Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Raum

Rational Basis For Boredom?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I can't remember a time in the past 15 years or so that I've felt genuinely bored. I can't understand why anyone would. To me, it's this simple:

No human has attained all the knowledge there is to learn. Any rational human should always seek knowledge. Boredom generally comes about from having nothing to do.

So, if you get bored, why? How?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually boredom can be attributed to a deep unhappiness and dissatisfaction with one's own life, which I surmise can stem from a variety of reasons and/or circumstances. I am in agreement with you here. At all times, I feel like I have a hundred things I want to do, and I am constantly choosing and budgeting my time to achieve the values I hold dear. I can't remember the last time I had a genuine sense of 'boredom'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Usually boredom can be attributed to a deep unhappiness and dissatisfaction with one's own life, which I surmise can stem from a variety of reasons and/or circumstances. I am in agreement with you here. At all times, I feel like I have a hundred things I want to do, and I am constantly choosing and budgeting my time to achieve the values I hold dear. I can't remember the last time I had a genuine sense of 'boredom'.

Exactly how I am. At any given moment, I can skateboard, play bass or guitar, pick up a book, go for a walk and organize thoughts, work on my knife website etc. It's not ever "What is there to do," but "Out of what I can do with my time today, which sounds the most appealing based on my values?"

I've felt deep unhappiness and dissatisfaction at many times in my life, and the result is generally personal frustration with where I'm at and what I'm doing and an urge to progress forward as a person. I've never experienced boredom from these feelings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No human has attained all the knowledge there is to learn. Any rational human should always seek knowledge. Boredom generally comes about from having nothing to do.

Nothing of interest to do.

So, if you get bored, why? How?

Well, there's getting caught in a traffic jam for three hours, listening to the radio in vain to find out why or what alternate route you can take, taking an alternate route that's even worse, that sort of thing is boring. Standing in long lines at the bank, or at government offices, or anywhere else. Waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant. Long, long flights with insipid in-flight magazines and tepid onboard entertainment (though you can always pack along a few books and some magaznines of your own). Meetings, parties, and other social events you have to attend for some reason (I find parties particularly boring).

Of course, these are all rather rare situations, not part of your everyday life. Exceptions to the normal flow of life where activities of interest are plentiful, and the problem resides in choosing among them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nothing of interest to do.

Well, there's getting caught in a traffic jam for three hours, listening to the radio in vain to find out why or what alternate route you can take, taking an alternate route that's even worse, that sort of thing is boring. Standing in long lines at the bank, or at government offices, or anywhere else. Waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant. Long, long flights with insipid in-flight magazines and tepid onboard entertainment (though you can always pack along a few books and some magaznines of your own). Meetings, parties, and other social events you have to attend for some reason (I find parties particularly boring).

Of course, these are all rather rare situations, not part of your everyday life. Exceptions to the normal flow of life where activities of interest are plentiful, and the problem resides in choosing among them.

Lines, waits etc. aren't bad. I take the time to think about things. Anything that's going to be a while, like a plane trip, I'll bring books. If anything while I wait in line I'll look at all the people fidgeting impatiently and laugh to myself, and just sort of observe them and think about what sorts of people they could be based on what I can tell about them. In fact I trade stuff on the internet a lot so I stand in line at the Post OFfice often and I find myself doing just that nearly every time. Just looking around and seeing who's looking the most impatient and smiling to myself. Giving each person a good, long look and thinking about what values and decisions led them to become the person they are today, such as their appearance, the car they purchased, their attitude etc.

If one has nothing of interest to do I'd imagine the logical step to take would be spend time thinking about things one is interested in but has not thought of. Ever try making a friction fire? How about making soap? Can you sharpen a knife so well that you can whittle hair with it? Know multiple languages?

I have a hard time believing someone has no interest in anything at all. I think it's likely laziness in that the person has not actively looked for something to interest them, and are feeling a little apathetic towards their usual means of distraction on a given day.

Traffic...sigh. I loathe traffic not so much for the fact that you're stuck, not moving, for long periods of time. I detest it because I see a poorly designed system running my life and know that a better one can be designed, but don't have the knowledge required to begin designing one. It's worse than being faced with ignorance, it's being governed by it.

Edited by Raum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lines, waits etc. aren't bad. I take the time to think about things.

I do that somtimes. It's best when you're not in a tearing hurry. The combination of urgency and boredom is particularly stressful. Your mind focuses on nothing but the fact the line isn't moving, or not fast enough.

I also keep games in my cell phone for such occasions.

