Why are people so boring and simple

What makes people interesting

Some people are just incredibly interesting. After every weekend they have three stories to tell, the other two unfortunately have to remain a secret. Why do some people experience so much while others just do normal things?

At Quora, users are currently discussing how they could become more interesting. Become an artist or start a business that should help, as well as having sex with lots of people in different positions, and other extreme sports, then having a child, preferably drunk.

?

Some of these answers are meant ironically. I don't know which part, but I just hope it is.

[Also at ze.tt: Why patience pays off]

This advice is even more useful: exceed your own expectations. When we put ourselves in situations where we are afraid or after which we may feel a bit ashamed, then we challenge ourselves. And we grow with it, we change. And no one is bored while changing.

Think positive

Studies have shown that pessimistic people pull others down too - the whining of others is even physically harmful. We withdraw from people who constantly burden us with their problems. And we are attracted to people who are looking for solutions, who face hard days positively. So we don't make ourselves interesting by telling about our hard life. But by inspiring.

Pick up threads

If we find ourselves really boring, then we don't really have to talk about ourselves, do we? Then the other should just tell something. The psychologist Martin E. P. Seligmann advises to react actively to what is being told - and ideally to continue spinning straight away. The other had a great day? We should celebrate this - where can we go? Was the day terrible? We should really celebrate that, after all, it's over.

[Also at ze.tt: Leisure stress? Just do what you really want]

If both interlocutors are bored at the moment, the only thing left to do is to ask questions. Anyone who is questioned feels noticed; Anyone who feels interested remembers an interesting evening - and doesn't even notice it very much when the other person doesn't have any exciting stories to tell.

But maybe you're actually not as boring as you think you are. Maybe you just have to:

Learn to tell

My theory is that interesting people can do one thing above all else: tell stories. And that actually makes them happier, says the psychologist Dacher Keltner from the University of Berkeley. When I asked what makes us happy, he advised, among other things: “tell the story of our life”.

So we prefer to talk about ourselves?

Well And it makes us happy too, that's why we have such good evenings when someone listens to us, is interested in our story. Keltner also refers to the research of Dan McAdams. He carried out experiments with older people and found out that those who tell livelier stories are more satisfied. When we tell, explains Keltner, we give meaning to what we have experienced. We put both good and negative into a context and give it meaning for our lives. This can relate to our entire life, or to the happiness and unhappiness of the past day.

How it works? For several years now, everyone in advertising has been talking about storytelling, the art of storytelling. One type is the hero's journey. Short version: The hero was bored, then there was an adventure, in the adventure there was resistance, he found a solution and in the end everything was cool. The quintessence is the resistance: each of us has to fight a little every day. How we deal with it is what makes us interesting.

If you want to be interesting and have pleasant company, you may only have to manage this balancing act: tell vivid stories from the day and give your counterpart space to report on your experiences.