The Hobbies Question

One of the most aggravating questions I ever find myself being asked is, “What are your hobbies?” I think a better question would be, “What activity gives you the most personal satisfaction and why?” While it may seem like the second question is just a more eloquently phrased version of the first, it’s not.

The first question demands a blasé and superficial answer that employs listing a string of activities. For instance: Biking, walking, reading, listening to music. Rather than achieve a more comprehensive understanding of who you are as an individual, the inquirer will receive nothing more than a series of happy images of you performing the said activities.

It is for that singular reason that I despise the hobbies question. Giving us nothing more than a glance at a person’s interests and talents, the question essentially demands an answer framed in terse bullet points.

Now  imagine being asked what activity gives you the most personal satisfaction and why. Well, that changes the nature of the question and the answer immensely and immediately.

“What activity gives you the most personal satisfaction?” That isn’t asking about something you do just to pass the time, a.k.a. browsing your Facebook newsfeed, taking selfies, playing Celebrity Crossword on your smartphone. No.

The question asks about an activity you perform that gives you a greater degree of personal fulfillment and happiness. An activity that makes you feel more complete and accomplished than anything you’ve ever done or intend to do.

Now if that activity just happens to be playing Celebrity Crossword on your smartphone, then who am I to judge you? Whatever brings you the most happiness and a veritable sense of purpose is indubitably worth doing!

So the next time someone asks you the dreaded Hobbies Question, try answering the Personal Satisfaction Question instead. I wouldn’t surprised if you or the inquirer learned something new about yourself.


24 thoughts on “The Hobbies Question

  1. Pingback: Almost Poetic | Cardboard Express

  2. I’ve never thought of the distinction. It’s probably due to my perception that when someone asks me what my hobbies are, it’s like when they say ‘how are you’. It’s almost like a salutation and I feel that they not always are really looking for an answer. Anyway, I will try your suggestion!



    Liked by 1 person

  3. A: “What are your hobbies?”
    B: “Um… Playing video games.. Watching tv shows… Listening to music…”

    A: “What activity gives you the most personal satisfaction?”
    B: “I love to go clubbing with my friends in the city at night, dance and enjoy ourselves with strangers who are also there to have fun!”

    Suddenly, you understand the person on a more personal level. You learn this person’s outgoing and adventurous personality.

    You make a very great point!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you think so too! Whenever people are trying to get to know me, it just irks me whenever they ask me this question. “Yeah, I like tennis, listening to music, reading, blogging…” I just thought the other question would be a more suitable alternative. And hey, thank you so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That is actually a very good point. The word “hobby” in my opinion has always been a broad word. I mean it can be something you enjoy doing in your free time or just something you like to do in general. It can be a large number of things. So I think if the “personal satisfaction” question was asked, the answer can be much more specific. At least, I can eliminate sleeping and watching TV as my answer. Great read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s definitely a distinction between the two questions. I agree–if we want a heartfelt answer, we should ask the second one. (But I suppose if we’re in a hurry, the first one comes in handy, too. 😉 )

    Thanks so much for visiting my site!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mypersonalteenlife

    You’re blog is really entertaining to read. I love your insightful opinions on certain topics. Also, I nominated you for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge! Make sure to check out my blog for more information!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Itsmine

    Really very gr8 view! Agree with each & every word ! Its unbelievable that a person of your age can write this ! Really amazing,this is the high class example of your superclass talent ! 🙂
    I always enjoy to play chess,its my life! I can play chess continuously for 12 hours in a day though I am not master in that game 😦 😛 But i enjoy each defeat & victory.But here comes the interesting fact that is why i cant make it as my career as I am so much devoted to that ?,because the weird thing is I can play chess for 12 hours but its very hard for me to study & understand the chess only for 2 hours also.! So though U R too much devoted to ““What activity gives you the most personal satisfaction” but its not necessary that it should become the mean to earn money OR to become top level master in that.! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. abyssbrain

      Hey, so you play chess, haha, I didn’t know that. What’s your rating btw?

      During my childhood, I always compete on chess competitions. My ELO back then was around the range of 2200-2230. However, I just suddenly lost interest on the game and my rating just plummeted like crazy. Now, I rarely play chess but chess will always have a special place in my heart 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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