If, like myself, you are an incurable snot, you probably often find yourself trapped in hopelessly boring conversations with hopelessly boring people.
These, “boring people” could be friends, relatives, coworkers – anyone whom social standards (and basic human decency) oblige you to regularly engage in small-talk.
However, even as you shrivel up inside as one of these individuals approaches you to talk about their mother’s latest health issues – fear not!
Here are four easy steps to making it out of the conversation alive:
1. Make sure you’re not a boring person yourself.
It all starts with you. If you’re a busy, fun, and interesting person, you’re more likely to attract similarly busy, fun, and interesting people (which means you’ll ward off lots of boring conversations before they even begin). Hooray!
And even when you do inevitably have to talk with a boring person, if you’ve pre-armed yourself with many interesting experiences and thoughts, you will at least have that many more interesting things to talk about.
2. Don’t feel you must match their interests.
Don’t feel like you have to talk about boring topics just because the person you’re talking with enjoys them. Gently lead the conversation into topics with a little more depth, and don’t feel bad if your friend loses interest when you do so.
As American author Elbert Hubbard once noted, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
It’s idiotic to sacrifice your own personality and interests just to retain a friendship. If, just to avoid criticism and conflict, you constantly alter your own personality to match those of your friends, you’ll soon cease to have any personality at all.
Anyway, perhaps your lack of common interests means that the two of you just don’t make the best friends.
Life goes on.
3. Find some point of respect.
Maybe they work hard all day at their boring job. Maybe they’re really good at some random thing you personally suck at. Maybe they always remember your birthday.
Holding conversation with a boring person that you dislike is tough. In order to keep hold of your sanity, you have to find something about that incurably boring person that you can legitimately respect. I promise, it will make the conversation much more endurable because you’ll at least have empathy for them.
4. Bear in mind that you are that boring person to somebody.
Unless you’re literally Will Smith, you’re definitely a snooze to someone in your life.
In fact, you’re probably a snooze to many people in your life. Not all personalities and interests are the same — or even vaguely similar. Your character flaws and quirks are definitely going to clash with those of a lot of other people, and that’s okay. You are not the gold standard of the human experience, and other people don’t have to care about what you care about.
Have some empathy, have some humility, and when you’re really in the thick of that endless conversation about so-and-so’s vacation in Mexico, have some appreciation for the last person that listened to an equally boring story from you.
While boring conversations are an inevitable part of adult life, they don’t necessarily have to be reminiscent of Japanese water-torture. Bring your own fun to your conversations, unapologetically discuss your own interests, show respect to the person you’re talking with, and remember to have some humility.
Or, you know, we could all just mutually agree to shut up about things absolutely no one cares about – but that would be too simple.]
[Image Credit: Pxhere]