Why Everyone Is So Boring
By The Modern Martial Artist
We have all been stuck listening to someone describe their stamp collection or favorite kind of native toad. Ok, maybe not that bad, but we have all been in a conversation or two where we have wanted nothing more than to escape. You may think of the people from these conversations as boring, awkward or socially incompetent. And they may very well be.
But here is the thing. If you find yourself becoming bored by people often, or find yourself wishing that there were more interesting, creative, and intelligent people out there, then I have some bad news for you… They are not boring. You are.
What?! you say. I’m not boring! I fish, bike ride, and take Ju Jutsu classes every other Saturday!
Well, those things are pretty interesting, in and of themselves. But honestly, nobody that you are meeting for the first time cares that you do them. That’s not me being crude, that is simply the truth. You are boring because you cannot relate to people openly and honestly, and that is the main thing that people are looking for in a conversation. In order for people to care about the things you do (Even if those things are pretty awesome) they must first care about you.
Think about that for a moment. It does not matter if you have ridden a motorcycle through a ring of fire on the top of Everest while shooting a bow and arrow through the heart of a dragon. If the person listening to you tell that story does not care about you, they will not care about your accomplishments!
But David, I spend so much time learning how to do that! It’s really important to me. It’s how I got over my depression!
Really! Now THAT is interesting! Now I care!
I care! I care because you went beyond what you did, and you went into why it was important to you. You talked about something I could relate to as another human being. We have all been sad before.
This is how people relate. They care about the why. They care about the struggle, the joy, the triumphs. This is how you make friends. You find something within the other person that you can relate to. And there is something within everyone on this Earth that you can relate to. We are all mirror images of each other. It is simply about finding the right angle to look at.
If you take an interest in people, a genuine interest, then not only will you be fascinated, but you will be fascinating.
So the next time you are talking to the stamp collecting toad guy, ask him why he likes stamps. Ask him what is so fascinating about toads. I think the answer will surprise you! Who knows, you could end up making a new friend.
Books by David Christian of The Modern Martial Artist
Power of the Pros: https://www.modernmartialartist.com/downloads/power-of-the-pros/
Footwork Wins Fights: https://www.modernmartialartist.com/downloads/footwork-wins-fights/
Everything Boxing, Kickingboxing & MMA
Very good advice from a wise and thoughtful teacher.
Whether or not someone appeals to you is less important to your happiness and well being than whether or not you appeal to that person.
Like my other insights about human behavior, I had to learn this the hard way: by making mistakes and by analyzing them.
When you are talking to someone you do not know, someone with power over you, and particularly to someone you do not know very well and who has power over you, you should do more listening than talking. Try to find out how life feels to that person. Ask the person questions he or she will enjoy answering.
Do enough talking to indicate that you have been paying attention. If you introduce a new topic to the conversation, and the other person does not show interest in the topic, drop the subject.
Be careful about expressing attitudes, unless you know that the other person shares the attitudes. Be very careful about expressing negative attitudes. Facts and insights can be interesting to share. Attitudes are not debatable. People either feel a certain way or they do not.
Even with facts and insights, beware of sounding like a know it all. Do not try to impress people. Try to appeal to them.