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January 22nd, 2010
11:13 am

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Random question
If you could choose to stop disliking specific things, would you do it? You could go back to disliking them if you don't like the results.

A few examples:

I would rather be able to like beer. I wouldn't want to love alcohol, but being able to enjoy a glass of the good stuff now and then (I can like a smallish amount, but then the yuck-alcohol reaction kicks in) seems as though it would improve my quality of life.

I wouldn't want to be able to like romance novels. I'm not sure what I dislike about them (I like love stories, but there's some specific romance thing that puts me off), so I'm not sure what I'd be changing.

I think I'd be better off if I could pay attention to the details of political processes.

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From:rysmiel
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
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There are ways in which I might have an easier time co-existing with standard business hours if I did not have the difficulties I have with mornings, so being able to switch that off might be appealing.
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From:nancylebov
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
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How sure are you that your dislike of mornings is about something which is harmless for you rather than disliking them because waking up early is bad for you in some way? You might need a different sort of tweak for getting up early to be good for you.
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From:asakiyume
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I think I would. But like you, there are some things that I wouldn't want to give up disliking.

To some degree I've found this *is* possible.
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From:richardthinks
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
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"I'm glad I don't like cabbage because if I did I'd eat it and I can't stand the stuff."
It's a really old joke, but my son has actually come up with it independently and used it on me when the subject of his limited diet comes up.

Your observation probably divides the world into things you merely don't care for and cases where your dislike actually forms a part of your identity. I'd be happy to like almost any food or drink, plaid, chess and even country and western music, but I'd rather continue not liking Sarah Palin. Perhaps it's because I feel I've invested something in the latter case.
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From:nancylebov
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
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It looks to me as though identity issues are exactly what makes people not want to give up an otherwise harmless dislike, though being unable to imagine the change might be a separate issue.

Admittedly, there's some epistomology mixed in-- how sure are you that a given dislike is about something which is harmless for you?
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From:andrewducker
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
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Spiders. Mostly harmless (especially in this country) and it would make life easier if I didn't hate them.

Beer is a good one for the same reason as you - it'd be a handy thing to be able to drink.
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From:noveldevice
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
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Probably not.

What's the benefit to not disliking something? Is there one? (There usually really isn't, I don't think. Plus, I have run into too many occasions with food--the area of dislike I got harassed for the most as a child--where my dislike was keeping me from harm.)

Specifically re alcohol: you can develop a taste for alcohol if you want to. I did.
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From:nancylebov
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
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In re alcohol: I've tried. My tolerance is way higher than it was 30 years ago, but it's still very low.

The benefit to not disliking something is that you might enjoy it, and then your life would be better, assuming that it's harmless, or at least mostly harmless.
(Deleted comment)
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From:nancylebov
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
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What method did you use?
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From:interactiveleaf
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Can I stop disliking specific people, instead? Not those who have Done Me And Mine Wrong, but just people whose personality (or lack of it) grates.
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From:noveldevice
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
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I think rather than magically liking them, you'd need a higher tolerance for whatever it is about them that grates.

Otherwise you'd like them but they'd still be fucking annoying as hell.
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From:redbird
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
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The Sarah Palin example in the comments leads to a useful distinction: does stopping disliking something mean actively liking or enjoying it?

There are a lot of things I have no real opinion about, and that just don't impinge on me that much. There's clothing I dislike, but there's other clothing that I don't wear for other reasons: for example, I don't dislike wetsuits, I've just never had occasion to use one.

I don't need or particularly want to like coffee, but it would be useful to be able to turn the dislike down enough that I could use it as a source of caffeine when tea isn't available. I don't actually like cola, but I can drink it at need, in the same sort of context.

From another angle, the question might be, how much would starting to like X change the rest of my personality, opinions, or life? I didn't like horseradish until a few years ago; I do now. That's mildly useful, but I'm not attending horseradish festivals, or changing my entire approach to food. Learning to like cooked vegetables (which was mostly about discovering the right way to cook things that aren't carrots or potatoes) made more of a difference.

Starting to like exercise made a major difference: I like it enough that I spend a significant amount of time at it, and that's time I'm not spending on something else.

There are some things where I would like to see/hear/feel/understand what people who like them are enjoying, and enjoyment might come with knowing that. Some music is like that: I don't have a good ear. Actively liking romance novels I think would involve a significantly different attitude toward life and relationships. And I have no shortage of things I want to read already: it's not like someone realizing that the combination of what they like and what they can safely eat is dangerously, or even tediously, small.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 22nd, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
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Modern music! It's forced on us all the time in stores, cafes, etc. I wish I could like it, even tried post-hypnotic suggestion.


houseboat
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From:xiphias
Date:January 22nd, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
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I want to like sardines.

They look like convenient protein-food. They come in adorable little cans that store forever. Many people I know find them delicious.

I can't stand 'em.
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From:lysystratae
Date:January 22nd, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
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liking sushi could come in handy.

What i'd really like to be able to do is turn off my allergy to cumin - I think it smells and tastes wonderful, but 4 hours later it's 3 exits, no waiting, and painful. This can be a real problem with some foods - like the pumpkin soup I sampled at the local grocery store. Tiiiiny little sample, about an ounce, and i kept thinking 'hmm, something in here tastes familiar, what is it?'. So I asked for an ingredient list, and sure enough, cumin. if they'd labeled it spiced pumpkin soup, i'd have looked first. Instead, i prayed that 3/4 of an ounce i'd ingested wouldn't be enough to trigger a reaction, and at the 4 hour mark, figured I was ok... then in the middle of bowling (around the 5 hour mark), it hit - and it was worse than the last attack had been, many years before, when a tuna taco had a cumin-laced sauce that wasn't mentioned in the menu.
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From:agrumer
Date:January 22nd, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
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Beer for me, too. And waking up early.

Now that you bring it up, I realize that I've taken myself down the dislikes ➝ likes ➝ is a snob about path for both coffee and sushi. (In the sushi case, I had a someone help me with the first steps.)
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From:catbirdgirl
Date:January 22nd, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
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I would like to like doing paperwork. It would make my life easier.I would like to like more legumes. I would like to like early mornings.
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From:green_knight
Date:January 22nd, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
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I'm a supertaster, and I don't at gut level understand how people can _like_ coffee or alcohol - to me, they literally taste disgusting. It would be handy to not mind the taste, particularly when you're in a place where the only hot drinks are abysmal tea and bad coffee. (The fallacy is to assume that they taste that bad to everybody else which I did for many years.)

I've worked out over the years *why* I dislike Romance novels. I now find it a perfectly logical thing to do ;-)
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From:nancylebov
Date:January 22nd, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Why don't you like romance novels?
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From:mindyklasky
Date:January 22nd, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
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How are you defining the difference between "love story" and "romance"? (If it's a cover art thing - yeah, a lot of genre romance has abominal covers. If it's a "I hate those books they sell in the grocery stores" thing, that's painting the entire genre with a too-wide-for-my-taste brush.)

Oh. Maybe I just answered my own question, with another example I started to type. Do you like love stories, but only when they end sadly or tragically?

Mindy, really interested, not being facetious, but with an obvious horse in this race :-)
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From:green_knight
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
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With no disrespect, and not speaking for nancylebov: for me stories focussing on how one man and one woman get together don't work as _stories_. I have a strong romantic streak, Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books, but I bounce very hard of the Genre (and I did make an honest effort to read it.)

Other people bounce off SF.
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