Oh, there are also bad decisions. For instance, you agree to accompany your friends on some activity that turns out to be uninteresting and, therefore, boring. It can be as simple as attending a bad movie (in which case the best thing to do is walk out), or as bad as going camping for a few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the latter scenario, committing to something that turns out to be bad, those don't really get to me either. I may just be different than most people in this respect. But I can spend an evening doing the last thing I'd choose to do with people I don't like and enjoy it + not get bored. For example I like to meet random folks off the internet, it's made for some interesting times. I met up with a girl a few cities away and towards the end of the evening we went to her friends and they just sat and watched TV. I don't watch TV, haven't for about 8 years or so, had no intention of changing that since I could tell by the audio that they had garbage on. I ended up finding a guitar in the room and started playing, then got into a conversation with a guy that was there who made hip hop beats. Turned out to not be so bad.

Like I said I might just be different. I think it's impossible for me to get bored. There is ALWAYS something for me to think about. That alone makes boredom seem impossible to me. Even if I'm in a situation I don't care for, like a family evening, I'll either leave or find something to think about that is productive for me, like a self analysis of my behavior over the past month, or thinking about how Objectivism and my experience in life agree or disagree with each other, etc.

Maybe other people aren't interested in thinking, I don't know. Some things I see in my life certainly seem to suggest that at least some of the population feels that way.

Edited by Raum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't remember a time in the past 15 years or so that I've felt genuinely bored. I can't understand why anyone would. To me, it's this simple:

No human has attained all the knowledge there is to learn. Any rational human should always seek knowledge. Boredom generally comes about from having nothing to do.

So, if you get bored, why? How?

It is simple; one does not feel like doing any of the things one can think of to do. At any given moment one cannot gaurantee always wanting to do the things one likes doing overall

Usually boredom can be attributed to a deep unhappiness and dissatisfaction with one's own life, which I surmise can stem from a variety of reasons and/or circumstances.

I disagree. I have many elements of my life that I do not like, but overall I am happy, yet I still have moments of boredom. I think my above explanation is the reason, at least for me.

I am in agreement with you here. At all times, I feel like I have a hundred things I want to do, and I am constantly choosing and budgeting my time to achieve the values I hold dear. I can't remember the last time I had a genuine sense of 'boredom'.

I am not like that. I sometimes have moments like I described in my first paragraph. Although in saying that I have not been bored in a while and at times I am finding it hard to choose between the things I like doing.

The old adage is true: The most boring people are those who walk around talking about how bored they are.

I personally find that counterproductive. Instead I always keep thinking about things to do until I find one I want to do at the time. Talking about boredon doesn't cure it; thinking of something to do does.

Lines, waits etc. aren't bad. I take the time to think about things. Anything that's going to be a while, like a plane trip, I'll bring books. If anything while I wait in line I'll look at all the people fidgeting impatiently and laugh to myself, and just sort of observe them and think about what sorts of people they could be based on what I can tell about them.

Be careful about that; not everyone fidgets because they are bored. Some do it because they like to keep moving, others do it because they are high in energy, others do it for other reasons. Besides, sometimes people have a good reason for being imaptient (ge they do not have the time to wait around in a queue for long).

I have a hard time believing someone has no interest in anything at all.

That is not what boredom is. Boredom is not wanting to do the things of interest to you that you think of at a particular time

I think it's likely laziness in that the person has not actively looked for something to interest them, and are feeling a little apathetic towards their usual means of distraction on a given day.

What I mentioned above is not laziness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But I can spend an evening doing the last thing I'd choose to do with people I don't like and enjoy it + not get bored.

Few people are like that. I am not. I like something or not regardless of who I do it with.

Like I said I might just be different.

I think in that regard you are.

I think it's impossible for me to get bored.

No offence but I find that hard to believe. I find it hard to believe that you never have any moments were you take some time to think of something to do. Do you always think of something almost immediately. If not what do you feel while trying to think of something? Because usually people feel boredom while trying to think of something.

That alone makes boredom seem impossible to me.

It is far from impossible. Many people feel it.

Maybe other people aren't interested in thinking, I don't know.

Not necessarily. Sometimes one is not in the mood or is too tired. Yes, it is a common phenomenon, but it is not necessarily true of people that are bored.

Some things I see in my life certainly seem to suggest that at least some of the population feels that way.

