1) Buy a potato ricer, get better mashed potatoes.
2) Get potatoes that are good for mashing. Maris piper is reliable for mash.
3) Don't add too much other stuff. If you want to serve mash, it should be mash. Butter or milk is fine to make it smooth. Cream if you want to be posh and make it more luxury (pointless if you just want to serve it as a side).
4) If a recipe calls for more flavourings than mashed potato chances are you're missing the point. It's a simple thing, and it should absorb the sauces in the rest of the meal, or compliment them. It shouldn't obliterate them. Jalapeno mash is an abomination.