Astonishingly, there’s very little on the web addressing the topic du jour. Mostly, it’s a few quiz sites asking pretty random questions that carry the personal assumptions of whoever authored them. There’s nothing really, well, helpful or definitive there.
So then, given how absolutely crucial being fun is to the attraction process, let alone building a healthy and vibrant social circle, I decided to go ahead and let the fur fly (or the powder, if you were in India earlier this month).
What do you say we let the fun begin? Right on…
Like everyone tends to believe that they have a sense of humor, everyone also typically thinks of him or herself as a fun person. After all, how much of a true “stick in the mud” does one have to be to self-identify as “no fun”?
A sense of humor is rare enough, so what about a sense of fun? Do you have one? There’s no irony in the fact that both of those factors are directly related. That could be why there are as few truly FUN people as there are folks with a sense of humor. Just sayin’.
Part of the problem, I think, is that people don’t recognize fun when they’re potentially heading for it, or even in the midst of it.
I mean, what IS “fun”, and should it be a priority or not?
So much of how you might answer that question for yourself is based on personality and mindset, for sure. But hey…the weird twist there is that even people who aren’t any fun tend to recognize when others ARE. Weird, right?
It’s all too easy to lapse into the philosophical or psychological factors at play here, isn’t it? But that wouldn’t be any fun!
So on with it. Here are 8 factors that pretty much tell the tale of whether you’re a FUN person or not:
1) Boring vs. Exciting
This one might be the only true yardstick you really need.
Are you predictable, inactive, and rote or are you interesting, active and spontaneous?
Boring can be in the eye of the beholder, most certainly. Some people think playing chess is big fun, others would rather watch paint dry (which we can all agree isn’t any fun).
So let’s make this one easy. When invited to jump into something potentially fun, do you usually say “I’ll pass” or “I’m in”?
2) Closed-Minded vs. Free-Sprited
Are you self-righteous and judgmental of that which you’ve never tried and/or aren’t sure about, or will you try anything once (within reason, of course)?
It’s not actually necessary to check your moral compass at the door and/or make bad decisions to be “free spirited”, you know. If you don’t believe that, you might not be any fun.
3) Easily Offended vs. Dishing It Right Back
I’ve written at length about this before, and I’ll say it again.
Here it is: Someone who takes everything personally is a bummer.
I got a bit of a laugh when considering this particular factor, given that those who are on the wrong side of this fence are probably offended by anyone who is fun in any of the ways mentioned in this post.
Geez…why do people think everyone is out to get them? Can you imagine how much it would fry their circuits if someone actually WAS out to get them someday? Man, they’d figure out the difference with a quickness, I’m thinking.
Fun people aren’t easily flustered, rattled or pissed off. If they also know how to feed whatever they’re given RIGHT BACK to whoever provided the opening salvo, so much more the enjoyment.
Another angle on this might be “defensive vs. thick-skinned”. This adds the dimension of taking oneself too seriously, as opposed to not so much. Ability to engage in self-deprecation without sacrificing dignity is valuable skill to have, for sure.
4) Negative vs. Upbeat
Are you a ray of sunshine, or is a dark cloud always hanging over you? Are you Eeyore or Tigger? Are you rolling your eyes right now or laughing your ass off?
Depressing vs. inspiring is perhaps another way to look at this factor. Are people who spend time with you spontaneously convinced to “go big or go home”, or are they somehow lulled into a state of not really caring whether they live or die at the moment?
I’ll throw it on the table for you. If you’re sad, angry, pessimistic, stone-faced, divisive, butt-hurt or gossippy that’s not fun…at all.
People who are genuinely fun to hang with are generally happy, content, optimistic, and spend time CONNECTING people together.
Can a fun person have an off moment (or day)? Of course. It’s who you are at your core that matters.
5) Hateful vs. Tolerant
This is really a matter of being judgmental and/or snobby versus having an accepting, inclusive attitude.
Weirdly, one aspect of being judgmental that rears it’s ugly head sometimes is the assumption that someone who doesn’t fall in line with your pre-conceived notions of “fun”, isn’t.
As married parents of four kids, I have to admit that Emily and I have encountered this judgmental sentiment before. Those people, however, have rarely been any fun. Go figure…
6) Lethargic vs. Energetic
It’s rather obvious that it’s hard to be a fun person when you just don’t feel like doing anything.
But this is also about being aloof, distracted and/or indifferent vs. engaged, attentive and/or enthusiastic.
Which leads to…
7) Selfish vs. Generous
People who only take, take, take aren’t very enjoyable to be around. Nobody’s saying you haveto be a doormat, but generosity is almost always a blast (for everyone involved, I might add).
If this isn’t your style, try it some time. I can virtually assure you that you’ll be impressed. For example,go volunteer on a Saturday afternoon for a good cause. I guarantee you’ll reap as much good from it as anyone you help.
Other ways of looking at this factor would include self-promotion or approval seeking vs. building up others and giving away approval.
For what it’s worth, I’m still floored by how many people in this life are easily fooled by manipulative narcissism. That’s really unfortunate. The real-deal, in the form of genuine, heartfelt generosity is always preferable.
8) Scared vs. Courageous
Those who aren’t any fun are uptight as opposed to relaxed. They’re overly cautious, causing to them to stay home while others partake in freaking incredible adventures that enrich they’re being and change their lives.
This is all about being assertive instead of passive, valiant instead of wimpy and going “balls-to-the-wall” instead of, I don’t know…roaming the halls of a mall?
The real tragedy here is that a life lived in fear truly is a life half lived. Not only to the courageous have more fun, they lead more fulfilling lives overall.
I could have likely come up with several more factors, I’m sure.
For example, you may have noticed that “Social vs. Reclusive” didn’t appear on my list. Sure, you have to actually want to be around people in order for them to even sense whether you’re fun or not. Yet, we all know PLENTY of folks who are social enough, but still not any fun.
Weirdly, I really also wanted to add “Kind vs. Mean-Spirited” to the list, but if I’m honest I’ve got to admit I’ve known some pretty gnarly people who can be a blast to hang out with, as long as you stay on their good side. Still, is associating with them the best decision to make? Probably not.
Ultimately, the true “acid test” in deciding the “fun factors” above, brilliantly enough, is that those who possess them are nearly ALWAYS genuinely fun people.
Meanwhile, those who share the “non-fun” traits I’ve outlined above usually can’t even stand to hang around each other. Now THAT’S “proof of concept” in action for you. Ha!
But what fun is this post on fun if I don’t leave room for you to add your take on potential “fun factors” in the comments, right? Please do. I can’t wait to hear your take on all of this.
With that, here are two quick notes before I sign off.
First, I’ll contend that it’s not necessary to be a drunk partier to be a fun person. Interestingly, there’s an annual ranking of the most fun and the most boring colleges in the US, and pretty much the sole criterion is how much drinking goes on. That only serves as evidence that most people see medicating themselves and avoiding life is “fun”, whereas immersing oneself in life is what SHOULD be fun.
Similarly, I know it’s kind of a “soap box” for me personally, but I’d also challenge how “fun” people truly are who believe they’ve got to escape to Las Vegas or a cruise ship. The most amazing fun is often manufactured by fun human beings in their natural habitat, not necessarily requiring a certain stage to dance upon.