Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
– Thomas Szasz
Only boring people get bored. If you never get bored, you will understand. If you are the kind of person who gets bored, face the truth. But you are unlikely to be a bored or boring person because you read worthwhile material.
A bored person usually wants someone else to provide the stimulus he needs to get out of his boredom. It’s not that he doesn’t have initiative or succumb to the same motivations as others. It’s simply that the bored person needs someone else to kick-start his interest in anything because he doesn’t know enough to be able to interact with others in a good conversation.
The bored person is unhappy with his own company. He needs the company of others so that he doesn’t have to think about himself. When he thinks about himself, he doesn’t have enough to think about. He is not aware of his own problem, only that he needs someone else to help him not be bored.
Any kind of meaningful conversation requires at least one person to be knowledgeable enough about the subject under discussion to be able to make a contribution to what the others already know. A bored person often knows too little about all subjects to be able to add much of substance to any conversation.
The great difficulty for a bored person is that he doesn’t want to make the huge investment in learning a skill that others will admire or to learn sufficient information (knowledge) about a certain subject that he can participate in conversations actively, gaining the respect of others for his contributions.
Knowing or having enough of something that makes friendship worthwhile for a bored person requires hard work, usually over a prolonged period of time. By the time a person is old enough to be bored, others have already learned the skills or knowledge they need. Little kids seldom get bored because their imaginations kick in to give them something to do no matter what their circumstances. Bored people lose that power of imagination.
The bored person may like to “hang with friends.” He likely enjoys his music loud because that precludes the need to produce any meaningful contribution to conversation. Being with people is important to him, but he wants conditions to be such that he doesn’t have to contribute much to what happens.
The bored person is a follower because of his need to be with other people and his lack of leadeship skills. Leaders always must know more than their followers or have something special to add to the group (money, charisma, tickets, music sources) that will make him attractive as a friend and leader.
Bored young people naturally gravitate to gangs where the leader provides the stimulus for whatever is necessary to keep the group alive and active.
While gang participation may sound risky, it provides the environment that a bored person needs and wants. Bored young people who do not join gangs may be the loners we read about in the newspapers, ones who use guns to scare or kill their peers who they may feel unfairly rejected them. That feeling of rejection may be generalized to peers the bored person hasn’t met, such as other students of the same education institution.
In general, bored people lack the life skills they need to gain the knowledge or skills that will earn them recognition in social groups and they lack sufficient social skills to be able to attract the kinds of friends they really need.
Unfortunately, the kinds of friends that good people don’t need are the easiest to find and acquire. The ones who provide drugs, for example, and encourage an antisocial lifestyle that requires theft to get enough money to buy more drugs. The right kinds of friends are much harder to find and develop relationships with and this may be nearly impossible for people who lack a range of social skills.
Bored young people are not often bullies, unless their gang is led by a bully and they play along with the group. Bullies that act alone are usually well aware of their lack of social skills and their inability to make friends, whereas a bored person may not be aware that he lacks sufficient social skills.
A bored person is bored with life because he doesn’t have enough knowledge about it to find it interesting. That, in turn, makes him boring to others.
A bored person is an accident waiting to happen. Without intervention by others who know what to do, it will happen.
If you know a boring person, you know a bored person, or vice versa. Now you also know what that person needs. You may be able to help.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, striving to make the though things about life a bit easier to understand.
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