How And Why We Get Bored

Boredom. The final frontier. These are the ramblings of a blogger trying to boldly explain what no man ever avoided: how and why we get bored.

What Is Boredom?

Have you ever thought what boredom is? Why we get bored? How we can strangely reproduce this state so often although we consider it something very uncomfortable? Maybe you tried, but ended up bored in the process…

Boredom is a state of anxiety and low self-respect. We’re educated to get satisfaction from a very limited set of activities. Watching movies, eating, reading, programming (I know my blog is read by some fine geeks too, this one’s for you, guys 🙂 ), talking with friends, daydreaming. We’re in a state of comfort and balance every time we’re doing something we like. But the moment we’re not doing it anymore, something very subtle, yet extremely powerful happens.

Because we’re not doing what we like anymore, we start not to like who does it too. Meaning us. If we can’t get satisfaction from what we’re doing, in a twisted, yet understandable attempt to stop that activity, we’re trying to hate the person who does it. Which, again, it’s us. It’s like saying: “hey, stop, I’m not enjoying this anymore, I know I have to do it (or I wanted to do it, or it’s good for me or for others around me) but I don’t want to do it anymore”. And from this subtle tension between what we “have” to do and what we “love” to do, boredom rise.

Anxiety And Low Self-Esteem

People who get bored easily are usually anxious people. They’re also having quite a low level of self-esteem. If you’re constantly challenging yourself by trying to stop what you’re doing, because you don’t “like” it, you end up considering yourself an inappropriate person. If you’re considering yourself an inappropriate person, you’ll end up doing things you don’t really want, just to feel a little more “appropriate”. And this is the beginning of your low self-esteem territory.

The bad news is that situation is contagious. It will spread over other areas of your life pretty soon. If you’re constantly getting bored doing stuff you should really do, this will reach to other areas of your life pretty soon. Boredom likes wide spaces, it has an inner sense of expansion. Once allowed in a certain section of your life it will do whatever it can to conquer the rest of you as fast as it can.

What To Do Against Boredom

The simplest way to challenge boredom is to like everything you do, unconditionally. I met some people who were in this state. They were able to extract meaning from and fully rejoice every little thing they were doing, being it spontaneous, self-imposed or just randomly crossed. They were able to dive in and experience everything with equal enthusiasm and energy. Of course, they were all kids. 🙂

I haven’t met a balanced child who got bored. Yet. All the boredom capable kids I met where in fact unbalanced kids, children taught they were valuable and loved only if they were doing only a limited set of activities, generally, to please their parents. But normal, non-alienated kids never get bored.

If you can be like a child, free and fearless, I bet you didn’t even reach so far in this article: boredom is something so strange to you that it didn’t raise an ounce of an interest. But if you’re like the rest of humanity, victim of a hedonistic and coercive education, you do get bored. You do get satisfaction only from a limited set of activities and if you’re not doing one of them you’re getting anxious. You have a deep, constant feeling of not being worth anything. The rest of the blog post is for you.


One way to alleviate the effects of boredom, if not ditching them totally, is to accept your current tasks and situations if they are not changeable. For instance, your domestic chores is something that I consider not being changeable. Chances that somebody else will do your domestic chores like laundry and dishes are pretty low, for many of us, so better accept it. Make it part of your life. It’s ok to do the dishes and take care of your clothes. If you’re not going to do this something ugly will happen, You’ll get swamped in a mountain of dirty dishes, wearing filthy clothes. Which will have quite an effect on your social life, if you ask me. Not to mention your self-esteem.

In fact, you’ll discover that many of your boring tasks are the foundation for proper functioning in this world. Many things you’ll consider source of apathy or lassitude are in fact fundamental for a proper insertion in your day to day life.They are repetitive and this what makes them boring, not the end result.

But there’s a little catch here, which will help you trick the boredom: it will manifest only if you take “repetitive” for granted. If you do that exactly the same each time. You don’t have to take it for granted. Change the way you do your dishes or laundry every time. Ditch the repetitive element out of it. Make it fun. Play roles. Do it at different times of the day. Try to describe the task you’re doing in an exotic foreign language. It’s not the end result which bores you, it’s yourself. Get yourself a kick in your virtual butt and accept what you have to do.

