“I feel like I bore people. I want to be more fun and interesting to be around.”
In this guide, we’ll talk about why we sometimes come off as boring and what to do about it. The good news is that by using a few tricks, you’ll be able to bring out what’s unique and fun about you.
Part 1: Learn how to be more fun
In this part, we’ll talk about what you can do to relax your mind and your attitude and be more fun. In part 2, we’ll cover how to be more fun in groups.
1. Practice being relaxed around people
To be fun to be around, you have to make others feel comfortable around you. You can only do that if you are comfortable with yourself.
When you feel comfortable and safe around people, you can be yourself. You can make stupid jokes and act freely without worrying about being judged. We all have traits that make us different and unique – when we are 100% relaxed and ourselves, we can be all of those things.
If you are feeling uncomfortable, here are some things to remind yourself:
- People don’t watch your every move. Just like you’re focused on you, everyone else is focused on themselves.
- If you mess up, ask yourself how a confident person would react if they did that? They probably wouldn’t care, so why should you?
- You’ll be more likable if you talk freely and be yourself. It’s better to say something stupid once in a while than always guard yourself against making a mistake.
2. Show others that you’re relaxed and easy-going
If you feel stiff, there are a few things you can do to appear more easy-going:
- Reward people with laughter if they say something witty or funny.
- Give plenty of friendly, relaxed eye contact.
- Have open body language.
- Be friendly: Be generous with compliments. Talk about the good in a situation or someone, rather than the bad.
- Don’t censor yourself. Come up with ideas and share them – where to go, what to do, what you think about a situation. It helps people get to know you.
3. Be non-judgmental
Be accepting of yourself and everyone else. If you’re quick to judge, remind yourself to give everyone a chance. Deciding not to judge others will help them relax around you.
Treat everyone as a soon-to-be friend. Have an open, relaxed facial expression and ask friendly questions. Have the mindset that everyone can teach you something, and everyone’s decisions can have merit, even if you would have done it differently.
You’ll be more fun to be around if people feel that you accept them and what they do without a sign of judgment.
4. Be a good listener
You can signal that you accept others through body language and a warm tone of voice.
That means putting away all distractions and listening to who you are talking to, nodding, smiling, and saying “uh-huh” when appropriate. Keep eye-contact and avoid scanning the room. That can signal that you would rather be somewhere else.
5. Open up
Open up and tell funny stories about your life and experiences: weird jobs you’ve had, a bad blind date, amusing things from your childhood. Don’t share deeply personal stories that would make your audience feel uncomfortable. You want to share anecdotes that everyone can relate to and laugh at.
That helps people get to know you and feel more comfortable by, in turn, sharing about themselves. Remind yourself that for two people to feel like they know each other, they need to know things about each other.
6. Be able to laugh at yourself
Those who are OK with being a little foolish are usually more fun to be around. A small mistake can make you more human and likable. It’s called the pratfall effect.
A self-deprecating joke can also make you more relatable. But don’t over-do it. Always making jokes at your own expense can soon become too much. However, if you trip and fall, it’s more likable to be able to joke about it than trying to act as if nothing happened. People enjoy being around those who can laugh at life and the weird situations it puts us in.
Being funny means sharing your thoughts, inner weirdness, interests, and intellect with the world. You won’t hit a home run every time – that’s OK. If eight out of ten of your jokes land, nobody will remember the other two.
7. Find your type of humor
If you don’t think you’re funny, start with the kind of humor that makes you laugh. Is it dry sarcasm? Puns and silly turns of phrase? Physical gags with funny faces or body movements? Whatever it is, study it and see if you can reproduce it with your friends and family first. Then incorporate it in your everyday conversations.
Read more on how to be funny.
8. Be the glue that holds people together
Make it easy for everyone to get along in a group by introducing your friends to each other. Help them discover things that they have in common with one another.
- Talk about mutual interests you all have.
- Talk about a cool thing one person in the group has done and ask them to tell the group about it.
- Bring new friends or friend-groups together doing something everyone can enjoy – bowling, theme parks, ultimate frisbee, soccer, game night.
9. Do things that scare you
Push your boundaries a bit if you tend to stay in your comfort zone. Do new things, even if they scare you a little. If someone invites you to try something new – like a cooking class or going to a speed dating event – and your gut instinct is to decline, do it anyway. This slowly builds up your confidence and ability to be spontaneous. People who are brave like that have great stories to tell, and that can make them fun to be around.
10. Be positive
Being positive is a decision, no different than a decision to eat more greens or spend less time on the phone. Deciding to see things from a positive perspective can make your life more fun in general, and make you more fun to be around.
If something bothers you, ask yourself if there’s a positive way you can see it. If something negative is taking your focus, remind yourself of other things you can appreciate. These are often the things we take for granted: Being healthy, safe, having a close family or a good friend, enjoying nature or a cool movie.
11. Focus on others
If you tend to talk about yourself, ask questions about other people to make them feel comfortable. Or look up fun questions to ask others to find out more about them. As a general rule for balanced interaction, everyone should spend a similar amount of time talking.
12. Rest – so you can stay fun
You can only push yourself so far. Recharge your batteries when you need to have the energy, both emotional and physical, to keep going. Self-care is as important as caring for others and expanding your social circle. You have to be well, to do well.
