Ice breakers

I went to a paint night event the other day and the organizers made us do this ice breaker thing in which everybody had to ask each other questions like, “so, what do you do for fun?”

What movies do you like?

What kind of music do you listen to?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I hate ice breakers and I hated answering those questions. I visibly cringed at each prompt, which was weird because I answer similar questions on this blog all the time. Liebster Awards, movie tags, book tags — like, all the time.

So what’s wrong with me, man? Why do I feel so uncomfortable answering get-to-know-you questions when talking to actual human beings?

I think it’s because, one, my hobbies are not interesting enough to talk about (blogging? really?); and two, my answers to most of those questions are quite, um, culture-specific? Is that a thing?

I think it’s a thing. When people ask me about my top three musical artists, for example, my list will always include the Eraserheads. It’s true and it’s honest, but people around here don’t really know Eheads, do they? They would probably just ask who they are, and I would say they’re a band from the Philippines, and they would say “cool” or “nice” or some other polite response and the conversation would move forward. I’d rather skip that unnecessary back-and-forth and just go straight to moving forward.

I wouldn’t mind talking about the movies that I’ve seen or the movies that I’d love to watch, but most of these films are Filipino films, so I’m assuming, again, that no non-Filipino person would ever be interested in hearing about them. I mean, the recent debate about subtitles proves how certain people couldn’t care less about films that are not in English. It’s mind-blowing to me, really. What do you mean you don’t like subtitles? Have you been living under a rock? Is that rock called the United States?

So maybe I have problems about my own prejudice against my answers and against other people. I assume nobody would be able to quote-unquote relate to them, and so the best I could do is to just keep asking questions and avoid giving answers. Maybe I’m just overly critical, aka judgy, by nature. I judge people for saying shit like “I love relatable movies” or “my opinions are never biased.” I judge self-proclaimed grammar Nazis and I judge those who judge other people who don’t speak English with an American accent. (I don’t judge bad grammar though, because I myself can’t write for shit.)

Point is, I think I’m a terrible person. I judge everyone for the littlest things and I hate being in a position that forces me to open up and become the recipient of judgement. Even though I think I’m tough enough to handle criticisms lobbed my way, I’d rather keep to myself and avoid having to deal with them. That’s why I hate ice breakers, and that’s why I don’t like going to house parties, and that’s why I absolutely hate social interactions.

That’s why I don’t have friends.

If I could change one thing about myself, I would really love to remove the part of my brain that assumes the worst in people. I would love to be able to hold decent conversations with strangers and not recoil at every potential moment of vulnerability. I wish I could also tone down this gift of Finding What I Don’t Like the Most, although everybody seems to judge other people for stupid shit so it doesn’t really matter.

But whatever, right? I’m going to die alone, but we’re all going to die anyway. I guess I’ll just do better in the next life or in Hell, whatever.

Fuck ice breakers.


  1. buddy71

    but, you just may find that one person (or maybe several people) who might want to know more or thought they were the only ones who had those interests.

    but, i am a bit like you. i have the uncommon interests and feel i dont fit in. in other words…im boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      true. maybe the more often i go out the more chances i have of meeting people with the same interests 😀

      uncommon interests are not boring though! i’m sure you’re not boring! 😀


  2. Bessy

    I felt the same way when I was still in the Philippines. The songs I liked were not on the radio. The movies I liked were “boring.” The older I got, and the fact that I live in Canada, made me care less about needing to relate. If a person finds me awkward, that’s their problem, not mine. As long as I don’t find myself awkward, I won’t lose sleep over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      Baliktad tayo, Bess. When I was in the Philippines at least I had people who knew the songs and the movies I liked. Nakakamiss din. 😦

      Pero true ‘no? We really shouldn’t care at all. I guess I just don’t like being forced to interact with other people, especially since I went to the event to paint, not to practice my social skills haha. 😂

      I think we would’ve had a fun conversation about songs and films had we met in Pinas before. Playlists mo sa Spotify ‘yung ginagawa kong Discover Weekly e, haha. 😂


  3. Precious Jasmin

    At first I feel the same way. I hate, as in hate, talking to other people. I swear. I don’t talk in front of class. I don’t talk to new people. But now, I want to. I want to know other people and share my opinions and likes with them. If possible, I want to know more about the world. I want to know their likes and study them. I mean, even though I don’t know anything about movies in diff language, I would love to talk about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      aww, so what changed? did you find the right people to talk to and share interests with? did you learn from “practicing” talking to strangers?

      happy to hear that you’re no longer asocial like me. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim Z.

    I’m not sure if this will help, but there was a time that I was being over critical of myself when a friend asked me to take one of those Myers Briggs tests that I honestly did not want to take because I already took tons prior. BUT I answered it even if I already know what result I’ll fall into because I want to show my friend that I already know what the quiz will say. I was ready to feel then that it was a waste of time, until I ended pleasantly surprised with how relevant at human-friendly yung pinagsasasabi ng result. I think it made me understand the way I relate to other people and my spouse, which helped me help myself. Anyway, this is the test that I am talking about

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carmina Mones

    Jolens, una sa lahat bakit galit na galit ka? Hahahaha! Cheret. Reading this and somehow it reminded me of our event happening in a few hours – collaboration growthlab – where people have to talk to each other and create an “innovation” that will solve a problem. Probably because it’s putting strangers in one group and making them create something to solve a problem, ewan. It involves a lot of talking hehe. Masaya rin naman siyang gawin, naisip ko lang ano gagawin mo kapag andun ka sa session na yun. Hehe.