Stop Being Judgemental

If you’re eager to have the first and and final word in a discussion, I bet you’re pretty easily bored. Stop that. This constant need of being right will lead you to the swamp of self-delusion. If you don’t accept that you can be wrong sometimes, you’ll have to be right all the time just in order to accept yourself. You’ll start searching for situations or contexts in which you are always right and avoid situations or contexts in which you know you can’t be right. You’re alienating yourself in the most common sense of this word: you’re becoming an alien. You’re drastically limiting your choices. Sooner or later you’re going to become your worst censor. And that will make you bored to death.

Learn Something New

One of the most common situations in which you’re getting bored is if you think you know everything. There’s nothing new in this world for you. You already know everything. Well, maybe. But, most likely, maybe not. You think you know everything only because you refuse learning.You found some comfortable refuge in your life, hiding behind a status, a position, your child or your partner, and don’t really want to get out of there.

Well, sooner or later you’ll be forced to learn something new, so you’d better be proactive on that. You can’t hide forever behind somebody else. Statuses are volatile and positions are moving constantly. You can’t be there forever. Actually, the source of your boredom is this very refuge. Go away and learn something new. It will challenge your mind and ruin your comfort zone. And I consider both so empowering. 🙂


Boredom is an expression of our sense of emptiness and limitation. We think we’re functioning properly only if we do certain types of activities which is inherently wrong.

We’re designed to do anything and to enjoy everything.

75 thoughts on “How And Why We Get Bored”

  1. Interesting points of view. I tend to think of boredom as an emotion tied to predictability and a perceived sense of a stagnant environment. Like all of our emotions, boredom orbits our psyche and at a time when we sense a lack of stimulation, it makes its presence known. Similarly, when we are exposed to a tragic event, a sense of grief dominates our mind. Can boredom have a cause-and-effect relationship with low self-esteem? Absolutely. I don’t know however that, that said relationship is mutually exclusive.

  2. I like this article. Many thanks for working on it and sharing the nice comments. I have a question anyone feel free to give answer of it. How much need a person to perform the attempt that she/he move towards the goal or bore state?
    For example; we have a game. Normally, people love to play the game to reach towards the goal state before reaching the goal state she/he attempts many time for it. Anyone have an experience about the cutoff value for how she/he takes maximum attempt to reaches the goal or bore state.

    • Hi, thanks for the nice words. I think it depends on the type of the activity you’re involved in. Personally, I think the number of necessary attempts to reach a goal or to discard the effort varies with the type of activity, the overall state of the person, the environmental pressures (are we in a hurry, are we relaxed? etc) and a few other factors. There’s no “one size fits all”.

  3. Well…I respectfully disagree with the statement that bored people have low self-esteem. I think a better statement is…

    “Bored people are high-achievers who has not reached their full potential.”

    Most extremely successful people have a fire in them towards excellence that that fire doesn’t die until they accomplish something that changes the world for the better. In other words, they have fallen short of God’s plan for their life. And until they find a way to live out that plan, they will be forever bored.

  4. Hey! What does one do to reduce this feeling of low self-esteem and boredom? I have this feeling most of the day. It sucks big time, and I really want to change it.

  5. I’ve never thought of boredom that way but it makes a lot of sense. I find that playing different music with every household task I have to do is a great way to keep myself entertained!

  6. That’s a very interesting post. It got my mental gears into action finally about this boredom aspect. I don’t agree with you on that anxiety and low self-esteem aspect. It might be true in some situations definitely because it seems that you’re talking from experience in this post (and there’s nothing to be ashamed about I think because we all suffer from many mental disorders at different times in our lives, let alone anxiety and self-esteem).

    Anyway, from my own experience I’m seeing that boredom seems to come out of labeling. We have this tendency to label things in the back of our minds “oh he’s like thix, she’s always X” etc. So lets say you’re watching a tv show on your comp. And after watching a couple of episodes you feel bored and just want to do something else. Then what is really happneing is that you’ve labeled some aspects of that tv show at the back of your mind (“andy will always try to sing something interesting”, “she will always try to fight”, “i miss that other char”, “this char is cool”, “jim is always relaxed” etc etc). And after sometime we keep hearing these same judgements again and again inside our head and that’s when we start becoming bored.

