When we take on a new hobby, we often enjoy sharing our interests with others. But, there are some occasions where our hobbies are so strange that we’d rather not share them with anyone. Here, people reveal the weird hobbies they’ve been hiding from their families.
I've been writing a novel for the past three years, spending a good chunk of my time polishing it, researching, getting the tone just right. I haven’t really told anyone about it yet. It has been a challenge because I've been writing it in English. English isn't my first language and I'm a construction worker.
I voice act. My family is mostly non-American and doesn't know the first thing about voice acting. They've caught me looking like I'm talking to myself doing funny voices and pretty much thought I was nuts. Since then, I've been keeping this hobby away from them. It's not something I tend to do to get the bills paid, as I lack equipment of any kind. I just do it for fun. I like altering my voice and singing songs in different voices. I also just like to be dramatic.
I'm a guy and I volunteer at an elementary school to be a friend for at-risk kids. Not a lot of guys do it so usually, it's me and three girls. But because they do same-gender partners I got a sweet fourth-grade boy who loves basketball. It's always awkward at first when you're the only dude, but it shouldn't stop anyone.
I build virtual houses in The Sims and post them in the gallery. I think I’m up to probably 8,000 downloads. It might not be that much, but I post often. On days off, when no one’s around, I might post five builds in a day. I just find it super relaxing. I like to flesh everything out with little knick-knacks so it looks like real people live there. So, I’m an adult who plays dollhouse. What about it?
Sewing. It’s not so much a weird hobby, but my family is pretty old-fashioned (AKA really sexist). So as a man, they’d have a field day if they knew more then half the stuff my wife made for them was actually me. It's really relaxing and satisfying creating stuff. Plus, I save a lot of money never having to throw clothes out.
I'm going to turn 60 years old soon. I feel young, but I have a hobby that might not seem right for my age. Thankfully, my spouse, who’s two years younger than me, is into it as well. We absolutely love playing video games. We each have our own Nintendo Switches. We’re both hooked on Minecraft but have tons of games.
I create little origami cranes whenever I have the chance. A lot of the time in school, I’ll find a piece of scrap paper. I then rip it into a square, fold up a little intricate paper crane, put it somewhere and see how long it will last before being found. A few of my friends know about it, but that’s it. My goal is to put these cranes in enough strange places that people start noticing and they’ll wonder what’s going on.
I’ve managed to hide a few on top of speakers mounted to the wall. I’ve put some on top of an overhead projector. I hide them on random chairs. I’ve hidden about six inside the piano (easily retrievable), so that if anyone opens the lid they’ll see them. I’ve put them on top of school computers and inside science equipment cabinets. Some are also on top of shelves and inside textbooks. I even managed to get one in the teacher’s bag. It’s funny how people don’t notice them. They’re hidden in plain sight.
I lived in a college house with three guys who were taking a music course. One of the first weeks of school, the teacher showed them Mongolian throat singing. For the next 18 months, I had to listen to the worst throat singing quartet in existence. We would all be doing our own thing when one of them would start. The other two would join the cacophonous chorus almost immediately as that horrendous humming would fill the house.
But wait, I said it was a quartet and that’s only three people. Well, the upstairs neighbour had a big lab. I don't know if it liked the throat singing, or if it hated it, or if the dog just had to be the loudest thing on the block, but he’d start howling almost immediately. Even with my tin ear, I could tell they were not a good harmony.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly bored, I’ll put on sunglasses and sit somewhere out in public. I like to go to places that have a lot of foot traffic so I can just sit and watch people. It’s absolutely hilarious and can be very entertaining at times. Admittedly, I haven’t done that in a while, though.
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I have a lot of weird hobbies, but the only one I don't tell people about is that I talk to myself. A lot. Like, full-blown, never-gonna-happen scenario conversations for 30 minutes at a time. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. I'd be embarrassed if I got busted talking to myself like a lunatic, but I worked myself through some personal stuff on more than one occasion just by being able to say my problems out loud, even if no one is listening
I write adult stories for myself. But the system I have in place is so convoluted and bizarre I can’t let any the people in my life know about it. I've always had this desire for women in crewneck sweatshirts. A few years ago, I discovered sites like Etsy, where I could save photos of models wearing that type of clothing. I saved photos in a giant folder initially, then I started categorizing them.
Somehow, I got the idea to write stories in Word that I would tie to that girl in that folder. It could be some really extreme stuff or some sort of vanilla romantic thing. I basically chose my favorite sweatshirts from one subfolder and line them up in five rows of five, a total of 25 photos. Then for each photo, it would be a different chapter of the story. So, basically 25 bullets a word document. I can't believe how much time I put into it, but I did find it mentally stimulating.
