- Education and Science
How to Be More Interesting - Two Incredibly Simple Secrets
You know them.
The cool guy everyone seems to gravitate towards at a party--the guy who holds everyone's interest in a conversation, or who you think of when you want to hang out and have a good time.
The cool girl that turns heads whenever she walks into a room and makes everyone feel like royalty just by being in her presence.
But you're not one of them.
Or you have a reasonably good sense that you are, if you could only bring the darn interestingness outside of yourself for others to recognize.
We all want to know how to be more interesting. Fortunately, it isn't rocket science, or brain surgery, or rocket surgery. As it turns out, there are two simple concepts to put into play that will make you a more interesting person right now. Today. Immediately.
Interesting = Interested
To be a more interesting person, become interested in more stuff.
Part 1: Be curious about the world around you.
Go to art galleries, museums, arthouse film screenings, poetry readings, and local coffeehouse concerts.
Take a certificate program or audit classes at your local community college or university.
Make it a personal goal to read a new nonfiction book every month.
Start small. Walk down a different street and check out a store you've never been in before.
Take pictures of architecture, nature, interesting people (ask permission first if you don't want to get beaten up) or whatever else catches your eye.
Keep up with current events around the globe. Check out reputable news sources (note: despite their claims to the contrary, The Onion isn't one of them. But I like them anyway.) But don't stop there. Share your opinions in the comment sections and get feedback.
Imagine what life is like for the people involved in those news stories. Research and blog about the stories that captivate your interest.
Expand your mind and your understanding of the world.
Learn how other human beings from other backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life think and process information--even human beings whose beliefs disagree (gasp!) with your own.
Part 2: Be genuinely interested in other people.
When in conversation, ask questions. Be curious about the person's life and viewpoints. (Don't worry, it doesn't mean you're being nosey, unless you're prying for personal details out of envy or a domineering or malicious intent.) When the person responds, use the hints he or she gives you to extend the conversation and relate the topic to your own experience.
Jack: Hi Jill! Jill: Hi Jack! Jack: How was your weekend? Jill: Oh it was pretty nice actually. I spent the weekend in Florida. Jack: Cool. What did you do there? Jill: I visited my aunt and hung out with a few friends. I also found myself walking up the hill to fetch a pail of water--remember when we used to do that?
Already, Jill has given Jack a ton of info from which to
springboard into a nice exchange. He did well by asking what she did in
Florida, but could throw in a tidbit, such as "Cool! I have a few
college friends from Myrtle Beach; were you near the area?" or "Nice.
I've never been, but I hear the weather's awesome this time of year."
He could also ask what she did with her friends, or how many cool
water-bearing hills she's discovered. Notice that Jill recalled past
experiences with her friend Jack--a good rapport-building conversational
You'll find that being interested will inspire you with new ways of thinking about your own life. You'll come up with new ideas all the time--ideas which, when implemented, can change your life and positively affect those around you.
You'll have more stuff to talk about in conversations, and thus you'll be better able to avoid awkward silences. You'll be able to approach questions and challenges from new perspectives as new connections are literally forged in your brain. People will perceive you as more intelligent, more empathetic, more analytical, more open-minded, and you guessed it--more interesting.
Become the Person You Want to Be Around
You're going to be with yourself your whole life, so you might as well transform yourself into a reasonably cool guy/girl to hang around, right?
Become the interesting person you admire.
One way to do this is observe the people you find interesting.
Notice their social behaviors. Notice how, instead of saying, "Salutations! Please communicate to me the nature of your most recent activities," they probably say, "Hey! What's up?" or start a conversation with an observation.
Watch how they aren't mean or stuck-up--that's the wrong definition of "cool"--but they're curious about people (ring a bell?) and seek to include everyone. Notice how they're not prejudiced or too selective about who they talk to or hang out with, but seem to get along with normal people of various backgrounds.
Observe the way they dress and their personal style. Either they dress in "hip" or trendy clothes, they look relaxed and laid-back in what they're wearing, or they've got on something out-of-the-ordinary and just don't give a hoot what anybody else thinks. In any case, they are fully self-aware and you get a sense that their appearance matches who they are.
Watch as they play out a healthy self-esteem. If they face social rejection, they simply move on to communicate with other interesting people. They actually achieve goals, because they're curious enough about something (there it is again) that they push through, learn as much as they can, and reward themselves along the way.
Whatever cool means to you--and make sure it's a positive, unselfish. good-natured meaning--start working those traits into your life little by little. Keep a journal or set reminders in your smartphone to adopt a new "cool" practice today, whether it means wearing a more relaxed wardrobe item, or talking to three new people, or organizing a small house party.
Watch as your personality becomes infused with the very essence of "cool."
I kind of like that sentence.
Becoming interesting isn't that hard. Think of it as emerging from your cocoon. (If you're a caterpillar, it's going to take a while buddy. But if you're human, read on.)
Everything you need to be interesting is already inside you. In fact, you already are interesting. It's just that a lot of people might not see it yet, and you can always improve on a good thing.
Interesting equals interested. Become the person you want to be around. Keep those two concepts in mind, put them in practice in your life starting now, and watch as your goal of becoming more interesting comes to life.
Don't come back and slap me if the paparazzi start following your every move.
(Just kidding. But hey, be careful what you wish for...)