“I just started a new job, and my coworkers are all really cool and have so many interesting things to talk about outside of work-related stuff. I feel insecure around them because in comparison, I’m a pretty average person with a boring life. Any ideas on how to be more interesting?”
Certain people seem to have an “it” factor that makes them super interesting, different, or fascinating. It could be their quirky personality, their confidence, a topic they know a ton about, or that they’ve just figured out the secrets of being a people magnet. Those of us without this social advantage may need to work a bit harder to get the attention and interest of others.
This article will identify the most common reasons for feeling like an uninteresting person and will provide actionable strategies anyone can use to feel less boring and develop a fuller, more interesting life. You’ll learn how to be more interesting to others—and yourself.
The belief you are a boring person or that there’s nothing special about you is just that: a belief. Beliefs are usually just thoughts or ideas people have had often and now assume are true or real, even if they are false or only partially true. Becoming too attached to a false or unhelpful belief can hold people back in a number of ways.
Information is always coming through from the outer world, other people, your interactions and experiences, and even your own private thoughts and feelings. You use your mind to sort through, filter, and make sense of all of this data, and beliefs are like “shortcuts” or templates you use to do this more efficiently.
Negative beliefs like thinking you’re boring can be harmful to you, lowering your self-esteem and negatively impacting your life and relationships, even when they’re false. This is because your beliefs about yourself don’t just stay in your head; they also influence your actions and choices. For some, these beliefs only come up in certain situations (like around new people, in groups, at work, or on dates) and for others, it’s a more consistent issue.
Believing you’re not special or interesting can cause you to withdraw or avoid social interactions because you assume you’ll be criticized or rejected. In this way, beliefs can become self-fulfilling prophecies that you unknowingly make real, even though you don’t want them to be true.
- Preventing deep, meaningful conversations that don’t feel forced
- Causing you to avoid doing or trying new things
- Keeping you from dating or trying to meet new friends
- Preventing you from speaking up or sharing ideas with people
- Causing you to give up too soon on new relationships
- Leading you to see signs of rejection (even when they aren’t there)
- Making you more self-conscious around other people
- Making it harder to be genuine and authentic with people
Most people who struggle with negative beliefs about themselves have personal insecurities that lower their self-esteem or confidence when interacting with other people. An insecurity is anything you believe is true about you that you don’t like, feel ashamed of, and want to hide from others. Some common personal insecurities that can contribute to feeling like a boring person include:
- “I have no talents” or “I’m not good at anything”
- “I have no friends” or “I’m not a likable person”
- “People get bored when I talk” or “I never know what to say”
- “There is nothing about me that stands out” or “I’m not as ____ as them”
- “I have no hobbies” or “I don’t do anything fun”
- “I have no personality” or “I don’t know who I am”
- “I don’t have any funny stories” or “I don’t have anything to talk about”
- “I’m not fun to be around“
- “My life isn’t interesting enough” or “I do the same thing every day”
- “I have nothing to offer other people” or “people won’t like me”
- “I can’t show who I really am” or “people won’t like the real me”
- “No one gets my humor” or “I have a dry personality”
- “I’m not a people person” or “I’m just awkward”
- “I’m not attractive” or “I’m not interesting enough to date”
Negative thoughts about yourself are more likely to develop in response to negative or painful experiences and interactions. They are often accompanied by difficult emotions like anxiety, embarrassment, shame, sadness, or loneliness. Sometimes these are deeply traumatic or painful experiences you can easily remember. Other times, a series or smaller, less painful experiences had a cumulative and lasting effect on your self-esteem.
Here are some examples of experiences and interactions that may have caused you to form negative beliefs about yourself or your life:
- Experiencing rejection or being passed over (or perceiving something as a rejection)
- Being bullied or teased (or being your own bully or worst critic)
- Being compared to others (or comparing yourself to others)
- Having a flaw or insecurity exposed (or feeling like it could be exposed)
- Making a mistake or failing (or fearing you will)
- Never “winning” or being “be the best” at anything (and discounting exceptions to this)
- Being labeled by other people or yourself (e.g., as ‘boring’, ‘basic’, or a ‘normie’)
- Conforming or changing yourself to fit in (shapeshifting to meet expectations of others)
- Feeling held to impossible standards (your own or those of others)
- Oversharing or entrusting the wrong people (and being afraid of opening up again)
- Awkward social interactions (and anxiety about future interactions being awkward)
- Depressive episodes (negative thoughts are common in depressed people)
The good news is that if you are struggling with personal insecurities, negative beliefs about yourself, and low self-esteem, there are ways to improve in all of these areas. Also, the same skills and activities that help in these areas will not only make you feel like a more interesting person but can also help to enrich your life in ways that make it feel more fulfilling and interesting. Below are 10 ways to work on feeling more interesting as a person and also to begin building a more interesting life.
If you feel like a boring or uninteresting person, you probably don’t know enough about yourself. Every person has things about them that are unique and interesting, and the most interesting parts of a person are often the things they only show to those who take the time to get to know them.
Take some time to get to know yourself better by trying one of these activities:
- Consider taking a personality test like the Big Five, the Enneagram, or the Myers Briggs at this site which offers free, open-source versions of these tests (Keep in mind that some of these tests have been a source of controversy among certain professionals in the field of psychology, and avoid taking your results too seriously. Instead, use these as tools to help broaden your self-awareness.)
- Consider journaling, bullet journaling, or just making a list of your interests, hobbies, and things you enjoy doing or talking about to find out more about yourself.
