I have never been shy about my fandoms or expressing my nerdiness. If you don’t know one geeky thing about me after we talk, I’m not sure you were listening. You might even know one of my geeky loves before I open my mouth because I tend to wear geeky tees and jewelry. And if you’ve been to my house or office, you’ve probably seen some sort of geeky decor.
However, I have always tried to be more discreet at work, at least until I know my co-workers fairly well. It’s possible at some point in your life, you’ve also felt the need to be quiet about your own geeky joys. Still, I think it’s important to share your nerdiness with others because it’s a great way to connect with people and a way for others to learn about cool movies, tv shows, craft trends, etc. that they might not have otherwise come across.
Below, I’ve provided tips on how to let your geek flag fly in various aspects of your life.
Geeky at Work
While walking around campus, I saw two men wearing nerdy shirts of different fandoms – Captain America and Dragon Ball Z. As I glanced down at my time-turner necklace, I realized that I was restricted on what I could wear since I’m staff, not a student. Yet, I still managed to let my geek flag fly just a little bit. My desk also has a few geeky items – a Kaylee POP figurine is on my windowsill and my Wonder Woman water cup is always nearby.
As the cultural phenomenon PokemonGo has taken over campus (aka my workplace), I see more and more people, some you wouldn’t even expect, very obviously playing the game. Many of us are giving each other head nods or commenting to friends and coworkers when we see someone playing the game. There’s definitely some geek camaraderie going around these days. I don’t recommend playing games while you’re supposed to be working, but on lunch breaks share a game with your co-workers, whether that’s PokemonGo or a card game or something similar.
Some of you may have attended one of our Nerdy Networking events in the past – in fact, we have one coming up soon! At an event called Nerdy Networking, it’s clear that you can share your nerdy interests with others. Other networking type events can be a good place to bring up geeky topics. At the last networking event I attended, I ended up talking to a group about Harry Potter for about 20 minutes.
Just be careful of context. In a peer networking group, like Young Non-profit Professionals Network or the Junior Chamber of Commerce, you’re likely to run into people of your same age and possibly same interests. A networking event of mixed generations or a professional conference may not be the right spot to bring up your nerdy interests as you might not connect in a similar way.
Family and Fandom
As someone with five uncles, I’ve always been wary of sharing my personal geeky loves with family for fear of being teased. Luckily, we’ve always been able to find common ground in Star Wars. My personal feeling is that if I can find something in common with my very skeptical, too-cool-for-school uncles, you can probably find a geeky love in common with just about anyone. Superheroes have been around for decades – it’s possible your grandma was reading comics as a young girl, but you’ve never had a chance to discuss!
My suggestion is to find an opening where you share common ground. This means that you might not want to talk strategy for your latest video game, but instead bring up Doctor Strange because you know Aunt Susie loves Benedict Cumberbatch. Whatever you do, keep an open mind. My parents’ generation didn’t call their geeky interests “fandom,” but you better believe they were obsessed with Dallas, a show with a huge following.
Let Your Geek Flag Fly
Just remember that your geekiness is part of you, so it’s ok to share that with coworkers, family, and even random strangers. You might be surprised at the connections you make!
Author: Carolyn Noe
Carolyn is the Founder & Executive Director of Super Heroines, Etc. She is a recent transplant to Cincinnati and lives with her husband and her dog. She regularly nerds out about Parks & Rec, Firefly, and Pride & Prejudice.