Directions: In this section, you are going to read a passage with ten statements attached to it. Each statement contains information given in one of the paragraphs. Identify the paragraph from which the information is derived. You may choose a paragraph more than once. Each paragraph is marked with a letter. Answer the questions by marking the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2.
How to not be boring
A）Humans are creatures of habit. We love to establish a routine and stick with it. Then we often put ourselves on auto-pilot. Routines can be incredibly useful in helping you get things done. However, too much of a routine can also make you incredibly boring. Nevertheless, many people live lives that are boringly predictable, or live a life where everything is outlined or planned.
B）To tell the truth, interesting people are more popular among their friends. If you don't arouse someone's curiosity or brighten someone's day, you probably come across as being a little bit dull. But that doesn't mean your life has ended and you can't do anything to change it. If you find yourself searching for something to say beyond small talk, try these tactics to find more interesting approaches to conversation.
C）Recently, I was at a gathering of colleagues when someone turned to me and asked, “So, what's new with you?” Ordinarily, I think I'm a good conversationalist. After all, it's literally my job to talk to people and tell their stories or share their advice. And that's not exactly an unexpected question. Still, the only “new-to-me” topics that came to mind were my daughter's basketball tournament（锦标赛）and my feelings about that morning's political headlines—neither amusing nor appropriate topics at that moment.
D）Oh, no, I thought. Have I become boring? But sharing our experiences in an authentic way to connect with other people is what makes us interesting, says associate professor Michael Pirson. The hesitation I felt in not sharing the ordinary things that were happening in my life, and the wild mental search for something more interesting, may have backfired and made me seem less interesting.
E）“If someone is making up some conversation that might be interesting, it's probably not going to land well,” says Pirson, whose expertise includes trust and well-being, mindfulness, and humanistic management. “It's going to feel like a made-up conversation that people don't necessarily want to tune in to.”
F）The most interesting people aren't those who've gone on some Eat, Pray, Love journey to find themselves. Instead, Pirson says, they're those who examine the ordinary. “Often, the ‘boring things' may not be boring at all. Maybe they are actually little miracles,” he says. Share your observations about the world around you—interesting stories you heard or things you noticed—and you may be surprised by the universal connection they inspire.
G）This is essentially how Jessica Hagy starts her day. The author of How to Be Interesting: An Instruction Manual, Hagy spends a lot of time thinking about what's interesting to her. People who are interesting are persistently curious, she says.
H）Think about the everyday things around you and ask questions about them. What is that roadside monument I see on my way to work every day? Who built that interesting building in my city? What nearby attractions haven't I visited? Why do people do things that way? Use what you find to ask more questions and learn more about the world around you. “Having that sort of curiosity is almost like a protective gear from getting into boredom,” she says. And when you find things that are truly interesting to you, share them.
I）Television veteran Audrey Morrissey, executive producer of NBC's The Voice, is always looking for what will make a person or story interesting to viewers. It's usually a matter of individuality. “Having a strong point of view, signature style, or being a super-enthusiast in a particular field makes someone interesting,” she says. That means embracing what is truly interesting or unique about yourself. “Many people are ‘not boring’ in the way that they can carry a conversation or can be good at a social gathering, etc. To be interesting means that you have lived life, taken risks, traveled, sought out experience to learn for yourself and share with others,” she says.
J）Of course, it's possible to be a fountain of knowledge and a boring person, says public relations consultant Andrea Pass. Paying attention to the listener is an important part of having a conversation that's interesting to both parties. Talking on and on about what's interesting to you isn't going to make you an interesting person, she says.
K）“If the listener is not paying attention, it's your sign to shorten the story or change direction. Make sure to bring the audience into the conversation so that it is not one-sided,” Pass says. Be a better listener yourself, and give others opportunities to participate in the conversation by inviting them with questions or requests to share their own experiences or thoughts.（e.g., “Now, tell me about your favorite book,” or “Have you ever been to that attraction?”）Questions are a powerful tool, especially when they encourage others to disclose information about themselves. A 2012 study from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that roughly 40% of the time we are talking, we're disclosing subjective information about our experience. And when we're doing so, our brains are more engaged. So one strategy to leave others with the impression that you're a sparkling conversation partner is to get others to talk about themselves.
L）Being relatable is also essential, Morrissey says. “The best entertainment and storytelling comes from people who are relatable—those who don't shy away from opening up but freely share who they are and what they care about. These are the people viewers most relate to and find interesting. Being authentic, honest, and vulnerable is always interesting.”
M）I have now come to realize that being boring, in actuality, is not only about who you are as a person, but also how you present yourself. No matter what, make sure you are having fun in life. Because when you are enjoying, people around you will begin to enjoy as well. Show some interest in them and they will definitely show some in you. If you are a very reserved person, this could be a little difficult at first. But with a little effort, you can definitely improve.