How to Stop Living Under a Rock - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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How to Stop Living Under a Rock

FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist committed to uplifting and educating others to be reach their full potential.

Stop feeling guilty about living under a rock and do something about it.  Besides, it's not like people don't know you're utterly clueless.  Come out into the sunshine!

Stop feeling guilty about living under a rock and do something about it. Besides, it's not like people don't know you're utterly clueless. Come out into the sunshine!

Stop Living Under That Rock and Come out into the Sunshine

Someone I love has lived under a rock for years. She was riding out in the country with a carload of people when they passed a sign that said, "Rabbits For Sale — Live or Dressed." An avid bunny lover, she exclaimed how adorable that was, then prattled on about what types of costumes the bunnies might be dressed in (e.g., top hats and tuxedos, ballerina outfits).

Her audience sat slack-jawed until someone explained that "dressed" actually meant slaughtered and eviscerated with the head and feet removed. Twenty years later, she's still trying to live that incident down.

We all know that one clueless person who seems to have a congenital case of naivete. Regardless of educational level, basic facts and terminology seem to have escaped their attention. They have little notion about the culture they inhabit. Slang befuddles them.

While you may wonder how they dress themselves in the morning, usually someone blurts out a question only slightly more subtle: "How do you NOT know that?"

If you're the one who has been hiding this way, then you've come to the right place for help. There's hope for you, my unworldly friend, but only if you're willing to invest some effort.

So whaddaya say? Stop living under that rock and come out into the sunshine!

Living under a rock may feel safe, but it's so much more interesting in the sunshine!

Living under a rock may feel safe, but it's so much more interesting in the sunshine!

Reader Poll

How to Tell If You've Been Living Under a Rock

The fact that you're questioning is a positive sign, right? Cluelessness is not exactly the type of thing people can keep secret for long. It's not like others aren't on to you.

Indications that you might be a rock dweller:

  • selective—and by that I mean exceedingly deep and narrow—interests like the genealogy of your own family
  • sticking with familiar favorites in your routine rather than ever risking anything new
  • socializing in a small, tight circle of like-minded others—same race, religion, age range, values, and socioeconomic background.

If you're beginning to suspect this might be you, perhaps you also wonder how you got here. There are many paths to cluelessness. The underside of rocks become welcome shelter for many people, including those who

  • play too many video games
  • spend years in graduate school navel gazing
  • watch FOX TV and listen to Rush Limbaugh ad nauseum (or their far left equivalents)
  • give up television entirely
  • take up sleeping as a hobby
  • are home schooled
  • allow their work to consume them or
  • live in an isolated area and never venture far.

Oh, stop being so sensitive. Half of that list describes me, too. The struggle is REAL. It's an ongoing process!

Under this rock is not a bad place to hang out, but there's more adventure outside.

Under this rock is not a bad place to hang out, but there's more adventure outside.

Let's Get You Curious: Climbing out of Cluelessness

Take a breath and let's get your head out of that dark hole where you've been hibernating all these years. (I say this out of love.) You'll find that the advantages of knowing what the hell is going on in the world will be a richer social and inner life. If that doesn't thrill you, then what about people no longer shaking their heads at your cluelessness? Nobody really wants to be that guy who has to have everything explained to him.

To get you out of the rock crevice where you've been seeking refuge, we need to get you curious about the world around you. If it doesn't come naturally, then fake it 'til you make it.

Being curious might take heavy lifting on your part, but here are some ideas. Seek out people who have different values, beliefs, and backgrounds from you. It's okay to take baby steps at first. Eat lunch with one of these differently-minded others on occasion, just to mix things up. Start conversations. If you can't do that, at least smile or acknowledge them for starters.

You know Steve at work with the arm sleeve tattoos? (No, actually you do. You've worked together for six freaking years.) Anyway, if asked, he would probably love to describe the process of acquiring his body art, what the symbols mean, how and why he chose them, and his plans for additional tattoos. The good thing is that you don't have to technically like tattoos to be curious about them. Display an ounce of personal interest by prompting him to talk about himself (people love to do that, so it won't be that hard). Absorb the stuff he says, and ask follow up questions. You're well on your way.

