You’re Not Bored – You’re Boring

Yawn by Bark

You’re even boring this poor dog.

There are few things you can say that make me quite as angry as “I’m bored”.

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’re in a relatively modernized country and have access to reliable Internet. That single resource means that you have absolutely no excuse to ever consider yourself bored.

Boredom is a unique affliction in that, by definition, you could potentially do anything to fix it.

It’s that reason that I think the real problem when people always find themselves feeling bored is that in reality they’re just boring people.

I’m Bored = I’m Boring

There are a lot of ways to be boring, so I’m not going to outline all of the things that can lead to being a severely boring person. It might be that you’re stuck in a rut, that you’re scared of trying new things, or maybe you’ve just been raised in a way that discouraged expanding your horizons.

There can be lots of causes, but the single common symptom to being a boring person is frequently feeling bored.

If you’re frequently finding yourself saying, “I’m bored,” then you’re probably a pretty boring person. That’s a bad thing. You probably don’t want to be boring. Sure, you can argue that point – but being a boring person means a lot of time spent on mundane, uninteresting things. You’ve only got so much time to spend here in existence (until they finally invent replacement robot parts or something) so in my view you should get the most out of it.

Fighting Boredom

As I mentioned, there are way too many potential causes of being a boring person to recommend courses of action for each. You might need to overcome your fear of new things or figure out how to haul yourself out of your rut or whatever.

There are some easy things you can do right now though to start dealing with the symptoms of being a boring person, namely the boredom itself.

  • Learn Something New – Since we’ve established you’ve got an Internet connection by virtue of you currently being reading this you’ve also got access to hundreds of thousands of free educational materials that are seconds away at every single moment.

    There’s YouTube University, Coursera, edX, and Open Culture to name a few.

    If it comes down to it, you can even resort to the ‘Random Article’ button on Wikipedia.

    If you can genuinely say there’s not a single thing there that interests you in the least then I can’t help you.

  • Make Something – People who make things are interesting too. If you’ve already got a hobby that you’re ‘bored’ with then pick a new one and get to it. It can be something physical like a woodworking project, crocheted amigurumi or counter-culture needlework piece, or something like writing prose, poetry, or a blog post, or drawing or painting something.

    Doing creative things both helps you fight off a boredom and it helps fuel further creative efforts. The more creative things you do, the more creative you wind up being and the less bored and more interesting you wind up being.

  • Limit Exposure to Mindless Things – While having access to something like the Internet is definitely a huge aid in eliminating boredom, it can be a bit of a double edged sword.

    Things like Internet and TV can act kind of like a boredom suppressing drug. It’s easy to fall into mindless TV watching for a few hours and feel like you aren’t bored anymore, but it’s just glossing over the symptoms in the most superficial way. It’s a bandage. Really not even that, because a bandage is actually a little useful.

    You know when you decide to vegetate in front of a TV that you’re still bored, you’re just bored in a distracted way. That’s not the point.

    If you find yourself falling into this kind of trap go in the opposite direction. Go out and do something. Get outside and away from TV and Internet and phones and everything else. Whether that means going somewhere in a city or off into the woods the point is to disconnect a bit and find something to be present in.

These are just a few examples, with things like Project Gutenberg or the expansive Kindle library available to you and all the other resources out there you have no excuse.

Boredom is a choice.

Next time you’re bored get up and do something about it rather than sitting around and moping.

Have any other suggestions for not being so bored or boring anymore? Leave a comment!

Photo Credit: Bark

Adam is a former English teacher turned personal trainer and writer. He’s addicted to learning, parkour and martial arts. In addition to being a voracious bibliophile Adam’s fascinated by anything related to health, fitness and language. When not studying or training he can usually be found curled up with a good piece of fiction. You can e-mail Adam at Adam@RoadtoEpic.com

  • Joseph Hundley

    i have got to say. while being bored in some situations can be a choice. to say that you are boring for being bored is outright retarded. i enjoy sky diving, parkour, hiking, intense exercise,mma fighting, skateboarding on buildings. anything adventurous really. i am a intense adrenaline junkie really. normal trivial things bore me. tv? hello no. video games? gross. hanging out with friends? alright every once in awhile. but my true love is for adventure and my true friends go on those adventures with me. i am prone to boredom when not doing something exciting. i cant be doing something thrilling every second of the day and when i am not i am generally bored until the next time. hell sometimes ill pick a verbal fight with a family member or friend for fun. so im boring? i know people who are NEVER bored and could sit on their ass ALL DAMN DAY and have fun playing video games and staring at a tv while im out chasing thrills and risking my ass for fun and I AM THE BORING ONE?! see how that makes no sense? if anthying. someone entertained with doing the most trivial things (like television) and NEVER getting bored of that is boring. someone like me who is frequently bored when not doing something exciting but constantly trying to (just not always able to because of other committment and time consuming responsibilities) is not boring. that boredom would motivate you to go on adventures. i have countless stories to share and people enjoy listening to them and i was motivated to pursue this fun by my boredom. boredom makes you become less boring as a motivation to stop the pain. people who can stare at a screen all day and have fun but never feel boredom? those are the boring people. boring people never know they are boring or they would change it. very rarely is someone bored by choice.

    • I actually agree with most of what you said, but I think it misses the point of the article somewhat – I’m not asserting that one should *never* feel boredom, but only that people who habitually sit around complaining of their boredom yet never take real steps to address the issue have nothing to complain about.

      I also didn’t say it was a dichotomous issue. Just because I think people who sit around and complain about their boredom are likely boring people doesn’t mean I don’t think people who are perfectly entertained watching twelve hours of TV everyday are are also boring. There’s no mutual exclusivity.

      When you say you were motivated to pursue these things by your boredom you are espousing the virtues of exactly the attitude I’m trying to get across. What you have to realize though is that a large number of people are not spurred to action by their boredom and only complain of it while doing nothing to alleviate their indolence.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • JusticeB

    Boredom can be a symptom of depression. Depression can cause you to become disinterested in activities that used to fascinate you. If you find yourself feeling bored more than usual and not taking pleasure your favorite activities, you might want to explore whether you are feeling depressed, and why, as opposed to judging yourself for feeling bored.

    • Absolutely, and there’s a difference between general ennui or just giving in to TV or something similar because you’re bored and the complete loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy that often comes with depression. That kind of ‘boredom’ is another animal entirely than what I was talking about in the article.

      As someone who has struggled with clinical depression I’ll be the first to say if you’re finding yourself constantly feeling fatigued, hopeless, have lost interest in things you used to be fascinated by, or have suicidal thoughts then get in touch with a doctor – they can help a lot more than you might think.