society then it comes down to confidence and being secure in who you are.

Does it help to know about world events? Yeah. Does it help to know about great books, to know about what's popular and what isn't? Yeah. But simply knowing those things isn't going to get you anywhere. There's no "guide" that can make you "normal", there's no such fucking thing as "normal", there's you and the world and no guide can tell you precisely how to make your way through it. You could know everything there is to know about sushi and the latest popular music but it's not going to help you any if you're just knowing those things just to know those things, people will see right through that.

Online
#23 Posted by Incapability (210 posts) -

Being a normal, balanced individual. A how-to guide:

  1. Interact with people you meet in a non-threatening manner, treating the person in front of you like a living human being with thoughts and motives.
  2. Do not consider any interaction with any person to be a transaction, apart from those made in shops.
  3. Practice personal hygiene and refrain from partaking in or discussing sexually deviant behaviour in public. Or ever.

There you go, now don't make any more lists.

#24 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

@Incapability said:

Practice personal hygiene and refrain from partaking in or discussing sexually deviant behaviour in public. Or ever.

I had a friend who would do this and it was the most awkward fucking shit ever. It drove me crazy

#25 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@Azteck

All I have to do to be normal is to continue being weird? I jest. But seriously and more personally, not being normal has become a problem. I find myself unable to talk to others at parties when they leave me in the dust, talking about general interests. I'll do fine if I'm leading the conversation, but I generally have a difficult time socializing.

Sure, I could continue to go on a video game website to selectively find people to talk about video games with, but it still doesn't solve the problem that I'm unable to communicate with general people, or how undoubtedly disconnected I am when they change topics from something I'm comfortable with to something I'm not. 

#26 Posted by Rasmoss (456 posts) -

In existentialist philosophy, every person has to find their own meaning in life. You can only ever live a full life, truly "exist", if you acknowledge who you are, what wants and needs make you uniquely you, what the nature of the world is, and continually make choices that stem from these realisations. Therefore, you can never live a full life if you just pursue a general notion of what is commonly considered "normal". You have to strive to truly understand yourself first and accept the nature of the human condition.

Hope this helps.

#27 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@Incapability said:

Being a normal, balanced individual. A how-to guide:

  1. Interact with people you meet in a non-threatening manner, treating the person in front of you like a living human being with thoughts and motives.
  2. Do not consider any interaction with any person to be a transaction, apart from those made in shops.
  3. Practice personal hygiene and refrain from partaking in or discussing sexually deviant behaviour in public. Or ever.

There you go, now don't make any more lists.

The thread title character limit has limited me to put "How to be a normal person". I'm not talking about the general encompassing "Be Sane, Obey Natural Instincts like Eating and Sleeping, and be a cooperative member of society", I'm talking about general interests and the question of studying them for their valued normality.

#28 Posted by BatmanBatman (371 posts) -

Talk about ninjas!! you can go anywhere from there!

#29 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

It's pretty weird to look down an attempted objective list of pop culture knowledge. Keep on keepin on, duder.

#30 Edited by hencook (176 posts) -
@Rasmoss said:

In existentialist philosophy, every person has to find their own meaning in life. You can only ever live a full life, truly "exist", if you acknowledge who you are, what wants and needs make you uniquely you, what the nature of the world is, and continually make choices that stem from these realisations. Therefore, you can never live a full life if you just pursue a general notion of what is commonly considered "normal". You have to strive to truly understand yourself first and accept the nature of the human condition.

Hope this helps.


Ah, existentialism. Not very high on the list, at least not consciously. "Every person has to find their own meaning". But I'm doing that right now. I'm questioning normality, and you have given a good answer. Thank you.
#31 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

seek help

#32 Posted by Tomkang (251 posts) -

Talk about girls always works

#33 Posted by BatmanBatman (371 posts) -

- Hey, do you like ninjas?

- what?

- The forecast said we'll have overcast weather tomorrow.

- I'm sorry what??

- yeah Ninjas could attack anytime!

works everytime for me!

#34 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

@hencook: What you do wrong is assuming there's some hotfix or cure to not being able to socialize. There isn't. Trust me, I would know. I used to be really quiet and shy but the only way to break out of that shell is to really work for it. But there's no easy fix, unless you want to read all those creepy pick-up artist books (which you shouldn't do, don't touch them). To me it sounds like you just want to learn how to talk to people, and break out of the walls you built around yourself, which is great. Coming to that realization is healthy and necessary in my opinion.

Where you need to start this change is in your head, not with other people directly. It's not about knowing what to talk about, but rather being confident in what you do say. Showing confidence goes a long way when you talk to people. Don't over-think things, don't assume anything about another person and learn how to bend a conversation to things both of you can talk about. But other than that, you just need to find a hobby you like and get involved in it. Not having anything to build a social circle from is incredibly difficult but it's not impossible. Having lists of topics to talk about that you don't actually know anything about will only make it more difficult.

#35 Posted by kindgineer (2728 posts) -

This sounds like a sociopath trying to blend in more...

#36 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@Azteck said:

@hencook: What you do wrong is assuming there's some hotfix or cure to not being able to socialize. There isn't. Trust me, I would know. I used to be really quiet and shy but the only way to break out of that shell is to really work for it. But there's no easy fix, unless you want to read all those creepy pick-up artist books (which you shouldn't do, don't touch them). To me it sounds like you just want to learn how to talk to people, and break out of the walls you built around yourself, which is great. Coming to that realization is healthy and necessary in my opinion.