I'd say the vast majority of the population do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually when I am bored I can think of a lot of things to do, but I am physically too tired to do them. OR, I can think of a bunch of things to do, but I can't decide which one to do and I just sit there kind of weighing the pros and cons and budgeting time for each thing. That makes me feel bored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes, we get roped into doing things that we hate doing but have to do. For me this is most of school. I love writing but none of my classes, including English, ever have it in it, so I get bored. I despise math and find it dull but math is a required course. I am happy overall but every weekday I find boredom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is simple; one does not feel like doing any of the things one can think of to do. At any given moment one cannot gaurantee always wanting to do the things one likes doing overall

What? How does this even make sense? If you like to do something, you do it. If you don't like to do something, you don't do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Okay, so...let's say you like to read, write, and play guitar. Are there really never times when you don't really feel like doing any of those things? That's happened to me before, and the result was boredom, until I figured out something else I wanted to do at that particular time. Shit, even if I liked to play guitar (which I do), I wouldn't want to do it 24/7. (And if I did, I have a feeling I'd get some awful pains in my hands). :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is ALWAYS something for me to think about. That alone makes boredom seem impossible to me. Even if I'm in a situation I don't care for, like a family evening, I'll either leave or find something to think about that is productive for me, like a self analysis of my behavior over the past month, or thinking about how Objectivism and my experience in life agree or disagree with each other, etc..

I like your attitude of making a conscious efford to eliminate bordom from your life.

There is a difference between being forced to engage in an unwanted activity (sometimes remaining mentally present in a room (during a work meeting, for example) is necessary - one can not just start thinking about something else - plus you are paid to be present) and the inability to maintain engagement in any activity eventhough one is free to chose. The first one is a part of life sometimes whereas the second can be eliminated and people who rank low on bordom-proneness scale show better performance in a wide variety of aspects of their life (not surprising as they are more productive).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What? How does this even make sense? If you like to do something, you do it. If you don't like to do something, you don't do it.

Just because one values something does not mean one wants to do it at any given moment. For example, I value reading, but I do not always feel like reading. Also, for some people (eg myself) foing the a particular thing a lot eventually gets boring.

However, boredom from trying to figure out what to do can easily be overcome even if one does not feel like doing the things one thinks of at first; just keep thinking about it until one finds something. It usually doesn't take that long if one keeps at it. The problem with many people is that they give up on it too quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nothing of interest to do.

Well, there's getting caught in a traffic jam for three hours, listening to the radio in vain to find out why or what alternate route you can take, taking an alternate route that's even worse, that sort of thing is boring. Standing in long lines at the bank, or at government offices, or anywhere else. Waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant. Long, long flights with insipid in-flight magazines and tepid onboard entertainment (though you can always pack along a few books and some magaznines of your own). Meetings, parties, and other social events you have to attend for some reason (I find parties particularly boring).

Of course, these are all rather rare situations, not part of your everyday life. Exceptions to the normal flow of life where activities of interest are plentiful, and the problem resides in choosing among them.

Not rare at all if your job is packing tampons in boxes for 12 hours on a rotating shift, year after year, after year. Your examples are just temporary boredom due to unanticipated idle time. I used to commute 90K miles a year when I was in consulting engineering, and my typical commute lasted over two hours for 'local' work and much longer for 'regional' work. I've done both in the course of my life, and I can tell you that the hopelessly-boring existence of a subsistence wage job, working in a factory environment that is uncomfortable, under pressure to keep up with machinery that is chucking out product at a rate just a little faster than you can keep up with, affords you no time for creative reflection and is a truely hellish boredom. Since I quit the job market, I have never been bored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not rare at all if your job is packing tampons in boxes for 12 hours on a rotating shift, year after year, after year. Your examples are just temporary boredom due to unanticipated idle time. I used to commute 90K miles a year when I was in consulting engineering, and my typical commute lasted over two hours for 'local' work and much longer for 'regional' work. I've done both in the course of my life, and I can tell you that the hopelessly-boring existence of a subsistence wage job, working in a factory environment that is uncomfortable, under pressure to keep up with machinery that is chucking out product at a rate just a little faster than you can keep up with, affords you no time for creative reflection and is a truely hellish boredom. Since I quit the job market, I have never been bored.

In some ways I prefer a repetitive manual labor job like landscaping, 3rd shift stocking, washing dishes, because it requires so little thought. I spent all day thinking about things at those types of jobs. Driving is even more difficult for me to get bored of because I enjoy driving, can play music of my choice and have much to see.

It is simple; one does not feel like doing any of the things one can think of to do. At any given moment one cannot gaurantee always wanting to do the things one likes doing overall

I disagree. I have many elements of my life that I do not like, but overall I am happy, yet I still have moments of boredom. I think my above explanation is the reason, at least for me.

Be careful about that; not everyone fidgets because they are bored. Some do it because they like to keep moving, others do it because they are high in energy, others do it for other reasons. Besides, sometimes people have a good reason for being imaptient (ge they do not have the time to wait around in a queue for long).

