15 Things That Make You A Boring Person (+ How Not To Be)

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Boring isn’t a great way to be.

Sure, it’s good to be a calm person without chaos or drama. But there’s a difference between calm and boring that a lot of people get wrong.

Calm is healthy and present. It’s being actively engaged in life and the people around you. It’s not drowning yourself in drama just to experience some excitement. You’re not withdrawn and avoiding life.

Boring, on the other hand, can be quite a few different things. It can mean being disconnected and unengaged from life. It can mean shying away from people or focusing so much on yourself that you can’t generate interest from other people.

Looking in the mirror and seeing a boring, safe person staring back at you isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. Boring people tend to miss out on what life has to offer because they aren’t taking any risks.

And calculated risk is good! Sometimes we need to throw caution to the wind and just see what happens. That’s how we learn things; that’s how we grow.

So what makes a person boring? And how do you fix it?

1. You focus too much on yourself.

Some people focus entirely too much on themselves. All they think about is the next time they get to talk about whatever thing is currently in their interest.

They may focus on their achievements, setbacks, positives, and negatives. Whatever it is they are focusing on, it has more to do with them than it does with other people.

They are typically more concerned with their own wants and needs than the good of the group or the people around them. That’s boring to others because people generally aren’t that interested in the minutiae of your existence.

How do you fix it?

Take a greater interest in the people around you. Ask about their interests and hobbies. Ask how you can help them out, and then follow through. Listen to their problems and perspectives without offering advice unless asked.

It’s okay to talk about yourself. Just make sure you are giving adequate social space to the people around you. Take the time to listen when other people open up to talk about the deeper parts of their lives. Try to avoid bringing the conversation back around to you.

2. You’re too negative.

Negativity is such a difficult thing to deal with because it’s so infectious and powerful. It’s so easy to be negative, to get sucked into a whirlwind of anger and pessimism. And because it’s so powerful, happy people tend to avoid negative people because they are difficult and boring to be around.

There’s always a problem to be found, no matter how good the situation is. There’s always some storm around the corner, even when things are going well. It’s predictable, boring, and exhausting.

How do you fix it?

Well, it depends, really. A person experiencing chronic negative thoughts would do well to talk to a mental health professional about the situation. A healthy mind won’t be steeped in negativity all the time. It may just be a matter of solving some problems or learning some coping skills.

It may also point to bigger problems, like depression and anxiety. And when you’re dealing with those things, it’s impossible to just pull positive thinking out of nowhere. But there is a reasonable middle ground. Just try to not be negative if you can’t be positive. People tend to forget that there is a pretty big middle ground between the two.

3. You aren’t good at having a dialogue with another person.

Sometimes, people just aren’t good at having a dialogue. They may have social problems or just not realize they aren’t good at participating in a conversation. They may not understand how to keep a conversation going by actively engaging with their conversation partner.

They may also not grasp appropriate social cues to tell when the other person isn’t interested in a subject or is ready to move on. The good news is that you can get better at conversation with practice.

How do you fix it?

Many conversations fall flat because one partner isn’t making the conversation work. Think of it as a tennis game: one player hits the ball over the net, the other hits it back, and they continue back and forth until someone scores or goes out of bounds. Consider what you are sending back over the net to the other player.

Here’s an example:

“Did you have fun at the concert last night?”

“Yeah, it was good.”

There’s not much there for the other player to work with. Instead, the asker would likely interpret this kind of answer as a desire to not talk about it further because of the curt response.

A better way to address a question like this is with some additional information and maybe a question back.

“Did you have fun at the concert last night?”

“Yeah, it was great! They ended up playing two extra encores! Have you ever been to see the band?”

That type of answer sends the ball back over the net to your conversation partner for them to respond to.

4. You don’t have your own interests or hobbies.

Do you have any interests or hobbies? They are a great way to meet new people, spark up conversations, and have something to talk about.

Solo hobbies are great because many people love hearing other people talk about the things they are passionate about.

Group hobbies have the extra bonus of giving you a built-in audience of other people to talk to about a mutual interest. It’s a lot of fun to talk or argue about the specifics of a hobby with someone familiar with it.

How do you fix it?