No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don't ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.

— Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist

Don't stop there, however! To further climb out of cluelessness, also practice asking others more open-ended questions. If a friend is going to Machu Picchu on a family vacation, one option would be to admit you've never even heard of the place. However, another would be to ask what inspired her to pick the location and what she plans to do there. (Be sure to Google "Machu Picchu" later.) You never know when this "useless" information could come in handy.

Now, really heave that rock aside and get climbing by requesting that people share what they know on a topic or teach you skills they're good at. (Return the favor and teach them something, too, if you can.) For example, my daughter delivers Chinese food for a restaurant owned by a classmate's parents. Her friend also works there, and English is his second language. It's an excellent opportunity to learn a few Chinese words and phrases. Imagine being able to make small talk in Chinese!

This underside of this rock would make a great hideout, but look how beautiful it is when you're not living underneath!  Stop hiding under that rock and enjoy the world.

This underside of this rock would make a great hideout, but look how beautiful it is when you're not living underneath! Stop hiding under that rock and enjoy the world.

More Tips for Climbing out of Cluelessness

There are lots of other practical ideas for staying curious about what the hell is going on in the world. Stop hiding and

  • look up unfamiliar vocabulary terms when you run into them
  • use the Urban Dictionary to learn new slang terms
  • turn to myth debunking websites to settle (or learn about) urban legends
  • browse Wikipedia, trivia sites, and famous quote sites for general information you may or may not need to know.

That's the thing about so-called "general knowledge": you never know when you'll need to know it. So be proactive.

Speaking of reading, I suspect you don't do enough of it. (No need to answer.) Rely on a variety of reading sources, not just your narrow range of usual favorites (assuming you have favorites?). Start, for example, with the Best Seller's List—fiction or nonfiction—so that you can offer up something interesting in conversation.

To bask in the sunshine once you're no longer rock dwelling, stay updated on news highlights. News cycles are so short that no one can keep track of what's going on, but you can at least be familiar enough to have an opinion and know what questions to ask. And never get your news exclusively from one source, especially if it's a channel that claims it's "fair and balanced."

Look to learn something new by turning to podcasts and in-person events, social media platforms, and museums. Find a new in-person group to hang out with on Meetup and share new adventures. Try that race car driving, sushi-making, or escape room experience on Groupon. Volunteer in your community or online. I found a volunteer opportunity to remotely judge a college scholarship essay contest. It made me feel much warmer than lying under that rock for a week.

Living under a rock is safe, predictable, and involves little effort. I get the benefits. However, you'll find that the more often you climb out into the sunshine, the more fun you'll have being formerly clueless.

Summary of Tips for How to Stop Living Under a Rock

IdeaIdea

seek out people who are increasingly different from you in values, beliefs, and backgrounds

watch a variety of television channels, not just your one favorite

request that people teach you a skill they're good at or share what they know on a topic

keep up-to-date on the news highlights

ask follow up questions

check out podcasts and attend live events on a variety of subjects; learn something new

look up unfamiliar vocabulary on the spot

use Urban Dictionary or ask when you don't know a slang term

read, read, read

browse Wikipedia and trivia sites

join a group and/or volunteer in your community or on-line

try various social media sites that will expose you to new ideas

limit your pursuit of any one specific activity (tv watching, video game playing, extra napping, etc.)

when you hear an urban legend, turn to one of the myth debunking websites (e.g., Snopes, TruthorFiction)

It's All About Balance

Although living under a rock offers predictability,  balancing your interests and social interactions offers excitement.

Although living under a rock offers predictability, balancing your interests and social interactions offers excitement.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 08, 2020:

Peggy - A curious mind and varied reading sources definitely help! Have a wonderful day!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 06, 2020:

We can all get very comfortable with our routines. I have to admit that I do not keep up with the latest stars or celebrities, but with the reading and writing that I do, I feel that keeps me in the loop of what is generally most important. Having a curious mind helps!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 30, 2018:

Finn Liam Cooper - Rocks can be comfortable hiding places, but the sunshine is pretty awesome as well! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Fin from Barstow on July 29, 2018:

Well I don't own a television and am in graduate school - again - so maybe I am living under a rock.

some nice ideas here....I do need to get out from under my rock sometimes....but then again, it's nice and comfortable here

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 04, 2018:

Lora - What a beautiful comment. We all have so much to offer the world, and it's a shame to hide our gifts under rocks.

