We fear boredom — that we might be bored or, even worse, bore others.
One example: For a 2014 University of Virginia psychology study, participants gave themselves electrical shocks to avoid sitting alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes.
In a similarly themed Quora thread, users discussed what makes people boring.
Here are the highlights, so that you can identify the bores in your life and avoid becoming a bore yourself.
Drake Baer contributed to an earlier version of this article.
1. Boring people have unbalanced conversations.
Instead of finding a rhythm between talking and listening, boring people are on either conversational extreme.
Quora user Jack Bennett calls it an "asymmetry in the conversational 'give and take' — e.g. all listening and no talking, or all talking and no listening."
2. Boring people can't tell if people are engaged in the conversation.
If you're emphatically boring, you're probably missing the other person's body language.
User Garrick Saito argues that what makes a person boring is the "continual blathering and ignoring of signals and body language that say (perhaps not loudly enough) 'I'm not interested in what you're saying, but am nodding every few seconds only to be polite.'"
To avoid this, learn how to listen to what people are saying with their bodies.
3. Boring people can't make people laugh.
Humor shows "cognitive flexibility": the ability to assess an idea or an event from a variety of perspectives, and then, naturally, make light of it. Boring people lack it.
"I'm an easy sell," admits Will Wister. "I mean come on let's face it — it's not that hard."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider