Is it normal not to have an obsession?

I think my life has been charecterised by a series of ongoing obsessions, with computers, with food, with science, with politics & economics, with philosophy, with haute couture, with music theory, and about a million other things. Whenever I encounter somehing cook, I just want to learn more and more about it until sometimes I’ve literally fallen over with exauhstion and lack fo sleep over it.

But what I was wonder was, are there people who exist who aren’t obsessed with a single thing whatsoever? Here I’m defining obsession as an interest which society would regard as abnormal but not neccesarily unhealthy.

Even your prototypical ignorant idiots seem to still fall under various steroetypes. The sports nut, the reality TV watcher, the evangelical christian, the rap lover. They all seem to have thier own particular obsessions of their own. It just seems so alien a concept to me that someone could not become obsessive for at least one thing.

I don’t think I have an obsession with anything in the sense of losing sleep to learn/do more about it. There’s things I enjoy doing or learning, but nothing that becomes a self-identifier for me.

This may not be a good thing. I’m also 30 and have oodles of general education learning, as well as some more specialized stuff, but still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. You know how “they” tell you to find what you love and make money at it? There’s nothing I love like that. I’m very “meh” about career prospects. I keep hoping one day I’ll develop an obsession I can parlay into an income, but so far it’s been all retail and managerial stuff, with child watchin’ and the occasional gig as a massage therapist or herbalist - “job” stuff as opposed to “career” stuff.

Having an obsession, even one that persists for years, is no guarantee that you’ll be able to make a career out of it. I was obsessed with astronomy from age 4 onward. I ended up leaving the field after getting a master’s degree, after some unpleasantness with my advisor and figuring out that my chances of getting a job in astronomy were not very good. I am also obsessed with medieval history. I suspect my job prospects in that are even worse than they are in astronomy.

I generally like what I do (computer tech support), but I don’t know if I’d call it an obsession. I’m certainly not going to build my own computer or install esoteric operating systems at home, or write my own operating system, like some people who are obsessed with computers do.

Do you find yourself thinking about this subject…often?

Note, I simply defined an obsession as what society would judge as an abnormal amount of interest in a topic. It doesn’t neccesarily have to go to extreams. If you follow your local football team and watch all of their games on TV, then that would probably be abnormal and thus an obsession. Basically, anything that would differentiate you.

All kidding aside, obsession is sometimes in the mind of the beholder; where does dedication and singlemindedness of purpose end and true obsession begin?

Would Edison be considered a devoted genius today, or an OCD patient? Has our view of how individuals shape their own value system of “self” versus “other,” or work versus leisure changed so much?

I can’t go past a used bookstore, antique shop, or junk store without going in, myself.

I find myself in the opposite situation–I can barely class myself as having an interest in any one specific thing, never mind an obsession. Mostly I’m just mentally lazy.

I believe these are more commonly called “hobbies” and not “obsessions”. Even if you are a rabid devotee, it’s still just a hobby, really.

My parents were both these type of people with no obsessions . They had no hobbies , no interets in anything , no passion for life at all . I felt sorry for them and annoyed , all at the same time . I tried repeatedly to get them interested in something , anything , but no , they were content to live their lives smoking their cigarettes and watching their TV and rarely speaking , unless it was to critisize me , or one another . They thought reading a book was a waste of time . And my desire to be a writer was pooh-poohed as a pipe dream .

Me ? I have several obsessions . My dogs & dog showing/training , tho I admit that one had been waning over the past few years . Still love my dogs madly , but the old arthritis makes it hard to do the training these days :frowning: .

Horses . Any way , shape or form . Even seeing the word in type makes my blood pump faster . Horses . horses , horses . Movies featuring horses . Books about horses . Watching horses graze . Inhaling horse . Collecting horse figurines (I have close to 500 of them) . Yup . obsession . :smiley:

Almost anything LOTR . Legolas in particular . We won’t go into my Legolas collection . Let’s just say I share my bedroom with a life-sized standee and leave it at that , shall we ? :wink:


My paernts work too much to have a hobby, so I spose work is their obsession. I’ve always got an obsession going about a music group or two, and I’ve currently been on the Harry Potter obsession for good six or seven years. Books, movies, shirts, legos, pictures, posters, etc.
…Thirty-four more days!

And some people are obsessed with punctuation.

I’m happiest when I’m “obsessed” with something. It might be planning a trip – I’ll plan for months, read everything I can find about my destination, make up a notebook full of information, draw up an almost minute-by-minute itinerary (which I’ve learned to be very not obsessive about following). I enjoy the planning as much as the trip itself, and I enjoy the trip more if I don’t waste time having to learn the lay of the land after I get there.

This spring I’ve been obsessive about creating a flower garden in my front yard.

I go in and out of obsession about my various hobbies.

My mind is always going, and if I’m not obsessing about something productive, I start worrying and feeling sorry for myself.

Well, that depends. To me, a hobby is something you can put aside both physically and mentally when you need to, like when you’re at work. An obsession is something that you can’t put aside no matter how much that would help you in your work/social life/etc. For instance, I am obsessed with my writing. I spend the vast majority of my work or “leisure” time thinking about new story ideas, places the plot of my current book is going, whether I should change one single word in chapter seven (I have memorized the entire book, since I am obsessed with it). I write little fanfictions in my head based on the characters in my book and decide how to incorporate them. I do this all while working, and I can’t put it out of my mind if I want to (although, really, I don’t want to). Conversely, my hobby is knitting. This means that I don’t have to think about knitting if I don’t want to; my thoughts only drift back to it when I guide them that way, or if I am really bored and just thinking about a whole lot of different stuff. I like doing it a lot, but if I were forced to give it up, it wouldn’t kill me, like it would if I had to give up writing. That, to me, is the difference between an obsession and a hobby. I agree that most of what people are listing here as “obsessions” really aren’t, though.

Getting back to the OP, my mom fits–she has no hobbies at all, she just pretty much sits in front of the TV all day and waits to die. Sounds blunt, but it’s true. My dad is only a little better; he plays golf, and I guess you could say he’s obsessed with medicine insofar as he’s a diagnosed hypochondriac. But then, that’s a bad obsession, unlike writing. My sister really doesn’t have any hobbies/obsessions outside from the flute (which she’s only interested in because my parents made her take up an instrument, I doubt she’d have developed this hobby on her own) and Internet chatting (again, an unhealthy obsession). Actually, I think there are probably more people without intense driving interests than those with–it’s just that the people with IDIs tend to hang around each other to such an extent that we forget there are people in the world without any passion at all, since we’re obviously not going to be compatible with them. Different worlds, and all that.