Being Boring.

A lot of very successful people can be surprisingly dull.

Sometimes, in order to be truly successful, you have to spend more time on the getting-successful bit than the doing-interesting-things bit. Unless you inherited extortionate wealth and spent it on a giant submarine with a basketball court inside, or building a 10-acre maize maze, or a shark tank under a child’s bedroom floor, being boring can sometimes be a surefire route to success. People will leave you alone and then you can get on with whatever it is that will make you so bloody successful. (Although unfortunately being a failure doesn’t necessarily mean being interesting as a result – a common misconception in the Arts).

And if you’re really, really successful, you don’t even have to bother being interesting – you’ll have no shortage of company, (except perhaps when you’re feeling glum).

Easy steps to being boring:

  • Concentrate on being interesting more than interested.
  • Assume time is always in plentiful supply.
  • If you quote others, don’t reference – who’s to know?
  • Memorize statistics – they solidify an argument and sustain interest.
  • Memorize plenty of pre-prepared quotes and anecdotes. If you can recite an article word-for-word as your own opinion it bolsters authority and standing.
  • Treat every individual as an audience, a representative of the masses, whose function is to applaud.
  • Never traffic with other bores. You must exert dominance over the conversation; other bores threaten this.
  • Expect replies of; “really?” “No way” “uh huh” “That’s amazing” “that’s so funny” “Oh my god!” “You actually did that?” “Fantastic” and “Wow, well done”.
  • Avoid asking questions. This interrupts the flow. Same applies to stopping for breath – unecessary.
  • If your subject’s eyes are darting about, intensify eye-contact and initiate regular physical contact with a tap on the shoulder or excessive hand gestures.  
  • Try to converse with somebody who is in a hurry – their concentration will be heightened.

 Here – I took this at Sacks 5th Avenue on Fashion’s Night Out – the lady in the grey jacket sums it up:

Clare Danes, Donna Karan and folks


The Anatomy of a Bore, by Alan Brien 1963, The Spectator

“The bore is an educator and a perfectionist… He operates as though this were the last and only information on the topic that you would ever be given, so he skips no detail. It is a one-way conversation from the man who knows to the man who must be told. This is not to say the bore monopolises the talk entirely. He will engineer a gap in which you are permitted to enlighten him on some piddling and trivial topic of his choice. He will show a spurious and exaggerated interest in an article of your clothing or demand a minute-by-minute account of your day. Eventually you grind to a halt, conscious that there is professionalism even in boring.”

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