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Body Language of Boredom in Conversations- Are They Listening to you?

Updated on May 4, 2011

Body Language of Boredom in Conversations

If someone is not really interested when they are bored, it shows in their body language. They may look around the room when you are talking to them, like they are distracted by something. They will occasionally look you in the eyes to show you that they are listening (when they are not).

They may tap their fingers

They may drum their fingers rapidly on a counter top or desk. When they do this they could be saying in an impatient manner, that they want you to get on with the conversation. They have other things in mind. It would not be wise to test someone when they are doing this to see if they are really listening to you, because more than likely they are not.

They may point their body somewhere else and look distant

They will point their body’s somewhere else. They will not point their body towards the person speaking, because that is not the direction their thoughts are going into.

They may look distant. You have probably seen the look before. You may have even cracked some jokes, and seen the look in their eyes, when they just aren’t listening. If a person looks distant, well, more than likely they are.

They may nod their head at the wrong time

Do they nod their head “yes” at the wrong times in the conversation? Why do you suppose they do this? More than likely they are trying their best to look interested. When someone tries real hard to look interested in what you have to say, chances are, they are not really interested.

Tone of Voice

Do they change the tone of their voice? A persons voice pitch can change for many reasons. One of them is just plain bordom. If they went from speaking in a very friendly, higher pitched voice to a lower, more monotone voice, you eather said something to upset them, or they are bored.


They probably will not give you enough feedback about the conversation. When someone is really not paying attention, they will just agree with most of what you are saying in order to be polite. You can tell if a person really is interested by the amount of feedback you get when you talk to them. You probably do it yourself often times. When a conversation is interesting, you usually want to share your input. If you are the only one talking, the reasons can vary from, they are just super interested in what you have to say, they can’t get a word in, or they just not interested.

In some odd instances, a person that truly is interested in the conversation will appear board, but are not. Those instances can be read about in the links provided below. Sometimes a person really is super interested, but is not good at expressing themselves in the way that you are accustomed to. Take everything into consideration when you are reading body language to gauge these things. Pay attention to cultural differences, learning styles, and the way they express themselves in general.

You should never take offence to someone that may not be interested in what you have to say. Do not cause this to lower your opinion on yourself. After all, they have to be interested in something about you, or they would not be put in a position to talk to you.

What can you do if the person you are talking to becomes bored?

You can listen to what they have to say. Switch the conversation around, and aim it towards them. If they perk up and start talking, really listen to what they have to say. Talk to them about it the next time you speak with them. If you show a person you are interested in what they have to say, chances are that you will not only increase your bonding with them, but you will increase your chances of them not being bored during your next conversation.

If they keep showing bored body language throughout the conversation with you, don’t worry about it, they may just have something on their mind. Sometimes stress and other factors can affect a person’s responses to their social interactions. It is not really your fault. Maybe you should ask them if something is wrong. Get to know what is going on in their mind. You may be able to help them.


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