    Let me explain this in another way. There is one Sri Sri Ravishankar guy who says that we all like to have a change in our lives. We don’t like stagnant things by nature. If you’re eating the same food everyday you get bored. Same goes for movies, tv shows etc. So what I can understand from this is that we’re applying labels to all these things in a very subtle way so that we fail to notice the differnce in different episodes and it all becomes linear (i.e., no variety). That’s when we become bored.

    So the trick to not get bored and still keep doing whatever you want to do is: “try to notice something different in whatever you’re doing”. Try asking yourself some questions as you keep doing that task – ‘what can we say about andy? what else can we say about andy? is there anyone else who’s similar to andy? how are the other people feeling about what andy’s saying etc etc. In this way we can keep our minds engaged and it will stop the boredom from happening.

    I’m going to try this out the first thing when I reach home today!! Man I’m feeling excited again! I just love making progress like this. 🙂

  7. I loved this article.It really made me think why I feel bored. I have been sick recently which limits me to be mostly inside the house which is why I was feeling limited and thus aroused boredom. I am.gonna free my mind from feeling limited and just enjoy being at home for now and entertain myself with whatever am doing. Thanks for the great advice!! U rock!!

  8. I Don’t have patience to finish reading this article because i am one of those who gets bored easily. And I don’t agree that this got to do with low self esteem. In fact, I think it something to do with ur personality. For myself , I get bored easily becos I don’t like to do same things over and over again . But if it’s a new challenge , I will put in all my effort initially , i will lose my interet on It eventually .I think a person who will nvr suffer from boredom can be a boring person him/herself. They don’t mind doing same thing over and over again and find no reason if they should feel bored about it . They feel sense of achievement for small little things they do . But on the other side , a person who is high energy always has the desire to learn new things and challenge their limit so they don’t get satisfied so easily which leads to being bored . Ok now i feel bored to complete my comment . Why do I care abt what u say, bye everyone and a lovely day ahead

  9. I can see your point that people get bored easily are usually the anxious ones. Anxious people get “triggered” easily and quickly. And they get addicted to such pace of reactions to things in life. Thats completely the opposite nature of things that normally bores people which usually described as “steady-pattern” actions which make them feel slow compared to variable-patterns actions.

    On the other hand, there is a very limited relation between boredom and self-esteem! I think you are hitting on the “commitment” to do things that people with high self-esteem usually show. High self-esteem people tend to enjoy achieving regardless of how small it is (if they don’t have something bigger that is). They enjoy the commitment itself! Thats why they are less likely to get bored easily. However, they get bored sometimes! AND many low self-esteem show commitment even though they might be bored at the same time! (e.g. a prostitute)

  10. sir i read yours all article…but i not understand why i get bored ..many times i try to do something …when i m free but no result ….even i not like to read books when i start doing study mind not works …i thinks something cannot be possible so…..tell me in simple what to do when i have no interest to do anything……i m worried about future i not do anything with interest….please answer me

  11. OK then people with too much self-esteem usually have an inflated self-worth and self-importance. In other words Narcissistic personality disorder, see Dragos Roua.

    • Wow, I don’t think someone called me in such a complicated way ever :)) “Narcissistic personality disorder”, just by reading it out loud I have this feeling that I somehow made it. When somebody who really doesn’t know you calls you a narcissistic, you surely made a dent in their universe.

      That; or they’re just bored, surfing the internet randomly.

  12. Dragos, Wow i was just thinking about what you just wrote. i often wonder why some people are easily bored. I can totally see why some people might disagree. we have to remember that not everyone is the same
    … but for some reason what you wrote makes so much sense to me.

  13. Sure there are boring activities such as washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms and mowing the lawn but even during such times one can think and plan the things in life that are not boring. Other than those moments I find it hard to imagine being bored as I have so many interests and hobbies, keep a diary for my whole life, manage a home and parenting with my lovely wife, love to travel and more. Life should have no limits!

  14. I disagree that boredom should stem from a lack of self worth. That’s not to say that it never does, but it isn’t always the reason. Your definition of boredom seems more personal and specifically attributed to your experience of low self-esteem.
    I think “transition” can be generalized as a more appropriate definition for boredom.
    Boredom can be a healthy “state of mind” granted you recognize its purpose, which in my opinion, it is to motivate you, find inspiration. I feel that for most people, it is a moment in time when you see a need for change. It usually leads to action and new experiences in general.

    • I would say that what leads to motivation and inspiration is curiosity. Boredom is a completely different cup of tea. So, I stand to my findings here, it does come from lack of self-esteem.

