It's Good To Be BoringFinally, after many years of feeling like a deer in the headlights throughout my twenties, I began to learn about how to master uncomfortable social situations by being more boring. I have been doing this for about ten years and it is now well on track.
Being deliberately boring was hard for me at first, because I always liked to think of myself as an interesting person, and I suspect that many introverts also like to think of themselves as being a bit “special”. In fact part of the whole introvert shtick is about having a perceptive, inquisitive mind, being a keen observer, and being able to make insightful comments when you do finally say something. But if people think you have interesting opinions which you are not expressing, they will just want to know what is up with you. You become like the mystery on Lost, and people will want to rent box sets of you.
If I don’t really want to talk to someone, and I do not want them trying to make me talk to them, I deliberately tell them really dull stories, as confidently as I can manage, about the time my car broke down or something. This works pretty well.
Even more recently I have realized that most people think I am boring when I talk enthusiastically about things that really do interest me, like for example, 1970s pinball machines. If I talk about that for a while most people will stop trying to get me to talk, like, at all. Only the people who actually get me will bother.
If they interrupt me to ask me more personal stuff I just say, “hold on, I haven’t finished,” and I keep on with my rant. And then, I can say something like, “well, that was just something I was actually into talking about.” This can sometimes get the point across that the person isn’t actually trying to connect with me at all, because they are not really interested in what I have to say.
And even more recently, like, only a few years ago, I realized that many outie type people actually mastered this art years ago, and can be as boring as they like, whenever they like. It is mostly just us innies that struggle, because we are so obsessed with being interesting all the time.
For everyone still struggling, I now run classes on being boring, out of my living room on week nights. Its $40 an hour session.
StevieStillwater 36-40, M 1 Mar 25, 2012