You know the type, probably a good father or worker, but serious faced all the time, never smiles, often in a bad mood, very cynical. It’s just I feel like I’m on the path to this, I’m 28, just escaped 12 years of food service so I’m already super cynical and if someone comes up to me, I’m super ready to shut down whatever’s about to happen. I feel like working with customers for years I’ve learned to have giant walls up and I can’t seem to remove them. I see the other guys in the factory I’m working at laughing and joking all the time, I think of myself as funny but it’s always deadpan humor and I wish I could genuinely smile and laugh and make friends with the other guys. Any old timers or well travelers out there have any advice?

  • Bluefruit@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    My advice? Sounds like you could use some therapy. Genuinely therapy is really helpful for sorting out these issues.

    You sound like you may be dealing with more than just burn out. Of course im not a medical professional and i dont know you well enough to really make any fair assessment but just talking things out with someone would likely be beneficial.

    If you can’t afford therapy, talking things out with a friend may help as well but as they wont be trained to deal with this, it may or may not be helpful. It can help but its not a replacement for professional help unfortunately. I speak from experience but ymmv.

    I worked in CS so i know it sucks. I hope things get better for you.

    • yokonzo@lemmy.worldOP
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      11 months ago

      I’ve got no qualms against going back to therapy, it’s been some years. Only thing is I’ll have to wait till November when I can get on my works insurance plan

      • snek_boi@lemmy.ml
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        11 months ago

        In case you don’t know about it and its effectiveness, you could read about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. You could watch Steven Hayes Ted Talk (or other talks) or read his Liberated Mind book.

  • delicious_justice@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    Practicing what I call Micro Pleasantries helps me feel good about life. Can be as simple as complimenting someone on their awesome new shoes or giving up your seat on the bus (or allowing someone to merge) It makes me feel better and hopefully makes someone feel better , too.

    • Mugmoor@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      11 months ago

      This. I try to do give a stranger at least one genuine compliment whenever I go out. It helps keep me positive and aware.

  • AA5B@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    I’m not sure how much I can help except to reassure you that your personality does not have to be a straight line into “grumpy old man”.

    When I was your age, I was also pessimistic, sarcastic, cynical, with deadpan humor. I probably wasn’t a fun person to be around. Now that i’m twice your age, i’m optimistic, positive, pleasant and friendly, and love goofy humor and Dad Jokes. My politics have skewed way left, and I regularly try to interject some hope into discussions with disillusioned young adults. Don’t worry about a thing 'Cause every little thing is gonna be alright

    My best guess for why I changed, was having kids. Some of it was to light up the path of their lives, some of it was seeing the light through their eyes, but I think it was mostly joining them. I first saw the light at a cabin in the Adirondacks when I snuck out early before anyone was up so I could feed my newborn his first bottle at the top of the nearby mountain. I could look around, do the Lion King thing to proclaim the world as his. But it got better as he got older and I rediscovered my inner child and the simple joy of playing. Now he’s the serious kid going into college worrying about his future, the environment, etc, and I’m the goofball making him laugh, showing hope and optimism about the future, letting him know every little thing is gonna be alright l

  • AverageCakeSlice@sh.itjust.works
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    11 months ago

    Well, self awareness goes a long way, so you’re on the right path. Lots of people get crotchety and cynical by focusing too much on things that are outside their control. Focus more on areas of your life that you can influence, and learn to enjoy your life for what it is rather than what it could be.

    Honestly, if you’re the type of person who’s prone to this, disengaging from hyper cynical social media platforms (yes, including Lemmy) is probably another good idea.

    My dad used to be super into politics and consumed rage-bait news on TV and social media a lot, especially during the height of covid. Once he unplugged from all of that there was a noticeable shift in his demeanor and I would say that he’s significantly happier and more content now.

    • can@sh.itjust.worksM
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      11 months ago

      disengaging from hyper cynical social media platforms (yes, including Lemmy)

      Ideally, but I found on reddit that highly curating my subscriptions (including pretty much removing all defaults) helped too.

  • Doug [he/him]@midwest.social
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    11 months ago

    Look for the little joys. Seriously. You know that light that always seems to be red when you get there? Celebrate the times it’s not rather than getting annoyed when it is. Make up words from the letters on a license and consider what might make a person want that. Come up with bad answers. Absurd ones. Find shapes in clouds.

    Not all of that is easy but it can be worth the effort.

    Happiness can be chosen, just not all the time. Look for the places you can and try to do it. Like anything it’ll get easier with practice.

    *There are hard things that will make choosing happiness nigh impossible. If you find yourself in one of these places you need external help, very probably professional. It’s not weakness to acknowledge that any more than it is to see a doctor if you cut off your arm.

    • highrfrequenc@lemmy.world
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      11 months ago

      I’ll add, Listen to stand up comedy or a funny podcast while driving. Your brain will eventually associate annoyance with humor, and everything irritating becomes a chance to make a joke. Made a difference for me after years of sitting in traffic.

      • einsteinx2@programming.dev
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        11 months ago

        That’s a really great idea, I never thought of that! Would have really helped my 2 hour each way commutes that drove me crazy before I went full remote.

