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10 Things Extremely Boring People Do

10 Things Extremely Boring People Do

Everybody knows one, maybe a handful if you’re unlucky: boring people seem to be omnipresent, and while they’re certainly not harmful, they can be dull, dreary, and not very good company in any circumstance. Is it the fact that they seem to be self-involved and self-directed? Is it that boring people never seem to want to try anything new, even if it’s just a song or a film or somewhere different for lunch? Or is it that boring people never seem to be good at telling a story?

Whatever it is, here’s a top-ten guide to what the extremely boring people of the world always seem to do. Take it as a cautionary tale to avoid doing the same.

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1. They always talk about themselves – and only themselves

Boring people always seem to find themselves the most interesting point of conversation. They never think about what might be interesting to other people, or about the issues or viewpoints of the rest of the world. Boring people just can’t get beyond the viewpoint that if it doesn’t immediately effect them or their immediate family, then it can’t be of note. Nothing is worse than a boring person who cannot stop but talk about themselves, or always manages to circle the conversation back around to their views and opinion.

2. They never expand their personal horizons

Boring people always stay stuck in their ‘hinterlands’ – their own personal, psychological and physical boundaries. They never try anything new, or adventurous, or potentially amazing for fear of failing somehow or for finding that they don’t like the aim of their experiment. It never occurs to a boring person that they would connect more with different people and different experiences and improve their quality of life by expanding their horizons.

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3. They cannot tell a good joke

Yawn. There’s a reason boring people are never called upon as the jokers and the fun-makers of any office party or social setting. Boring people just cannot tell a good joke to save their lives, largely because they don’t engage themselves in any situations that allow them to experience something fun. They spend too much time in the same old routines, with the same old stuff day in day out. When the greatest joke you have in your arsenal is something you pulled out of your cracker last Christmas, then you need to revise your priorities to avoid becoming one of the boring people.

4. They never practise or use empathy

Boring people are pretty bad on the empathy scale, always failing to see things from someone else’s point of view. Oh, they might well understand that someone else has a different point of view, but in terms of actually stepping inside someone else’s shoes and feeling… well, anything, boring people have their work cut out for them. For them, their world begins and ends at their front door and office, ensuring that the chance to go out and experience a modicum of empathy for anyone else is sadly, low at best.

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5. They never have a real opinion on anything

Yes, boring people can’t express a real opinion on anything. They have no real passions or loves in their lives, and, as the sign of a life well and truly being ruined, they spend no time in getting informed about anything of real worth. The events of the world pass them by completely, and this is of no consequence to the boring individual.

6. They stay in the exact same routine every day

The same routine, day in day out. Is there anything more depressing? Well, for the boring person, they never consider to try something new or expand their horizons. They wake up at the same time every day, eat the same stuff, do the same stuff, and just never want to change anything, even down to having something different for breakfast that day.

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7. They never do anything fun in their lives

Not that this going without saying, but boring people just never have any fun. They never explore what truly makes them happy and what makes them tick – therefore they spend all time either working or doing stuff that they don’t enjoy doing. They never consider that life is supposed to be fun and full of enjoyment, and instead put it off in lieu of working non-stop. Boring people never stop to smell the flowers, and that’s truly sad more than anything.

8. They complain about their lives

Boring people never, ever stop complaining about their lives, and how everything seems to be going wrong for them. Boring people never consider how things might be for other people listening, and how lucky they may actually be, especially when compared to other people who are enduring worse and yet remain upbeat, positive and engaged in life to the fullest. The popular social media trend ‘first world problems’ seems to come to mind here.

9. They cannot tell a good story

Is there anything worse than boring people telling stories? Well, in a social setting no, because boring people have no real concept of what kind of story is fascinating and brilliant and hilarious, and what kind of story and manner of storyteling makes watching paint dry seem like a rollercoaster ride. Boring people never consider what they’re saying and how it will affect other people on an emotional level, particularly in terms of enjoyment.

10. They never express passion for anything

Boring people just never explore their own passions or desires, and so are left unfulfilled. Imagine if they’d got a chance to actually do some introspection and discover tastes, passions, and loves that they might as well possess. Boring people are stuck in the conventions of widespread, mainstream society, and never delve into what is different and unusual and unique, in order to cultivate their happiness.

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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