We would all want to be the most interesting person in the room. But sometimes you feel people are not interested in you enough. Sometimes you feel you are just too boring. I’ll tell you otherwise, I think you are a very interesting person and you’ve got a lot to share with the world.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to a person being considered as interesting. Nonetheless, the most important factors that make a person stand out are their genuine interest in others, their authenticity, and their knowledge. I’ll explain.
Genuine Interest In Others
In life, we always make the mistake of trying to get other people interested in us – sometimes we try too hard. We think that by talking about how awesome we are, we can get others to become more interested in us. But that just achieves the opposite effect; it makes us less interesting to other people. The excerpt below shows the importance of showing a genuine interest in others.
‘Some time ago, I attended a bridge party. I don’t play bridge – and there was a woman there who didn’t play bridge either. She had discovered that I had once been Lowell Thomas’ manager before he went on the radio and that I had traveled in Europe a great deal while helping him prepare the illustrated travel talks he was then delivering. So she said: “Oh, Mr. Carnegie, I do want you to tell me about all the wonderful places you have visited and the sights you have seen.”
As we sat down on the sofa, she remarked that she and her husband had recently returned from a trip to Africa. “Africa!” I exclaimed. “How interesting! I’ve always wanted to see Africa, but I never got there except for a twenty-four-hour stay once in Algiers. Tell me, did you visit the big-game country? Yes? How fortunate. I envy you. Do tell me about Africa.”
That kept her talking for forty-five minutes. She never again asked me where I had been or what I had seen. She didn’t want to hear me talk about my travels. All she wanted was an interested listener, so she could expand her ego and tell about where she had been.
Was she unusual? No. Many people are like that’ — Dale Carnegie, How To Make Friends And Influence People
The gospel truth is, people aren’t interested in you, heck, they are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner. Showing genuine interest in other people will win you numerous friends and get people interested in you way more than any other method will.
Be Your Authentic Self
To give you a better understanding of the importance of being your authentic self, let me share with you a personal story.
My neighbor once lost his apartment key, so he had to come to stay over at my place for a couple of hours. He was a very quiet lad who I had never spoken more than three sentences with. During his stay, I initiated small talk to keep the moment from becoming an awkward one. Honestly, I was genuinely interested in him because although he was a shy, conservative guy, I always felt there was more to him.
During our conversation, I got to realize he was a very funny guy who wasn’t shy at all. We spoke about sex, money, relationships, life, business and so on. He openly shared his views with me, even though that was the first time we were having a conversation. I was both amused by his openness and his confidence to be entirely himself with me without holding back. At the end of our conversation, I wanted to get to know him more and took his number so we could continue our chat later on.
Looking back at that encounter, I realize I was intrigued by how he could be his authentic self and open up to a stranger like me – it felt like we were already friends.
My story explains how by just being your authentic self, you can be more interesting to someone else.
Being your authentic self will attract people who are genuinely interested in you and repel those who are otherwise not thrilled by your personality.
Most of us are afraid to show our true selves, so we admire those who are brave enough to show their true selves and be unapologetic about it. Those people become more interesting to us.
Have Something Meaningful To Share
A conversation is always pleasant when both partners contribute meaningfully to it. No one wants to have a conversation with a bore who only gives one-worded answers to every question.
Interesting people are life long learners – people who commit a huge chunk of their lives to the process of learning every day. This gives them a perspective beyond the usual. They always have something to say that adds to the conversation. These people feed their minds with books, podcasts, and shows that broaden their perspective of life.
Their acquisition of knowledge is not a way to make them feel superior over others, but it’s their humble way of trying to understand the world we live in. And as a result, they do not talk about their experiences or knowledge at every chance they get, rather they only make reference whenever it can add up to the conversation.
We all know people who gloat about their knowledge and experience at every chance they get; these people are sometimes obnoxious and far from the kind of interesting people we are talking about here.
Interesting people make other people feel equal if not superior to them in spite of their status or the knowledge they possess; they treat others’ perspectives with respect and curiosity.
In a nutshell, interesting people make others feel interesting, even when they’ve done the kind of things other people can only dream of.
We all want to feel that we have something interesting to share, so we naturally want to surround ourselves with people who make us feel that way, as well as giving us something of value in return.
How You Can Be More Interesting
So now that you know the traits of interesting people, what can you do to make yourself more interesting?
Show Interest In Others
Success in life and at work will greatly depend on the amount of interest you show in others. By showing an interest in others, people will like you more and consider you to be more interesting.
These are a few things you can do to keep learning and making things more interesting in your life:
- Take an online course in a subject you’d like to explore.
- Read books on interesting topics
- Start listening to a podcast
- Watch inspiring movies and documentaries
By keeping a healthy habit of learning every day, you become a more rounded and interesting person.
You know all the quotes about getting out of your comfort zone, right? Yeah, I thought as much.
If you want to be an interesting person, you’ve got to move out of your comfort zone and do something every day that scares or challenges you.
Getting out of your comfort zone will be the most difficult yet fun thing you will ever do in your life. It will also make sure you have loads of interesting stories to tell the people you meet.
Things you can do to explore:
- Become a writer/blogger
- Start a new hobby
- Start a new career
So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore!
The Opposite Of Interesting
What’s the opposite of interesting? Boring.
Don’t be the boring person who talks only about himself and shows zero interest in other people.
I once had a friend who spoke only about Star Trek and Star Wars, all day, every day (he was obsessed). It was extremely boring to be with him and he made for a poor conversation partner.
So don’t be that person who bores everyone to death with talk only about their interests. Don’t also be the person who has nothing to say and is always mute.
Rather, be the person who always shows a genuine interest in others, who is authentic and who always has something meaningful to add to the conversation.
Now that you’ve got a few ideas on how to become more interesting, how do intend you intend to use it in your life? Let me know in the comment section below.