How to Be Boring

boring

Boring people – they’re everywhere. You can tell when you are in the presence of such a person when you have to fight the urge to yawn or your mind wanders off to.. well… just about anything else. Now you too can be boring if you follow these simple, straight-forward tips. (Disclaimer: this is something of a Monday morning rant)

1. Be a fence sitter

Sitting on the fence means taking a position of neutrality or indecision on a particular topic. Now there may be some circumstances where this is needed, but far too often I see people sit on the fence because they are too lazy to think about where they stand on an issue or they are too scared to voice their opinion for fear of offending someone. Boring.

2. Define yourself primarily through someone else

When you meet someone special, or you become a parent, don’t sacrifice your own identity to simply become “Andrew’s girlfriend”, “Julie’s husband”, or “Tom’s mom”. This will part of your identity, but it should not be how you primarily define yourself.

3. Have everything be about you

Because here is a news flash: its not. When someone is talking to you, actually listen to them instead of just waiting for a chance to speak. And when you do open your mouth, don’t always relate what the other person has said back to your life. See Aaron’s Can You Shut Up For Just A Minute? for more on what I mean by this.

4. Always talk about people

I ranted about this is my article The Trash Talking Epidemic. Basically, talking about people (friends, celebrities, your mom) is usually a low form of conversation. The following quote really sums this point up:

Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people – Eleanor Roosevelt

5. Don’t read

The late comedian Bill Hicks was once asked by a waffle waitress “what you reading for?”. Quite a difference from the usual “what are you reading?”. Don’t be like this waffle waitress and think of books as strange, foreign objects. Reading is the best way to expose your mind to new ideas. Ideas make you interesting (see above quote).

6. Be lazy

I’m sure we all have a friend who never wants to do anything as they have their ass planted to the couch watching TV or are glued to the computer (ummm… I may be a little guilty of this one :) ). Don’t be this friend.

7. Never let loose

Don’t be one of those uptight people who are constantly scared of what other people may think of them. Let loose and have a little fun once in awhile.

Photo by Francisco Osorio

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11 thoughts on “How to Be Boring”

  1. 3. Have everything be about you

    Because here is a news flash: its not. When someone is talking to you, actually listen to them instead of just waiting for a chance to speak. And when you do open your mouth, don’t always relate what the other person has said back to your life.

    How would this apply to email? (Assuming you’re emailing somebody rather than calling them.) Would it be rude to relate stuff back to your own life? Also, if you don’t relate stuff back to your own life, won’t they be more inclined to talk about themselves?

    Thanks
    Oliver

  2. I’ve seen the quote “great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people” attributed to Admiral Hyman Rickover, founder of the nuclear Navy. I have no idea if it’s from Mrs. Roosevelt or the Admiral, but I’ve tried to follow it for years since I first read it. I applies daily in my workplace. It’s interesting to think about as you size-up those around you and the people you meet. Nice list.

  3. This is just superb. I can see examples jump out at me. So many times, when I have wanted to share a happiness with someone, I have ended up listening to their experiences, even though remotely similar. Mind screams “hijack, hijack, stop that man!”

  4. I’ve recently been told that i have to be boring.

    I am ordinarily a fun loving exciting sexy man but my girlfriend says i need to tone down my behaviour and become boring.

    She suggests that I need to do this to better myself…

    I have recently (through dramatic impersonation) killed my personality and am now boring.

    Thank you for you tips on how I may improve my boringness.

    Regs,
    Dwayne

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