At least the wrong kind of fun…
We’ve all been there. That fabulous party with people we hardly knew and hardly liked, in which everybody was pretending to have fun but very few actually were.
Forced smiles, shallow interactions, and falseness.
There are times when you are surrounded by people you like, the situation is spontaneous and everybody is having a good time.
But then, you have all these other occasions in which you ”should” be having fun but actually you are not. It’s more like a forced, manufactured pretend fun.
One example is New Year’s celebrations. It’s supposed to be the most magical and fantastic night of the year. Everybody is well dressed, drunk, and ready to party. All the ingredients are there but the recipe flops.
What are the characteristics of bad fun?
- You are forced to be there. Either for work or some other commitment you can’t just say no
- You are supposed to have fun. Just turning up is not enough. You have to mingle, laugh at bad jokes, gossip, compliment the ugly people, but above all you have to enjoy
- Nothing about the situation is spontaneous. Every single detail has been planned and programmed to maximize fun
- Everything is fake and manufactured. The food, the place, the interactions, and the conversation
Situations of fake fun
- Any party where you didn’t choose the guests — family, neighbors, work colleagues, customers, etc
- Any prepacked, guided, predictable situation like a cruise, a holiday tour or an all-inclusive resort
- A barbecue with people you hardly know where you are forced to talk about IKEA
- A child’s birthday party. Great fun
What is real fun
- Appreciating the small things in life like a good coffee, an interesting conversation, or a sunset.
- Most things that happen spontaneously like bumping into old friends, getting lost, getting sidetracked, or discovering something new
- Traveling without a schedule, a plan or a deadline
- Improvising, be taken by surprise, lowering your expectations and being present
- Needing very little and getting a lot
How to find more genuine fun
- Be present. Appreciate the moment, your surroundings and the people you are with
- Truly connect. Look in the eye, say what you mean and mean what you say
- Drop your inhibitions. Don’t conform to the norm, don’t be a pleaser, be yourself, be vulnerable and encourage others to do the same
- Forget your scripts, your narrative, and your preconceived ideas. Be spontaneous
- Don’t drink. We drink in order to lubricate social interactions but then we are only masking our fears and getting sucked into the void
Fun is fun. Pretending you are having fun is not. Refuse to engage in such situations and you’ll notice an increase in happiness and freedom. Life is too short to waste in ‘social events’. Remember you always have the last word and the last word is ‘No’
Now, go out and have some fun.