I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

One time, at band camp

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You know how when someone tells a really boring story, and about 30 seconds in, you’re simultaneously thinking about what you’re going to eat next and how you can make an escape? Only you totally don’t. Instead, you nod along since you don’t want to be the rude son-of-a-B that you are inside. Am I right?

Well, I live in perpetual fear of invoking the afore-mentioned reaction in others. When I see it — distracted glances around the room, soulless eyes, ill-timed “uh huhs” — I immediately kill my story. “Once upon a time — oh yup, there’s a yawn, okay. The end.”

I’ve become more and more aware of this phenomenon. Not because my own anecdotes are getting more boring (certainly not!), but because now that I’m looking out for it I realize just how often I listen to other people’s crap stories. Noteworthy observations:

  1. The older a person is, the more likely they’ll bore (It’s ageist, but true). Typically it’s because it’s the same story being retold for the umpteenth time.
  2. The more I like you, the less likely you are to lose my interest, even if in relative terms whatever you’re saying is actually really boring.
  3. If you’re just talking to toot your own horn, I won’t care. End of story.
  4. If what you’re saying involves a. pain b. humiliation c. a tragedy, it’s far more likely to intrigue than something happy. Suffering is just more interesting.
  5. But if you start complaining about stuff that’s totally not whine-worthy, eyes will glazeth over.
  6. Okay, fine, the happy stuff can be good, but please see point 3.
  7. Finally: Everything is more interesting with alcohol.

What bores the crap out of you?


Written by ditheringmiss

March 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Thoughts

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