Lora Hollings on July 04, 2018:

I think that living under a rock is good if you’re a lizard but not so good if you’re a human being! Living under a rock or in isolation of others isn’t going to bring you much happiness and fulfillment. After all, we are social beings and we have a strong need to interact and engage with others and to contribute our unique gifts to the world. You offer some great suggestions in your article on how to start getting out from under that rock and living in the light of day.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 28, 2018:

Joy - Happy to help. Embrace the world, as it is yours!

Joy Roberts on June 28, 2018:

Thank you, this was most helpful since

living under a rock as a child then an accident as an adult. You gave me many ideas. Have a great day.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 23, 2018:

Nadine - Thanks for chiming in. I have enjoyed hearing all of the different perspectives on this.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on January 23, 2018:

Wow, what an interesting viewpoint. I have to admit, I have never stopped asking questions and never will. I mix with people who have no idea what I'm about, but I listen to them and can still learn about their world but do I live under a rock. I can understand or relate to the idea that living under a rock might sometimes be a way to shut out the outside world. No, I don't think I am living under any rock but I love your balance photo. I rather sit on one of those rocks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 20, 2018:

Genna - Sometimes when I'm flipping channels, I give their perspective a listen and I just cannot believe some of the stuff I hear. Have a wonderful weekend!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 20, 2018:

What a sage and thoughtful article. And I loved your list -- especially about certain individuals from Fox News, whom I think must inhabit another planet entirely. :-) Well done.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 17, 2018:

Larry - Everyone lives under a rock from time to time, but some folks really love to stay there. I love that "free restroom tours" anecdote. Great story. Have a great week.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on January 17, 2018:

Knowledge base is not a sign of intelligence. In other words, you can't know what you don't know.

I'm a hick. I know what rabbits live and dressed are. It's in my wheelhouse, but I remember driving around dessert regions with my friends headed towards Vegas for the first time. We were out around New Mexico or Arizona.

We saw billboards advertising "free restroom tours," which to us was hilarious.

Took us a while to realize because water is a premium there, they were touting in a less vulgar way that they'd let you crap for free:-)

It's fun to have fun with these sorts of things, and everybody gets tripped up from time to time, but then you have the occasional person that is clueless about everything!

Great read, as always.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 15, 2018:

Chitrangada - Thank you for the kind feedback. I wish you adventures and enlightened thinking. Have a great week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 15, 2018:

Patricia - Such kind words. I thank you. Have a wonderful week.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 14, 2018:

Very interesting and effective article to make people understand, if they are living under the rock and may not realise it. You made some important points here in this well written hub!

I know of some people, who are in such situation. All they need is some motivation, some positive thoughts. This article would prove to be a good one to lift them up from under the rock.

Thank You!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 14, 2018:

Amen.....such wise words. Sadly there are those who unwittingly have fallen in to such a rut. Hoping that many will heed your suggestions. Angels are on the way this evening ps

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 14, 2018:

Suhail - I found the comments interesting, too. Some of us are blissfully unaware resting under rocks, others seem unaware we're living under a rock, while others may use the rock for cover as needed. I guess there are some people who are genuine full-out sunshine seekers, too. I enjoyed the variety of responses.

I've previously lived in a series of small communities of good people who tended to reject outsiders and anyone different but also lived in a neighborhood of internationally eclectic people, some of whom didn't speak English. You can learn a lot about yourself either way.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit of your life and perspective. Have a wonderful week!

Suhail and my dog K2 on January 14, 2018:

Hi,

Very interesting read and informative too! Considering the indicators you have mentioned , I don't think I am living under any rock. However, I always dis-confirm the evidence and have to find out a way to really determine if I am living under any illusions. For example, I could be under a rock without knowing under one ha-ha.

