We all have talents, even if they aren’t necessarily useful but do you have any hidden talents that no one knows about (but you and perhaps your pet dog)?
The following Quora writers responded to the question, “What are you good at that nobody knows?”
Find the original thread at the end of the article.
Ive been training vocally since the age of 4. I have perfect pitch- which is not to say I always sing in tune, but that I always know exactly when I am off tune. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Apparently, its not normal to be able to pick up a song just by listening to it a couple of times; especially if that song is in Spanish. But I never tell anyone about it, because I dont train in Western vocal- I learn Carnatic music, or South Indian Classical.
I was humming to myself in class last year and my friend turned to me, shocked, and said – wow, youre really good! I never knew you sang!
Im not shy, but at that moment I felt a prickle of heat on my ears as I replied, oh, I dont.
But I do. Ive been singing a minimum of 3 hours a week since I was 4 years old.
I just never tell anyone about it.
Well, this may sound creepy.
Before I go ahead, stalking here does not mean I go around looking for girls to fulfill any desperate urge.
By stalking I mean getting to know people in advance so that it can be used as an ice breaker.
I go to a lot of media and technology events where it’s really difficult to break ice. What do I do?
Before the event, I can see the particular hashtag on Twitter and see who all are coming. Usually everyone in Tech Media is highly active on Twitter, so most of the times it works out.
Then I see their interests. Their past tweets. I know a little something about them. Like, A owns a Ford Export and loves long drives. B is a HTC Fan boy while C is a part time EDM Artist. You know what they like and what they don’t.
Now when I meet them, I behave like I don’t know anything about them. But I do. Then causally in the conversation slip something that they like. And you’re good to go!
I have an affinity for geography, and I therefore know a lot of (un)necessary stuff related to it:
- I know all the countries, capitals, flags and can recognize the countries shapes in isolation
- I know every countrys population, area and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the last million or the thousand
- I know languages spoken, cultures, religious dominance in each country
- I know of more than 10,000 locations in the world
- I know almost all of the places that begin with X (there are 26) – this is because I used to play a game called Atlas
In theory, it’s kinda funny, but this can be very useful for conversations with strangers in foreign countries.
Seriously, my memory in general is rather mediocre, but I have this strange affinity for memorizing names.
Take Survivor, for example, by the end of the first episode I can usually remember the names of all 20 contestants.
There were roughly 18 new students last year at my school, and I had all their names down by the first day. Now, at the end of the school year, I am fairly confident I can recite all 60 people at my small school plus teachers, first names and last.
What I find truly remarkable about this talent is that I’m not an outgoing person! I learn names from reading name tags, and hearing them being spoken from other people.
As strange and unknown as this may be, this skill is actually extremely useful.
A lot of people seem to think a 26-year-old male is somehow mentally defective when it comes to preparing food (or doing any household chores that they didnt do growing up for that matter. Newsflash: were not all lazy mamas boys).
So many times as an adult have I heard:
Person: Do you cook, or do you just get take-out?
Me: I cook about 45 meals per week
Person: WHAT?! I dont even cook that often!
Ive never cooked at a restaurant, nor have I received any culinary education, but I do think I can make a mean:
- Fried anything (at least almost anything)
- Grilled anything (at least almost anything)
- Chicken Parmesan
- Shepherds Pie
- BBQ (as in smoked for 48 hours, falling off the bone)
- Homemade pizza
- Tikka Masala
- General Tso
These are just off the top of my head. Most people who know me are surprised when they eat my cooking.
I essentially have 2 different personalities: one for when I’m with family, and one for when I’m in public.
In public, I am highly introverted and guarded. I am often told that I have no emotions, or that I always have a poker face on. Basically, my guise screams Stay back unless you have something substantial to say! I hate small talk and petty conversations that take me nowhere, and will always steer clear of them at all costs.