The simple answer is: try out some new hobbies! What piques your interest? Do you want to do something healthy, like an adult sporting league or exercising? Maybe you’d enjoy growing a window box herb garden? What about making a podcast about something you love?

Try picking something that doesn’t necessarily interest you immediately. You may find that diving into the thing sparks up your curiosity and interest as you explore it.

5. You are superficial and too polite.

Politeness and manners are always in style; but, there’s a problem. People who are too polite tend to come off as superficial and fake.

Too much politeness can also be interpreted as condescending or that you’re not interested in developing any kind of personal connection.

Real people aren’t always polite and professional. They have feelings and opinions that they don’t always just gloss over to keep the peace. They aren’t always agreeable. In fact, being too agreeable can be off-putting because a reasonable person that wants a mutual friendship will not want you to constantly sacrifice your opinions and comfort to make it work. That doesn’t ever work out in the long run.

How do you fix it?

You’re allowed to have your own thoughts and opinions; just be respectful about them. Anyone that writes you off just because you disagree with them is probably not someone you want in your life to begin with.

Don’t be agreeable because it’s what you think the other person wants. No one worth having around you will respect that kind of behavior. It’s dishonest.

6. You’re too serious and never smile.

There’s a time and a place for everything. Sometimes it’s good to be somber, sometimes it’s not.

People who are serious all of the time may not be received well. They may be viewed as negative, curmudgeonly, angry, disagreeable, and therefore boring.

Like it or not, first impressions do matter a lot. They often lay the foundation for the opinions that other people have of us.

How do you fix it?

Just smile more. It’s well-known that smiling more helps produce more positive, feel-good chemicals in the brain for yourself and other people.

Try smiling at other people randomly or while you are socializing with them. It will help you appear warmer, friendlier, and like you’re actively engaged in socialization.

7. You don’t have any informed opinions.

Some people are deathly afraid of having an informed opinion of their own. These types of people may be afraid of inviting conflict and argument by having an opinion. Just existing with no passion or opinion is one of the most boring things you can possibly do.

But that kind of thing doesn’t usually come out of nowhere. People are generally wired to be passionate and have opinions of their own. But that may not be the case for people who have survived abusive situations where their opinions were constantly belittled or punished.

And it may not be the case for people with low self-esteem or self-worth who don’t feel smart enough to have a good opinion.

How do you fix it?

This is a complicated one because it really depends on why you don’t have opinions to discuss. For some, it’s an active choice to not seek out or have an opinion. For others, it’s a matter of trauma that may need to be resolved and worked through with a professional.

8. You gossip about other people.

Gossip is never a good thing. People who spend their time embroiled in other peoples’ business are usually wasting their time. They may not know everything about that person or the situation they are discussing.

That can be a great time if you’re a gossip who is connected with other gossips. But it can certainly be interpreted as rude, off-putting, and even boring when you’re talking to people who aren’t into gossiping.

How do you fix it?

The easiest fix is to just stop gossiping. Instead, focus your time, attention, and energy on something more worthwhile in your own life. Pick up a different hobby, take a class, or do something better for yourself.

9. You are too emotionally flat and dispassionate.

Some people just can’t seem to rouse any enthusiasm. Sometimes it’s a personality thing; sometimes it’s a depression thing. It may also just be a lack of quality social skills.

Whatever the reason, they speak with no inflection, no sense of purpose, and in a monotone drone that other people will find boring. The person may just not understand how to speak in a way that is engaging and receptive.

How do you fix it?

Learning to be engaging is a matter of developing social skills through practice, once you know what you’re aiming for.

It might help to check out some resources on charisma, public speaking, or improv.

Speaking with enthusiasm and engagement does take a little extra work. Still, you’ll find that people are far more interested and engaged when you do it.

10. You’re too focused on your phone.

Cellphones have negatively affected socialization for so many people. They may be trying to present their perfect life on social media, be too engrossed in social media drama, or bombard themselves with constant negativity from the various talking heads trying to keep your attention.

Few things are as boring as trying to talk to someone who is constantly glued to their phone.

How do you fix it?

Put the phone down when you’re socializing with other people. Don’t check your messages or calls. Return them once you’re done spending time with the people that are actually around you.