One thing I would like to take as a challenge though is to meet with new people and inquire more about their hobbies and topics of interest.

Btw, there are lot of informative exchanges of views in the 'Comments' section, almost as valuable as the article itself.

Regards,

Suhail and my dog K2

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 14, 2018:

Devika - Thanks for sharing a bit about your life. Have a great weekend.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 14, 2018:

I live with freedom and safety. Under a rock is not for everyone. You shared this hub with great reason

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 12, 2018:

Frank - Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on January 11, 2018:

I guess the new generation does live under a rock or at least the folks I know.. I grew up in a glass house..so I didn't throw stones..LOL love the hub and the photos too

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2018:

Mary - Isn't it so much more exciting in the sunshine? Glad your husband could expose you to adventures in life.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 11, 2018:

Your pictures are not only beautiful but the express clearly the ideas you want to share. I used to live under the rock, in a very protected environment but my husband is the opposite so we're often on an adventure.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2018:

Devika - Good to hear that! Have a wonderful 2018! Thanks for stopping by.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 11, 2018:

I have an opened mind about life, the people I mingle with, and always up for something different. I like different!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

MsDora - Thank you for such a kind compliment! I hope your 2018 is as wonderful as you are, good lady.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 09, 2018:

Great advise, Flourish. You offered a really wise perspective on this matter. It helps to realize that there is something even the smartest person doesn't know; but of course, the person under the rock will not know that--until he or she comes out.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Kallini - Not a problem to me. I just don't like to feed the trolls. It encourages them! Keep being fabulous just the way you are.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Kari - I love your style! Thanks for sharing. Those articles you write about your OR nursing experience definitely expand our horizons.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on January 09, 2018:

Thank you, Flourish. I did not think about that - certainly, it wasn't my intention.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Kallini - I didn't publish your second comment so that article wouldn't get any more traction than it already has! It even has a spammy fake Hubber making comments in the comment section. While HP was out making deals, they've been neglecting other duties.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Kallini - I didn't publish your second comment so that article wouldn't get any more traction than it already has! It even has a spammy fake Hubber making comments in the comment section. While HP was out making deals, they've been neglecting other duties.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Heidi - I'm sure you're not clueless. Asking questions and getting people to share what they know or believe can be enlightening. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful new year!

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on January 09, 2018:

While I spend a lot of my time under the rock, I am also that climb to the top of the mountain type of girl. I'm clueless about many things (or so people say, lol) but I try to keep an open mind. One of my favorite things is talking to someone who lives differently than I do.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on January 09, 2018:

Well, I don't think I'm in any danger of being clueless. I'm always afraid I don't know enough! Dang curiosity! And the older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know or understand.

What I really love is the point that you don't have to like something to be curious about it. That's profound and very true.

Good way to start the New Year. Cheers!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Linda - Thanks for stopping by. We all live under a rock at least a little.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2018:

Kallini - So good to see that you've come out of hibernation! I missed you! For some rare people, their internal worlds are much richer than the outside, thus the rocks they inhabit are pretty darn mesmerizing themselves! I guess the only problem is, too many people who mistakenly self-identify as one of these #likereallysmart people. And that just ruins it for the real gems like yourself. Don't stop being you. Hope you had a marvelous holiday and best wishes for a fantastic 2018.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 08, 2018:

There's lots of good advice in this article. I need to follow some of it!

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on January 08, 2018:

Hello, Flourish:

I don't know under what particular rock I have been and am living, but I was confused by the title - "What?" I asked myself. Later I laughed, of course.

I can suggest Postcrossing - I think it is the least painful of all initiatives. It's not an instant gratification and it keeps one alive and on his toes.

There should be an internal engine for going which only works when we need it. I think we all have our huge rocks or even rock formations.

Get out more, you say? Talk to people? When I do, I can stop talking and telling them what I know and they don't (and probably don't care because it is not relevant to them). Maybe we crawl under because the world is overwhelming and overstimulating and keeps accelerating.

Oh, and making such blunders? I made one of those just recently. But I'm glad I made it - if I didn't, how would I have possibly learned? (It still wasn't important for me).