It actually takes a lot to get personal answers out of me, and I have been notoriously known to be vague in my responses to avoid unwanted attention. Even through all my efforts, people will still seep in through the cracks and come to me with gossip and personal problems, forcing me to act like I understand when I really could care less.
The funny part is that whenever I talk to someone who is not African like me, I will always automatically switch up my accent and pitch. Though, I do not speak my African language fluently, I still have a very African accent. When I talk to non-Africans, I will literally put on an American accent and raise my pitch to a more girlier level to be better understood.
With family I am more outgoing… I laugh, shout, sing, dance, basically express emotion everywhere. It’s more relaxing to be at home than outside.
I’m also a practically a mother. This is more subjective than literal.
No, I am not a teenage mother, but for all intents and purposes I might as well be. My three kids are my three little sisters who I have shared a lot of weight in raising (The youngest one is 12 years younger than me).
Since both of my parents work full time, I know how to do everything a mom would do and I do it well. I can change diapers, get all 3 kids ready for school, feed them 3 meals in a day, entertain them, shower them… you name it, there’s a 100% that I can do it.
However, being a mom is more than just taking care of kids, it’s maintaining the house as well. I learned how to wash the dishes by hand, mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, vacuum, clean the kitchen, and pretty much everything that’s cleanable.
This past summer, I spent 3 weeks watching my sisters all by myself while my mom went away on business, and my dad (who is hopeless with taking care of kids) went to work everyday.
Out in public, I am just a regular teenager with younger siblings, but in actuality I do way more work than what one might expect. My youngest sister loves me more than her actual mother and will only listen to what I say.
On the bright side, I know that if I ever have a kid, I will never be one of those mothers who had never even changed a diaper, and I am sure all of this knowledge will come in handy. However, I will most likely not even have children at all because being a caregiver is so tiring and stressful and I’m not too sure if I want to go though that again.
Right from a small age, I had always been upset about my best friends not confiding in me.
It’s not as if they never trusted me. They did. They just didn’t feel that I was a good enough friend to know about their secrets first. Just like that, I had always been the last one in the group to know about any personal issue of my best friends.
So when I changed schools, I knew I had to make new friends. While doing that, I tried my best to make people believe that I was trustworthy enough and a good listener. Being a good listener was hard, but I became one anyway.
Now, when I changed schools one more time, it was easy enough for me to convince people that they can confide in me.
The boy who never speaks in the class, that girl who is rude to everybody, that boy who keeps cracking jokes, those girls who keep gossiping about everybody. Yes, all of them believe that it’s okay to talk to me when they desperately need someone to talk to about what’s bothering them.
Those friends who I never thought I would keep in contact with (they didn’t think so either) call me up after days because they feel like opening up and they need someone who would listen.
The old friends? They’re still the same. I’m still the last to know about everything. But that’s okay. Because I never tried convincing them.
How can I still be upset when I have a whole lot of new friends who actually believe that I’m worth talking to?
Yes, like all other teenagers I also like to notice people (especially boys) . The most interesting thing is I shall never let you know about this!
Suppose, I met you today somewhere. For the next 24 hours the only thing that will be travelling all around my mind will be you. Your talks, facial expressions, dressing sense, sense of humour – everything will be noticed by me. While studying, sleeping, bathing, and eating the only thing I shall be thinking of will be you. No matter how you look or how good or bad of a person I perceived you to be.
I am a social person and I like to know people. But you’ll never know the fact that how I managed to collect all your minor details.
Curiosity is the main reason!
These are probably some not so great things to be good at. But I’ll list them down anyways.
- I am very quick at Minesweeper. I can finish really advanced grids in a matter of seconds.
- I can memorize things really fast (even if I don’t understand anything in the given text). That includes boring university textbooks, online articles, etc.
- I can understand basic Japanese without any hassles. I recently started watching anime without subtitles and can understand what’s going on for the most part. If I’m stuck, I’ll usually Google up the Romaji word and find the meaning.
