How Not to be Boring

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One of our great fears, which haunts us when we go out into the world and socialize with others is that we may in our hearts be really rather boring. But the good news and a fundamental truth too, is that no one is ever truly boring. They’re only in danger of coming across as such when they either fail to understand their deeper selves or don’t dare or know how to communicate them to others. That there is simply no such thing as an inherently boring person or thing is one of the great lessons of art. Many of the most satisfying artworks don’t feature exulted or rare elements. They are about the ordinary, looked at in a special way with unusual sincerity and openness to unvarnished experience. Take for example some grasses painted by the danish artist Christian Købke in the suburb of copenhagen in 1833. Outwardly the scene is utterly unremarkable and could initially appear to be deeply unpromising material for a painting and yet, like any great artist, Købke has known how to interrogate his own perceptions in a fresh unclouded, underivative manner and translated them accurately into his medium, weaving a small masterpiece out of the thread of everyday life. And just as there’s no such thing as a boring riverbank, tree or dandelion, so too they can be no such thing as an inherently boring person. The human-animal witnessed in its essence with honesty and without artifice is always interesting. When we call a person boring, we’re just pointing to someone who’s not had the courage or concentration to tell us what it’s like to be them. By contrast, we invariably prove compelling when we succeed in saying how and what we truly desire, envy, regret mourn and dream. Anyone who faithfully recuperates the real data on what it’s like to exist, is guaranteed to have material with which to captivate others. The interesting person isn’t someone to whom obviously and outwardly interesting things have happened: someone who’s traveled the world, met important dignitaries or been present at large geopolitical events. Nor is it someone who speaks in learned terms about the weighty themes of culture, history or science. There’s someone who’s grown into an attentive, self-aware listener and a reliable, honest correspondent of the tremors of their own mind and heart and who can thereby give us faithful accounts the pathos, drama and strangeness of being alive. What then are some of the elements that get in the way of us being as interesting as we in fact are? Firstly and most crucially, we bore when we lose faith that it really could be our feelings that would stand the best chance of interesting others. Out of modesty and habit we push some of our most interesting perceptions to one side, in order to follow respectable but dead conventions of what might impress. When we tell anecdotes we throw the emphasis on the outward details: who was there, when we went, what the temperature was like rather than maintaining our nerve to report on the layer of feelings beneath the facts. The moment of guilt, the sudden sexual attraction, the humiliating sulk, the carreer crisis, the strange euforia at 3 a.m. Our neglect of our native feelings isn’t just an oversight, it can be a deliberate strategy to keep our minds away from realizations that threaten our ideas of dignity and normality. We babble inconsequentially to the world because we lack the nerve to look more closely and unflinchingly within. It feels significant that most five-year-olds are far less boring than most 45-year-olds. What makes these children gripping is not so much that they have more interesting feelings than anyone else, far from it, but that they are especially uncensored correspondents of these feelings. Their inexperience of the world means they are still instinctively loyal to themselves and so they will candidly tell us what they really think about Granny and their little brother, what their plans for reforming the planet are and what they believe everyone should do with their boogies. We are rendered boring not by nature so much as by a fateful will that begins its malevolent reign over us in adolescence to appear normal. Yet, even when we’re honest about our feelings we may still prove boring because we don’t know them as well as we should, and so we get stuck at the level of insisting on an emotion rather than explaining it. We’ll assert with ever greater emphasis that a situation was extremely exciting, or awful, or beautiful, but not be able to provide those around us with any of the sort of related details and examples that would help them viscerally understand why. We can end up boring, not so much because we don’t want to share our lives, as because we don’t yet know them well enough to do so. Fortunately, the gift of being interesting is neither exclusive nor reliant on exceptional talent. It requires only direction, honesty and focus. The person we call interesting is in essence someone alive to what we all deeply want from social intercourse, which is an uncensored glimpse of what the brief waking dream called life looks like through the eyes of another person, and reassurance we are not entirely alone with all that feels most bewildering, peculiar and intense within us.

