We tend to label people as “boring”, considering they’re less capable than the average person and rejecting them in social situations unfairly. Why do we see such individuals as a bore, even before talking with them?

Assumptions that make a stereotypical bore may not be absolutely accurate, but they can have consequences. Walking into a meeting with negative expectations may result in missing out on a potentially pleasant conversation, whereas a more open mind may allow new friendships. A 2014 study conducted at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville revealed that boredom is one of our most agonizing emotions. When people see an unfinished jigsaw puzzle that they’re not allowed to touch, it’s significantly more challenging for them to sit in a room doing nothing. This could explain why we get agitated when we’re stuck with a bore while hearing all the other vibrant conversations going on around us. Sadly, we pass harsh judgment on people before they’ve had a chance to catch our interest. When people are threatened, they are much more likely to act on prejudice toward others, social scientist Wijnand van Tilburg points out.

Someone may be hiding their self-doubt by harshly judging others based on their employment or hobbies. Boredom, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.