The Tenderness of Sharing Interests



There’s something inherently tender about sharing something you love with another person. For neurodivergent people like me, our hyperfixations and special interests are usually things that we keep very close to our hearts and put a lot of love into, so sharing them with others can feel like baring a bit of our souls. However, there’s something inherently tender in sharing those interests. 


Take, for example, me and my friend Damien. Both of us have ADHD and we met through a shared hyperfixation. As the friendship grew, we eventually started sharing more about each other, and that included outside interests. He introduced me to the Fallout universe and the pros and cons of each game. It got to the point where different websites and apps recommended Fallout content to me regularly, and I could identify a Bethesda game from just the general atmosphere, despite having never actually played a game myself. Although I never felt the need to know anything about/play Fallout before he introduced it to me, now I eagerly look for more content and I contribute some of that to how much it means to him. 


Sharing something that has gotten you through difficult years, or something that you just have a lot of love for, is a daunting task. It involves placing a lot of faith into the person you’re sharing with and trusting them to treat something that’s important to you with respect and kindness. For most neurodivergent people, our interests and the things we love have gotten us through the difficulties of being neurodivergent by offering us a refuge and support when the world seems too overwhelming and uncontrollable, and therefore deserve as much love and can be as personal as parts of our personality or our pasts, and as such, we want them to be as respected, just like we want to be respected as people.


And sharing interests isn’t just important to neurodivergent people; sharing something you love with anyone is a good way to show them that you trust them and want them to know more about you, which is always an important step to building healthy relationships. So the next time someone shares something they love with you, know that they’re trusting a part of themselves with you, and treat it accordingly.