A few years ago, I attended a seminar on how to build a productive business network. The best strategy for success: Don’t be boring. My first thought: why the negative? The best strategy could have easily been: Be interesting. The negative versus positive approach made me curious. What’s the difference between boring and interesting…?
The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary uses words, rather than phrases, to define boring: Not interesting, tedious, tiresome, dull, bothersome, and humdrum.
Compare this to “interesting” which is described as: arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching attention.
Interesting includes an action such as “arousing, holding or catching”. Boring is just plain boring. The action seems to be missing. Boring doesn’t need to arouse, hold or capture.
Will the same logic apply when describing whether a person is boring or interesting? The question depends on which is easier – to be boring or interesting. It seems to me that it is much more difficult to be interesting because it involves an action. An interesting person will capture our attention, inspire us to listen, and motivate us to participate. Interesting entertains and amuses; conversely, interesting can also challenge, provoke or stir us to act and react. There is no vacuum with interesting.
We want to be entertained. But are we willing to be interesting?
We can always be boring – that’s easy.
Which photo is the most interesting?