 

100 Responses

  1. Rukey Burg

    June 29, 2019 1:44 am

    Sometimes I would like to be more personalized with SchoolOfLife videos. These kind of videos got a way with saying the title directly at us and sometimes I really wonder how I am on that level. Like this one; am I boring, how boring am I or am I already interesting?

    TheSchoolOfLife teached us a lot without judging us and I think we can all agree on that. I just wish the video itself is said from another person, because eventually connecting is the stuff that matters. That's also how I make friends and I would like to meet that one friend (or future girlfriend).

    Reply
  2. Sarthak Agrawal

    July 4, 2019 7:31 pm

    I don't think a 'interesting' person is necessarily a self-aware person or that a self-aware person can not be boring. I mean it's more about being able (and willing) to express yourself than knowing yourself. Even people with zero critical thinking can be 'not boring' whereas learned people and self-aware people can be boring only because they don't feel like expressing themselves because they don't feel like anyone would understand or cares for that matter.

    I would argue that the trait of being boring and interesting is also not a characteristic of a individual but merely his behavior in a group. An individual can become boring or interesting depending on the people in discussion.

    And also I think it is more complicated than just that. To be a interesting person you need to be a good listener. Now, passive listeners get boring fast, so not only you need to be a good listener, you need to be an active listener. That is, you frequently need to add to what the person is saying and agreeing with him throughout. But this does not suit everyone. Especially if you are in a group where you disagree with most of talks of the group, in that time it's really hard to come out as interesting if you are not willing to forcefully nod to someone who don't really agree with, lol.

    Reply
  3. ReksShine

    July 17, 2019 5:57 am

    I don't know but in lots of people in time square my eyes can't get off on clown and men dress with fairy wings with tiny underwear, all people just normal

    Reply
  4. Bestest Inventions

    July 24, 2019 3:32 am

    my observation is that if you're bored, you're boring, if you're interested, you're interesting

    Reply
  5. S S

    July 29, 2019 4:58 pm

    "You dont know your life or feelings well enough to not be boring."
    "I know how Im feeling, I was also diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and Im not boring…"
    "Nononono, YOU'RE UNREALIZED. You gotta be, like, self aware…"
    "I literally just told you…."
    "Uhhh can you just stop feeling sorry for yourself? Autism is boring. Gonna talk to somebody else who is normal."

    School of Life is new age hipster woo, nothing is applicable about their videos and they will contradict their views with another video for likes.

    Reply
  6. Dark Feather

    August 1, 2019 9:46 pm

    Why aren't there any depictions of white people in this vid…oh, nevermind. (Sarcasm by the way)

    Reply
  7. sheroz khan

    August 2, 2019 12:49 pm

    people run away when i speak my mind, normally being hypocrite works if you want to keep people interested

    Reply
  8. Kin Hamid

    August 15, 2019 10:04 pm

    My main problem is having just moved to a new place where I can't speak the local language (that being french) that well, in addition to my already timid and awkward personality.

    Reply
  9. Valeria Scylla

    August 19, 2019 7:26 am

    At first I thought like: how freaking superficial this title is! Who cares if someone is boring at an event and such.

    However this isn’t about how to feel accepted by others, is about yourself. Is about having to do an introspection, because if you feel like you’re boring then maybe you don’t know yourself so well, it even suggests that you don’t accept your real thoughts and emotions, your person. And… well, of course everyone should.

    I really like this channel. (:

    Reply
  10. by_ the_wayy

    August 24, 2019 9:09 am

    The only thing that makes me boring is that I prefer to be the reserved one, and when I'm trying to make up a topic, often people would just respond me a little and then we go back to silence. And also, I'm still not that funny and still considered as 'the good kid' (when I'm not, I am bad in my own way, teehee). Wish I could be more cerish(?) and playful and also know how to make things interesting. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Zarathustran ongelmalapsi

    August 26, 2019 10:56 am

    Number one: only engage people who are within two standard deviations from the IQ score at which you stand; the closer the better.

    Reply
  12. Frederic Moresmau

    August 26, 2019 11:30 pm

    I am boring I repeat the same shit for years…. I wasn't able to attract anybody when this things were fun to do…. And years later nobody cares either…..