  15. I agree fully and wholly with this article. I have a friend who is always bored and I believe it’s due to a lack of self esteem. He never wants to do anything when we invite him out and never rectifies his boredom on his own.

    Very annoying.

  16. I have not found a single person that was balanced to the level that even menial tasked did not bore them. Could you point to the research so I can review? Was not bored reading this, but now want to learn more.

  17. “The bad news is that situation is contagious. It will spread over other areas of your life pretty soon. If you’re constantly getting bored doing stuff you should really do, this will reach to other areas of your life pretty soon. Boredom likes wide spaces, it has an inner sense of expansion. Once allowed in a certain section of your life it will do whatever it can to conquer the rest of you as fast as it can.”

    This one paragraph in specific really got me. I think I have convinced myself in my head that due to my depression issues, I can’t enjoy much of anything anymore, even the little things I used to love. I have been mourning my childhood a lot lately, how things were so exciting back then.
    I actually used to read the backs of shampoo bottles in the shower in different voices pretending I was on a tv show , little stuff like that, it made the boring slightly exciting. I definitely think kids have all the answers to most emotional problems.
    They are so raw, real, and untouched by life’s harsh reality.
    Thank you for this.

  18. Just want to leave this comment and say that your definition of boredom is terrible. This is what people get when they google being always bored and you’re telling them something unsupported. Anxiety and boredom aren’t completely inclusive. You’re forgetting the most important part of boredom, motivation. Being uninterested is the same as not being motivated to do something. If you want to solve boredom, try not to do boring things by making everything you do your own.

  19. When I was a teenager I had a T-shirt with a picture of Fido Dido, head upside down, on it and an inscription reading “Normal is boring”. Later, while in Japan, I was taught that “Normal is the best” (Futsu wa ichiban). Can we then infer that the best can be boring? 🙂

  20. thats just bullshit about people who get bored have low self esteem…what the what? never heard shit like that before. Its most likely that people who get bored easily actually learn that thing faster than everyone else, so their mental processes are better than people who can drag the same thing out over months and years later.

  21. I got bored to read this, people get bored because they have imagination, they are smart, they love, they have dreams and some guys like you want them to fit to the model to the stupid worker that his job is his life, therefore he/she has to love it or love other stupid, senseless, idiot things… you wouldn’t prefer to do something more creative instead of writing all this text because you are boring… and your interest in life is to make others productive and happy workers… Those who get bored just don’t want to spend their time on such nonsense things!

  22. Wow this was a really great read! Ive been really bored lately, but this just opened my eyes to the choices I make every day….
    The words you describe things are really well writen, and make me feel like you are talking about my life!
    Have a great day!

  23. This was a good read, I didn’t really read ALL of it. Got bored when I got to Acceptance. XD

    I tend to be an easily entertained person.. It doesn’t take much AT ALL to keep me happy and “unbored”. ((Seriously I can sit in my room for hours just staring at the wall or a shoe.. And be completely content day dreaming.

    But I find//think that my problem may be that… Well I still get bored of people SO easily. And as hard as a try to find people endearing, I just can’t.

    Even the most interesting person in the world to me, could completely bore me, specially if I’m subject to them for more that 30 minutes.

    Only person to hold my attention is my fiancée. I personally believe he set my internal people bar to high. And now no one and keep my attention but him.

    Ex. I’m a member of at least three different social Chat//Forum sites. And all all of them I have limited to NO close friends that I genuinely enjoy talking to. On My IMVU((Yeah imvu… >>)) I have like 20 or more people on my friends list, and I actually talk to like… Well None of them.. cause they all bore me and make me feel awkward so theres all this awkward silence….

    I think that’s all i have to say… Got anything for me?

  24. There seems a different point of view in your argument about getting bored easily. In your case, you refer someone gets bored easily of his/her ENTIRE LIFE.

    The thing is, such in my case, I get bored easily of PARTICULAR ACTIVITY im currently doing that i find no more challenging or interesting. That’s why I always excited to find new experiences and challenges. Im a very passionate and active person. Thats why I dont enjoy to do same thing for a long period of’s to make my life colorful and progressive. So this is how i get my joy and this is the way i fulfill life. And someone who always seeking for challenges surely cant be said as having low self-esteem rite?