- I can write poems. I generally use Iambic Pentameter. However, I don’t write them frequently because of time and mood quirks.
- I am pretty quick at calculations. I used to be better at it back in the last two years of High School. I can still calculate moderately large statistical calculations very quickly with accuracy.
I google a lot and that gives others the perception that “this guy knows a loooooot.”
I have this friend that asks me nearly everything. From “Bro, how do I punch papers and put them inside a folder?” to “My recycle bin is missing, what do I do?” to “Where do I download those torrents from?“
He rings me up to ask, and my laptop that I never shut down will be handy to reach the search bar.
Taaaa-daaaa!! “Bro, I think this must be it….“, I’d pour in information. He even calls me Wikipedia! Little he knows that I’m a Google devotee!
And this is gonna be our little secret.
Thats not something teachers want to admit to students when they walk into the room: Ok, kids. I have absolutely no plans for class today, but Im going to make them up as I go and hopefully you wont notice.
This isnt a regular thing for me. I do try to plan out all of my classes. But sometimes one of my coworkers will be unexpectedly absent. When that happens, the teacher who has a planning period at that time will take the class for the absent teacher. Usually, the absent teacher hasnt left any plans for the class, so you get to teach them your subject.
Without preparation. You get to teach them on the fly.
Ive actually discovered that my lessons are usually better when Im making it up as I go. It must be the pressure. I work better under pressure.
I can tell the carat of gold jewellery and ornaments by it’s colour and after a look at it in my hand. It also holds true for silver ornaments for which I can tell it’s purity and percentage.
- Although I have business in this but no one knows this except my family.
- It’s true that this requires a lot of experience and I admit my father is pro at it.
- It’s also true that the final truth regarding jewellery can be revealed only after doing a chemical process, but then this glancing method is used mostly for silver and less frequently for gold which has high risk value owing to its cost, so less chances are taken.
I can relate most life situations with a scene from a movie or a chapter in a novel.
When Im in a conversation with friends, I often recite verses from some book or re-enact movie dialogues and make it funny.
We could be talking about something as serious as death, and we would be laughing in a couple of minutes because of what I said.
Pretty useless skill, I know.
Not many people except a couple of friends know this.
It would be my ability to remember faces very well.
I made a friend recently and she was my Facebook friend since 2010, more or less. We havent had any kind of conversation of some sort during those years. I never knew she was here in Dubai where I live.
If you would say that I should have known how she looked like, no, not at all. I can only recognize her through the pictures she is posting from time to time. I dont spend time looking at them either. One thing is very noticeable though, her green and blue hair. One day, I was sitting idly inside the church, I decided to look at the people coming in out of boredom. Two girls walked past me, one of them flaunting her long colored hair. Puzzled – a part of me thought, “Ive seen this girl from somewhere before. I suddenly remembered. Oh, that girl from my friend list.”
I had no time to stare at her like some kind of creepy stalker, nor the audacity to ask her name to verify my wild guess, so first thing I did when I got home was I looked her up and browsed through her pictures. And wow, she really was that girl.
And for the first time in forever, I reluctantly started a conversation with her. To my surprise, shes very nice. I cant even begin to think that I rekindled a friendship from a very long time thanks to this skill.
Ive become very fluent at reading peoples’ emotions.
It could be something about their body language, the way they talk, the way they act, anything can hint at the emotions they currently have. Sometimes the body language is fake and not what you would guess but I can usually tell if someone is faking a smile or doing something.
Its an incredibly useful thing that I can do.
This may seem little weird, but I have a general affinity to abbreviations and acronyms from my childhood. Whenever I notice an acronym in any sentence or even in routine life in any place, I tend to search for the full expansion of it and it sticks to my mind even if it is not of great importance.
For an example, I was transferring money through net banking and saw IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) written in the tab. Immediately, I googled it and VOILA!, now I have another (probably) useless piece of information added to my memory.