Is being jaded a good thing?


By Eric Waisman, Jaunty’s Founder
Maybe it’s that time of year, but more people seem stressed or nervous. There’s a word that keeps coming up in my social intelligence one-on-ones with folks, and that word is “jaded.” To me, jaded implies a certain cynicism, like you’ve done something so many times it doesn’t excite you anymore, or you think you know how something’s going to play out before it happens.

People tell me they want to make more friends, but they feel jaded and weary of small talk. They want to find love, but they’re exhausted of the cautious, predictable, getting-to-know-you dance of early dating.I think I have been feeling a bit jaded too, whether in relationships, work, travel, or exercise. (Shit, those are a lot of my favorite things!) I decided not to take any holiday vacations this year because going somewhere didn’t feel exciting.

Picture“Jade in the sunshine” by Mark Fosh, Flickr, CC by 2.0.

First, I wanted to get rid of this feeling. What happened to my old enthusiasm? But as I read more and re-framed it, I saw it in another light. The best thing about feeling jaded is that you can think long-term. Your emotions can be more even-keeled and you’re not chasing the quick high of a new experience. In other words you won’t get temporarily fooled.

Let’s take romantic relationships for instance. Many mistakes happen in choosing a partner because of the high we get from that electric connection with a new person. Self-help author and blogger Mark Manson recently wrote about the difference between romantic love and true love. He says, “Romantic love is a trap designed to get two people to overlook each other’s faults long enough to get some babymaking done. It generally only lasts for a few years at most.” He sees true love on the other hand as a “deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy” and “a choice.” Basically it’s the long-term commitment to someone regardless of the present circumstances and supporting each other emotionally for the long haul.

Picture“storm sky,” liz west, Flickr, CC by 2.0.

When the initial blaze of romantic love fade, and life challenges come up, a relationship is put to the test. A couple learns if their partnership is actually strong enough to weather the storm. If they were previously so intoxicated by romantic love that they were blind to each other’s personal challenges, they might be in for a shock.

​But if you’re a bit jaded, when you meet a new person, it’s easier to see how they may connect with you beyond the honeymoon phase. How aligned are your beliefs and life goals? How compatible are your communication styles? How strong is their emotional intelligence? Taking a step back and seeing something for what it really is, is a sobering process and might not be that fun. But it can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. This can also work for scoping out new friends or even a job. (Would that job actually be a good fit for you? Or are you just super excited by the idea of working for that cool company?)

As Jaunty students know, there’s a big high in meeting new people and it’s fun. Once you do it enough, you may get a bit jaded and learn to focus on things you are specifically looking for quicker. When you know you can strike up a conversation with anyone, you’re coming from a place of abundance, and then can be more thoughtful about the kind of people you really want in your life. That’s why our goal at Jaunty is to get your people skills so second nature that you can concentrate on looking for what you really want long term.

As you look back at your 2016, ask yourself what short-term highs you may have chased versus what longer-term commitments you chose. Either is fine, but one is more fulfilling. Happy New Year.

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