Monday, March 9, 2015

Is There a Correlation Between Complaining, Whining, and Being Boring?: A Character Study of Ourselves

There are a couple things about people that really irk me. The foremost irksome and completely avoidable character traits are those of a chronic complainer, and an eternally boring person.  There is nothing more detestable to me than someone who seems to always be bothered by something or someone. And I am equally annoyed by people who just can’t seem to bring something exciting or nifty to the table, the boring people. The qualities of whiners, enviers, complainers, and boring behavior has always been abhorrent to me, but only recently did I notice that perhaps there was a correlation between the two. Perhaps people were becoming more boring because they were incessantly complaining about life, and maybe people were gossiping, crying, and accusing, because they were bored.

Let’s first examine some obvious characteristics of the stereotypical non-boring person. This person is likely to be described as or contain at least one, if not many of the following qualities: Said person will often be prone to spontaneity. A non-boring person will frequently be viewed as mysterious and interesting. A non-boring individual will also appear to have some sort of indescribable energy, some sort of metaphysical ability to view things differently, a sort of je ne sais quoi.  The so-called non-boring persons tend to be excitable, they are usually opportunists, optimists, and downright yes-men (or yes-women).

While there are surely people here and there that are not boring at all who are also guilty of backbiting, endless complaining, and superfluous whining, I am suggesting that those who are innovators, those who are devilishly interesting people do not have time, nor do they waste precious energy in complaining about things. These people understand that complaining is not an efficacious practice.

So take a minute and think about qualities of a truly non-boring person you know. Are they awesome? Are they kind, and unique? Probably. Well what is awesome about complaining? What is unique about grumbling and murmuring? If you are doing these things, you are being boring. No one put it into better summation than the Roman philosopher Seneca. He mused some 2 millennia ago that, “Envy of other people shows how they are unhappy. Their continual attention to others behavior shows how they are boring.”

So, what are we doing wrong? Don’t we desire a less boring existence? Well the answer does not lie in making whimsical trips to tropical islands. The antidote for a boring disposition is not  in swanky cars, and fancy friendships, it is in eliminating complaining, whining, jealousy, and bellyaching from our lives. How can we be boring if we are uplifting those around us? How can we be labeled uninteresting or dull if we are imbued with optimism and generosity?