Forcing our interests on others can not always go to plan. Be careful being forceful with what you want others to listen to, as it may bring forth unnecessary stress.

Why You Should Let Others Play Music in the Car

The example of playing music in a car will be used as a metaphor for forcing your interests upon others.


Taste in music is a personal matter. If you’ve ever been on a car ride with a few friends, you may have noticed there are people who itch to play their favorite songs for everyone else. As if yearning for acceptance of their tastes, some try hard to have their playlists be heard by others. They take pride in introducing others to new music and having their tastes reaffirmed by those who they respect. In hopes of garnering praise from those who are subjected to their music, they seek words of affirmation and may even nod their heads vehemently to the beat to facilitate the same in others.

On the flip side of this behavior are the people who are forced to listen to this person’s music. As a listener you may feel a lack of autonomy over the music that you hear. No matter how good the music someone else may be playing, our pride can prevent our enjoyment of that music. Perhaps people don’t like their auditory environment being dictated by one individual, or it may simply be a matter of one-upping each other in garnering positive attention. The itch to play your own music grows and soon each person in the car may be competing for a chance to play the song of their choosing.

What should you do if you find yourself hating the music being played by someone else? This article aims to provide reasons why you may want to just let their music keep on playing. Attempting to hijack the DJ role may serve to hurt you in the eyes of others, and can place you under unnecessary pressure to impress.


On the Off Chance That They Don’t Like Your Music


As soon as you voice your desire to play your own music over the music that’s already playing, you’ll be seen as trying to steal the spotlight. Chances are, at least one person in the car is enjoying the music that’s already playing – the one who put it on in the first place. Thereby your decision to play your own will already upset at least that one person. Your choice will be met with hesitation, and the quality of the song may not matter in others’ judgement of it. Hijacking the song selection in a car is a forceful way of making others listen to what you want to hear. For the exact same reasons that you had an itch to play your own music, they will feel the desire to put an end to it. Affirmation will be difficult to attain and you may be left with a bad taste in your mouth surrounding the music you oh-so love.

Forcing our interests on anyone else should be considered carefully prior to execution. You place yourself in a vulnerable position once you decide to subject others to your interests without their input. This vulnerable position includes a pressure to impress them rather than simply enjoy your time being around them. Their lack of positive response towards your interests will cause you to either question these interests or double-down and force more of your interests on them.


Improve Their Feelings Towards You


Similar to the Ben Franklin effect, your acceptance of their gesture to play the songs they like will make these people like you. They will feel as if their interests are affirmed and that they’ve helped improve the social setting around them. We tend to like those who accept our help because we perceive ourselves as useful, with our time spent seeming purposeful. Allowing them to relish in their moment of forcing their interests upon you will strengthen their respect for you and serve to set the mood right for all around. Rather than making them feel vulnerable by attempting to one-up them with your own song, you will bring them comfort.

Remember these dynamics when forcing your interests upon others. Allow others to pick the choice of restaurant you eat at, and the choice of movie that you watch with them. The limited discomfort you may feel while trying to enjoy the interest of another is an investment you make to permanently improve your image in the eyes of others.

Book Recommendation: 

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

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