When I'm bored I play music to fantasize about while I walk in circles. If I don't walk in circles or move in any way, I can't fantasize, so I only do it in my room and make sure my footsteps aren’t heard. The problem is that I always think of parallel universes and such. If I don't stay enough in the real world, I sometimes just start walking faster out of nowhere. Then, you can clearly hear me walking in my room, so I just sit down and act like I had to walk over to grab something. I then don't continue for like another five minutes to avoid being suspicious.
Some days at work, I'll challenge myself to only use my left hand, or never bend my right knee, or not use my thumbs at all. It started when I wondered to myself if I could still function normally if I lost an arm. It then escalated to all kinds of potential amputations or mobility losses. It's weird, I know but I think it helps me see the world from another perspective. It also helps me be thankful for the functional body I have.
When I first started on makeup, I was worried my family would tease me for it because I was always one of those "I don't need makeup because I'm not like girly girls" types. Then I realized I actually really enjoy it. These days, I'm a lot quicker to tell people. Everyone's allowed to play with makeup if it makes them happy. No need to regret being a tomboy, we were just trying to figure out who we were. We just have to be good to ourselves and others!
I talk to my reflection in the mirror when I’m in the bathroom. I do it either before I take a shower or after one. At this point, I don’t try to hide it and it's also not what you'd call really weird. Yet it's weird if my mother sees me doing it because she becomes unsettled by it. I honestly started doing it to get over my anxiety about talking to people.
I used to make catalogues of people. I had some pretty bad social interaction issues, so I used it to keep track of information about people. It was like a folder in my brain in each person. It’s subconscious now, but occasionally I’ll bring up something super specific and people either think it’s sweet or really weird.
I record myself reading books aloud. Things like Berenstain Bears chapter books, Choose Your Own Adventure , Goosebumps , etc. I do the voices, edit out the mistakes, sometimes add music or sound effects. Then, I listen to those recordings while doing household tasks or especially when I can't sleep. Hearing my own voice reading helps me doze off like you wouldn't believe.
I roleplay with one of my best friends. I haven’t told my parents or any of my other friends about it. When I bring it up, I call it “a book online I’ve been reading.” This roleplay has been going for about four years and the world we made is so in-depth, it’s basically torn from its source material. It could also be its own standalone story. I keep multiple quotes in a document on my iPad, as well as multiple facts about the characters, like birthdays. I even track how many concussions they’ve had.
I watch anime, read manga and light novels, and listen to J-Pop. Even though I’m Japanese, I’ve never shared this info with any of my friends for fear that I’ll be judged. Anime and manga have gotten more popular recently and I’ve definitely overheard some people at my school talking about it. But, no one in my friend group.
I was very embarrassed when one of my friends saw my anime Spotify playlist and I played it off as if I was into Japanese music in general. I always wanted to share my interest with someone else but it’s kind of too late now. I really do want to change and show my true self more when I enter college next year.
I watch a lot of extraction videos on YouTube. Everyone knows about pimple extractions, but what about mango worm extractions? Ingrown toenail extractions? Ear wax extractions? Rock extractions from horse hooves? Ingrown hair extractions? I just like seeing things taken out of other things. It feels like, “Ah yes, this creature has benefitted. Good has been done here. Also, excellent use of the Jobson horn.” Not even my husband knows and I don’t plan on telling him.
I sew pieces of clothing together, as in I will try my best to make an otherwise useless piece of laundry have a second life by using patches and stuff. In the case of one sweater I own, I added patches to it as a form of keeping memories. I might post pictures of my patchwork pieces online if anyone is interested.
I’m always running when no one’s looking. Any time I’m alone and I want to move somewhere, I run. If I’ve got dishes at my desk and I’m taking them out to the kitchen, I run there and back. If I’m heading to my car in the parking garage and no one around, I run to the car. I’ve done this ever since I was a kid. I really wish I could just run everywhere, but I’d look like a lunatic if I was always running for no reason. But to me, it’s walking that has no purpose. If I can run and get there in a third of the time, why wouldn’t I want to?
I sit in my bedroom and imagine different scenarios depending on what music I’m listening to at that moment. Considering all I do is listen to music, you can only imagine all the emotions I’ve conveyed through people and situations that don’t even really exist. This led to me creating entire scenarios in my head that lead to extensive story writing in an effort to capture these made-up people and fake, but very real feelings. I find myself being sad or negatively impacted overall if I’m not able to channel those feelings.
