How To Be More Fun

Simply put, being fun is a trait people generally appreciate in others. If you can be more fun they'll enjoy being around you more. It is something that has a time and a place though. If you're at a party, or in a joking mood, you generally want to be around fun people, and having fun yourself. If you're going on a quiet, contemplative walk with a friend, that same fun behavior from someone may not fit the situation.

Overall, I see being fun as just one social 'mode' of many people can be in. Sometimes it's the right one for the circumstances, sometimes not. This article covers the idea in more detail:

Regular Logical Mode vs. Light Fun Mode In Social Interactions

I think there are two aspects to being more fun. There are the behaviors that actively make you more fun, and there are the traits to avoid that make you less fun.

Being more fun

When I was trying to think up all the traits I've noticed that seem to make people more fun, I realized they were all fairly vague and general. You'll see what I mean in a second. This vagueness means two things. First, as long as they're sticking to the very general principles, everyone can be fun in their own style. Your fun self can be a reflection of your normal self.

Second, the principles are relative. What I mean is, one person can apply a principle at a low level of intensity and be fun in a subdued way, which their friends may enjoy more than someone who's really over the top. Another person can apply the same principle in a more crazy, energetic way. Sometimes I get this mental image of a fun person being a loud guy standing on a table with a beer in each hand. But I think that's more a particular flavor of being fun, which you'd have to be in a certain mindset to appreciate. You can also be fun in a more low key manner, and in a style other than "Hyper, drunken party animal".

However, even though I just wrote about how everyone can be fun in their own way, this article is still using a certain meaning of 'fun', which involves having wacky, entertaining, funny times with people. If someone were to say, "My idea of having fun is to take an afternoon to quietly contemplate my garden", then this article won't line up with their use of the word. If it's not all that important to you to be more fun in the way the article is talking about, then it may not be something you need to read.

Be amusing and joke around

In one way or another, fun people are often funny. Sometimes it's because they're purposely being a comedian and trying to make their friends laugh. With other people it's more that they have a naturally amusing personality, and can't help but be entertaining as they go about their lives.

Introduce people to fun new activities and situations

Fun people also have a knack for bringing the people they're with into fun situations. Some of them just simply know good places to go and fun things to do. Others have this hard-to-pin-down ability to just get everyone they're involved with into crazy circumstances. Rather than make a normal response to an event, they'll be a bit more spontaneous and unpredictable and get all their friends involved in something memorable.

Help people have more fun themselves than they normally do

A lot of us are used to going through life at a certain level of reservedness. We may have a better time if we pushed our limits somewhat, but we're used to the default setting. Fun people are good at convincing us to let loose a little more. Sometimes it's because their own enthusiasm is infectious. At other times they have a skill for applying some light, harmless peer pressure (to get you to do something you'll like anyway). The classic example is the person dragging their more reluctant friends onto the dance floor, where they start to have a good time once they get going.

Purposely try to have fun

Some people have fun naturally. Other people, on some level at least, need to consciously try to have a good time when they have fun. Instead of quietly hanging back, they're on the lookout for things that might increase the fun they're having. Fun people are pretty skilled at seeking out good times, or creating them out of nothing.

More fun people know how to amuse themselves. Hopefully the situation they find themselves in will be fun from the get-go, but if it's not then they'll stir something up. They'll end up chatting to some new people. They'll suggest something to do. They'll inspire their friends to get into some wacky situation and see where it leads.

Get in touch with your goofy, immature side

Having fun often means being more silly and childish than normal. You have to shelve the more sober parts of yourself and temporarily regress to a goofier, freer side of your personality. It means laughing at dumb jokes and stupid antics, instead of being serious and judgmental about them. I think a lot of people use alcohol to help them get into this state, but you can get there without it.

Be a little more crazy and reckless than you would normally

Another part of being fun is being more spontaneous and uninhibited relative to your normal self. That doesn't mean you have to start throwing furniture off someone's roof or become a stereotypical frat boy idiot or anything, just that in fun situations being a bit more wacky or reckless relative to the usual you isn't seen as a big deal.

Or to use a cliche: Say "yes" to more things than you normally would. If a situation comes up where you have a chance to do something memorable and entertaining, throw caution aside and go with it. That way leads to stories you'll laugh about afterward. If you really want to, you can come up with a reason why doing pretty much anything is a bad idea. Don't let that sensibility go too far.

Take things a little further than you normally would

This point is closely related to some of the ones above. This is hard to explain, but I've noticed fun people have a tendency to push things a little further than everyone else. If everyone is joking around, they'll start making slightly more outrageous or edgy jokes. If everyone is on the dance floor, they'll start dancing in a more kooky or showy way and get everyone else to join in. Not always, but sometimes this pushing involves taking things in a slightly more risque direction.

There's often fun to be had in pushing things slightly, but some people are hesitant to go there. The fun person helps everyone get into that territory. It takes skill and experience to know just how far to take things though. If you go too far, you can come off as insensitive, or make people uncomfortable.

Have tricks and talents that make you more fun

This is a more minor point. Fun people often have all these little skills they can pull off that help other people have a good time, if only to get one cheap laugh out of them. They may know a bunch of jokes or stories, or be able to pull out some funny dances, impressions, or corny magic tricks. Sometimes people see these party tricks as cheesy and trying too hard, but they can get a good reaction too. Fun people are also usually pretty good at 'stock' having fun skills like dancing and playing pub or drinking games.