Embrace the attitude that your cellphone is there for your convenience to reach the rest of the world, not for everyone else in the world to reach you whenever they want.

11. You’re trapped in your comfort zone.

Ah, the comfort zone. It is, as they say, quite comfortable. It’s where you can kick your feet up and relax, not worry about things, and have zero surprises.

But, unfortunately, being comfortable can make a person quite boring. People tend to find excitement and interest when things aren’t going well. And while it is true that life going well can be pretty exciting at times, it may not be. It may be quiet, peaceful, and calm.

How do you fix it?

Sometimes you need to stir things up in your life. Take a vacation, set a new goal, look for something interesting to do to add some spice and variety to your life.

You only get to live once. Don’t reach the end of your life with a bucket full of regrets for the things that you could have done but didn’t because you were too comfortable.

12. You don’t have any curiosity.

The world is a big and complicated place. People everywhere are looking to make their way through life in completely unique ways.

Though we share some similarities in what we want out of life, the differences in perspectives and cultures can shape how we interact with the world.

It’s good to be curious about the world around you and the people in it. But so many of us get wrapped up in our own busy lives that we may not have the time or the energy for it.

How do you fix it?

Building curiosity comes down to wanting to experience or learn something new. How can you go about doing that? Maybe take some classes? Travel? A new hobby? Talk to some new people?

Curiosity can be like a ball that you need to get rolling. It may be hard to muster the curiosity at first, but once you get it going, it should be easier to keep rolling.

13. You’re a know-it-all.

People tend not to enjoy the company of know-it-alls. They are often perceived as boring because they are so insecure that their confidence and life experience are so shallow that it’s rarely worth paying attention to.

They rarely ever have the social awareness to realize that it is not believable that they know something about everything. And suppose the person does happen to know a little something about a lot of subjects. In that case, they may not be believed because everyone else is just used to listening to them lie.

No one knows it all. Even people who do possess a little knowledge about many things will undoubtedly have holes in their knowledge.

How do you fix it?

People who are know-it-alls often have self-esteem and self-worth issues. These likely stem from a more difficult place that will require the help of a counselor to sort through.

In the meantime, just listening more and contributing less can be a simple solution to fix the socialization imbalance.

Suppose you do know something about the subject. In that case, you can also use your knowledge to prop up the other person by asking good questions, giving them permission to talk about their knowledge.

14. Your personality is built around one thing.

Some people build their personality around one thing, and it will definitely make others think they are boring.

A good example of this are stoners who base their entire personality around smoking weed. They wake and bake when they get up in the morning, have a little toke at lunch, and need to smoke before they go to bed so they can mellow out.

They can talk endlessly about how marijuana is just a plant, the government is evil for criminalizing said plant, and go on about the evils of Big Pharma, the tobacco industry, and the government. They also often stink like a dirty bong because they’ve gone nose blind to the smell of pot smoke.

And let’s not just pick on this particular type of stoner; there’s also cross-fitters, vegans, alcoholics, militant activists, people who are way too into politics, parents who are way too into their kids, sports and fitness fanatics, and really anyone else who confuses that one thing they are really passionate about for a personality.

How do you fix it?

Now, this sort of thing can be fine if you’re around other people who are into that same thing. But if you want to not be boring to other people, it’s a good idea to have other things to talk about. So take an interest in other things.

Love what you love; there’s nothing wrong with that. Just understand that other people are going to get bored with it pretty quick. And if you don’t want to be boring, you need to develop some other interests to be a more rounded person.

15. You may just be with the wrong crowd.

The fact of the matter is that you may just be with the wrong crowd. Boring is a purely subjective opinion. What’s boring to me may not be boring to you, and vice versa.

Suppose you have interests that aren’t really connecting with the people that you’re around. In that case, you may want to just look for other people who are into the same things that you are, or maybe the opposite!

You may find that it’s actually easier to connect with people who have different interests than you do because you’ll actually have some interesting things to share with one another. A little respect and interest can go a long way when trying to connect with other people.

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About The Author

Jack Nollan is a person who has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years now. Jack is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspective from the side of the mental health consumer. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.