There are some people, actually, I think there are a lot of people that think themselves to be boring. While there are some people who are genuinely boring and aren’t aware of it, and there are people who are so boring that even the most upbeat puppy can’t help but stifle a yawn, you realize that you feel like a bore and a burden to most people and would love to change that. But of course, you don’t know what to do that would make you seem interesting to your friends, family, your significant other or the guy or girl that you are trying so hard to impress.
Trying to break out of that shell of boredom that you’ve retracted yourself into ain’t that hard, really. It’s way easier than becoming confident or trying to beat a calculus problem or aiming for the goal of becoming president.
While there are different perspectives and people have different ideas of what a person “interesting”, for the most part, it’s usually
- A person who can hold or steer a conversation without boring everyone to death
- A person who has his own ideas and opinions that don’t feel like they’ve been copy-pasted from some other guy’s perspective
- A person who can regale and keep everyone comfy, regardless of the circumstances
- A person who has knowledge in different fields and can apply that knowledge to good use. He needn’t be an expert for that.
- A person who sticks in the memory of the people he meets. Most of them go, “Oh yeah, that guy!! He was something, I tell you” (in a positive way or at least in a respectful manner, though) and so on
Now, some of you may be thinking, “Yeah right, like I can do any of that. That’s effing hard!”.
Yeah, no…It’s easy
You don’t need to be Carl Sagan or Aristotle, doling out science or philosophy. If you do aspire for that, well and good. But most people don’t need to be that to become interesting. I’ve outlined some tips for breaking out of that shell of boredom that you’ve ensconed yourself into. (Ensconed……is that even a word?? Anyways…)
Don’t Take Life So F*@#! Seriously
Life is made of ups and downs, in some cases, a whole lot of downs and downs with the occasional up making sure you don’t totally go insane, but let’s not dwell on that. This applies to everyone, be they a beggar on the street, a hot-shot CEO or your average middle class guy. No one knows what the future holds for anyone, or whether the decision you’re taking might have far-flung consequences on the 14th of February, 2038. Your life might go great, your life might not go great, people might leave you, people might love you…..You get the drift.
Point is, life can be crazy like a dog that suddenly found a mountain of bacon (Does that even work as an analogy?). So, stop taking life so effing seriously.
It’s utterly pointless agonizing over every little detail, micro or macro, in your life. You must understand that all of our best laid plans can go to waste, just like that. Keep that in mind and work at your goals. Take it from a guy who did the agonizing part (and still does to an extent, annoyingly) and remember that even if your life seems like a trainwreck right now, it will become better, but only if you work at making it better.
Even if your current state of life is crappy, do not, for Christ sake, start a “Woe is me” song every time you meet your friend. Pour your heart out once and then move on. There’s only so much patience that a person can summon for a sob story. They say that if you can find the humor in a shitty situation, that is pretty much the battle won. So take life as it comes. Eugh, can’t believe I have to use that damned cliche of a quote, but here it goes.
“Live, Laugh, Love“
If you’ve seen “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”, then you might remember that episode where a salesman tries to convince Joey to buy a encyclopedia and the poor guy flashbacks to those times, where all his friends talk about geopolitical conflicts, Nobel Prizes and the like and there sits Joey, clueless about any of those stuff and just nodding along like he understood every single word of them, but staying silent. I’m guessing that some of you might be in that situation with regards to conversations among your friends, be it current affairs, philosophical debates, if they so happen, or just your opinion on some matter.
Of course, blindly repeating the opinions of others without giving any thought or reason for said support of the opinion will only make you look stupid and of course, somewhat boring. So that’s I why say, thou shalt read books.
Look, stop giving me that same old reason that you find books boring or you find it hard to read or it’s dry and shit. If you can read a mighty big Twitter thread about who the hell is some big celebrity’s new boyfriend or girlfriend is or some crappy article about how you should be very pissed that some rich brat is getting preferential treatment on YouTube, then you literally have no excuse for not reading a book.
Good books shape you, they provide you with the knowledge that only hard earned experience can otherwise impart, they provide different opinions on different matters and ask you to start an internal debate on those opinions, they provide a window to places and culture that are out of your reach, they provide enjoyment, wisdom, fun. With that knowledge, you can act on stuff that would have otherwise seemed impossible. You can hold an interesting and fulfilling conversation with the world at large, you enjoy the small things in life, you find meaning and purpose in most of the steps you take in life, and it’s then you realize how much reading a bunch of books has changed you for the good.
Of course, if you start out with Ulysses and find it hard to read, or you read 50 Shades of Grey and find it boring as hell (or creepy as hell, whichever way you feel), you Sir/Madam, deserve a deck to your beautiful face. Start out small and classic, like your Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, some good ol Agatha Christie, Rich Dad Poor Dad, some Dale Carnegie, then you can work your way up the big leagues like Catch-22, Ulysses and the like.
“To boldly go where no one has gone before! ”
Nothing excites us most of us more than travelling. It’s what made that Star Trek tagline so famous. (Yeah, I’m aware that tagline starts with “Space ..” and yada yada yada, but screw that, I’ve got me some points to make). Seeing new sights that can take our breath away, new cultures that can surprise and confound us in equal measure, new people who greet you with the warmth and hospitality that you would not have expected in the least, new food that can either make us go “Holy Crap, that was the most awesome thing I have ever tasted” or “Holy Crap, that tasted like crap!!”. All in all, it’s a new experience that’s a feast for the senses.