I've started getting more into witchcraft-type stuff. Not because I think magic is a real thing, obviously, but because I like the wildness of it and the way it changes my perspective on things. At the end of the day, what harm does it do to set an intention to boost the calming effect of some tea, or consult a tarot deck to help you think through a problem, or smudge a house to set your mind at ease?
The reason I keep a lid on all this is that my boyfriend is pretty judgemental when it comes to people who claim to do "real" witchcraft. He thinks they're all science-rejecting hacks. I just don't want to deal with it because I know he'd immediately jump to that conclusion. I have to work to convince him that no, I don't think it's the planets' fault for all my problems, and yes, I know these are just harmless little rituals that only have an effect in my mind.
I’m an Instagram micro-influencer. I have a small number of followers and have done some endorsements. I also have an “aesthetic” Instagram where I post pictures of me modeling or generally just things I find pretty. It’s nothing scandalous. The reason for keeping it a secret from friends and family is that I wear a hijab in real life and I don’t on the internet.
I like to put coins into plastic coin tubes. It started as a convenient way to sort out my spare change but it was strangely relaxing. Since I've gone through my spare change, I'll buy some coin rolls, open them and put them in the matching plastic coin tubes. It's not even about the money really. It's just the order.
I have internal conversations with real people I know. I can even invent people to fit a role I need to talk to. You’re analyzing your thoughts by internalizing outside perspectives. It’s no different than having shower conversations where you play out what you say and what they’ll say. Except I’m able to angle what the other person says in a way that helps straighten my thoughts out.
It’s sort of intentional, but also each conversation is unique because each person is unique with their personalities. It doesn’t work if you just force them to say and behave in ways they wouldn’t in real life. That’s why I do it with many different people. Some people will ask better questions to get you the answer.
I really want to start a YouTube channel. I sometimes record myself while drawing, do stop motion and other creative stuff. But I never upload any of it because I’m kind of afraid people in my village would make fun of me. I actually already tried uploading some stuff and they made fun of me, which is why I stopped.
I enjoy watching videos of breakdance battles. It’s not popular in the area I live and I don’t know anyone else who follows it, so I mainly watch it alone. Over the last decade or so, I’ve come to really enjoy the culture of it and learn the name of dancers and crews all over the world. I also follow it more than any sport.
I learn accents. The Australian accent, German accent, British accent, heavy Southern accents, Russian accents, etc. Sometimes I also try to impersonate people (usually my friends). I talk to myself or imagine I'm a movie character while practicing these. My sister walked in on me impersonating a Russian thug and one time my dad walked in on me pretending to be a cowboy.
I’m more of a hobby jumper. I obsess over something of interest until I master it or understand it so well that I move on to the next thing. Currently, I’m thinking a lot about metal detectors and becoming a detectorist for this next warm season, but I fear there’s nothing but boring stuff in the ground in MN, USA.
In the past, I’ve done film photography, built road bikes and collected toys, comics, video games and memorabilia. I skateboarded, went spelunking through tunnels and sewers, found abandoned stuff and trespass it, did woodworking, sculpted and did ghetto embroidery and stitching. My job is like a perpetual hobby that I love most of all is animation.
It’s not particularly weird because it’s a massive industry, but I love battle rap. Thing is as a 20-something-year-old guy living in Ireland. I can’t exactly relate to the things people say in battles. Any time I’ve brought it up to people, I get the understandable, “You mean like 8 Mile ?” But it’s an incredibly impressive, creative art form that I keep to myself because people in my immediate circle don’t understand.
I like cemeteries and contribute to the restoration of old cemeteries. I wish people still used them like public parks (they used to do that back in the old days). Honestly, I see nothing wrong with it. Cemeteries are like gardens and should be maintained. It makes no sense to have a fancy grave that no one visits.
I've been volunteering at a cat shelter for about a year and haven’t said anything about it to my friends. It just feels kind of awkward because I'm a 19-year-old dude and most other volunteers are middle-aged women. But, I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they love and partaking in awesome work.
I talk to myself a lot. I always had a hyperactive imagination. When I was a kid, I'd just talk to myself when nobody wanted to. Often I'd assume different personas and go on and create different fantasies in my head. I still do it almost every time I'm alone (fewer fantasies and more casual convos nowadays). If I ever get seen, I'd like to pass away immediately.
I’ve written two books and currently writing a third. Two are self-help books and one’s fiction. I haven’t even told my fiancé about these and the one I’m currently working on is How Not to Flip Your Sh*t While Planning a Wedding . It’s a working title, but you get the drift. I’ll never publish them, it just helps me work through all the thoughts in my head.
