Vanessa Van Edwards, Behavioral Investigator and the author of "Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101," says there is an epidemic of boring in our society. Boring kills everything from dates to business deals. Vanessa shared her tips on how we can fight dullness and be more memorable and attractive at our next social event!
Read more interesting information from Vanessa's articles in the Huffington Post or on her Science of People Facebook page.
Ok, so here's how to combat the boring:
Engage the Brain:
Our brains are like really hungry toddlers–they are easily bored and demand to be fed with entertaining nuggets.
New York Times best-selling author and developmental molecular biologist, John Medina discovered that the brain has a very short attention span. Our brains are attracted to intriguing, interesting, engaging people and things. Luckily, you are an intriguing, interesting, engaging person! Here 's how you can showcase it:
Turn People On:
Now get your mind out of the gutter! I'm talking about what turns people on emotionally. Most interactions look like a flat line graph. You talk to people and its a dull conversation, what do you do, what brings you here. There is no emotional jump or brain jump. So to stop being boring you have to cause more emotional excitement for the person. And by the way this is emotionally exciting for you as well and will keep you more engaged.
Here are some ideas for how to get that emotional excitement going:
Stop Using Social Scripts
When you meet someone or are on a date you ask the same questions over and over and give the same answers. So if you want to be engaging you have to get out of your comfort zone and start asking questions that matter. Here are three ideas for you:
- What has been the best part of your week?
- Besides work, what gets you up in the morning?
- Working on any passion projects at the moment?
These get real conversation going and people will be dying to talk to you.
Be Interested to Be Interesting
Leading psychologist John Dewey discovered one of the most fundamental aspects of people. He found that there is one thing that every person on this earth wants:
To feel important.
Once someone has the basics of food and shelter all they want is to feel cherished, valued and worthy. When we are interested, we are more interesting!
Here's the psychology behind it: If you can make someone feel important by valuing their opinions, time or feelings, and being interested YOU will be attractive and interesting to them.
Here's your challenge: Next time you are at an event or out with a friend approach all conversations with one goal: Make whoever you are speaking with feel valued. Try this...
How to be attractive verbally:
- Ask questions about what they find important
- Push their ideas a step further. Ask why and how more than what and when.
- Commit to total engagement. I'm totally calling you out on your fake trip to the bathroom, pretending to check your very important email or looking over their head as you talk to them to see who might be more interesting. Stop it! I promise, engaging will make you both interested and interesting (See more of my promises below).
You can also be attractive nonverbally. You know how much we love our body language research. And studies show that the majority of our communication is actually nonverbal. On the conservative side, studies have found a minimum of 60% (which is still A LOT!) and that goes up to 93%.
So, here is how to be attractive nonverbally:
- Keep your toes pointed towards the person speaking. I know this seems silly but our brains pick up on people's foot direction and use it to gauge interest. As you are listening to someone, you can make them feel valued by keeping your toes and torso pointed at them as they speak. It's kind of like nonverbally telling them, "I'm with you! I hear you! Keep going!" And that is the best compliment you can give someone.
- Use a triple nod. Studies have shown (See our list of citations) that people will speak 3 to 4 times longer if you do three slow nods in a row when they have finished speaking. It's like a nonverbal ... So, when someone finishes their statement, look them in the eye and nod three times as if to say, "keep going." They often will continue and you end up having a much deeper conversation. (And if they don't it's no big deal, just take a sip of your drink and ask your next question).
If you try even one of these techniques, all with the goal of making other's feel important and fighting boredom, you will be amazed at how much more interesting your conversations will be.