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How to Be More Interesting - Two Incredibly Simple Secrets

Updated on January 1, 2013

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.

That's right.

If you've never sat in awe of the intrinsic beauty of nature and the existential ramifications of your place in it--you should totally do it sometime.
If you've never sat in awe of the intrinsic beauty of nature and the existential ramifications of your place in it--you should totally do it sometime. | Source

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.

Explore new places, sights and sounds.  Things as simple as new experiences expand your mind.  Really.
Explore new places, sights and sounds. Things as simple as new experiences expand your mind. Really. | Source

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.

For example:

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 technique.

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.

Being interesting just takes a little self-reflection!  (But don't get carried away with the self-reflection part.)
Being interesting just takes a little self-reflection! (But don't get carried away with the self-reflection part.) | Source

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...)

How interesting are YOU?

See results

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    • extranotes profile image

      extranotes 

      5 years ago from New York

      "I scrounged around for the next couple of years, trying to get the scam on the human race and just where the hell I fitted in - I discovered there were no openings."

      -Steve McQueen (aka The King of Cool)

      It would seem that "interesting" and "cool" is not all that it's cracked up to be. Just being one's self is tough enough.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I really like this hub. You do have great points. I like to learn more and do more. But I agree being more interesting is just as much about confidence and self-awareness as it is being unselfish about others. It's amazing what you can learn about yourself from exploring the lives of others.

    • YasmeenAli profile image

      YasmeenAli 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Very cool Hub! It's pretty basic isn't it: don't be a boring debbie downer who wallows in self pity. We all know and have been around at least one of these types of people. It brings everyone else down too. I mean not all people with not many interests in life are the self-pitying types but they're not too fun either.

      Anyway, I'm getting beyond myself! Got me thinking about a few people. Good job!

      -Yaz. :-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Nice hub. "Positive and unselfish" pretty well sum it up, without those two qualities you can be pretty boring! Voted interesting.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks for stopping by katyzzz..."interesting" is definitely what I was going for!

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Interesting and useful stuff here Benny. Well done

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Thanks neakin! Will check out more of your hubs as well!

    • neakin profile image

      neakin 

      7 years ago

      Benny, I love this Hub! Great writing!!

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Katie: Thanks very much...as I hope you've discovered, being interesting isn't all that hard!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 

      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      WOW very cool, I'm finding myself more interesting all ready. I enjoyed reading how to be more interesting and appreciate you insightful and practical tips. Well Done! :) Katie

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Tankadin, b. Malin, thanks for stopping by and for appreciating the Hub--I hereby dub you "Interesting" for doing so!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Cool Hub, Cool guy, and that's coming from One, Cool, Lady! Seriously, I really enjoyed reading your Hub Benny, well taken points.

    • Tankadin profile image

      Tankadin 

      7 years ago

      Good hub. Very interesting!

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      capncrunch: Thanks! Sometimes we focus on receiving more than giving, whereas we'd save a heck of a lot of time by just giving and then receiving in kind. Oversimplified, but will suffice to make my point: if we "give" (or direct) our mental energies towards curiosity about and interest in the world and people around us, we'll "receive" the same towards ourselves.

    • capncrunch profile image

      capncrunch 

      7 years ago from New Orleans

      Hey BennyTheWriter,

      This is a really cool Hub! It is a great point to interested to be interesting.

    • BennyTheWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Mentalist acer: You're welcome! Glad I opened your eyes to your "interestingness" and how to communicate it to others!

      Vern: Thanks my friend, glad that I'm providing such a valuable service! As far as my name, it says who I am, it's succinct enough, so when the idea popped into my head after struggling to come up with a clever nickname, I just went with it. Which I suppose is part of being interesting--being direct, saying who you are without being brash about it.

      Great point you made also about self-respect! I've noticed that people who are comfortable with themselves are less self-absorbed and internally focused. They're able to LET themselves be curious about the world and others, rather than keeping the spotlight on their own deficiencies and insecurities, perceived or real.

      Tatara: Always happy to bring a smile to someone's face! Thanks.

      ChrisLincoln: Well, I suppose that's what I was going for! Thanks a lot.

      samsons1: Thanks for the good feedback my friend! Yes, it's incredible how fruitful a simple open-ended question can be. The person's response can open up a treasure chest of conversational gems.

      SilentReed: I know, right? It's kind of awesome the way that works out! If only I could remember to put that into practice more...

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Being Mr.Cool is really about getting the girl. So talk to your woman continually about herself and seldom about yourself and they will say you are an interesting and intelligent person :)

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      up and beautiful! Well written and informative. I like the part about being truly interested in the answers the other person gives to your questions. Good hub...

    • ChrisLincoln profile image

      ChrisLincoln 

      7 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California

      Benny,

      Great read.

      You know...interesting!

      C

    • Tatara profile image

      Tatara 

      7 years ago from Asia

      Very nice.I can't help smiling.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 

      7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hi Benny

      I like it, Mr. Cool Guy!! Such an interesting name as well, "Benny the writer." So how did you come up with that, besides the fact you ARE such a great writer!

      Hey, I really like number three best of all. For me number three is akin to self respect. I am beginning to ask myself all day long, as I am about to buy a sweet roll, am I practicing self respect? Ultimately will that extra centimeter on my waist be interesting or interesting?

      What a wonderful topic! I think all of us want more attention and do pretty bizarre "stuff" to get it, so you spelled it out for us! In my later stage of growing up, I am learning how, as you so coolly point out, to be more interested in others and less drawing attention to myself. As the Tao says, "the wise man is quiet." Then of course that paradox occurs and people become interested in me as well.

      SO THANKS FOR SOME AWESOME AND COOL STUFF. Way more profound than the psychobabble in Psychology Today!

      Vern

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      You've definetly zeroed in on any personal appeal that I may have,as to being in generally knowlegable and knowing the people that intrest me by asking them questions that include points of intrests concerning that person,great insight Benny.;)

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