Where you need to start this change is in your head, not with other people directly. It's not about knowing what to talk about, but rather being confident in what you do say. Showing confidence goes a long way when you talk to people. Don't over-think things, don't assume anything about another person and learn how to bend a conversation to things both of you can talk about. But other than that, you just need to find a hobby you like and get involved in it. Not having anything to build a social circle from is incredibly difficult but it's not impossible. Having lists of topics to talk about that you don't actually know anything about will only make it more difficult.

Very enlightening, ty.
#37 Posted by chrismafuchris (1088 posts) -

Thanks so much for this guide!

#38 Posted by DrIntrovert (81 posts) -

Focus on learning how to transition between topics in conversation. You don't need to waste time learning more information--a conversation doesn't need to end because you don't know something. Just move on to something similar, but distinct enough to keep the conversation interesting. Being boring is a really good way to get people to hate you.

If you guys don't mind anecdotes, I have "The Psychological Diagnosis Formerly Known as Aspergers" (given to me by a real psychologist). I spent a lot of time in middle school teaching myself tricks to help with social stuff. I naturally speak in a monotone, so I studied stand-up acts to learn how to modulate my voice in a way that would make people like me. I also studied art books on facial expressions to learn how to read faces.

You should consider listening to some podcasts or something to learn conversation flow--That seems to be the concept you are having trouble with. Good luck.

#39 Posted by hencook (176 posts) -
@ck1nd said:

This sounds like a sociopath trying to blend in more...

A sociopath is a person with an antisocial personality disorder
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

A sociopath disregards the feelings of others and their well being. I admit I am asocial, but I am not antisocial because I have no wish to harm society. It really doesn't help anybody to address me as a sociopath.

#40 Posted by Tomkang (251 posts) -

You don;t need to know everything, most of the time you will learn stuff from conversing with people. Just have the confidence to start a conversation and listen to them. A lot of the conversations I have with people start randomly from something that just happened, and 5, 10, 15 minutes later we are talking about something completely different that I have next to no knowledge about, but the other person does.

#41 Posted by SharkEthic (1049 posts) -

I'd love to hear more about this rock you speak of. Why exactly are you so out of touch?

#42 Posted by oraknabo (1467 posts) -

Go to bars. Drink Moderately. Socialize with bar denizens.

#43 Posted by JoeyRavn (4974 posts) -

So, this is a walkthrough for Persona 5?

#44 Posted by rabbithearted (98 posts) -

For a second I thought this was a Something Awful thread.

Seriously, throw out the list. Go find a group that does something you are interested in: Board game nights, trivia, whatever. I used to go to bar trivia and there was a guy with Aspergers who would join our team because he wanted to play. He was quiet at first, mostly listening and adding when he had something to say, and then he gradually started to talk more. No one thought it was weird, even before we knew he had Aspergers. He was just a guy who are interested in playing bar trivia, whatever. Alternatively, volunteer. I started volunteering at the animal shelter because I had to move back to my hometown after a breakup and I didn't know anyone anymore save for one or two people. I'm literally going through this now, and it sucks. I feel awkward and like I've been living under a rock sometimes--probably not as bad as you, but bad in different ways. Before that, I was in and out of a hospital for two years. Let me reiterate: it sucks. It can feel like the world and everyone you know has moved on without you and you're stuck in this weird alternative universe you didn't sign up for. But all you can do is suck it up and get out. Listen to the people you talk to. Ask questions, but don't fake interest. Try new things, find something other than WoW or whatever it was you did for two years that you enjoy. Find another thing. Meet people into those things if you want. Now you have hobbies/interests you can talk about when meeting other people, or anecdotes about that one time you thought rock climbing was a totally good idea but it turns out you have terrible coordination.

#45 Posted by Rainbowkisses (472 posts) -

@ElleLenore said:

For a second I thought this was a Something Awful thread.

Is there something about Something Awful and lists?

#46 Posted by fox01313 (5073 posts) -

Try getting more of a diverse interest in music beyond rap & pop, screw facebook & go outside to meet people every now and then.

#47 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5008 posts) -

@DeF said:

@hencook said:

5. Cars, Zombies, Clothing Apparel

I love how these are grouped together :D

You can't look bad while driving away from the zombies, like duuuh! Weirdo.

#48 Posted by rabbithearted (98 posts) -

@Rainbowkisses said:

@ElleLenore said:

For a second I thought this was a Something Awful thread.

Is there something about Something Awful and lists?

There's something about Something Awful and people who make weird charts/lists/mathematical equations in an effort to solve mundane human problems.

Full disclosure: I post on Something Awful.

#49 Posted by coaxmetal (1619 posts) -

Not sure if this is real, but I reposted it in on SA anyway

#50 Posted by theguy (796 posts) -

Why in the hell would you want to be a normal person? More sociable I understand. Normal? No.

Also this is a weirdly artificial way of achieving your goal. It's kind of a natural process. Instead of pre preparing topics for conversations try actually talking to people more. You'll learn a lot from others and actually have fun socialising at the same time.