    Reply
  13. Marie Chan

    August 28, 2019 3:44 am

    who knows me superficially thinks I'm incredibly apathetic and indifferent but the truth is that I'm incredibly intense, unstable and changeable

    Reply
  14. Noah Smith

    September 5, 2019 6:14 am

    I feel I’m connected with myself and very often self-reflective, but I just feel uncomfortable talking about myself-like it’s selfish to do so. So I think it’s more of an esteem and confidence issue rather than a connection issue :p

    Reply
  15. Kakashi Sensei

    September 5, 2019 9:28 pm

    It’s the other way around , there the boring ones ,

    I’m really tired of being quite cuz everyone lame and doesn’t talk

    Reply
  16. Jason Jackson

    September 14, 2019 8:48 am

    Simple yet rings true. Honesty about your experience and expressing this nearly always looks beautiful. Largely because we can relate. Out. Standing.Video.

    Reply
  17. Kyle Martinich

    September 15, 2019 4:15 pm

    I’m so used to living my own life that I may seem introverted, but I hate being alone and wish I had a close set of friends or girlfriend :/

    Reply
  18. Saul Goodman

    September 17, 2019 2:47 pm

    I'm a boring person because I don't want to talk that much if the conversation doesn't interest me.Unfortunately, it happens often.

    Reply
  19. Marie Just Marie

    September 21, 2019 1:49 pm

    Be careful. Being open is nice, for a five year old. But it doesn't work for an adult. One has to develop tactfulness and not insult those around them with such openness. If one is seen as boring, it may be that person's personality or they way they talk. Not everyone is likable or tolerable to deal with.

    Reply
  20. Guillermo G.

    September 23, 2019 12:29 am

    I'm boring because I go through absolutely nothing important or interesting and there's nothing worth saying about what I do. At the same time I don't really care for doing different things, not so many things catch my attention. Didn't really get anything to help me with that here, thanks for the effort anyway

    Reply
  21. Josh Lopez

    September 30, 2019 7:46 pm

    I have very bad ADHD. I am in my head ALL the time. Overthinking to the point where I am silent. I am not a hyper person, ADHD is very misunderstood. After a million different thoughts race though I end up blurting out something very weird or off topic and everyone looks at me as if I am stupid / selfish for not listening properly.

    Reply
  22. The Guy Who Cares

    October 2, 2019 3:26 am

    I thought I was boring at first…then after watching this video and being unable to make it 1/2 way through,I realized what boring really is

    Reply
  23. Prince Uy

    October 2, 2019 5:30 am

    While i do agree that no one is inherently boring… the fact is, that we all have our preferences so we inherently WILL find some people, boring. When ones interests dont align or dont overlap with someone elses, one side, or possibly even both parties have a high tendency of finding the other, boring.

    Reply
  24. Veronica Christopher

    October 2, 2019 3:26 pm

    How not to be viewed as boring: be loud, talk about nothing, and be as mainstream as possible. Humans dont appreciation real, so be fake.

    Unless you don't give a fuck about fitting in, be yourself and the right ones will appreciate you. Humans are very fair-weather.

    Reply
  25. Mehul Panwar

    October 4, 2019 2:15 am

    Is there any book regarding this topic ? Or on how to know ourself better and moreover explain our experiences better

    Reply
  26. Hashim Aziz

    October 5, 2019 2:46 am

    Liked just for the amazing leap through art and time at 1:18. Now I want to watch more things like that.

    Reply
  27. Kanchan Mala Bhagat

    October 7, 2019 4:37 pm

    Currently watching this with guests in the house who are all talking about my sister

    And only my wonderful sister

    Reply
  28. Mia Drinnan

    October 14, 2019 6:45 am

    I could not hear at all but it’s because there’s a problem with it but I’ll like any ways
    And boring for me is sitting through assembly and hours on the plane , a car drive to Brisbane and boring games

    Reply
  29. Kyle Matthews

    October 14, 2019 10:20 pm

    How not to be boring: get into a feel of telling a story. Exaggerate, visualize, make it interesting while adhering to the truth

    Reply
  30. Drippy Jay

    October 15, 2019 5:29 am

    I think I’m boring cause I don’t talk cause I don’t care about nothing and only certain things Interest me

    Reply
  31. _ xXPEGASUSXx _

    October 20, 2019 9:31 pm

    bro that was fucking dope but fr ip low key getting left by everybody knows me :'v literally fucking no one 🙁

    Reply
  32. natcarbonara

    October 23, 2019 11:37 pm

    I always thought I was a boring person because I didn't have "cool" friends or hadn't traveled around the globe like most people I encountered. After listening to the message of this video, I understood a bit of what really makes me an interesting person: my ideas, feelings, and my unique way of seeing and interpreting these ideas and experiences.

