Traits That Don't Automatically Make You Boring

A common social insecurity people have is that they're boring. They worry they're uninteresting to make conversation with, or no fun during a night out. Their self-doubt may be reinforced by the fact that someone actually told them they were boring in the past.

The thing is just because someone claims you're boring, it doesn't necessarily mean you are. There are traits that aren't inherently boring, but certain people or values in society see them that way. If you have one of these traits you can take in those opinions and get down on yourself for how dull you are, when you're not doing anything wrong. You just don't match some people's subjective idea of what fun or interesting is. You're not a good fit for each other, but that doesn't mean your personality is at fault.

I think this is a lesson many people naturally realize as they get older and more comfortable with themselves. However, when they're younger they're likely to still be too influenced by other people's views. Hopefully this article can help you reach that more self-assured, self-accepting mindset earlier.

Here are a bunch of traits that aren't intrinsically boring, even if you sometimes get the message they are:

You're not automatically boring if your life isn't a never-ending soap opera of drama

Some people love hearing about the juicy new dramatic developments in their friends' and co-workers' lives. They're drawn to people who always seem to have a fresh conflict or crisis to talk about. They may see you as boring if you live a stable, harmonious life and can't give them a gossip fix.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with being settled and having most of your weeks be peaceful and uneventful. If someone asks you what's new, there are plenty of other interesting things you can share. If someone's excessively focused on drama they may not want to hear them, but that's their issue. Many people are happy to learn about the more mundane things that are going on with their friends and colleagues.

You're not automatically boring if you have a mellow, even-tempered personality

Some people only see others as fun and exciting if they have loud, attention-hungry, impulsive, volatile personalities. And if that's what they prefer, more power to them. But it doesn't follow that anyone who's more reserved and even-keeled is completely dull.

If someone's extremely restrained and unexpressive, many people may find them too subdued for their tastes. For pragmatic reasons they may try to be more animated to improve their social options. But we're still in the realm of subjective preferences. Some people could have a conversation with them, not be phased by their low-key style, and find the things they have to say really witty or thought provoking.

You're not automatically boring if you're a responsible, rule-following type

Some people have the attitude that anyone who follows the rules is a stodgy square. They only think someone's exciting if they're an edgy, rebellious rule breaker. Again, if that's what they're into, fine. But someone can be a "goody goody" and still be a lot of fun in other ways.

You're not automatically boring if you're not into getting wasted

Especially in their teens and twenties, people can think the height of having fun is getting drunk or high. They can believe people who aren't into drinking or doing drugs are an overall different, more boring breed. Also, once someone's under the influence, their sense of what's entertaining or not can shift, and sober people can bore them. I hardly need to say it: Someone can not be on any substances and still be a blast to have around.

The irony is that from the perspective of someone who isn't into getting messed up, drinkers and drug users can be the boring ones. They may only talk about how drunk they got last weekend. When they're stoned or coked up they may natter on about the most inane drivel. But the Getting Wasted = Fun narrative is dominant in society, and even if you intellectually know it's false it can be hard not to get sucked into it. Meanwhile, the view that "people who do nothing but get drunk or high are one-dimensional" is seen as something uptight dorks tell themselves to feel better. But a perspective isn't necessarily correct just because it's common.

You're not automatically boring if you don't have a dozen flashy hobbies

On average I think having a bunch of colorful hobbies helps you be interesting, but it doesn't always go that way. Sometimes you'll meet someone who is into all kinds of exotic pastimes, but when you talk to them they don't hold your attention. On the other hand, some people don't do much but read, watch movies, and go for walks, but they know a ton about a range of topics, and have some unique opinions on life, and are really engaging to chat to.

You're not automatically boring if you like your routine and take a while to warm up to new things

Some people value novelty and spontaneity. It comes easily to them to go on a road trip at the drop of a hat. But not everyone is like that. Other people are wired in a way where they're not necessarily against new things, but they need some advance warning and time to prepare and get used to the idea. They have a routine and a comfort zone. They get miffed if a friend springs something on them and they feel pressured to say yes right then and there.

Really spontaneous people can find that mindset boring and stifling, but someone isn't wall-to-wall dull just because they aren't instantly up for anything. It's not fair to reduce them down like that. It may just be their personality, or there may be other factors, like anxiety, in the mix.

None of this is to say someone who struggles to try new things may not want to become more flexible and open to different experiences. But like I keep saying, they can still be fun regardless of all that.

You're not automatically boring if you're quieter and like to hang back in group conversations

I saved one of the big ones for last. Western society loves to equate Talkative with Fun, and Quiet with Boring. But that's such a limited way of looking at things. For sure, there's a way to be fun in a chatty, spotlight grabbing, raconteur style, but it's also possible to have a deep or humorous discussion with a single other person off in the corner. There isn't only one right way to socialize. (Once again, I realize some quieter people may want to learn how to be more talkative, but they should know it's a choice to expand their social toolbox, not the one true path to move from being Totally Boring to Potentially Interesting.)