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Being less "un-fun"

The traits that make you less fun are more concrete and straightforward than the abstract principles in the previous section. Avoiding these un-fun traits is just as important to being fun as the ideas above, maybe more so.

I'll mention again that this article is based around how to have more of a particular definition of fun. Some of the things below aren't inherently negative traits in all situations. Some readers may see some points and think, "Hey! That's just how my personality leads me to act! Why am I being told that the way I am has something wrong about it?!?" My response would be that from the worldview the article is using, certain traits may be seen as 'bad'. That's only through that one lens though. Through a different perspective a behavior that's positive in the 'having fun' sense may be a liability elsewhere. If you decide you don't care about whether you're fun or not in a certain way, then carry on acting how you'd like.

Don't be the person who never wants to do anything

If you're ready to have a good time, it's pretty irksome to be around someone who isn't up for any of the activities that you think will lead to you having fun. By this I mean shooting down overall suggestions for activities, and also the little chances to do something amusing that come up when you're out.

There are two parts to this point. First, don't be the person who never wants to do anything new. Second, don't be the person who never wants to do anything *period*, and who always wants to stay in. When other people are rearing to do something, not being on board drags them down. Be reasonably open to new suggestions and don't expect your friends to always want to do more humdrum things with you. You could also say a third variation on this is to not be the person who wants to quit everything halfway through.

Wherever you are, don't just hang back and do nothing

If there's one thing that identifies less fun individuals, it's that they never seem to be doing much. If you were to go to, say, a staff party, the more fun people would be making the rounds talking to their co-workers, joking around, maybe dancing, and generally having a good time. Less 'fun' people could be found sitting at a table staring off into space, watching the dance floor but never joining in, or being physically in a group or conversation but not engaged with it.

There are other reasonable ways you could describe such people. Maybe they're only at this staff party because they feel they have to be, and could care less about having a zany time. Maybe they're shy in these situations, or that's just their personality, or they don't know anyone, or they don't know what to talk about, or they don't know how to dance, or they're distracted by other concerns.

These things could all be true, but if you're looking at them from the perspective of wanting to have a good time, you can't help but think of them as not being as fun. That's not necessarily a negative judgment, just that they're not really in the mix. You can go a long way towards being more fun if you just make an effort to participate when you're out doing things with people.

There are several reasons why you might not be participating more already. Again, you may not have the skills or knowledge to take part. If everyone is talking and you're not good at conversation then joining in is easier said than done. If everyone wants to dance but you feel like you're hopeless at it, then you're resigning yourself to watching from the sidelines. What if everyone is talking about something you're not knowledgeable about? You also may not have the desire to join in. You may not like what everyone else is doing. You may also not totally click with the people you're with and not be particularly motivated to jump into the action.

You can see here that you may have a longer road ahead of you than you thought. If you have to change your attitude or pick up some new skills to be more fun, that isn't something you can do overnight.

Don't be too picky about what you require to be entertained

A person hanging back at the bar while their friends are off elsewhere could just be shy or not know what to say to people, but they could also be thinking something like this:

While the less fun people are making a tally of what's wrong with the place, their more fun friends are out there dancing, meeting people, talking, and having a good time, despite the supposedly less-than-ideal conditions. Make the best of whatever situation you're in. Focus on the positives instead of the negatives. Don't feel you can only have fun under the perfect circumstances.

Don't sit back and wait for the amusement to come to you

This is related to the above point. Another big trait of less fun people is that they're not good at creating a good time for themselves. They depend on the situation or other people to provide them with entertainment. If they go to a party they won't take the initiative to try to meet some new people or get involved in a fun activity. Instead they'll hang back and wait for guests to come talk to them or rely on their friends to keep them interested. They'll become antsy and resentful if their friends get distracted and no one entertaining strikes up a conversation with them.

They may also be bored somewhere and have all these 'if's running through their mind. "If the DJ starts playing better music I'll have fun. If I was at (some other bar) I'd be having fun. If my friends start acting a certain way I'll have fun. Until those things happen I'll remain bored." It's a passive attitude, where they think they can only have fun if things largely out of their control flow towards them.

Don't be a downer

When people are having fun they're sensitive to anything that may bring down their mood. Being around someone who's a buzz kill isn't pleasant. One way to be a downer is to complain too much: "This place sucks", "This place is dead", "I'm bored., "Let's go somewhere else", etc, etc.

A second way to bring people down is to keep bringing up inappropriately depressing and heavy topics for the circumstances. If you're out on a Friday night and it's obvious your friends want to take it easy and blow off steam, that isn't the time to go on about how you hate your parents, or how all your ex-girlfriends toyed with your emotions.

Don't be overly serious

Being too uptight can generally contribute to people being less fun. Recognize any of these?

And on and on. As I wrote earlier, having fun often involves letting loose and acting less proper and controlled than you normally do. Lighten up a little. You can't bring rigid, serious, humorless sensibilities to fun situations.

Don't see having fun as immature or beneath you

Some less fun people can be that way because they see the very idea of having a good time as base and puerile. They may see it as something only shallow, vacuous people do, and believe more intelligent, mature types don't stoop to that level. Like I've been saying, being able to joke around and have a good time is just a different way of acting. It doesn't detract from your more intelligent or serious traits.