That is not what boredom is. Boredom is not wanting to do the things of interest to you that you think of at a particular time

I never feel like not doing anything I myself. Even if I'm doing nothing but sitting, I'm at least carrying on a train of thought about something. I'm perfectly content doing just that, which in itself probably makes boredom difficult for me to come by.

When you have those moments how do you feel? Do you have any sort of typical reaction to it or does it vary? How long does it lasts?

If they don't have the time to wait, they can always leave. If it's important enough to wait for anyways, then they do have the time. I did not mean to imply that everyone who fidgets is impatient. It was just one example that comes to mind. When in lines I also like hearing conversations, studying how people look and considering possible why's, if it's someone I see often watching how their appearance changes over days, months, years etc. When sitting at a red light, which is something I do not like because it seems like such a crude traffic system, I can focus on the music I'm playing, study the sky, look at the passing cars and people etc.

I can always spend my idle time thinking about things if nothing else, if I'm too tired for skating, not in the mood for guitar, not hungry enough to cook etc.

Few people are like that. I am not. I like something or not regardless of who I do it with.

No offence but I find that hard to believe. I find it hard to believe that you never have any moments were you take some time to think of something to do. Do you always think of something almost immediately. If not what do you feel while trying to think of something? Because usually people feel boredom while trying to think of something.

It is far from impossible. Many people feel it.

Not necessarily. Sometimes one is not in the mood or is too tired. Yes, it is a common phenomenon, but it is not necessarily true of people that are bored.

I'd say the vast majority of the population do.

If I'm not enjoying the activity I'm doing or the person I'm with, I'll just think and mostly ignore the subject. Life can sometimes get me into places I'd rather not be or around people I don't care for, but I always have free reign to do as I please with my thoughts and attention.

There are times I sit and think of what I want to do, because I am not quite sure what sounds appealing at the moment or have many activities that sound enjoyable at the moment and have to choose one. I am not bored at these moments because my mind is engaged in doing something. What reason is there to feel bored during such a moment?

Many people have a variety of irrational habits, as far as I can see boredom is one of them. I know boredom is possible for most people, I'm sure it's still possible for me but the likelihood of it happening is so minute in me as I am that it might as well be impossible.

If I'm not in the mood to think, then I'm content with not carrying on thoughts, because I willfully put myself in that position. If I'm too tired to think, likewise, or I sleep, or focus at whatever physical activity I'm engaged in. If you're not in the mood to think and this arouses boredom, why not go ahead and think to cure yourself of it? To me that's like being agitated that you haven't had sex but refusing to do it because you're not in the mood for it. It seems illogical to me, because doing it would cure you of both negative thoughts.

Usually when I am bored I can think of a lot of things to do, but I am physically too tired to do them. OR, I can think of a bunch of things to do, but I can't decide which one to do and I just sit there kind of weighing the pros and cons and budgeting time for each thing. That makes me feel bored.

If I'm too tired to skate but still want to do it, this doesn't make me bored, it just means I desire something but accept that I can't have it. I don't like the situation, but it does not bore me or continue to agitate me because I've accepted that those are my values. I value refusing my desire to skate if I'm too tired because it's easy to get hurt. If I'm deciding which activity to do I am engaged in doing something, so I have no reason to feel a sense of boredom.

Sometimes, we get roped into doing things that we hate doing but have to do. For me this is most of school. I love writing but none of my classes, including English, ever have it in it, so I get bored. I despise math and find it dull but math is a required course. I am happy overall but every weekday I find boredom.

I can't think of things I hate doing and have to do. I don't like washing dishes as much as I enjoy philosophical conversations or playing bass, but I accept they need to be done and understand why, and value clean dishes enough to spend the time to do them. I can't comment on school because when I went I always did what I valued most, so never felt agitated or bored. Why do you go to school if you hate it and feel bored of it? If you value good grades enough to pay attention to the class, wouldn't you be busy with learning material? If you didn't value grades enough to pay attention, couldn't you use the time to think, draw, read, stare at pretty girls etc?

^Okay, so...let's say you like to read, write, and play guitar. Are there really never times when you don't really feel like doing any of those things? That's happened to me before, and the result was boredom, until I figured out something else I wanted to do at that particular time. Shit, even if I liked to play guitar (which I do), I wouldn't want to do it 24/7. (And if I did, I have a feeling I'd get some awful pains in my hands). :o

I don't do anything I do 24/7 except thinking. If I don't want to read, I can play guitar. If I don't want to do either of those, I can skate. Or I could cook, or sharpen knives, go for a walk, draw, work out etc. There's never a time where there is no activity that appeals to me. If I'm too tired to do something or just want to sit and be inactive, I can enjoy rest for rests sake or I can engage myself in thought. Neither situation is disagreeable to me. Why should it be?