    And about repetitive activities, yes Im not really interested to do repetitive things such as washing dishes. But it doesnt mean i dont do it anymore. The thing is i dont like to sweat small stuffs so I dont really think bout it, i ‘just do it’ without making it big.

    Thats just my 2cents.. its nice to visit your blog 🙂

  25. Pingback: What is Boredom? « Grad Project Process
  26. you mean children and you cant say never
    you should of said I haven’t met a balanced child who was bored. Yet.

  27. Pingback: Business Development | Social Media Literacy | » Productivity Recap- July 17th 2009
  28. My grandmother told me, when I was a child, that, “Being bored is a sign of a weak mind.” I believe it, and I think this goes hand in hand with your premise, Dragos. Thinking great thoughts goes hand in hand with believing yourself to be capable of thinking great thoughts.
    If you’re bored because your mind is not being challenged, it’s your own fault. There is SO MUCH to think about, so many things or people to observe, so many books that need to be mapped out so they can be written. There is so much to do. How can anyone possibly be bored?
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..How Does a Hen Know When She’s Done? =-.

  29. OK, Robin and Gentlemen,
    The fact one gets bored is the lack of excitement and challenge at what they are doing. Now with that said if you lack the ability to find something that stimulates your mind that is another problem. But who are these people I seriously don’t know of anyone like this.
    I like hanging out with you guys- this is cool. AND I so have to check out Robin’s blog.
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..Advertising Towards Dummies – Teenage Illusions =-.

  30. Hey Dragos, one thing is for sure, a little controversy sure fuels the conversation. I find myself happy to play the spectator on this discussion. I know and respect every person on this page, and I can honestly say there is nothing boring going on here!
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..11 Steps to a More Positive You =-.

    • Well, I knew you were here 🙂 I think controversy is not about the persons it’s about their opinions.

      If there’s controversy around, I enjoy the idea exchange and regardless of the end result the discussion, I have the same opinion about the persons involved. We can agree to disagree and that’s one of the healthiest things which may happen to a relationship. Any type of relationship 🙂

      • Definitely! My favorite blogs are the ones that have and welcome a bit of controversy. I actually get a little bored of so many blogs that just have hundreds of comments saying “great post, loved it, etc, etc”. This kind of discussion makes the points in the blog read more, examined more and thought about more than any other kind of post. I definitely appreciate the people who do participate in these kind of discussions and I value them more because of it!! 🙂
        .-= Mike King´s last blog ..Resources – May/June 2009 =-.

        • I agree with you both. I found the whole exchange rather stimulating. If my use of the term “controversy” came across as negative it certainly wasn’t intended that way. When intelligent people have differing opinions it helps us sort out our own thoughts, which is highly valuable.

          I chose to play the spectator because I found the whole exchange stimulating and entertaining, not because I was bothered by it or lacked an opinion.

          Now, Just for the record. I don’t think being bored has anything to do with self-esteem or anxiety except in some rare, chronic situations. If I had to sit through a classic opera, I would be extremely bored. The fact that others find it exciting is no reflection on my level of self-esteem. I think boredom is more about lack of interest in a specific subject or activity than anything else. I have a lot of interests, but nobody is interested in everything. Being overly exposed to something that you have no interest in will eventually induce boredom, it’s that simple.
          .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..11 Steps to a More Positive You =-.

  31. Dragos, I think the major differences here are in your definition of boredom. That is not how I’d define it at all. When a child says “I’m bored” to me, they are seeking activation because of some desire and ability to do more, but don’t have the creativity to come up with it themselves. That can come from a child with self esteem or not and I’d relate the same to adults.

    I’m not sure where you get your definition of boredom though, since it is much deeper than the classic definition of “tired, weary, dull, or repetitive”.
    .-= Mike King´s last blog ..Resources – May/June 2009 =-.

    • Yeap, most likely. My boredom definition is something that has nothing to do with weariness or being tired, these are signs of physical consumption during the lifetime of a task, not the ability to enjoy that task.

  32. PS: I REALLY REALLY relate to this:

    “The simplest way to challenge boredom is to like everything you do, unconditionally. I met some people who were in this state. They were able to extract meaning from and fully rejoice every little thing they were doing, being it spontaneous, self-imposed or just randomly crossed. They were able to dive in and experience everything with equal enthusiasm and energy. Of course, they were all kids.”