  • Boiglenoight@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    Don’t worry about it, accept it as a stage of life and do it with style. Start cataloging a lot of zingers aimed at young people being foolish and practice your delivery of the word “dumbass” so that it can be used to end most sentences.

  • average650@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    One thing no one seems to be mentioning, is finding a purpose. A reason that things are worth it even when they aren’t good.

    What is your reason for living, your hope, even when shit hits the fan?

    • yokonzo@lemmy.worldOP
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      11 months ago

      My purpose is my art and my animations, only thing is this new job is extremely demanding time and energy wise compared to anything I’ve had, so I barely have time to get home and create anymore

    • Guy Dudeman@lemmy.world
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      11 months ago

      This is crucial. Even if that thing is just enjoying a nice walk in the morning or finding the best burger in town or playing pinball. The point is to make yourself have something to look forward to. That’s all that keeps me going.

      • ComradeKhoumrag@infosec.pub
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        11 months ago

        On a less sarcastic note, Shrooms and acid both bind to the 5HT2A serotonin receptor in the brain. This receptor is responsible for filtering out information. Sensory information like the buzzing of the AC or fridge gets filtered out because it’s not useful information, and you’ve heard it a million times anyways. When this receptor is blocked, your brain reverts back to a childlike state because all information is treated like new information because it’s not getting filtered out

        • TitanLaGrange@lemmy.world
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          11 months ago

          Just to add a bit; I don’t know anything about brain chemistry, but if I cast the subjective experience into these terms I would imagine that this filtering occurs at higher levels of abstraction than the mentioned sensory input. Meaning that you have conscious awareness of ideas that your usual habits of thought would filter out before they reached conscious awareness. The vast majority of those ideas are just fun, creative, silly bullshit that can easily take on a quality of profundity that it is tempting to take far too seriously, but sometimes they can inspire more long-term creative paths, or even just let you appreciate your sober experience of the world in new and interesting ways.

          This is useful for many of us who spend the vast majority of our thinking time in very utilitarian goal-oriented patterns. These habits of thought, while useful for earning a living working in a kitchen or whatever, for example, can hamper our ability to experience other sorts of creative, playful, and novel patterns of thought that make life fun. Breaking out of those habits can help bring new, vibrant perspectives on our living experience.

          • ComradeKhoumrag@infosec.pub
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            11 months ago

            Right, good point, and yes: it’s much more than just sensory information. And it’s more than just the removal of a filter. There’s no small change in a complex system, especially when that system is the brain

            Ive made a lot of music on Lucy. Im really curious what the effects of learning an instrument or languages are when under those conditions

      • intensely_human@lemm.ee
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        11 months ago

        Sort of like a cross between group therapy and a mastermind group. Mostly we just check in which whatever’s good or bad going on, how it makes us feel. There’s a focus on minimizing the details and sticking to what things feel like right here and now, as a way of getting in tune with what feelings are present.

        I had no idea this was true, but I couldn’t identify which feelings I was feeling. I only expressed, and allowed myself to identify, emotions that matched who I was in my story.

        Now I feel my actual literal emotions. Directly. It’s made it so much easier to make life decisions. And I feel a lot less out of place in life. I actually feel like part of humanity now.

        • botengang@feddit.de
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          11 months ago

          Sounds fantastic. Is there an organization for such groups? I’ve never heard of them before.

          Maybe apart from masonic lodges…

  • Mugmoor@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    11 months ago

    As someone near your age who had worked in Food Service for a similar amount of time; I highly recommend you talk to your GP about getting some help. I came out feeling the exact same way, but ignored it. That was the wrong thing to do, and getting medical help has made a huge difference.

    It’s kinda freaky reading your post honestly. I even worked on Factory lines after kitchens and had a similar experience.

  • some_guy@lemmy.sdf.org
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    11 months ago

    I agree with @Bluefruit that therapy is invaluable if you get a good therapist (you might have to try a few; don’t get discouraged). I think 80% (a number right from my ass) people could benefit from therapy (as opposed to 80% need therapy).

    But also, some of it is just personality. I also don’t smile easily with people who aren’t close to me. I have trouble making jokes with people that don’t know me intimately because my (also) deadpan humor is dark and absurdist. Only through knowing me intimately will it sound like a joke. A colleague once observed that he was starting to recognize my brand of humor six months into working together, which I found surprising at the time. Some of it you just accept as who you are.

    Having been in CS positions at different times in my life, I realize that it can make a person dead inside. Hopefully, this isn’t your situation. If it is, please work (however you find an ability to) to find a change. For me, it was witnessing a moment of truly astonishing empathy from someone that was a wakeup call. Best of luck!

  • Phoebe@feddit.de
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    11 months ago

    I might understand how you feel. Opening up is a good first step. But after that? I don’t know. What steps to take and how long your path will be… no one knows.

    Whenever anxiety tries to take controll of me… whenever i am angry at my own progress, i think about a little story:

    A man takes a morning-walk on the beach. During the night there was a terrible storm, spreading tousands of seastars over the sand. He sees a woman trying to bring the seastars back to the water.

    He walk up to her and asks: “why are you even doing this? You will just save a few, but the majority will die when the sun rises.”

    She bend down to pick one seastar up and throws it into the ocean. “Maybe. But this one i have saved.”

    Changing is hard and often feels pointless. The only thing we can do is doing things step by step.