I like your attitude of making a conscious efford to eliminate bordom from your life.

There is a difference between being forced to engage in an unwanted activity (sometimes remaining mentally present in a room (during a work meeting, for example) is necessary - one can not just start thinking about something else - plus you are paid to be present) and the inability to maintain engagement in any activity eventhough one is free to chose. The first one is a part of life sometimes whereas the second can be eliminated and people who rank low on bordom-proneness scale show better performance in a wide variety of aspects of their life (not surprising as they are more productive).

There is no conscious effort to do it, it is just a by product of the way I live.

In your first example, such as a work meeting, two things come to mind. First, the activity itself, while not the most appealing way to spend my time, is enough to keep me from feeling bored. Second, I can't think of many things in life I'm required to do and do not enjoy that require so much of my attention that I can't also think about things of my choice.

Just because one values something does not mean one wants to do it at any given moment. For example, I value reading, but I do not always feel like reading. Also, for some people (eg myself) foing the a particular thing a lot eventually gets boring.

However, boredom from trying to figure out what to do can easily be overcome even if one does not feel like doing the things one thinks of at first; just keep thinking about it until one finds something. It usually doesn't take that long if one keeps at it. The problem with many people is that they give up on it too quickly.

If you don't feel like reading, why not lift weights, or play an instrument, or play chess, or any other activity you might enjoy? If you need to take time to think of what sounds enjoyable, why do those moments of thought produce boredom for you? Does the act of thinking not engage you enough to assuage boredom?

Edited by Raum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you have those moments how do you feel?

It is usually after I have been doing a lot of something and get tired of doing that thing. For example, when I was recently reading the final Sword of Truth book I read it for just over 2 days before deciding I had had enough for a while.

Do you have any sort of typical reaction to it or does it vary?

I always have the same reaction; try think of something to do until I find something I am keen on doing.

How long does it lasts?

Until I a think of something I am keen on doing.

If they don't have the time to wait, they can always leave.

You misread me. I did not say they do not have time to wait. I said they do not have time to wait for long. Because they have a limited time to wait they get nervous about whether or not they will get their turn before they have to leave.

If it's important enough to wait for anyways, then they do have the time.

It is not as clear cut as that. They might have something more important to do. Eg, they are waiting in line at the post office to but stamps pay a bill early (in NZ you can pay some bills through the post office), but they only have 5 minutes before they have to leave so they get to a job interview on time. The money for the bill is not yet due, while the job interview is, so it is more important. If they have not been served by the time the five minutes is up they do not have the time to wait any longer.

If I'm not enjoying the activity I'm doing or the person I'm with, I'll just think and mostly ignore the subject.

Sometimes I do that, but usually I prefer to go do something I enjoy instead of ignore the subject. Eg, if someone is watching a TV program I don't like I might go and read instead of sit in the room with the TV ignoring the program.

What reason is there to feel bored during such a moment?

For me lack of anything interesting to do. Thinking about what to do is not interesting for me.

Many people have a variety of irrational habits, as far as I can see boredom is one of them.

That is not correct because boredom is not a habit nor is it irrational. Boredom is an emotion felt when one is not doing anything of interest. Like all other emotions it can be irrational, but it can also be rational just like all other emotions.

If you're not in the mood to think and this arouses boredom, why not go ahead and think to cure yourself of it?

Because it won't work. You cannot cure boredom by doing the very thing that made you bored. That is a recipe for making your boredom worse.

To me that's like being agitated that you haven't had sex but refusing to do it because you're not in the mood for it.

That is a poor comparision. It is more like trying to cure not enjoying sex by having sex. That won't work.

It seems illogical to me, because doing it would cure you of both negative thoughts.

It is not illogical. The reverse is; doing something that you are not in the mood for will only make you more bored because you are doing something you are not enjoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't comment on school because when I went I always did what I valued most, so never felt agitated or bored. Why do you go to school if you hate it and feel bored of it?

You are lucky; not one subject in school was interesting to me, so boredom was my usual state in school, except when during breaks (eg lunch break) when I could do things I did like doing.

If you value good grades enough to pay attention to the class, wouldn't you be busy with learning material?

How about not being of school leaving age? Or thinking the subjects would be interesting and then being wrong?

If you didn't value grades enough to pay attention, couldn't you use the time to think, draw, read, stare at pretty girls etc?

