(Last Updated On: August 1, 2014)
It’s an unwritten fact that nobody likes boring people and certainly nobody wants to be one. In a recent Quora thread, users discussed what makes people boring. Here are the highlights, which will hopefully help us learn not to bore or be bored.
- Boring people have unbalanced conversations.
Instead of finding a rhythm between talking and listening, boring people are on either conversational extreme. E.g. all listening and no talking, or all talking and no listening.”
- Boring people can’t tell if people are engaged in the conversation.
If you’re emphatically boring, you’re probably missing the other person’s body language. This basically means that a boring person is considerably unaware of the person or peoples body language to whom they are speaking to such as yawning or nodding ones head every few seconds. To avoid this, learn how to listen to what people are saying with their bodies as one can learn a lot seeing as the body language can help one recognize early enough the need to change the topic conversation.
- Boring people can’t make people laugh.
Humor shows “cognitive flexibility” that is the ability to assess an idea or an event from a variety of perspectives, and then, naturally, make light of it. Boring people lack it.
- Boring people always do the same thing.
User Andy Warwick complains of friends who go to the pub every weekend and then subsequently get frustrated when he can’t make it out to join them — since he was going to museums, reading books, or hiking around hills. “For me what makes a person boring is living a sedentary life without variety,” Warwick says. “Diverse experiences improve one’s conversation for those weekends when you do go down the pub. You actually have something to talk about.”
- Boring people never say anything.
It should be noted however that there are two types of bores the loud bore and the quiet bore. The loud bore believes they are the most interesting person there is, the quiet bore believes it’s best to never say anything because who would want to listen to them? These are the ones that reply to every inquiry with some variant of ‘I don’t know, sort of, I guess.
- Boring people don’t have an opinion.
So how does one develop an opinion? By knowing both sides of the argument thus making it bale for one to contribute in discussions.
- Boring people don’t know how to tell a good story.
“To interest someone and to truly engage others, you have to be able to tell a story,” says Dave Cheng. “And you have to care about that story. You also have to solicit stories out of others. And you have to care about those stories.”
- Boring people can’t see things from other people’s perspectives.
“Boring people are usually those who can’t (or won’t) understand how the conversation is experienced from the other person’s perspective,” says Drew Austin. “The ability to place oneself in another person’s shoes makes someone interesting to talk to.” In this way, emotional intelligence is key to conversationality.
- Boring people don’t have their own opinions.
If you haven’t thought critically about what it is you think, you’re not going to have much to offer in conversation. People that do not see past what they were taught to believe are the boring ones as these people can only offer their much localized view on a variety of topics.
- Boring people don’t have anything new to add.
Research into our brains reveals that we’re basically hard-wired to seek novelty. The conversational takeaway: If you don’t provide anything new to the listener, they’re not going to be stimulated though it takes time for someone to decide whether someone is really a boring person, though some people give out cues pretty early in a relationship.”
- Boring people don’t include anybody in the conversation.
What makes someone boring is “the inability to include the others with interest into the conversation, which usually happens when the ‘boring’ person just wants their point to be told with too much detail that isn’t relevant.” This goes along with the empathy thing: If you can’t figure out that someone in the circle of conversation is feeling left out, you’re boring.