People newer to role-play tend to forget their environment. It’s pretty common. They are focused on their character and the conversation and not their surroundings. My suggestion is to learn to pull your environment in. You’ll feel more immersed and will give more story and interaction for those around you to comment on.
Let's start with something simple. Most taverns (probably all) have some sort of seating area with food & drinks on the tables. Your character doesn't have to have any of those items in their backpack to be able to interact with it. You can emote you handling any and all the items on the table.
- You are hungry and bite off a large chunk of your turkey leg.
- You guzzle your ale in one gulp and call the bartender for more.
- You are a waitress and are tidying it up after the last customers.
- You are a hungry orphan trying to filch some of the bounty the table without being caught.
- You notice your pet is hungry and toss them a bone.
That one was really simple example. Everyone knows how to behave in a tavern, right? There are endless other little things in game that you can use to interact with.
- Browsing bookshelves, picking one up and sitting down to page through it.
- Looking at wares in a shop. Asking the shopkeeper prices and if you can see certain items.
- Trying to catch frogs by the side of a pond.
- Sifting through junk mail while standing at the mailbox.
- You are a pickpocket and casually slip unattended items into your pocket.
Don’t forget you can also interact with things you do have in your pack. You can even link the specific item in your chat to show specifically what you are interacting with.
- Polishing your armor
- Sharpening your weapon
- Cleaning your totems
- Counting your reagents
- Jingling your key chain
Any and all of these things can be going on during conversation. I don’t know about you but rarely am I simply sitting still doing absolutely nothing during a conversation. I’m a fiddler and will fuss over little things. Doesn't mean I’m not listening. I just can’t sit still.
These can also be used as great ice breakers. Fellow role-players will be able to identify you if you are interacting with things even if you aren't currently involved with any other role-players. It will invite them to comment on what you are doing and join in your role-play.