Did she just fall asleep in the middle of your convo? Is he looking everywhere in the room except at you? What? They’re all yawning simultaneously. You know what they say: A yawn may not be polite, but at least it’s an honest opinion. Ha.
Okay, so you’re not queen of the coffee meetings. Before you go licking your wounds, would you say that your life is affecting, arresting, or alluring? You can’t engage others if you are not excited about your very own existence. Are you passionate about any interests, hobbies, or activities? Playin’ video games, surfing the Web, and watching endless TV isn’t exactly the recipe to spice things up, is it? But sharing thoughts, new experiences, and happenings with people not only makes you infinitely more interesting, it helps you relate to so many others as well. Two-for-one special. Get steamed up and stirred about something. Don’t put life on hold. I guarantee you it won’t wait for you. Are you bored of being bored?
Do something out of the ordinary; give yourself a new challenge. I guarantee that you will be instantly more fascinating. Learn new things. When was the last time you started a sentence with “I heard this fact on a podcast today”? Or “This was my favorite part of the episode I just watched”? A surprising piece of new information is a superb way to spark an entertaining exchange and repartee.
Is your idea of being realistic about life the same as being a colorless, cynical naysayer? No one wants to hang with a predictably negative, thumbs-down kinda guy. Sourpuss Prophet of Doom are ya’? Negativity gets old pretty darn fast. You know those folks who offer the forecast? Oh, yeah, weather forecast tonight: Dark. (Sheesh)
You know what they say: The cure for boredom is Pinterest. There is no cure for Pinterest. But the real cure, my friends, is: curiosity. It never hurts to have some fun facts to toss around.
Do you talk too much or too little about yourself? There she goes – talkin’ about herself again. Yawn. If you’ve never tasted humble pie, try some – it’s not fattening. No one appreciates someone who is so wrapped up in herself. It’s been said: There are some people born on third base, but go through their whole lives thinking they hit a triple. Try listening more. None are as empty as folks who are full of themselves.
Then again, perhaps you never share much about yourself. Do not undervalue yourself. If you don’t reveal anything personal about yourself, no one really gets to know the real you. Others can easily become uninterested in you if they cannot connect at all emotionally. Stop blindly following the codes and conduct that you think will make a splash and blow people away. Sure you can tell us all about your vacay: who was there, what you ate, and what the weather was like. Did you ever consider telling your friends some real feelings beneath some of those trivial facts? How about shelving some outer details and look more closely within? Then g’head and divulge and disclose to someone you trust.
Y’all know that awkward moment when you avoided eye contact with your teacher, so she wouldn’t call on you? Or accidentally looked someone in the eye in the car next to you at the red light, eye to eye? Sometimes eye contact can be more intimate than words. So don’t be scared to look into someone’s eyes. Yes, it is emotionally engaging, and that is the whole point. Sometimes there’s a story in someone’s eyes.
You feel spiritless, blasé, or dull? Just think: You live in a great big vast world; what percent of it have you tasted or experienced? The only thing worse than being bored is being boring. Perhaps you simply never learned or do not have the courage to share with others what it is truly like to be you. You needn’t have traveled the world, won an Academy Award or be involved in geopolitical events to be impressive and intriguing. Just share, spill the beans. What is on your mind and in your heart? Smile, shell out, and share the poignancy of simply being alive. Remember: Sometimes the greatest conversations simply began with a great question.
Just look at how kids give you the whole enchilada: talking turkey and telling it like it is. That’s a five-year-old for you. Be as brave as they are. Next time you’re out with friends, how about being anything but predictable. C’mon. Don’t wait for the magic moment; create it. When was the last time, sweet friends, that you did something for the first time?
Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens. She works with individuals, couples, and families. Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends. She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at Safehavenhealing@gmail.com or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.