And get detention for not paying attention in clase? That doesn't sound like a good idea.

If I'm too tired to do something or just want to sit and be inactive, I can enjoy rest for rests sake or I can engage myself in thought.

I find rest for rests sake boring. I like to be active. It is worth if I am too tired to think but too early for me to go to sleep.

Neither situation is disagreeable to me. Why should it be?

No one said it should. We said only why it is for many people.

In your first example, such as a work meeting, two things come to mind. First, the activity itself, while not the most appealing way to spend my time, is enough to keep me from feeling bored.

Even if the meeting covered something you didn't value, but had to participate in as a part of your job?

If you don't feel like reading, why not lift weights, or play an instrument, or play chess, or any other activity you might enjoy?

Don't have weights, cannot hear music properly, find chess boring, and sometimes I run through a list of things I value but I don't want to do them at the time.

If you need to take time to think of what sounds enjoyable, why do those moments of thought produce boredom for you?

Because of the lack of anything interesting.

Does the act of thinking not engage you enough to assuage boredom?

Only if the topic is interesting. trying to solve boredom is not interesting. It leads to something interesting, but it is not an interesting topic to think about, it is a necessary topic to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is usually after I have been doing a lot of something and get tired of doing that thing. For example, when I was recently reading the final Sword of Truth book I read it for just over 2 days before deciding I had had enough for a while.

So you lost interest in the book? Why do you feel bored then? Why not simply do something else? What is the need for the boredom to exist between deciding you're not in the mood for something and discovering what you are in the mood for?

I always have the same reaction; try think of something to do until I find something I am keen on doing.

Why is actively searching for enjoyable activity boring to you?

You misread me. I did not say they do not have time to wait. I said they do not have time to wait for long. Because they have a limited time to wait they get nervous about whether or not they will get their turn before they have to leave. It is not as clear cut as that. They might have something more important to do. Eg, they are waiting in line at the post office to but stamps pay a bill early (in NZ you can pay some bills through the post office), but they only have 5 minutes before they have to leave so they get to a job interview on time. The money for the bill is not yet due, while the job interview is, so it is more important. If they have not been served by the time the five minutes is up they do not have the time to wait any longer.

In the scenario you described there is no rational basis for being nervous, impatient or fidgety. It does not serve the person in question any benefit to be so. It distracts them from focusing on more productive things, such as a productive line of thought instead of focusing on the time. They could also go to the interview and mail their rent the next day. If they decide to stay and are not served in time and must leave, they are the ones responsible for putting themselves in that situation and they are responsible for standing in line knowing they might have to leave without getting served and possibly "waste" their time.

Sometimes I do that, but usually I prefer to go do something I enjoy instead of ignore the subject. Eg, if someone is watching a TV program I don't like I might go and read instead of sit in the room with the TV ignoring the program.

If that's possible I do the same thing. I had in mind situations where it isn't. I can't flip through Beyond Good And Evil during a work meeting, nor can I ride my skateboard while eating dinner with the family. If I'm ringing up a customer and I'm waiting for them to dig through their purse or pockets for change, I'll take that time to think about something, observe visual features of the person, clean or organize my work area etc.

For me lack of anything interesting to do. Thinking about what to do is not interesting for me.

I wonder why we differ in this respect? Do you feel excitement or fascination in the things you do?

That is not correct because boredom is not a habit nor is it irrational. Boredom is an emotion felt when one is not doing anything of interest. Like all other emotions it can be irrational, but it can also be rational just like all other emotions.

I don't understand what the rational basis for it is, if it has one.

Because it won't work. You cannot cure boredom by doing the very thing that made you bored. That is a recipe for making your boredom worse. That is a poor comparision. It is more like trying to cure not enjoying sex by having sex. That won't work. It is not illogical. The reverse is; doing something that you are not in the mood for will only make you more bored because you are doing something you are not enjoying.

I suppose we differ here too. If I am not in the mood to play guitar and I do it anyways, I end up getting enjoyment and achievement out of it. If I feel like doing something other than what I've been doing, but keep doing it, my mind will likely drift to that other thing though. It's hard for me to think about this situation though because there isn't ever a time where there is a lack of something for me to do. If I weren't responding to you I could go for a walk, read, play guitar, reprofile knives, organize stuff on my computer, work on my website, sleep, write in my journal etc. Do you not enjoy many things in life?

You are lucky; not one subject in school was interesting to me, so boredom was my usual state in school, except when during breaks (eg lunch break) when I could do things I did like doing.

My solution was to do things I found interesting during classes I did not find interesting. I read many books in highschool. :)

How about not being of school leaving age? Or thinking the subjects would be interesting and then being wrong?

