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Dr. Michael R. Mantell Headshot

Think You're Boring? You Are

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You and your friends go out to a local bar for some relaxation time. You are standing at the bar with your buddies whom are are all chatting away with others none of you ever met before. Then it hits you. Nobody is talking with you.

You've been waiting on line at the local coffee shop for what seems forever. What takes those "baristas" so long anyway? People are patiently waiting their turn by making small talk about the day ahead. You are busy looking at the food behind the counter. Then it hits you. Nobody is talking with you.

You are waiting in the boarding area at the airport and the much-dreaded announcement comes on the loudspeaker. Your plane is going to be taking off 30 minutes late. Folks seated in the area begin expressing their dismay, talking about the upcoming trip, what they are going to do when they land, plans for sightseeing, and share some recommendations for good restaurants. Then it hits you. Nobody is talking with you.

Then it really hits you. Your deepest fears about yourself are confirmed. You are boring, not very interesting and downright dull. Then it hits you again. You've got to do something about this. Then it hits you again. You have no clue what to do.

Every consider owning just how "weird" you may be? Look around the bar, the coffee shop and the airport waiting area. NOBODY is normal. These groups are filled with quirkiness. Maybe that's it. They aren't trying to hide themselves. You are.

On the lookout for what's boring? Notice that the folks around you who appear to be boring to others just utter perfunctory proclamations to what others say, such as "Wow," "Really!" "Cool." Boring folks ask elementary school level questions about the other person and don't wait for an answer before blowing hard about themselves. See how they sit, er, I mean slouch? They look boring.

Want to sharpen your dull edge? Conform less, and instead, lead with authenticity, with whom you really are, free of apology, put your differences out front and wear you with pride. Of course not everyone will find you memorable, so be prepared to smile and find the beauty in the ugliness around you. No need to be beautiful. In fact, beauty and being charming have no real link.

Here are seven of my most tried and true, most often recommended, and most effective simple and easy to use tools to decrease your boredom factor and increase your connectivity:

1. Don't avoid conversations and don't expect to be invited into one.
2. Get uncomfortable. Embrace your inner dork.
3. Stop posing. It's okay to be wrong. In fact, it may be interesting.
4. Share whatever are your interests. Don't have any? Read #5.
5. Be an explorer of everything around you. Give a real darn about what you discover. Others may find it interesting.
6. Shy? Confront your inner self-directed fairy tale and realize people won't really take a bite out of you.
7. Think you still are boring? The link is what you think. Think you are boring and everything you do, say, think and feel you'll interpret as a sign to confirm your erroneous thought. So drop the label "boring."

"Great minds," Eleanor Roosevelt said, "discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." How big is your mind?

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