    Introvert din ako, but not asocial. I find talking to people I don’t know mentally taxing so I kinda get you bilang judgmental din ako. But if I ever find myself thinking, “Anong sasabihin nito about sa ‘kin?” Well, ang iniisip ko na lang is the only thing I have control over are my thoughts, my actions, and my words. Other than that, hindi ko na kontrolado yun. And so, kung may sasabihin silang masama sa ‘kin na alam kong hindi totoo, well fuck them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      hahaha, hindi ko lang inexpect ‘yung ice breaker mars! paint night kasi e, akala ko mananahimik lang ako at magpipinta — tapos may social event pala??? hahahha.

      so ano ‘yung innovation na naisip n’yo? grabe napi-pressure talaga ako sa mga ganyang ganap, as in feeling ko wala akong maiaambag so hindi na lang ako sumasali. haha.

      i’m not as concerned naman sa iisipin ng iba. siguro tinatamad lang akong makipag-usap kasi…wala, ayoko lang makipag-usap. haha. mas masipag ako mag-type (parang ganito) kaysa magsalita. hahahahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carmina Mones

        Nakakagulat nga siya in general pero ako I welcome those kind of things kasi siguro I like listening to people’s stories in general? AKA chismosa talaga ako hahaha

        Participants yung mag-iisip ng innovation nila haha. It’s a simulation wherein ang idea is if we put people in a situation where they have a shared mission or something na gusto nilang solusyunan, they will combine all their strengths, skills, talents, connections, etc. para masolusyunan yun. Ganoin. Interesting yung mga naka-come up ng mga tao to better the Ph in fairness.


  6. rAdishhorse

    “That’s why I don’t have friends.”

    That escalated quickly..

    “But whatever, right? I’m going to die alone…”

    I spoke to soon.. Lolz

    There is this unverified Dave Grohl principle that goes “like people even if you don’t like the music (or movies/things) they like”. And it’s really really hard to do. And believe me, it took me years to achieve this state of nirvana hahaha. 10 years, more or less. I’ve been thru the same phase. I’ve never made friends at work for like the first five years or so. And tho I eventually made a few friends – I’m not really someone they could consider “barkada”, like they’ll invite me if they suddenly want to go to some far away island or eat out.

    One way to cope with this is not to be too honest. Tell them answers that you knew they most probably know. Tell them safe answers, like Lana del Rey or Avengers: Endgame. Not everyone is as invested as you with these movies/music anyway. And vice versa. You don’t have to be invested with theirs, unless there’s this really cute guy who have same interests as you. =)

    They said introverts don’t like small talks. There’s a place for really “deep” conversations or geeking out about something and then there’s mostly small talk. It’s not necessarily plastikan. Though that’s probably how I used to see it. And if people say something bad about the things I like, they probably hate me, or they’re making fun of me, or they’re just insincere people who can’t be trusted. But maybe they’re not. They’re probably even being kind. They just want to say something because not saying something might come off as dismissive. Gusto ko pang dagdagan pero, teka, mag tatrabaho muna ako.. Hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      “One way to cope with this is not to be too honest.”

      True, pwede nga siguro. Sana pala sinabi ko Endgame ‘no? Honest naman ‘yun, totoo namang nagustuhan ko talaga ‘yun. Haha. 😀

      Hindi lang talaga kasi ako magaling sa mga usap-usap na ‘yan, mads. Nakaka-pressure, feeling ko para siyang recitation kahit wala namang tama o maling sagot. (Lalo na kung cute guy kasi, hellooo, mas mahirap kaya! Hahaha.)

      So introvert ka rin? Sabi d’un sa Myers-Briggs (na sinuggest ni Kim Z) introvert daw ako. Hayyy, kung pwede lang mabuhay sa mundong ito nang hindi kailangang makitungo sa ibang tao e. Pero sabi ni Marx required daw ‘yun, so, um — wala, wala akong point. Hahahahaha.


      1. rAdishhorse

        Base sa mga nabasa ko, tingin ko introvert ako. I probably also have mild aspergers – like I don’t make eye contact during conversations – some disadvantages that comes with it, in addition to being maybe an introvert, I only realized when I started working.

        I also made sagot “Eraserheads” in one situation like this, and I added “they’re considered the Beatles of the Phils” and realized later that I don’t actually like that tag/shortcut, which is actually reductive (Eheads don’t really sound like the Beatles). The other guys were like, “uh, okay”- end. One time, I also answered something about Godzilla, hoping the older Japanese guys would say something. “Gojira”, said one. But then no one probably remember or saw the movie or like watching movies at all (they’re very hardworking people so work, work and less time for movies). I remember one time giving Adele and Arctic Monkeys (which I really like) for an answer and that’s the only time I’ve got a good response – from a Brit guy, like Arctic Monkeys songs are really saying something, to which I agreed.

        Regarding that “one-inch tall barrier of reading subtitle”, the problem has more to do with movie market, economics, etc. than the audience… pinagisipan ko rin sya dahil sa post mo at dahil sa recent Parasite win in Oscars and Golden Globes. Di sya exactly about subtitles (yun answers sa Quara), pero anjan yung sagot. Hehe.


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