I know I’m not alone in this but I still play The Sims . I’ve spent so much time and money buying the expansion packs and downloading mods. I’m not the “typical” gamer chick so I just feel like my friends would think it was kind of weird coming from me. I get embarrassed with myself when I see how many hours I’ve spent playing that game.
I love ‘90s music and I also love to collect vintage t-shirts from bands and singers from around that time period. My prized shirt is a rare Color Me Badd shirt from 1992. I also have an awesome Nine Inch Nails shirt that I wear all the time. It cost me almost $200. Some people buy substances, I buy old t-shirts.
I've been practicing balancing peacock feathers on various limbs and doing simple tricks with them since I was about six. I genuinely wanted to run away and join the circus. I still do it now and it's pretty fun. If you're wondering where I got the feathers, my uncle used to have a peacock and gave me the feathers it shed. The reason I won't tell my family is, although it isn’t as weird as some stuff, it is kind of strange.
I drive when I’m bored, sad, lonely, glad, whenever. I just drive, I’ve lived in the same town my entire life and ever since I got a car, I’ve been doing late-night drives. I know every side street, every highway, every little spot to watch the sunset. I’ve seen everything in my town and I want to get out. I know these streets too well.
I’ve driven them tipsy while jamming out and knowing the whole time I shouldn’t. I know where every cop hides and when I should pump the brakes. In the last two months, I’ve put 13,000 miles on my car just from my late-night drives. Every time I walk through the door at 4:00 a.m., my parents just assume I’ve been out with friends and living life.
I don't know if it's considered a hobby, but when I go to bed, I create elaborate fantasy stories in my head. It takes me days, sometimes a week, to imagine the cities and landscapes. Then I create some kind of conflict, play it out according to each character, and then see what the result is. It takes me hours to sleep, but sometimes I get vivid dreams of the world and experience it.
I'm addicted to Let's Plays. Mostly the Game Grumps, though I watch others too. I'm not a particularly big gamer, so nobody in my life would get why I spend hours watching these guys play games. But I love listening to them talk and tell their stories. The closest I've ever really gotten to showing anybody that "side" of me was when I had an ex-boyfriend take me to an NSP concert, but he had no idea who they were and was really confused by their music. I think he just ended up brushing it off as some weird comedy thing I liked.
I bounce around from hobby to hobby. I find it hard to stick with one. Like, I'll learn to decently solve a Rubik's cube in under a minute but then I see some cool pen spinning video and I’m already online buying a new pen. I try not to tell my family how many hobbies I have, though. There will be weeks where for the first few days, I’ll have one hobby. Then in the next few days, I’ll have a completely new one.
Well, I play the guitar. The problem is, my family would hang me if they found out. For generations, our family has hated music due to a relative of the family abandoning us to pursue a career in music, or so they told me. I love playing the guitar and I wish I could be a professional guitar player. I’d also love to sing in the future, but my family would be so mad if they even knew that I play the guitar at all.
I challenged myself to learn a skill every two weeks. I've learned some pretty cool, useful, weird, and useless stuff. I memorized the first 100 digits of pi, learned morse code, card throwing, and somehow actually developed acting through fantasies and scenarios. No lie, I'm pretty good at it. I use it to get out of tricky situations all the time. No one has a clue.
I'm addicted to a Chinese dress up game that I play every day. My phone's time zone is set to Taiwan and I have all sorts of alarms to wake me up in crazy hours to get more stamina, battle and so on. The thing is, I don't speak Chinese at all, but I found this one game and have been hooked ever since I started.
I have a drawer in my desk at work that is full of spoons and knives. My office is near the kitchen. I get enjoyment out of watching my co-workers freak out at the fact that there are no spoons for stirring their coffees. It started out as revenge because people would leave their dirty spoons and trash all over the kitchen, but then it became a hobby of mine to collect the silverware and discretely infuriate everyone.
I pretend to do interviews on radio or TV shows and talk about life. It actually really helps me through some things. Sometimes, I’ll say something that I didn’t even know I was feeling or thinking. It sounds so weird and I haven’t told anyone, but I’ve been giving myself fake interviews for years. I even imagine receiving awards for my research as it helps push me through hard times.
I collect Transformers and try to know everything about them. I can name most older toys from a vague description. I’ve been watching since G1 but never had many toys because they were crazy expensive back then. $50 in 1984 was a good chunk of change. They were affordable during the Beast Wars era but have gotten stupid expensive again.
I collect pretty leaves and flowers and I put them in notebooks, I have about four or five notebooks with dried flowers, etc. This one time, I was on a school trip to a forest and someone asked what I was collecting fallen leaves for and I told her. She thought it was rather odd. I kind of agreed, so I just keep it to myself.
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