It’s fair to say that we all enjoy being appreciated and understood.
But that’s not always an option.
Here are the signs you have a complex, deep personality that some people just don’t get.
1) People are unable or unwilling to engage with what you say
First up in the signs you have a deep personality that some people can’t “get” is that people just don’t engage with what you’re saying.
Whether that’s at work or in your personal life, it will be quite obvious:
When you raise a subject that’s a bit on the “deeper” side, folks simply hit the off switch.
For example, say you raise the subject of why people join cults with your coworker.
It’s always fascinated you, and you just saw a news report last night about a young lady who lost everything to a devious cult.
He is twiddling at his phone and he looks up with dead fish eyes, delivering something along the lines of:
“Yeah, crazy, right?”
Further attempts to engage him on interesting subjects like the looming economic crisis or whether AI could become self-conscious are met with silence or awkward laughter.
In order to test if this guy is just apathetic in general, you try out a new tack:
“What about that new sitcom My Butt Cheeks, did you see it?”
Your coworker sits up like he’s been jolted by electricity.
“Oh my God..yes!” and proceeds to deliver an in-depth character study of My Butt Cheeks.
Welcome to shallow hell.
2) People continually throw simplistic labels on you
The next of the unfortunate signs you have a deep personality that some people can’t “get” is that people continually try to categorize or label you in reductive ways.
I get that a lot here where I live in Brazil, but it’s happened to me all over.
It’s far more than just “oh you’re that guy from Canada,” because in Canada it was generally “oh you’re that guy from this part of the province” or “who grew up playing this sport.”
Now as humans we need easy to recall ways to remember someone or “label” them, so no issue there.
But the reason this is a sign of people not getting you is when they throw a general label on you and never investigate even a centimeter beneath that label.
You will always just be the woman who does yoga and comes from Switzerland.
He will always just be that guy who works in construction and likes heavy metal.
I will always just be that dude from Canada who writes on his computer or something.
Because when people don’t get you (and don’t want to get you), they throw a simple label on you and leave it at that.
3) People seem enchanted by things you find shallow
The next of the signs you have a deep personality that some people can’t “get” is that many people around you seem enchanted and fascinated by things you find completely inane and shallow.
I’ve struggled with this my whole life, partly because I do enjoy being in a group and relating to others.
But I was continually surprised by the kinds of topics and interests that people would start hollering about in groups.
And I don’t just mean one “type” of people, I mean in general…
In-depth discussions about the weather…
Hour-long debates about Tiger Woods’ personal life or the statistics of some sport…
Recycling jokes from a recent comedy on and on while people at the gathering laugh like they haven’t already heard the jokes hundreds of times…
And so on.
I get that we all need small talk and every situation can use some warming up.
But when you feel really out of place around people who just seem very satisfied to be shallow…
…Never discount the fact that they may just genuinely not get you and be kind of, well, shallow!
4) People give you the ‘nervous laugh’
The next of the signs you have a deep personality that some people can’t “get,” is that you often get the nervous laugh.
The nervous laugh is a thing that signals two emotions:
Being uncomfortable and being confused.
When people don’t get you, they are going to be confused by you and somewhat uncomfortable around you.
The result is often a nervous half-laugh.
You know the kind:
It says please go away, but don’t make a big thing about it. I just find you kind of weird and I want to be free to tune into the latest episode of My Butt Cheeks in peace.
5) Your attempts to open up are met by indifference
The next of the signs you have a deep personality that some people can’t “get” is that your attempts to open up to many people are basically met with indifference.
Even many people who are very friendly towards you, just seem to not really be sure what to say to you and have no real response to anything you do or say.
There’s a world that some of us online use for people who don’t “get” us.
We call them NPCs, or non-playable characters.
In video games, these are the characters that just do a routine function or say one or two lines and walk in a circuit. They can’t do anything less.
For example, a colonial British soldier in Assassin’s Creed II Black Flag, may walk around an ambassador’s residence and push you away if you start trespassing while saying “where do you think you’re going?!”
His colleague will do the same. They’ll always do the same. Because that’s literally all they can do.
Now I think NPC is a bit of a harsh term.
Everyone has a different personality and uniqueness in some way.
But it is true that some folks tend more towards the NPC side of the spectrum.
In fact, research shows that some 50% to 70% of individuals have no inner monologue or “inner voice.”
I’m sure we’re all human and all have valuable gifts to share, but it’s certainly true that not everyone is going to get us, and we’re also not going to get everyone.
The person who seems boring as can be to you could be someone else’s love of their life, and that’s a beautiful kind of diversity in a way.
6) You feel bored by one-dimensional news or views
The next of the top signs you have a deep personality that some people can’t “get” is that you feel bored by a lack of critical thinking around you.
You love to challenge your own views and think outside the box, but you have a hard time finding others who do, too.
Instead, you meet many people (including some very intelligent people) who seem stuck on a one-dimensional track or narrative.
They have a lot of curiosity, perhaps, but only about one thinker, or one school of thought…
Or they may be passionate about democracy and “rights” but then seem to have very little passion for anything else…
Such people simply don’t get you.
They look at you and your desire to jump around to various topics or question your own beliefs and they feel confused and even slightly threatened.
They want the safe and familiar territory of their narrative where they can be nice and cozy.
7) You feel stunned by the lack of curiosity in many you meet
The fact is that if you’re a deep person you likely find that almost everything is interesting to you.
But then you have a hard time meeting people who are interested in…well…anything!
I know this has been my struggle, and it’s part of why I enjoy meeting people who are very interested in something, whether that be their job, their hobbies or their ideas.
If you find that you’re stunned by many people’s lack of curiosity, you’re not alone.
I constantly find myself stunned by most people’s lack of curiosity about the world and about ideas.
A few weeks ago I pondered how somebody could start a business subcontracting road line-painting services to the government at a lower rate by sourcing a cheaper and better supplier for road paint.
I still have no idea if they could. But I think about such kinds of things randomly.
Most people don’t.
Ending the need for external validation
External validation is about far more than wanting likes on Instagram or feeling a boost when a pretty guy or girl smiles at you.
The desire for external validation is embedded in our evolutionary roots, when being approved of often led to a much greater chance of survival in the tribe you were born into.
But we don’t live in that world anymore.
We live in an age when you can find your own tribe.
If some people don’t appreciate or get your personality, don’t worry. Other people will!
And the difficulty you’ve had fitting in is only going to make the value of what you offer to any future partnership or group all the greater.