You value staying in a "boring" class more than facing the consequences of leaving the class then. Accept that and make the best out of what you have to work with, is what I would do.

And get detention for not paying attention in clase? That doesn't sound like a good idea.

I think we differ in how we approach school. I can't really comment on your way of behaving, I know nothing about it. If I was interested in the class, I paid attention and participated and excelled. If not, I slept, drew, read or didn't show up. Eventually I decided I valued being away from school more than I did completing it, so I dropped out. I still stand by it being a good idea, because it gave me more time to do what I wanted to do and it hasn't held me back in any way so far. I will get a GED if I find a job I want that requires it, and I will go to college when I feel it's time. I do not need a GED or a degree to pursue skateboarding, which is my current passion in life.

I find rest for rests sake boring. I like to be active. It is worth if I am too tired to think but too early for me to go to sleep.

I'm active daily myself, but if rest is applicable to my current state of being I'll do it and enjoy it, not be bored by it. I'm never too tired to think.

No one said it should. We said only why it is for many people.

As far as I recall you've said that it is boring, you haven't explained why it is. I'm not interested in these things, but they do not bore me.

Even if the meeting covered something you didn't value, but had to participate in as a part of your job?

I don't place any more value on such a situation than it being part of what's needed to keep my current source of income, but I do find things of interest here. Seeing what's said and how people react, and of course following my own thoughts.

Don't have weights, cannot hear music properly, find chess boring, and sometimes I run through a list of things I value but I don't want to do them at the time.

Then do push-ups or isometrics, and music can be felt too. I have a terrible ear for sounds but I can still come up with a fun riff to play and have fun. I know I'll never be in a successful band or anything remarkable, but it's a side hobby that's given me enjoyment and a way to exercise creativity. If you don't feel like doing anything you normally do, and can't think of anything new to try, then why not accept you feel like doing nothing and be content with that choice, if that is your decision at that moment?

Only if the topic is interesting. trying to solve boredom is not interesting. It leads to something interesting, but it is not an interesting topic to think about, it is a necessary topic to think about.

Do you have any idea why we see this aspect of the topic so differently?

Edited by Raum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not rare at all if your job is packing tampons in boxes for 12 hours on a rotating shift, year after year, after year.

I had not considered that. All I can say is I've never done that kind of work, or any other factory-type work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I am "bored" it's because what I want to do is out of my control. For example - if I really feel like socializing with my best friend, and in fact want to be doing that so much that I'm not even interested in anything else, but can't because he is at work or otherwise unavailable. Then I get "bored" because my brain gets fixated on how much I don't wanna be doing whatever I am doing and instead want to be spending time with my friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whenever I am "bored" it's because what I want to do is out of my control. For example - if I really feel like socializing with my best friend, and in fact want to be doing that so much that I'm not even interested in anything else, but can't because he is at work or otherwise unavailable. Then I get "bored" because my brain gets fixated on how much I don't wanna be doing whatever I am doing and instead want to be spending time with my friend.

In such a situation, what I do myself is realize the desire to do what I can't, a typical one for me being wanting to skateboard while I'm standing at work looking at how nice it is outside. That's as far as it goes for me. I think, I would love to skate right now, and then I move on. If I wanted to skate bad enough I would walk out of my job and do it. That's why I walked out of a few jobs before, because I wanted to skate. It's all based on what you value most at the time. Right now I prefer keeping my job to not, so I stay inside, despite how nice it may look. Can you see how letting yourself stay fixated on what you want to doubt can't could negatively affect you by keeping you from enjoying whatever you're doing at present? Does feeling bored improve your state of being at all? If so, how? If not, then why get bored? I just accept that the current situation does not suite my desire at the moment. Like last time I responded to this thread I wanted to skate badly, but was sleepy and it was raining, bad combination. So I accepted the situation and spent my time elsewhere until skating suited my situation better, like it does now.

Edited by Raum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So you lost interest in the book? Why do you feel bored then? Why not simply do something else? What is the need for the boredom to exist between deciding you're not in the mood for something and discovering what you are in the mood for?

No, I lost interest in reading it at the time. If I do one activity too much it starts to get monotonous for me. I have to have some variety to prevent that. The reason why I am bored and why I don't do something else is because I am still trying to think of what to do.There is no need for boredom to exist, it just does because thinking of what to do has no interest to me, it is simply a necessary task.

Why is actively searching for enjoyable activity boring to you?

Because there is nothing interesting about it.