If you’re at a party, take a 5-minute break in the bathroom. If you’ve had a full week, allow yourself to have the Sunday all by yourself.
Let’s talk about what you can do to be more fun and entertaining when you’re in a group situation.
1. Be original
We’re all original and unique. Embrace what makes you different. If you like anthropology and death metal bands, open up to others and have those conversations.
Share your opinions as long as you don’t step on anyone’s toes. As you do, ask others for their thoughts. Having differing points of view can be fun and educational as long as you’re fully accepting of others’ opinions. Being open-minded is an admirable trait. It means you can get along with anyone.
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2. Be animated – Use your facial expressions to tell the story
So much of what we say to others is done non-verbally. Facial expressions and the eyebrows, in particular, are so expressive they leave an impression on others when we use them to maximum effect.
Eyebrows can show anger, surprise, fear, joy, or confusion. They are a mirror of our emotions and can be seen as an exclamation mark on our conversations. People who animate their facial expressions tell exciting stories. Even if the story content is not perfect, the delivery can make it better. So practice telling a story in the mirror using your eyebrows and facial expressions and then without. See the difference!
3. Find mutual interests and focus on those
As you talk with people, you will be able to pick up on their interests as you get to know each other. Use what you learn to steer the conversation in that direction. Finding mutual interests will make the conversation more fun for both of you.
For example, if I learn that someone’s a history nerd like me, I’d make sure to mention a history documentary that I found interesting. That’s likely to spark a conversation that we’ll both enjoy. Here’s more on how to find interesting things to talk about.
4. Bring energy & enthusiasm into all your conversations
If you often find yourself in situations where you’re timider than everyone else, there are strategies you can use to become more energetic.
First, a word of warning, don’t fake enthusiasm and energy if you don’t feel it. Faking consumes a lot of energy, and it looks and feels inauthentic. Instead, try to find it in a way that resonates with you. Think back to a time when you were enthusiastic about telling a story or talking about something that excites you. See if you can tap into that mood again. Other strategies to get there are listening to high energy music or drinking some caffeine before a social event.
When you bring passion into a conversation, it can shift the energy in the room toward you, both audibly – with laughter and a stronger voice. As well as visibly – you’re animated and expressive, hugging or touching others in a friendly way. This can bring others into your orbit to find out what’s going on and join the conversation.
Here are more detailed tips on how to be more high energy.
5. Know a little about a lot of things
To keep the conversation moving, be up to date on popular topics. Try to keep up with current events, memes, movies/shows. When you do, it’s easier to contribute to general conversations groups might have on those topics. The important thing is to be present, throw yourself into the moment, and share your thoughts.
6. Be present and personal during the conversation
Make a conversation more personal by focusing all your attention on your friend when they talk. Avoid just waiting for your turn to talk. Instead, listen to understand what your partner is really saying. Add relevant ideas and thoughts to the discussion if you think they’ll make the conversation better. Make your comments thoughtful and topic-related.
Add your feelings and ideas to the topic to make the interaction more personal. If you’re talking about living in the city and how expensive it is, try asking where they would live if money wasn’t an issue? Or where they would live in the world if they could pick up and move there today. When you do, you move from general facts to a personal conversation.
Here are our book recommendations on how to make conversation.
7. Tell a great story
There’s an art to telling a story. Have a look at this article How to be Good at Telling Stories – 6 Storytelling Principles for a detailed breakdown.
Here’s the gist in short form:
- Tell a story related to what you are talking about with the group.
- For a story to be entertaining, it must be relatable. Stories about our struggles go over better than stories about our successes.
- Explain the context of the story first – why it’s exciting.
- Avoid including too many details – it’ll bore your audience. Focus on building the emotional context. Why it made you feel scared, surprised, angry, happy.
- Tell a story your audience can relate to. Stories about work for your work friends. Family stories for your Grandma.
- As you tell the story, build suspense by adding all the relevant details, emotional context then drop the punchline at the end.
8. Command attention with your body language
You want your body language to signal that you are confident and belong in the room. You want your posture, tone of voice, and gait to say “I enjoy being here.” If you signal that you’re having fun, others will think it’s more fun to be around you.
The great speakers in the world have mastered the art of body language, and consistently project the message they want to convey. Have a look at these speeches on YouTube of Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins to see how they own the room with their body language. (Tony is particularly good at this.)
Animation, energy, and 100% focus on the moment. Which is to say, 100% focus on the people they are talking to.
You can practice your body language in your mirror. It won’t happen all at once, so keep at it. Then take your delivery on the road and do it with family and close friends. Or, do the opposite if you prefer: Sometimes it’s easier to try new ways of acting around people you haven’t met before. Practice being the center of attention and think about what you say, how you say it, and making it impactful.
If you’re excited about what you’re talking about, your audience will be too.
9. Pick your team
So you’re out there – mixing and mingling. You meet and talk to lots of people. But you’ll notice that not everyone is open and receptive to your charm. No problem. You came, you chatted, you left. Not everyone is meant to be on your team. Just because someone doesn’t enjoy your company doesn’t mean that no one will.
There are tonnes of people in the world. It’s normal to click with some and not with others. That’s how we’re all built. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to friends. However, we can have an enjoyable chat with most people we come across. In some cases, that chat turns into a real friendship.