Advice #3: How To Stop Being Boring

Is this where you live? There may be a cure!

Is this where you live? There may be a cure!

One of the greatest problems facing people today is the tiresome bores who devour time and energy and suck the life out of even the liveliest of situations. A good bore can put active people to sleep and make even the cheeriest soul solemn. Sure, there are natural responses to boredom with a person, such as blocking them from your feed and call display, but sometimes the boring person in your life is a friend’s significant other whom you simply cannot ignore forever. They’ll likely just call you from your friend’s phone and continue to shake your known universe with stories about what they had for dinner or what happened when they were walking their dog (which turns out to be nothing. That’s right. Most of the stories you have about walking your dog suck. I said it) or something about their job that you would never need to know because you picked a less boring career. The only real solution to the problem is for the boring people to recognize their problem and to turn their stories around and make them work for them.

The first step is to determine whether or not you’re boring. I know that everything you talk about is exciting to you, but is it to literally anyone else on earth? If you’re ever talking to someone on the phone and their pleasant, excited “yeah!” turns slowly into a monotone or even aggressively sour “Yeah..” then you should be aware that odds are excellent you have just become boring. My friend, Chris, has the “you’re boring me and I want to get off the phone” yeah down to a science. I can tell you how much longer a conversation he’s having is going to last based on the way he’s saying, “Yeah..”. Listen for it! That’s the sound of no one caring what you’re saying. Find people with similar interests or change the topic, or even better, Hang up the fucking phone.

When you’re talking to someone and they’re looking at everything around them and giving you one syllable responses to what you’re saying you can take it the same way. You’ll note that unlike the phone conversation people are less likely to just keep saying “yeah”, as they can’t just hang up on you and make you go away. Has someone ever fallen asleep while talking to you? This happens to everybody, as sometimes we choose to talk to people who are very tired. If this happens to you a great deal, though, then chances are excellent that you’re boring. Do you talk about anything but yourself? If not there is no question about how boring you are. That should be the first thing you mention in the long tirade of useless facts about you that no one cares about.

Since people are all different and share different interests it can be difficult to find something interesting to say. I have another friend who wants to fill every gap in the conversation with some useless piece of trivia that is apparently supposed to make him seem very well read and interesting. It never works, of course, and will likely make people think that you’re not only boring but a snob also. Listen to what people are talking about and contribute when you actually have something to contribute. Are you ready for the biggest secret of them all? When you don’t have anything to say just shut the hell up and listen to what interesting people are saying and try to remember some of it for the next time you’re talking with similar people.

The most interesting person in any circle is generally the person who talks the least. I will contend that not saying anything at all is good way to get picked on everybody’s secret “Who’s the biggest creep at the party” lists, but you’ll have to note that being a creep is the opposite of boring. Do you know everything because you read it online? That’s great. The only person on earth who cares about that is you. If someone politely brings up a topic they know very little about (and likely care very little about, they’re just shooting the shit) and you jump down their throat with a bunch of facts you can’t back up, per se, but are fairly certain you read online, you are also being boring.

Conspiracy theory? The most boring topic of all topics in the history of the world. Hey, I’ve got a bunch of “facts” for you that are really just fucked up crazy shit with literally no proof backing them up. Dinosaurs living underground for thousands of years in a crater at the north pole? It sounds a tiny bit interesting, sure, but every sentence following that one gets more boring than the last. Luckily most of the conspiracy theorists have been absorbed by fanatical talk radio stations and UFO hotlines. The snag with this is it perpetuates and makes more of them in the future.

I bet you were wondering if I was going to get to baby pictures. Yeah, that’s right. Boring in a frozen frame in time. Babies look like used pieces of chewing gum and are very, very rarely cute. If your baby was born with iron skin and six eyes and a tail then you should feel obliged to share pictures with everyone you see, including the tabloids. When you post thousands of pictures of your baby on facebook I do hope you understand that most of your friends are removing you from their feed because they actually want to see something even remotely interesting on facebook. All kinds of idiots have kids. It’s not impressive or exciting. I would be more impressed with some stories about how you didn’t get pregnant. So would most of your friends.

Finally, do you know why none of your friends went on vacation with you? It’s because they didn’t want to. They don’t care about X (being wherever you went and took thousands of pictures. Tens of thousands of pictures. Millions!) and they don’t want to know what every tree you saw looks like. If your vacation was so boring the only way you can spice it up is by showing the pictures to other people and making them jealous (or, more likely, pretend to be jealous so you stop showing them pictures) then you failed at going on vacation. A good vacation is one where you don’t tell anyone because you don’t want to see them there and make it too popular to enjoy anymore.

Interesting people get invited to parties and get their clothing torn or cut off by attractive people. Know your audience and play it accordingly. Stay away from topics that only interest you. Try to comment only when you have to or have something truly compelling to say. Hang up the phone when “Yeah!” turns into “yeah…”. Hang out with Barry Gibb. Don’t make people watch your vacation photos or look at your used chewing gum. Talk about things that illicit the right response and just cut your boring ass story off when people are going out of their way to let you know they’re bored and they don’t care. If you follow these tips you’ll find that people want to be in your company more often. If you can’t follow these simple tips then just get really drunk and pass out somewhere amusing. That gets you invited back too.

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