Let’s admit, we all have experienced this: Standing awkwardly on the sidelines, watching everyone have the time of their lives. It’s a crappy feeling — I know, to be invisibly labeled as a “boring person” just because no one is talking to you.

You feel your social life crumbling apart. Your invitations to attend social events start to cease until they don’t come at all, simply because you don’t have the knack to keep people interested in you.

But what if you could turn the tables and become the life of the party?

It’s doable, but not an easy journey. Because ultimately, you need great people reading skills to figure out what interesting people do to attract crowds. Luckily, I’ve analyzed particular habits that truly distinguish interesting people from the normal.

So if you’re looking to brush up your social skills and improve your conversation with others, this is what you need to do.

1. Ask uncommon questions

As we get older, we become more accustomed to the standard questions we’ve impulsively set for meeting new people. Questions like how are you? or what do you do? Don’t conform to the norm!

Convince people that you’re more capable of asking intellectual and thought-provoking questions. Ask them:

  • What are you working on now?
  • How do you spend your days?
  • What was the highlight of your week?
  • What’s your story? (my favorite)

By reshaping your questions in a form that gets them to really think about their answers, you instantly grab their attention. And what surprises people makes them more curious to know who you are.

Remember, the key to becoming an interesting person is to think outside the box.

2. Be positive

There’s always that one friend who scrunches their forehead and starts complaining about everything! And the worst part is they keep rambling on and on and on, from their cheating boy/girlfriend to the inflating prices of their rent. Boring, right?

If you want to people to listen to you and sound attractive to talk to, release your positivity. Speak with enthusiasm. Express your thoughts with warm body gestures. Slip in a joke or two. Ditch the negative me, me, me speech. People will naturally flock to you, because let’s face it — who doesn’t want to around optimistic people?

If you make people feel comfortable around you with your positivity, they’ll want to be in your presence all the time.

3. Take action

People like people who constantly keep themselves busy. Why? Because when you’re working, hanging out with friends, exploring a new city, or even taking some alone time to learn something new, you’re gaining experience. And sharing experiences is what stirs up interesting conversations and questions.

Not to mention, the more experienced you are in life, the more confidence you give out. That will show through your actions — like standing tall, speaking assertively, and holding your head high.

Stay invested in what you’re doing, and that will boost your confidence and give more experiences to share.

4. Express your opinion

A great way to intrigue people is to lay out your opinions, openly and sincerely. It might seem a bit intimidating at first, but trust me — people love debates, especially if it’s something that matters to them.

With that said, make it a habit to express your opinion any time someone starts an interesting discussion. Don’t shy away from the conversation. Because the moment people realize that you can’t stand up for your beliefs, your voice gets weak.

That’s when they’d much rather talk with someone who is more capable of holding an intellectual conversation.

What I’d recommend is to always read the news and find out what you strongly care about. Over time, this will strengthen your opinion on things that matter to you.

Say what’s on your mind and be firm about it — that’s the key to gaining newfound respect.

Editor’s note: Giving credit to Ross Simmonds for the original post: 9 Habits of Boring People and How To Be More Interesting.