    But then people always tell me that I remind them of a kid. And they say it in a wonderful way.
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Is Nature Real? =-.

  33. Dear Dragos. I found this so interesting and thought provoking. And very well written. I can honestly and thankfully say that I NEVER get bored. Not EVER, not even for a minute. Ever since I went into the jungle at age 25, and although it is many years later and I am no longer in the jungle, my life has been one HUGE adventure both within myself and without (the journey I live each day). This is not to say that my life has been without pain or stresses or even traumas, BUT I am SO in love with Life and the whole journey that for me it’s a matter of wishing I ten of me to do and experience ALL the things I want to. I am dead serious. I think what happened is when I saw my life and the journey and NOT the outcome, then the world was my oyster. And I don’ t mean in terms of “things” and “accomplishments” and “money” etc, I mean in terms of realizing I was in the midst of a massive sensory world, I was in the midst of a huge evolving experiment, I was in the midst of the great unknown and any thing was possible. I was in the midst of a miracle and I wanted to grasp EVERY SINGLE moment.

    Well, you certainly inspired me and got me going! LOL!! :)) Thank you, Dragos. Always a pleasure. Robin
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Is Nature Real? =-.

    • Thanks for the nice words, Robin, I appreciate them. Now you really made me curious about that jungle thing, maybe you can share more of that when you have time?

  34. I came back to read the comments and I agree with Mike and Steve. I remember the issues I had in school. This began in first grade, I would finish assignments before the rest of the class. I didn’t disrupt the class but my teacher noticed. She would give me more work to do. not harder same level. So I was one of those smart kids, Steve mentioned.
    When I think of low self esteem, I think of depression, which is an illness.
    What you are saying here is that achievers or over achievers are driven due to boredom caused by low-self esteem.
    To me, boredom is nothing more then becoming restless with a task. It has nothing to do with how you feel about yourself but the task at hand.
    I don’t know of anyone who suffers from chronic boredom. It sound more like they have no excitement in their life and aren’t doing anything to change that. Which low- esteem would fit – along with probably some level of depression.
    I will shut-up now.
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..Advertising Towards Dummies – Teenage Illusions =-.

  35. Hello Dragos, I think you’ve started something here because I don’t agree on the self-esteem thing either! I’ve been pondering your comments here and I think it might be we are using different meanings to the words like “self-esteem”.

    “I never met people with a reasonable degree of self-esteem who were bored, never.”

    I like Mike know plenty. I include myself in that group.

    I think that you are right in that chronic boredom may eventually lead to self-esteem problems, but that is the effect and not the cause. Put a smart kid in public school and you get boredom. Self-esteem has nothing to do with it. A bright child needs to be challenged and adults put them in boring situations all the time. Send a bright child to listen to a Sunday sermon for an hour and tell me they won’t get bored.

    I can easily get bored but I don’t have low self-esteem. I have to challenge myself to do things that limit my own boredom, but I get bored and you can’t just snap your finger and get out of boring situations.

    You give techniques to help with boredom, but that implies boredom is something independent of low self-esteem. The same person with the same level of self-esteem can go from being bored to not being bored with your techniques and others. For example being in the moment will eliminate boredom but I don’t think my self-esteem goes up and down with my level of boredom or being in the moment. The boredom issue is something else.

    Having said ALL of that, I think your techniques around boredom are excellent. While I think children do get bored, being like a child is an excellent way to get your enthusiasm back and not be bored.

    I love controversy!
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Contentment =-.

    • Ok, as I already said, I can agree to disagree.

      First of all, let’s talk about the definitions. Many misunderstandings are a direct result of different definitions.

      For me, low self-esteem means: “I’m worthless, I don’t have any value, I deserve to feel bad”. Boredom is, as I already defined it in the post: “a sense of limitations and emptiness”, is “not getting satisfaction from what you’re doing”. If I see things from this point of view, everything falls into places, at least for me.

      Sending a kid to listen to a sermon for an hour will make that kid to be bored only if he has a low level of self-esteem: “I deserve to be here, I can’t do anything to change it”. I saw 2 types of kids at sermons, indeed: the ones who got bored, and the ones who started to play some pranks to the neighbors, or play with their toys under the benches. The second group certainly wasn’t bored. Their self-esteem level was higher: “I don’t care if I’m in an uncomfortable situation, I know I can change it anytime”.