- Identify your strengths by taking a strength finder test or making a list of the things you are good at or know a lot about.
When people feel most insecure, they tend to become more self-conscious, even getting stuck in their head obsessing about every aspect of how they look, talk, or act around others. This can create more stress and anxiety while also making you feel more insecure. Getting out of your head in these moments is the key to breaking this cycle since negative thoughts worsen insecurities and also make it harder to connect with people.
Shifting your focus away from yourself (including thoughts about yourself) can be done by focusing your full attention on:
- The other person/people you are talking to
- The words they are saying or the story they’re telling
- Your surroundings (by using one or more of your 5 senses)
- Relaxing your body by intentionally unclenching muscles, loosening up, and getting into a more comfortable position
Another strategy that can help is to change the “goal” in any interaction. Instead of focusing on making a certain impression, getting someone to like you or think you’re interesting, put your effort into seeming interested in them.
This is a proven strategy that can make it easier to relate and connect with other people, and it’s also much more likely to get people to like you. People are naturally drawn to people who listen, show interest, and care.
You can demonstrate your interest in other people by:
- Asking open-ended questions during conversations
- Being more expressive to show them you care about what they’re saying
- Making eye contact with them when they are speaking
- Not interrupting, talking over, or “waiting for your turn” to talk
- Showing a sincere interest in getting to know more about them
Enthusiasm is contagious, so you will always have an easier time getting people interested in a topic you like talking about. Use this to your advantage by finding ways to bring up topics that you really find interesting or enjoyable to discuss, especially if the interest is shared by the other person.
Research has proven that when teachers have enthusiasm and passion, their students are more engaged, interested, and end up learning more. These students also tend to enjoy these classes more, proving that being passionate leads to more interesting and enjoyable conversations (for both you and the other person).
It’s human nature to compare yourself to other people, but doing so is rarely helpful, especially for people who struggle with insecurities and low self-esteem. These issues make you more likely to narrowly focus on people who seem to have the things you believe you lack, which tends to make you feel worse.
You can work on interrupting these unhelpful comparisons when you notice yourself making them by using one or more of these skills:
- Refocus your attention to something in the present moment (e.g., your surroundings, your breath, sensations in your body, etc.)
- Look for things in common with people, instead of looking for differences between yourself and them
- Imagine a red stop sign in your mind to provide a mental reminder that you’re trying to break this habit
There are several signs that can help you figure out if a person is interested and engaged in a conversation. Knowing how to read social cues can help you know when someone is interested in what you’re saying or enjoying their conversation with you.
This way, you can know when to keep up a conversation or end it, shift topics, or let someone else take a turn talking. This also cues your brain to reverse the tendency to look for rejection cues, which is a bad mental habit among people who struggle with social anxiety and insecurities.
Usually, these are some signs that a person is interested, engaged, and enjoying their conversation with you:
- People making eye contact with you when talking
- Expressiveness and reacting to what you’re saying
- Smiling and nodding or using short phrases like “hmm” or “uh-huh” when you talk
- Enthusiasm or excitement about a topic or conversation
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably attached the label “boring” to yourself, your life, or both. You might also have other labels that you’re over-identified with that are holding you back from being able to relate and connect with other people (see list of personal insecurities in Chapter 1).
Try to replace these old labels with new, more helpful statements you can grow into, like:
- My life is
boringwhat I make it
- I’m a
n uninterestingperson who is always growing
- Everyday is
the samea new day
On social media, it always seems like there is someone on your feed who has all of the qualities you lack, including being “more interesting.” The photoshopped, picture-perfect versions of people and their lives often isn’t an accurate portrayal, but it can feel like one to an outside user.
For these reasons, it’s not a big surprise that researchers have found that heavy social media users tend to have lower self-esteem and also tend to make negative self-comparisons online that make them feel bad.
Taking one or more of the following steps can help you detox from social media:
- Consider a social media break or detox (for a week or even a weekend)
- Set time limits and restrictions on how much or how often you use it
- Pay attention to how content makes you feel and unfollow content that triggers you
- Give less energy and attention to social media posts, likes, followers, and comments
- Spend more time enriching your offline life and relationships than you do online
If you spend your days going to the same places, seeing the same people, and doing the same things, life can get pretty boring. After a while, a boring life can make you believe you are a boring person and can make you forget that this is something you can easily change. Even small changes can help to hit the reset button on a stale routine and can also help you reconnect with some of the interests, activities, and people you lost touch with or forgot about.
There is a big world full of interesting people, places, and things, and it’s waiting for you to come and join the fun. Make a point to switch up your routine and make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love, and also for some new mini-adventures. Read this article for ideas on how to be more outgoing.
It’s a natural tendency in people to gravitate towards others who are similar to them. Shared interests or beliefs make it much more likely that two people will show an interest in each other. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out people who you have a lot in common with, and this also makes it more likely that you will make new friends or meet people you are interested in forming close relationships with.
Here are some simple ways to find like-minded people:
- Start a hobby, class, or group activity you like
- Volunteer for a cause you believe in
- Join a professional group or work committee
The belief you are a boring person who has nothing interesting is probably not helping you. Instead of focusing on whether these beliefs are true or untrue, finding ways to feel more interesting will be a better use of your time and effort.
Changing the way you see yourself and feel about yourself is often a key part of this process. Making small changes to your routine and the way you interact with people can also help you become less boring to others. More importantly, these small changes can also help you feel more interested in yourself and less bored with your life.