How many times have you heard that phrase?
Over the years I've been told I'm boring countless times by friends, family and even co-workers. Each time it would make me question myself, and my self-esteem would take a hit. Was I boring? Why didn't I enjoy the same things everyone else did? What was wrong with me?
I spent years waiting for friends to get bored of me and stop inviting me to things or wanting to hang out. I was so afraid of being rejected that I went along with their interests! In my younger years it didn't affect me so much. But as I got older and their was more pressure to be sociable I had to start faking enjoyment, whether it was a house party or another weekend spent at clubs drinking even though inside all I wanted to do was go home, put my pjs on and chat over food!
My weekdays were spent feigning excitement of the upcoming weekend, what we'd wear and who we'd meet. All the while, I would have this pit in my stomach that would grow and grow until those sweet words were spoken, "Shall we get a taxi and go home?"
When I started to say how I really felt, that I didn't enjoy big nights out, I was called boring and would get pressured into going anyway.
"You'll enjoy yourself once you're out!"
"You'll regret it later!"
It made me miserable. I felt like I couldn't make my own decisions or be myself. My confidence was already low because of body dysmorphia (a post for another day!) so I believed other people's opinions easily and these comments became my own internal thoughts.
Taking Back Control
I started dating my parter Dom back in 2009 and although I was super excited, a huge part of me was waiting for him to discover I was boring and end up rejecting me. We had a long distance relationship while we both studied at university and even though for most people this would be very difficult, for me it was exactly what I needed...no pressure to make plans every weekend and when we did see each other, we were so excited to be together that my thoughts didn't have a chance to take over.
However, those intrusive thoughts were still there, especially when we would meet up with his friends, who are all super outgoing and extroverted. Would they think I was boring too? Would they tell him I was weird?
I knew it was time to make a change. I couldn't let these thoughts affect me any longer. The first thing I did was speak to Dom! Saying my thoughts out loud to someone I trusted and knew would support me made me realise how much I was hurting myself.
When I started to dig a bit deeper, I had to face my thoughts head on and figure out why I thought I was going to be seen as boring. The definition of boring is “not interesting” and “tedious.” Now this in itself presented a problem - we all have different interests. What I find boring, is someone else's excitement and vice versa...so how could I possibly be interesting to everyone??
And then it hit me.
I was holding myself to an absolutely ridiculous and impossible standard. There was no way I could be interesting to everyone and I wasn't going to waste any more of my time and energy trying to be!
If someone thought I was boring, that just reflects what they find interesting, not what I'm doing wrong.
As introverts living in a very extroverted society, we can start to question how interesting we are based on what we're told we should enjoy. However, if we all liked the same things and had the same interests...wouldn't that be more boring?? As long as you’re being yourself and you surround yourself with people who share at least some of your interests, you won't ever feel boring!