Maybe the rock you are talking about is the point of stable equilibrium?

Or maybe, rock dwelling is a defense mechanism. What do you think?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Mary - No tv since 2009 is a heck of a long time! I don't watch much because it's too negative but do catch short bursts every day just long enough to know how long Trump's still going to be in office. Don't worry -- I'm guilty of half of that list. (Overeducated, from a small town, love to sleep, watch little tv, etc.) It's a process.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Linda - I'm sure that as a geologist, Mr. Carb Diva has all the great rocks staked out!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Tamara - Glad you're back! Hope your holiday was a wonderful one and your new year is the best one yet!

Mary Wickison from Brazil on January 08, 2018:

I am so far under a rock that I wouldn't know Kim Kardashian if she passed by me. Seriously, I would not be able to pick her out of a lineup.

This shocks my family but I haven't had a TV since 2009 and I rarely read news on the internet. I am kept informed by my husband who reads the BBC and gives me the highlights. "Woman with two noses wins the lottery."

My reaction is, "and how does this affect my life?"

Since it is the start of a new year, I will endeavor to begin reading news headlines, to get me up to speed with the outside world.

I tend to watch instructional videos on YouTube and read at night.

I do, however, meet people with different viewpoints from around the world and daily try to improve my second language skills.

This article hit a bit close to home. Ouch!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 08, 2018:

Flourish - How funny. Mr. CD is, in fact, a Geologist.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Linda - It sounds like you definitely have a rock dweller on your hands. I guess you can be thankful that he has two interests, although his selection is a bit tough. Engineer? Scientist? Accountant? In my family, we call the lengthy verbal musings on very select topics "verbal downloads" because often there is no give and take or verbal exchange. However, it pleases the rock dweller well enough until his or her next requirement for social interaction. I suspect you have received a number of such downloads on cars and geology. I understand.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Peg - I understand! The weather has been very cold here recently and just yesterday I ventured out to Target and believed it was an accomplishment. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Bill - I suspect we all either know people like this or are like this ourselves. I worry about folks who never leave home yet want to write about the world. Seems strange and very difficult, too. Thanks for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Clive - Think about how warm the sunshine might be if you crawled out for a moment! (I'm trying to give up my hobby of sleeping, but that's pretty awesome, too.)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 08, 2018:

Nikki, Thanks for reading. Enjoy the sunshine!

BBYCGN from Uninhabited Regions on January 08, 2018:

Excellent article, Flourish! Great ideas and suggestions, as well. I tend to be guilty of being a hermit at times due to being somewhat of an introvert.

The holidays were beautiful, and very busy for me. So, I am trying to get back to Hubpages amongst my friends on here, such as yourself.

I hope you had a lovely holiday season.

Tamara

xxx

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 08, 2018:

Flourish, what a great way to begin the New Year. This article certainly, but the message it conveys for sure. I think we all tend to do a bit of rock dwelling. It's so easy and comfortable to get stuck in that proverbial rut. Mr. Carb Diva talks cars and geology. Period. Any deviation from either of those two topics and I find that I'm speaking in a room by myself (he doesn't actually get up and leave, it's just that I'm the only person saying anything. Just me and the crickets).

Thank you for an uplifting, kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants article. I hope everyone reading heeds your advice. Have a great day my friend!

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on January 08, 2018:

You've uncovered some great ideas for under-rock dwellers like me. Yesterday my husband reminded me that I haven't left the house in days. Today I'm determined to get out and about - the Post Office, the Bank and then back to my comfortable hole under this boulder.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 08, 2018:

Hilarious, but then I do know people like this, so maybe not so funny. I actually know a writer like this...not a good writer, mind you, but he fancies himself a writer, but he never leaves home. Is that even possible? Anyway, l loved this.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on January 08, 2018:

I think my rock is pretty cool

Nikki Khan from London on January 08, 2018:

An amazing hub to let things go and be passionate to be optimistic and try your best.

Everything is possible if you think positive and keep smiling.

Thanks for some awesome tips FlourishAnyway.

Happy New Year Dear.

God Bless you.