      Being a bright kid and being put to do boring stuff means you are getting hits on your self-esteem, and that will make you bored. The moment you start thinking: “I’m no good, I deserve to do what they are telling me to do”, instead of challenging the tasks, negotiating the tasks, trying to get around the tasks, the world will seem like an unpleasant place to be, and you’ll start to get bored. If you don’t take the plunge of feeling bad about what you HAVE to do, you’re not going to get bored.

      Sophie said she was a bright kid in school and ended assignments before any other kids. Incidentally, I was the same kind of kid, at least until mt 4th grade. Whenever I finished an assignment, I started something new, look at the window, read, observe the teacher, invent stories in my head, usually doing things that I LOVED. I was bored only when my parents were forcing me to do something I didn’t want, which, of course, was in fact an infliction upon my self-esteem.

      A short note on the repetitive tasks (there is also a nice comment at the post’s reddit page about this, by the way). Whenever I get into repetitive tasks my level of concentration goes below a certain limit and I’m not as effective as I want to be. After a certain period of doing repetitive tasks, the effectiveness is starting to get down. But NOT my pleasure of doing that thing. This is why I challenge my attention and try to do it in a different way. But not because I’m bored. If I would be bored, I would start NOT TO ENJOY what I’m doing, which is different than NO DOING IT EFFECTIVELY.

      The vast majority of people are leaning towards not enjoying repetitive tasks and so igniting short sessions of low self-esteem -> boredom: “I don’t deserve to go out and have fun with my friends, because I have to stay here and do chores”. The other approach is: “I enjoy what I’m doing, I chose to do it, I don’t think I’m a worthless person if I’m doing this, only my brain needs a little bit of incentive in order to increase its efficiency”.

      I hope I’m clear on this one. Low self esteem = I’m worthless. Boredom = I’m not getting satisfaction, because I’m worthless.

      Now, gimme your best shot 🙂

      • Dragos, The fact you can use techniques, such as being in the moment to eliminate boredom proves it is independent of self-esteem. That is unless you want to suggest that self-esteem fips between high and low like from one activity to the next. I dispute that. Your post offered said techniques. Self-esteem is something that is a background constant level. Yes it can rise and fall but slowly over time. A person of high self-esteem doesn’t have low self-esteem suddenly followed by high self-esteem an hour later.

        The fact that chronic boredom might impact your self-esteem, which I agree is probably likely, doesn’t mean it is caused by low self-esteem which is what you suggested.

        A bored kid, like I was, might do other things. I caused a lot of trouble, but other people didn’t. It wasn’t because they had low self-esteem, it was because they were better behaved. I was bored at 16 in church and I didn’t crawl under the pew and play with my toys. There was a limit to what I could do there or at school while I was bored. The fact that I entertained myself the best I could doesn’t mean I wasn’t still bored because I was. Saying someone who is causing trouble is not bored is missing the issue. I’ve been bored out of my mind at various functions (as an adult where I no longer raised hell) and it has nothing to do with self-esteem.

        If I accept your thesis here, I would have to believe that because someone knows how to use techniques to eliminate boredom and some other person doesn’t, that the former has high self-esteem and the latter has low self-esteem. I couldn’t disagree more. A person of constant self-esteem can learn how to not be bored. When I learned about being present and thus learned a way to decrease boredom, it wasn’t because my self-esteem suddenly took a leap to a higher level. My self-esteem didn’t have anything to do with finding ways to be present.

        “Being a bright kid and being put to do boring stuff means you are getting hits on your self-esteem, and that will make you bored.”

        Nope, being a bright kid and being forced to do boring stuff means you are bored because you are forced to do boring stuff. Not because it makes you have low self-esteem. Self-esteem is not that variable. You are basically equating self-esteem and boredom in a bi-directional relationship. The fact that over time being forced to be bored may impact your self esteem is the effect, not the cause.

        I simply cannot see this cause effect relationship you are drawing from low self-esteem to boredom. If there is any relationship it is the other direction.

        In case it got lost in all this I will repeat: The fact that you can eliminate or significantly reduce boredom with various techniques, even ways you yourself suggest in this post, is pretty much proof they are independent of self-esteem unless you simply define them as equivalent.

        That’s my opinion anyway.
        .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Contentment =-.

