Ennui and boredom

  • Boredom means being in a mental state that is short-tern and caused mainly by situational and environmental factors
  • Ennui relates to a mental state that is chronic and caused mainly by personality-based factors (a person's disposition).

The two terms are often used interchangeably.

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Ennui

Ennui is a form of chronic boredom and it usually involves tiredness, dissatisfaction, apathy and feeling that everything is uninteresting and unfulfilling.

  • Ennui is associated with various dangers: it can cause people to engage in dangerous, sensation-seeking behaviors, in an effort to alleviate their boredom.
  • Ennui can lead to a bad, self-perpetuating downward cycle: it causes you to go lower and lower, by leading you to a place where it feeds itself.

Generally, ennui makes you feel almost always bored (in general or in specific parts of your life - your job or your hobbies); you feel this boredom on a deep, existential level, in a way that is hard to change.

You may also lack enthusiasm or excitement and show no interest in how the future will look like.

A person can suffer from ennui but not depression. Similarly, this also means that it’s possible for someone to suffer from depression but not ennui.

Depression is well defined from a clinical perspective, and is therefore a commonly used medical term, whereas ennui isn’t, and shouldn’t be viewed as such.

  • Think about what you truly want to do, because this can help you understand why you experience ennui.
  • Talk to someone to get a better perspective regarding why you experience ennui.
  • Change your routine to break away the monotony that causes you to experience ennui.
  • Make an effort to interact with people.
  • Remove unnecessary things that can promote your ennui and make things that you have to do feel more exciting.
  • Rest and recharge.

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The argument from dictionary

The argument from a dictionary is a logical fallacy and happens when someone's argument is based, in a problematic way, on the definition of a particular term as it appears in a dictionary. The problem with these arguments:

  • Dictionaries are descriptive, meaning that they attempt to describe how people use the language. It is not prescriptive in that it instructs them how to do so in a definitive manner.
  • Dictionaries don't always reflect the meaning of words as they're used by people.
  • Different dictionaries can list different definitions for a given term, and may even have several definitions for the same word.

The Appeal to Definition Fallacy: When People Misuse the Dictionary

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Virtue signaling

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If a person affirms on social media that they fully support a specific cause, just because they want to show others how caring they are, that person is virtue signaling.

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Boredom is not that simple to explain

We may tend to think of boredom as a response to monotonous activities. But boredom isn't this clearcut.

Research reveals that there's a significant variation in how much boredom each person can deal with.

What the mysterious boredom divide teaches us

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