T Nation

Personality

Hi.
I’ve been using this site for the last 3 months, but have never posted before. I have seen some alot of people post here with personal problems, which end up getting really good advice from the other users. Well now I’d like some advice for my problem. It’s really quite embaressing and I haven’t spoken to anyone about it, because I’d feel like an idiot discussing it face to face. I know some of you will laugh and make rude comments but thats ok I expect that from the sort of message that I am about to type. My problem is regarding my personality or lack of one as I see it. I consider myself to be a very boring person, I am crap when it comes to social situations. In the pub for instance when I’m drinking with the few friends that I have or work colleagues, I just sit there and listen to what others say and tend to just nod my head, I hardly ever contribute to conversations. I am a very shy person, but have very limited vocabulary, and have nothing interesting to say. I have real trouble when it comes to women. If I meet a woman I like, I end upboring her to death, and probably never see her again. All I use is small talk, like what did u do over the weekend, how was your weekend etc etc. I envy alot of my work colleagues because of the way the interact with others, in conversation etc. Help

…zzz…zzzzzzz…

Just kidding. Anyway, is there nothing in life that you want or like? Do you have any desires, goals, etc.? Obviously you have one - you would like to be considered interesting. Are there things that you find funny? Focus on what you want, and hopefully you’ll find that there’s a lot more that’s interesting about you than you think.

Read. A lot. About a lot of different things. Get a little bit of an education about a ton of different things, and you’ll soon find that, at the very least, you can ask intelligent questions about a lot of different subjects. If you look at Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” you’ll find an entire chapter devoted to listening as a conversational art. Asking questions and being interested in the answers (especially when those questions are about the person you’re talking to) will leave the other person feeling like you’re a brilliant conversationalist.

Also, get rid of your current self-talk. Look at your post. How many times (in various forms) did you put yourself down? Remember, you’ll program your own psyche according to the information you feed it. Talk positive to yourself. Talk positive about yourself. I don’t care if you feel like it’s a lie at first. Of course it is. But keep that positive self-talk going, emphatically. You’ll soon find yourself living out the things you’re telling yourself. In fact, a lot of very successful people (in many different fields) do this on a regular basis OUT LOUD. How’s that for crazy? If you need to, make some 3x5 cards with positive self-affirmations on them, and pick one each day to read OUT LOUD to yourself several times a day. Sounds crazy, but it works.

It also sounds like you have a bit of a confidence problem. If you think you are boring you will definetly come across as boring to others. You need to have confidence in what you are saying andothers will see that and take interest.
A little trick I like to use is to make grand sweeping statements like, “I think all homosexuals should be killed” or "People who live in “X country”(pick one) are stupid. This will initiate alot of conversation,and interesting conversation at that, because after making statements like these people will A) want to hurt you
b) want to disprove your point and argue with you
Sure people won;t like you but you will have interesting conversations/fist fights and it sounds like people don;t like you know anyways.
The other thing you could do is pretend you have a really weird fetish, like having romantic tendancies towards giraffes, and use that as an icebreaker.

Ok so obviusly the last 2 suggestions were jokes. Seriously though you could come up with a few interesting stories and use those when you meet people. I find when you are first meeting someone, if you tell them a personal story, chances are something similar will have happened to them, or one of their friends and it will snowball into a converation.
Good luck with becoming interesting
:slight_smile: Groove

Get people talking about themselves. Then all you have to do is keep looking for openings that will keep them talking. Strangely people think you are a good conversationalist if you keep them talking about yourself.

For example what do you like to do outside of work? I like to water ski.

Have you got your own boat? Yes. What sort? - a boatie will then talk for hours.

Most people have something they enjoy that they like to talk about, sport, hobbies, family, work, car, music.

Prime yourself with some starters and then listen attentively, so that you can keep the conversation going. Try to avoid questions that will only give you a yes or no answer but sometimes that’s unavoidable, but you can use it to keep moving e.g the have you got a boat question.

The key skill for you to have is to listen.

In a group situation you need to have a point of view on things, whether good or bad doesn’t matter. You can always stir things up by going against the crowd and then just say I was only playing devil’s advocate when they start to think you are a real wanker.

You said you listen. Don’t think of it has a handicap, but a strong point that other men don’t have.
Women love to talk. Lots of them are looking for a guy just like you, someone who listens.
If they come out and ask you why you don’t dominate a conversation, tell them you’re the classic “Strong but silent” type.

Brider’s suggestion (reading) is the best so far. But don’t limit yourself to just ‘self help’ books. Read everything. Read the classics. Find out why they’re the classics. Find out what -you- think of them. Anything, hell.

Secondly, Improve your self image! I don’t care what it takes. Be a man. Suck it up. Buy Mag-10 and put on 20lbs. Do whatever it takes, but I don’t want to read another post like the one I just saw.

Third, consider this. You might be a ‘boring’ person because you’re in boring circumstances. I don’t know what your personal life is like, but it kinda sounds like it blows. Do something CRAZY. Move to a foreign country, take up a job on a cruise boat for a summer, just do something out of the ordinary. You’ll never be an ‘interesting’ person until you’ve done ‘interesting’ things!

If you think you’re boring, you’ll make yourself boring. Nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy. Listen to the good advice from your fellow T-men. Read variety of materials – fiction, non-fiction, current event, history. Listen to music (modern and classical), go to the local art galleries, watch good movies, and learn about other cultures. Educate yourself. Broaden your horizon. Be confident, but not too cocky. Try making small talks with strangers at malls, or grocery stores when waiting in line. It’ll take pressure away from you cuz you don’t have to impress anyone.

I can literally have an interesting conversation with a total stranger on a 3 hr flight non-stop, provided that the person I’m sitting next to has interesting things to say. Most of times, when it’s a young guy (in their early 20s or something), they tend to freeze and stuff when I say ‘hi’. Some don’t tho…some manage to get my phone number at the end cuz they have interesting things to say back to me.

I just want to thank everyone who posted, I really apreciate your comments, they’ve been a great help.

As Brider stated: Read!! Anything by Les Giblin or Maxwell Maltz is a good start.

You can start lifting and be the “strong-silent type” that we hear woman talk so much about.

On the other hand " keep your mouth close and seem like a fool, then open your mouth and remove all doubts!"

Read, travel as much as you can,learn from everyone and everything.Do things out of the ordinary that please and intrigue you.You can’t be adventurous if you haven’t lived for adventure in its many forms.


Associate with the noblest people you can find;read the best books;live with the mighty.But learn to be happy alone.Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people.


Professor Thomas Davidson