If that's possible I do the same thing. I had in mind situations where it isn't. I can't flip through Beyond Good And Evil during a work meeting, nor can I ride my skateboard while eating dinner with the family. If I'm ringing up a customer and I'm waiting for them to dig through their purse or pockets for change, I'll take that time to think about something, observe visual features of the person, clean or organize my work area etc.

I was not talking about situations where it is not possible, hence the example being one where it is possible. As for the customer one, I think that is a bad idea since one can end up losing attention on the customer and need them to let you know they are ready. That is bad customer service.

I wonder why we differ in this respect? Do you feel excitement or fascination in the things you do?

Usually only the things I choose to do. Most of the things I have to do or are necessary (eg dishes) are not interesting, nor are accidental things (eg, being on a bus with nothing to do because I forgot to bring a book and am too tired to think about anything meaningful).

I don't understand what the rational basis for it is, if it has one.

It is this: lack of anything interesting to one happening or lack of one doing anything interesting because one has not yet thought of what to do.

It's hard for me to think about this situation though because there isn't ever a time where there is a lack of something for me to do.

It isn't a lack of something to do. It is thinking of things, but not wanting to do them. For example, I might be trying to think of something to do and the first idea that comes to mind is read Atlas Shrugged again, but I decide I don't want to at this moment. The next thought is to play Final Fantasy XII, but again I decide I don't want to. The next idea might be to work on one of the story ideas I have, but again I decide I don't want to. So then I think to play one of my Ratchet and Clank games. Again I decide I don't want to. Then I think to read The Fountainhead again and decide I do want to. Up until that decision I was bored despite thinking of several things to do.

My solution was to do things I found interesting during classes I did not find interesting. I read many books in highschool. :P

I didn't. It was a recipe for detention and I didn't want detention.

I think we differ in how we approach school. I can't really comment on your way of behaving, I know nothing about it. If I was interested in the class, I paid attention and participated and excelled. If not, I slept, drew, read or didn't show up.

The only difference in the way we acted was the excelling. I didn't bother to try excel in high school because I did not value what I learnt and thought almost none of it would be of any use to me.

As for drawing, reading, or not showing up, in most schools that is detention material. I don't know about your school, but it was in my school, so I didn't do it.

Eventually I decided I valued being away from school more than I did completing it, so I dropped out. I still stand by it being a good idea, because it gave me more time to do what I wanted to do and it hasn't held me back in any way so far.

I decided it was a bad idea to drop out before the legal age for leaving school in NZ (16; the last two years are optional) because I did not want to risk getting in legal trouble. I decided dropping out early was not worth the legal trouble. My sister took thye opposite approach and left about a year earlier than the law allows. In the end I completed the first optional year, but only done 2 weeks of the second.

I'm active daily myself, but if rest is applicable to my current state of being I'll do it and enjoy it, not be bored by it. I'm never too tired to think.

The only relaxation I like is sleep and sitting in a hot bath, spa, or pool. As for being too tired to think, well I worded that wrong, I meant too tired to think about anything meaningful. I usually like to keep my thoughts to meaningful things when thinking is all I am doing.

I don't place any more value on such a situation than it being part of what's needed to keep my current source of income, but I do find things of interest here. Seeing what's said and how people react, and of course following my own thoughts.

My situation presupposes what is being said is of no interest. As for being in your own thoughts, that is a bad idea in a meeting where you are expected to participate because you risk missing the queue for you to participate

Then do push-ups or isometrics, and music can be felt too. I have a terrible ear for sounds but I can still come up with a fun riff to play and have fun. I know I'll never be in a successful band or anything remarkable, but it's a side hobby that's given me enjoyment and a way to exercise creativity.

The only exercise I enjoy is riding my bike and walking ( or jogging where there are horses to see and count), but the weather right now does not always permit me to do outdoor activities like that. As for music being felt, what does that mean?

As for hearing problem, my problem is worse than that. I have a problem with the connection between my ears and brain that causes me to mishear things. As a result I know I cannot properly understand any music, which takes most of the enjoyment of music away. It also impairs my ability to hear the words people say or sing. Sadly, there is currently no way to fix that problem.

If you don't feel like doing anything you normally do, and can't think of anything new to try, then why not accept you feel like doing nothing and be content with that choice, if that is your decision at that moment?

I never have cases of not wanting to do anything I normally do. I just have cases of not wanting to do the things I think of at first. I always think of something eventually. As for being content with doing nothing, I cannot. Doing nothing is boring; I need something of value to be happening or to be doing something of value for me to be satisfied.

Do you have any idea why we see this aspect of the topic so differently?

No. Firstly, I don't know much about you. Secondly, even if I did I am no psychologist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...