12 Habits Boring People Have in Common
Worried you might need a boost in the interesting department? Here are the traits found in most annoying or boring people, and what you can do to stop being boring.
They don’t admit their mistakes
Carlota Zimmerman, a success strategist in New York, says boring people rarely admit they’re wrong, especially when confronted with extensive proof of their mistake. “So they certainly can’t apologize for their boorish behavior,” she says. Throwing around blame is a typical behavior of a boring person who doesn’t see the truth in their shortcomings.
They’re quick to overract
For boring people, fear often sets in and that affects behavior. “They’re terribly frightened of the world, so they tend to take a minor issue and blow it up to Def-Con 3 proportions instead of being able to take a step back, take a breath, and put it into perspective,” Zimmerman says.
They love to stir up trouble
Boring people are often quick to get angry, Zimmerman says, so they’re constantly spoiling for a fight, either with friends or just with the world. With time on their hands, those with boring lives yearn for attention even if it’s negative attention.
Annoying and boring people have a preferred conversation topic—themselves. “If the conversation goes to someone else, they quickly redirect it back to themselves,” says Frank Healy, a licensed professional counselor in the Philadelphia metro area. Another sign you might be boring is if you’re judgmental to someone you just met. “It’s better to get to know someone and give them encouragement and compliments,” Healy adds. Here’s how to stop being so judgmental.
They make annoying facial expressions
No one likes being stared at too long, so those who make that a habit may score high on the boring scale. “This also includes looking at someone too hard, maybe with eyes that are too wide or a frown,” Healy says. “The best way to fix this is to feel relaxed in a social encounter, and your facial expressions and body language will be comfortable. This will also make everyone else comfortable.”
They’re overwhelmingly negative
It’s truly annoying to be in someone’s company who never stops complaining or whining. “They’re so focused on the negative aspects of life so everything is dark and gloomy,” says Connor Cranston, a Miami-based certified life coach, speaker, and trainer. This negative outlook can transcend to social situations as well. “Boring people are often the party poopers of a conversation or a party,” he adds. “They won’t participate in anything or have fun with anyone. Instead they might make comments on how ‘lame’ or ‘boring’ something is.” Talk about ironic. On the other hand, these conversation starters can make you more interesting.
Their friends never change
Boring people don’t like unfamiliarity so they tend to stay the same. “The last place you would see them is at parties or networking events,” says Cranston. “They’re usually the ones at the table or side lines if there are activities going on. They have the same stories to share with their friends, mostly about work and family. New friends mean new activities and new habits…which is a huge no-no. You can forget them introducing you to someone they just met because chances are they don’t meet new people.” This advice can help make small talk less awkward.
They lack excitement in their daily lives
Cranston says boring people often don’t have much to talk about except the news and their jobs. “They don’t know or care about excitement. Boring people stay away from as much attention as possible because of the fear of judgment, rejection, and self-worth,” continues Cranston. “They know exactly what their job is like so it’s easy and comfortable taking about it with everyone.”
They interrupt in conversations
Being attentive demonstrates manners and that you have an interest in what another person is saying. If you interrupt someone instead of listening, that’s—you guessed it—what an annoying or boring person would do. “This signals you are not attentive to the other person speaking, or—even worse—you are trivializing them,” explains Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress. “This tears down relationships as opposed to building them.”
They minimize other people’s problems
When a friend talks with you about family problems, work issues, or more serious concerns, constantly saying “Don’t worry, it will get better” or “It can’t be that bad…these things always get better” is minimizing that person’s plight, says Derichs. That kind of reaction downplays the significance of an event or emotion, which is a common strategy in how annoying or boring people deal with their feelings, she explains.
They try to “one-up” other people
Inserting yourself when someone is explaining an experience and going one better can be both a rude and annoying. Don’t make it all about you. Don’t try to raise the stakes and compare yourself to someone’s situation. “Often it is best to follow the person’s conversational lead and let him or her announce their reality.” says Mandel.
What you can do to be less boring
The key to not becoming a boring person? Engage in conversations, increase social interaction, and become more open-minded. Bella DePaulo Ph.D. explains to Psychology Today that interesting people disclose more of their thoughts and feelings than boring people do. “Interesting people also contribute more information, not just emotions, to the conversation,” writes Dr. DePaulo. “Boring people use more ’empty words’ and say more things that don’t mean much—for example, saying “uh-huh” to agree with other people, but not much else.” Sharpen your vocabulary, improve your body language, and gain confidence. Your reputation will change from boring to interesting in just a short time. Here are some conversation starters to make you instantly more interesting.