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How important is wit?


lifesatrip

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I'm wondering if having a witty partner is a big priority for most people. I am extremely socially anxious and in some ways have not developed the best conversation skills. I'm feeling extremely insecure lately because I feel I'm not at all witty. I'm not good at banter, and I feel sort of conversationally dull/slow (maybe because I'm always processing intense anxiety during social interactions). I'm also extremely ignorant when it comes to cultural references, pop culture, and history. I'm trying to improve this, but it seems like I'll never catch up - there's just so much common knowledge out there that I somehow never picked up on. It makes me feel stupid.

 

I sometimes have good conversations with my few close friends. We analyze society, social justice issues, spirituality, nature of reality, etc. or we talk about interpersonal relationships, psychology, or personal growth stuff. We definitely laugh, but I feel like I'm an overly serious person. My friends say witty things, but I feel like I don't. I'm generally more passive in conversations, though I try not to be.

 

I have been making more of an effort lately to be better conversationally, and I feel like I'm getting nowhere, especially in terms of engaging more playfully. This is really discouraging, and I fear I am just a dull, dry, slow-witted, boring person. I'm starting to realize how important playfulness, humor, and wit are in terms of dating. I think my primary way of bonding with my friends has been through providing each other with emotional support. Once we have established a deep connection on that level I do become more playful and able to joke, but it takes forever to get there, and I feel that even with these people that I'm close to, I'm still not very funny, witty, or playful relative to the average person. Self-consciousness seems to be my modus operendi, even though I try to focus more outwardly.

 

I'm wondering how much of a problem this is in terms of finding a relationship. I'm wondering/afraid my personality is just not attractive enough to find someone, and I'm destined to be alone or in a very unsatisfying relationship. To try to balance out the negative things I've said about myself: My friends consider me intelligent and insightful (personally I'm not sure). One of my best friends just told me that she thinks I have deeper insight into people and society/life than anyone she's known, which is flattering, but as a friend obviously she's pretty biased. I like to do adventurous things, have traveled extensively in foreign countries by myself, I have a couple hobbies which I'm passionate about, and I'm in school and feel relatively passionate about my major. I'm also reasonably attractive physically. However I have a terrible memory, my thoughts often feel confused (partly because of anxiety), and sometimes I have a really hard time expressing myself in words, which can make conversation a challenge. I am extremely introverted, shy, insecure, and self-conscious. I'm in counseling, but am not sure to what extent I can change these qualities.

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For me it is essential BUT I know of several people who married people who are not at all witty or good at banter and they seem perfectly happy together. I think it's great that you're working on your social skills -we all can use some work. I would avoid trying to meet women in bars/clubs and other places where you need a quick "line" - my suggestion would be to volunteer back stage at a community theater where you get to know people in a meaningful way but with less anxiety because it's while you are working on something creative, or building something like a stage set.

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I have to admit, wit is important to me. Not a total deal breaker, but definitely preferable.

 

That said, you actually have a lot going for you. Your words: " I like to do adventurous things, have traveled extensively in foreign countries by myself, I have a couple hobbies which I'm passionate about, and I'm in school and feel relatively passionate about my major. I'm also reasonably attractive physically." Now THAT talks to me! I find that attractive. A plus. That almost overrides having wit, lol. You should put a lot more focus on all these positives, than any negatives.

 

Good to hear you are in counseling to help you with some issues. Hopefully it will help you.

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Wit is a quality that some people will care about and others wont. I'm a female myself but really don't care if a guy is witty. It's a bonus for sure, but not a requirement. I imagine it's the same for many men.

 

My female friend also deals with anxiety, is bipolar, and is in counseling and so on. She's not very witty and often comes accross as naive and ignorant. She also comes accross as having a terrible memory. We have been friends for many years and overtime I've noticed she has an excellent memory with important details and is a great friend. Similar to you, she's also attractive, in school, and adventurous. She's NEVER had problems with guys being interested in her. Actually my first love (we never dated) was secretly in love with my friend for several years. However, she was not interested in these guys in return. Ironically she tends to be more attracted to witty guys, who may prefer more witty girls. Who knows... my point in telling you this is that everybody is attracted to different qualities in a partner. Someone will enjoy you for who you are. I think it's great you are seeking counseling for YOURSELF and not to find a partner. Someone will value your dedication to self-improvement and will love you for who you are.

 

Just be patient. It's difficult for everyone to find a compatible partner.

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I think it's really about two completely different personality types. I don't know if I'd call myself "witty," but I am quite keen on joking around, playfully teasing, and creating humor out of quaint observations - particularly as they pertain to the woman of interest. I've gone on dates with women who definitely weren't feeling it. It could be that it went over their head, or it could be that they understood me completely, but wanted to ditch the jokes and have a straight-line conversation. I think there are plenty people out there of both varieties.

 

Personally, I don't require a woman be particularly witty herself, but be able to put up and appreciate what I throw out there.

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For me personally it's a nice thing to have, so long as it's not witty at the expense of others. That sort of thing is a complete turnoff and someone gets rejected pretty fast by me if they do that. If you aren't a witty/sort of bantering person then don't try to be, that's when it becomes awkward. There are plenty of men and women who don't especially want you to be witty and banter, so much as they want you to talk to them sincerely and openly about things. I know my SO's ex who we are both friends with now told me one of the things she didn't like about my SO was how witty he was, she found it annoying. She's a lovely lady, but a bit serious and intense and if you talk to her you best have something serious to say. I love sitting down with her and her husband and my SO, because the conversation is always thought-provoking and interesting. She doesn't have to be witty and neither do we and it's cool.

 

Be who you are, there are plenty of people out there who will like you even if you can't banter like an extra from the TV series Buffy.

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