        • It’s about the different definitions, again. Yeap, I’m totally backing up what I said so far, and yes, self-esteem and boredom are bi-directional equivalent.

          In my opinion, the difficulty in accepting that is mainly from a cultural point of view. There is this approach which accept boredom as “fashionable”, it’s cool to be bored, or “only intelligent people can get bored”. I think this is what a lot of people who get bored use as an excuse. Intelligence or the lack of it have nothing to do with boredom, it stems from low self-esteem. Again, in my opinion.

          Now back to your comment: being in a moment is not described as a technique against boredom in this post, but I agree 100% that it works. But being in the present moment means being out of time. Eliminating the time. Being in one second all the time means you’re really out of time flow.

          But when you ARE in the time flow you do experience ups and downs in every area of your life, not only self-esteem. Really yes, you can experience high variations of self-esteem every hour, for instance. When you’re “in time”, and not in the present moment you’re subject to memories, you react to events, you’re different every second. Everything at you is different from one second to another, including your, again, self-esteem.

          I don’t equal weariness of repetitiveness to boredom, as already Mike said, I equal boredom to this incapacity of getting joy out of what you do. And you can’t extract joy if you’re having a down moment.

          Just because you can use techniques to get over boredom doesn’t mean you can’t equate it to low self-esteem.

  36. I can agree to disagree. I never met people with a reasonable degree of self-esteem who were bored, never. If you respect yourself you can’t be bored, you can’t say something like: “I am a nice, balanced person, and still, I can’t find nothing interesting to do with my time”. If you really are a nice, balanced person, you always have something interesting to do.

    On the other hand, a low level of self-esteem can activate a lot of contexts in which you can’t find interesting things to do. Starting from “being inappropriate” up to “nothing is available for me to do”, or “I don’t have skills to do that”. All those contexts are leading to boredom, sooner or later.

    • Boredom is part of our deeper psyche. It is a survival mechanism designed to keep us moving on to the next thing, place, process or target.

      Nearly everything you are stating here is scratching at the surface.

  37. Can’t really agree with a lot of this one Dragos, certainly a few points and I think there are some “typical” personalities to see as common from bored people, but I don’t think it is a sign of low self esteem. I know lots of highly confident people who get bored easily and vise versa where super low self esteemed people never get bored. I think that has more to do with how they hand situations and stress, not boredom. I definitely think it has to do how a person activates themselves though so there is some relation ability. I wrote a while back on how boredom is a sign of an unchallenged mind but I can’t really see how that either would be a cause of low self esteem. I like your comment that it could be an effect of chronic boredom, I just personally belief that the boredom stems from something else. Of course with respect Dragos, I’m curious if you have other thoughts on that?
    .-= Mike King´s last blog ..Resources – May/June 2009 =-.

  38. Hi Dragos,

    Interesting article you have written here. I never would have put low- self esteem as being the reason for being bored.
    I am a high energy person. Sitting and reading is difficult for me but the love of learning is almost as equal to the high energy level I have.
    I am competitive both mentally and physically but it is not for the increasing my ego it is more stimulating and enjoyable to be challenged.
    The only limitations are morally related in my life.
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..Advertising Towards Dummies – Teenage Illusions =-.

    • As strange as it may seem, low self-esteem is not only a reason, but an effect of chronic boredom.

      The ability to play and always find something interesting to do, without any guilt whatsoever, as a kid does, will boost your confidence and it will never, ever take you to the boredom neverneverland.

      • Wow. Well I didn’t expect your idea of boredom. I’ve always said that I enjoyed being bored. It usually leads to very interesting activities or thoughts for me. I can’t remember it being an anxiety producing moment and I don’t feel low self esteem from boredom. I know there are negative associations to boredom like “idle hands make idle minds” etc., in our culture but that has not been my experience. Some people have to be “doing” all the time or they feel anxious. Thank you for your thoughts though. I do not disagree with them. As I said it just has not been my experience. Oh and I was doing nothing when I read your article so it was nice indeed to have it break the “boredom”…..::soft grin::: It led me here.

    • Hi Dragos,

      Strongly disagree with ‘People who get bored easily are usually anxious people’.
      A person’s perceived level of self worth and capacity for boredom are unequal and unrelated.

      You actually contradict several of your latter points by assuming such nonsense 🙂

      I’d love to hear your thoughts..


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