MORE: Yes, I know it's absurd to browse so shallowly by reading Wikiquotes on a subject I purport to be interested in. Here's Roger Kimball on Kierkegaard and boredom:
“All men are bores,” he wrote in “The Rotation Method” (a key essay in Either/Or).There. I feel I've done right by Soren. Very good. "Those who do not bore themselves usually bore others." Ah, there is a lesson in that for professors everywhere! In fact, I was thinking about boredom in the context of thinking about a professor who was boring me. I won't say when or where! It's not you! And, no, you don't need to remind me that I am a professor. I willingly admit that I don't bore myself. I know what that means in Kierkegaard's calculation. At least he said usually.Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this. . . . The gods were bored, and so they created man. Adam was bored because he was alone, and so Eve was created. Thus boredom entered the world, and increased in proportion to the increase of population. Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored together; then Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were bored en famille; then the population of the world increased, and the peoples were bored en masse. To divert themselves they conceived the idea of constructing a tower high enough to reach the heavens. This idea is itself as boring as the tower was high, and constitutes a terrible proof of how boredom gained the upper hand.Kierkegaard was very astute on the subject of boredom. He understood “the curious fact that those who do not bore themselves usually bore others, while those who bore themselves entertain others.” He also understood that boredom could be far more than a passing mood of nameless dissatisfaction. In Kierkegaard’s view, boredom is essentially a spiritual malaise, endemic wherever a purely naturalistic conception of man holds sway. Hence he defines boredom as “the daemonic side of pantheism.” It is the dark side of a life devoted to amusement and pleasure. What happens when amusement palls and pleasure fails to please? Boredom yawns before one, a paralyzing abyss. (Compare Tolstoy’s definition of boredom as “the desire for desires.”) It is part of Kierkegaard’s task to show that boredom can only be defeated by moving beyond what he calls the “aesthetic” conception of life, a mode of life unleavened by moral or religious engagement.
"Those who do not bore themselves usually bore others." That directly contradicts the folk wisdom: If you're bored, it's because you are boring.