Travelling to new places also gives you a new perspective on live in general and any opinions you might have had about certain stuff in life will be put into question, if not outright shattered. Then there’s the souvenirs you’d collect and the connections you’d make. Who knows? You might make a best friend in Bhutan. Besides, travelling always makes for some great stories to regale your friends, impress the ladies or gents, and it even helps in interviews at times. So save up some cash, find a place that interests you and leg it.
Oh yeah, I understand that the place in question might be beautiful, but keep Instagram to a bloody minimum. Go there for the experience, for #@%$ sake. It would be bloody embarrassing to have all those perfectly filtered and curated pics, and not one interesting story to back all those up.
Learn To Talk
This…should go without saying.
You might have seen some people, they look average, they don’t strike you as anything special, the average Joe. But then they talk, and good lord, you would be wishing that you could talk like that. An intoxicating mix of humor, knowledge and confidence in a speech would make everyone swoon like they had heard the voice of an angel in an orchestra, and he in the process ends up charming everyone in that room.
There are some who are naturally blessed with the gift of the gab, and then there are others like me, whose speeches are functional, but wouldn’t stick out in a sea of voices. It doesn’t help one bit, that for all the interesting opinions and facts that you might have, that you can’t articulate it in a way that would hold the attention of the listener for an extended duration. So learn to talk.
Hook up at your nearby ToastMasters club and learn how to talk for every situation. If you feel that unwanted, then listen to some speeches on the Internet or some public place and of course, attend a stand-up comic event. You don’t need to have the comic timing of the guy, but observe him. Actually, observe anyone that you think talks like a dream, pretty acutely. Observe their confidence, their mannerisms, their knack of timing and practice it, either in front of a mirror, a friend or a crowd. Do not imitate them, but take inspiration from them and create an impression of your own so everlasting and unique, that your voice stands out like a soothing note among the humdrum.
Engage In An Hobby
Everyone has some hobby that gives them some happiness and purpose in life. Some like to watch movies, some like to read, some like to cycle for miles and miles just to see if they can, some like to make miniature sculptures out of graphite…The list goes on. It would be a lie to say that a person doesn’t have an hobby at all. That’s pretty much a lifeless body, living for no particular reason, but because someone told it to.
If you feel you have nothing else to talk about, then talk about your hobby. The passion and enthusiasm you summon in talking about your hobby usually attracts people. If it’s something they don’t know about, then they would be interested in hearing about it. If it’s something they do know about, then you can have a good discussion on whether Trek or Canyon or Specialized cycles are awesome.
If in the rare case that you don’t have an hobby, or more likely you can’t figure out what your hobby is, find it. Engage in it, and you will find this world a bit more bearable.
That being said…….
Don’t Be A One Trick Pony
While engaging in and talking with enthusiasm about your hobby is all well and good, if that’s the only thing you have in your arsenal, then even the most determined and nice person in any circle will lose all of his will to listen to your speech about the wonders of pasteurization and you will be hearing something along the lines of “If you’ll excuse me, I just remembered something important.” and you’ll find the guy trying his damnedest to avoid you, at any and all circumstances. That guy wouldn’t have even tried so hard to avoid the devil that much, if it came to that.
You should understand that most people don’t like to hear the same shit from the same guy for the umpteenth freaking time. They’ll probably hear it with interest the first time, but it’s very much the law of diminishing returns if you keep talking about every little significant detail of your passion, which frankly no one else could care about. So, unless it’s some significant achievement that you pulled off, talk about your passion somewhat occasionally to people and talk about something else. People don’t mind hearing about your rants on why 2001: A Space Odyssey is a better film than Dr.Strangelove, once in a while, but then divert it to small talk or ask about what’s on the other person’s mind.
“Yeah, all that is well and good. But I don’t know anything else. What else am I supposed to blabber about for so long?“, is a question some of you might be asking. Pretty nice if you asked that question, because that’s the segue for the final point of this post. (Would have been the segue even if you hadn’t asked the damn thing)
Learn Something New
The world is changing every second of your life. What was once cutting edge is today’s trash and what ever was held in reverence is now game to be dissected and kicked down the floor. Simply put, one has to tune himself to the changing times. He need not necessarily change his behavior for it, but when he is pushed into irrelevance, he shouldn’t be questioning as to why this happened.
There’s only so much mileage one can gain out of the same stuff that one had been gurgling for so long. When you recycle the same old crap that once made you the talk of the town, people, and by extension the world, are bound to ignore you. People crave for something new, something exciting, something that hasn’t been explored yet. Learning something new will make you relevant and interesting in today’s ever-changing world. As for learning, one need only look up the Internet for a cornucopia of information, waiting to be discovered.
Learn something. Learn something that excites you, something that challenges you, something that questions your perspective of this world, something that genuinely makes you happy, and watch the world around you change.
This is all I have for this week. See you next week, guys.
(If you are new to this blog, I publish articles for self-improvement every Wednesday at 6:00 PM Indian Standard Time. If you like my articles, do subscribe to my blog and if you really like it, do donate via the Paypal widget found below if you feel like it. A man can dream, right?)
Until next time,
An ever improving geek.