    Reply
  33. Seb EP

    November 17, 2019 8:24 pm

    I realized thinking by my own for almost 2 year that we dont really know how to think and that our conscious thinking is actually very superficial. So I started trying to think deeper and when I felt like I didn' realized what was happening around me and just was conscious about my thoughts I discovered that what I started to think after some secs turned to emotions. I guess that's the best skill you could learn to improve any aspect of your life, doing this you can even change your beliefs about yourself and make a life change. I had so much shyness when I was a kid then over the years, already as a teen it turned to a social anxiety, I couldn't even go to the street cause I thought everyone was looking at me or critizing me. A pair of years later when I was 14 I fell in love for first time in my life and had my first girlfriend, she was the best person I,ve never known but I couldn't undestand why she fall in love with me so I was very insecure about all. I started to act strange and bad with her for finally breaking up, I wasn't sure if that was what I really wanted but I knew that was the best for her cause I didn't even know if I loved her cause I didn't know that first I had to love myself. All my insecures thougts and sadness turned to a very bad self esteem and self image furthermore my first depression, it tooks me time to realize I was depressant, I hardly ate and sleep a lot almost 14 hours a day I guess. In that moment all was a vicious circle of falling in love with my ex and having bad thoughts of myself. In this point I have to say something, even in the worst times of my life I never thought of suicide or giving up, the more I thought one time was escaping from home, so I guess that's the thing that saved me; my thinking of always keep going. when my last school year with her ended up I started to look for information of everything that could help, didn't know even where to start but I was always learning new things about psichology then one day I started to think about everything I thought and see. Day to day I created new theories about why I felt something or thought certaing things, I created possibles solutions in my mind and tried them in the day. Most of the time I ended up without results but other times I got new results and improved. After many months I had got to change so much things about how I saw myself or people. I was able to go out without be thinking what were the others thinking or something, I still didnt't like many aspects of my life then but I had something in my mind that told me I could change and improve. I won't tell you more cause then it would be a lot of text but for you to know I'm still improving myself day after day but much more happier of course, my ex told me I changed a lot and now we're best friends and I learnt a lot of all these years.

    IF YOU WANT SOME ADVICES:

    1. Keep going whatever happens.
    2. All the new things are hard in the beginning.
    3. Learn all you can from internet and your experiences.

    Reply
  34. Leslie Chow

    November 22, 2019 10:19 pm

    When i had money people did want to be my friends more then now i am broke right now and everyone is walking away. I am now to paranoid to meet new people because of this.

    Reply
  35. Jesus Saves

    November 29, 2019 12:28 am

    Everyone! Take this message seriously! Jesus Christ, our lord and savior 👑, is coming “as a thief in the night” 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and God will not have mercy. “God’s ax is ready! Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire 🔥” Luke 3:9 Repent your sins to Jesus everyday before it is too late! Not accepting Jesus will be the BIGGEST mistake of your life. When The trumpets 🎺 will sound by seven angels you will know God is here! When you stand before the Almighty God your sins will reveal itself to God! All of your filthiness, vileness will show itself to God and what will you do? God won’t give you another chance! He will send you to the lake of fire and you will be separated. BUT HERES THE GOOD NEWS God sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty! But we still reject him! Humble yourselves and ask for forgiveness Jesus will forgive you. Forgive people! Don’t sin! Ask for forgiveness! Live each day and walk with Jesus Christ! He loves you all very much:) “This is the devil’s world but the lord is coming for his people” -H.E.R 🌅 Holy! Holy! Holy! God bless you all!

    Reply

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