What Makes You Boring to Others Has Been Discovered by Scientists

Don’t worry about delusions of grandeur; it turns out that many of us may be suffering from delusions of interest.

The authors of a new paper, “Boring People: Stereotype Characteristics, Interpersonal Attributes, and Social Reactions,” set out to determine what makes someone boring, and the findings are shocking.

Over 500 people were surveyed by the University of Essex’s Wijnand Van Tilburg and asked to rank the characteristics, hobbies, and jobs that they found the most tedious in others. Here are a few of the most notable findings from those polls:

Traits that are uninteresting:

  • A lack of humour
  • Wrong person to talk to
  • Being a couch potato
  • Self-centered
  • a strong dislike of something

Dreary professions:

  • Accounting
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Librarian
  • Physical exertion
  • Sales

Hobbies that aren’t fun:

  • I’m currently glued to the tube.
  • Collecting
  • Crafts
  • Gaming
  • a round of golf
  • Boringness isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In spite of the fact that no one likes to see people struggling to keep their eyes open as they speak, a new study suggests that boredom has more of an impact on our lives than we previously thought. A majority of the participants in the study stated that they would rather avoid a boring person than endure their presence in social or business situations. According to the researchers, “Our research shows that people who have stereotypically boring features are perceived as neither interpersonally warm nor competent, and they elicit social avoidance by others.”

How to avoid being boring

What if you’re an accountant who doesn’t know how to mingle and spends your weekends knitting? No, there isn’t. You can keep yourself off the list of boring people by following these tips from Psychology Today:


Avoid airing your grievances around others.

Friends want to know if something major is going on in your life, but no one wants to hear about how your flight was delayed for an hour and a half.

Don’t talk about yourself

Ask people about their lives instead of talking about yours.

Also, don’t stop at one question; keep probing for more information. This is showing interest, not being nosy.

Don’t be afraid to change the topic of conversation

As long as there’s something interesting to say, don’t be afraid to veer off course.

While it may be perceived as rude, this tactic is a surefire way to keep a conversation alive and well.

Be present when someone is talking

Do not grunt or check your phone while someone else is talking.

When it comes to conveying your level of commitment, your body language is just as important as your words.

Told a story that got a good laugh?

Did you ever tell a joke that made people laugh? It’s a storey you’ll want to tell again and again.

Have a few go-to stories handy, just like a stand-up comic. This should only be done if you aren’t spending time with the same people every day.

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