First of all, I am defining a Jack-of-all-trades as someone who has many interests and is passionate about those interests.
So why is it that I know so many people who are jacks-of-all-trades?
I got to thinking about this after several of my friends all stated that I was the only true friend they had and all of these friends were, musicians, writers, or artists or a combination thereof. It occurred to me that I was friends with them because I share one to three, to all of those things with them and I wondered. Are Jacks-of-all-trades always lacking of friends? It occurred to me that most of my “friends” are much younger than me and I realized that when I was their age I never had many friends either but I had the beginnings of hobbies in, music, writing, and art. So I wondered: did I become a Jack-of-all-trades to attract friends?
I believe I only have one friend who is very close to me in age and the one thing we have in common is music. So I came to the conclusion that being Jack-of-all-trades is so that no matter how skilled you are at the many things to do, you will always have something in common with someone. I’ve never had many friends who were my age because I didn’t feel I had much in common with them. Now I’m not saying all friendships can thrive on having something in common. Often you can be really close to someone who is always there for support, or someone you enjoy talking to about general things, NOT just your hobbies. So being a Jack-of-all-trades gives you more opportunity to make friends because you have more in common with them and you don’t have to go outside your comfort zone and talk about things you don’t like or don’t get pumped about.
Another thing I’ve noticed in myself and other Jacks-of-all-trades is we talk INCESSANTLY about our hobbies, fandoms, or general obsessions. We are always passionate about what we love and I know from myself I never shut up about it!!! We talk about what we love and we don’t ever change the subject because it’s outside of our comfort zone. So here’s my first tip for Jacks-of-all-trades: MAKE SMALL TALK! for me, it is so hard to make small talk! the simple “Hi, how are you” that is the first conversation we learn when learning a new language is so hard! As Jacks-of-all-trades we feel so comfortable in our mother tongue that we don’t feel the need to stoop to the “foreigner’s” level and I still need to learn myself it is quite Pompous! I know it feels intimate to talk about the things you love with someone, but you might be letting too much of your heart out to that person, just like in a romantic relationship, you can’t let them know all of you too soon. Like modesty, keep the deepest thoughts of your heart for the people you can truly trust.
Me personally, I lost a very close friendship when I was in highschool for no apparent reason other than, I talked too much about what I liked and never made room for the other person to talk. This made no sense to me, I thought it was something my friend and I had in common and for years I felt dumped and betrayed like I had done nothing wrong. Am I trying to restore that friendship? No! But what I am doing is learning to make small talk. It’s hard, I feel bitter afterwards, but I do feel like I am conveying to this person who hurt me that I don’t hold anything against them.
Being a Jack-of-all-trades is not a bad thing, in fact it’s quite fun, there’s so much out there we are interested and talented in. I love drawing, writing, playing music, cosplaying, reading, anime, archery, sword collecting, and many other things! We can find lots of people who are interested in what we are because we are interested in a lot of things. Rarely we find anyone who loves all the same things we do.
And then… there’s the internet…
And that is where socializing for our kind died…
This is why it’s so hard for Jacks-of-all-trades to make friends. It’s probability! The probability of you finding someone in your home town or state that shares all the interests you do is pretty low, but the probability of finding another person, or a few people with all those interests is significantly higher when you’re searching the whole globe and not just your backyard. Suddenly, you have ten, or twenty people you can talk to instantly about that new episode of that show you both love, or you can show off you art and get instant gratification from people who truly love it! You can build up hundreds of friends on the internet but then you’re left saying:
“In real life, I’m an introvert, I have no friends but you.”
You’re not an introvert! When someone says, “OMG Doctor Who!” you’re suddenly a social butterfly who won’t shut up! You are a passionate, outgoing, creative person who just wants to break the ice with someone!
So next time you’re trying to make a friend, don’t whisper in their ear “Super who lock firefly merlin anime LOTR Hobbit.” Instead start with “Hello, my name is…” then go on to follow the instructions for conversations in any language learning textbook.