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are you charming or tedious?
it depends, how much time do you have?
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)

A man I consider my spiritual and personal mentor once ruminated, lingering over a beer, that people are either Charming or Tedious. I believe it was from a quote by Oscar Wilde, but it evolved into a way to separate those you wanted to spend time with from those you didn't want to waste time on.

Those people we find charming are people we enjoy being around, who entertain us or inspire us. They are the individuals we gravitate toward, who we make time to share our life with, who we cancel other plans for.

Tedious people are those individuals with whom we avoid speaking, who we cut off mid-sentence to rush off somewhere more important, more interesting, more fun. We don't encourage them to linger in our presence and we don't go out of our way to make them feel welcome in ours.

Our evolutionary focus is on survival, so it makes sense that what serves our survival we reach for and what doesn't serve our survival, we push away. By being charming, based on our individual perspective, that person is worth our time. Put bluntly, they 'serve our survival'. Being tedious doesn't serve our survival, so once judgment is passed, our attention wanes and we seek entertainment elsewhere.

Are YOU Charming or Tedious? We constantly judge others on their ability to entertain us, to fulfill our needs, to play some vital role in our lives; how often do we turn those pointed fingers of judgment on ourselves?

What you see in others is yourself, reflected. Many Native American tribes believe that when you are seated in a circle it is especially important to observe the person sitting directly opposite you. That person is a spirit reflection of yourself. The things you see in that individual that you admire are qualities within yourself that you wish to make more dominant. The actions, appearances and behaviour that you do not like are things about yourself that need working on.

You cannot recognize that which you deem to be good or bad in others unless you yourself have the same qualities, bad or good, at some level of your being. Watching someone kick a dog and recognizing the behaviour as cruel indicates that on some level, you have the capacity for cruelty. Understanding kindness offered to you means that you also have the capacity to offer kindness. By understanding these qualities for what they really are, you know they are not separate from you. They are you.

Labeling someone as Charming means you recognize and identify with the qualities in them that you have and enjoy within yourself. Likewise, those individuals you call Tedious also reflect the tedious qualities that you don't like about yourself.

Before passing judgment, stop to consider these questions: What value do you bring? What purpose do you serve? Who finds you charming and who finds you tedious? More importantly, why?

Everyone has a talent - multiple talents even - granted by a higher power and parceled out in a manner we could never begin to understand. If you don't honor your talent by using it, that doesn't diminish your capacity for having that talent within you.

Not allowing others to find and nurture their talents, but labeling them as tedious does diminish the value they could bring to your life as well as potentially affecting the value they assign themselves. As Albert Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” So many members of our society already believe they have no purpose or talent, and subsequently find no joy in living. They don't think about the purpose of life until they realize the imminence of death. Instead of taking pride in even the small things they do well, making one person happy and considering that a job well done, they lament the futility of trying to make everyone happy.

By learning to develop a personal relationship with ourselves, we start to gain insight into the perspective of others. I'm not so quick to label anyone charming or tedious until I understand what it is I find charming about them, or what I find tedious. If you have no greater desire than to simply survive, continue to allow the people you come in contact with to have only one label and one chance to prove their 'worth'. Is anyone really just charming or tedious, or is that just a perception? There is no such thing as an absolute. What is charming to me, may be tedious to you.

Compassion is the ability to know someone and accept them for who they are and where they came from, a talent given to all of us that most fail to nurture. Developing that personal relationship with yourself will allow you to start to view others with compassion, and those people who you find Charming will suddenly seem to multiply and those you find Tedious will probably never find their way into your path. It all depends on your perspective.


Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.

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