I was always told this by both peers and adults as a kid. Even today, I am told this. I wasted a lot of years on introspection. DO I need to lighten up? Is what everyone is telling me correct? AM I boring?
I tried to keep these questions in mind when I would talk with people - especially strangers. I'm not an arrogant person, so I took what people were telling me as "constructive criticism," and I tried everything to work on these "faults."
I did EVERYTHING - from laughing at jokes I didn't find funny to being excited about circumstances I really didn't care about. I put down my books and turned off my television. I made many efforts to go to social gatherings whether with friends or alone.
In the end, it made me as enjoyable to be around as it was for me putting on these performances. I was being fake to relate. The people and places I learned to surround myself with never gave me the sense of belonging and peace of mind I was looking for. It didn't make sense, until I opened my eyes and looked at the situation and MYSELF objectively.
The truth is simple and inevitable. I am who I am. It's not something that can, nor should, be changed. I am a serious person and there's NOTHING wrong with that. Life is not a joke - not if you're living in reality. It's full of responsibilities and uncertainties. You cannot always "live it up." There are many times when you have to do what you hate and think ahead.
I realized that by forcing myself to be more expressive, I was putting on a mask that was bringing people I didn't relate to closer and people that REALLY understood me farther. I was doing fun things and surrounded by fun people, but I felt empty.
I became very aggravated being around people who could only read my mask instead of my nature, so I took off the mask. Everything reverted, and I'm even happier than before. The people that are in my life, although fewer, truly understand me and my feelings. They know that while I do not joke all the time, I am also sincere and compassionate. When I DO laugh and joke, it's because I'm ACTUALLY having fun and not trying to keep up the ambience.
They also appreciate my seriousness with their confidence. You don't go up to wild child friends with serious issues and questions. You go to the friends that see life as it is and have learned to stay on their feet taking it head on. The "serious" people. The kind of people who stop and think about all aspects of life instead of drowning out life's problems by "going with the flow." By NOT being afraid to show my serious side, I have deeper connections with people around me. In fact, I've learned many people use "humor" as a barrier, not an icebreaker.
Ultimately, what I'm trying to say is that you should embrace who you are. If people find you boring or serious, it's because they don't understand you. I'm not saying you shouldn't get out there and experience life to the fullest (get the hell of your couch!), but I am saying you should surround yourself with people who actually get you and WANT to get you (believe me - they're out there).
I've never met a person who doesn't know how to take a joke or have fun. EVERYONE has a sense of humor and fun. Some people express these qualities every chance they get while others only express them when they're warranted. Both types are needed in this world.
Sorry for the novel!