Are you the life of parties you’ve never even attended?
Instead of shark week, do sharks have a week dedicated to you?
Have you ever parallel parked a train?
If not, this article on how to become more interesting is for you.
What makes a person interesting?
Okay, so you may not be The Most Interesting Man in the World but you don’t have to arm wrestle a bear to be interesting.
Interesting people have a magnetism that draws others to them. Some call it confidence, others call it charisma. One thing is for certain, being an interesting person is far more than simply being attractive.
People are interesting for the same reason that objects and activities are interesting. They surprise you in new and unexpected ways. Interesting people are great at telling stories, relaying jokes, or having great conversations. Or they may be interesting because they’ve learned one thing exceptionally well.
There’s no one way to be interesting but there are key ways I’ve seen that make people exceptional. Some of those are:
- A quality of impressiveness
- Success in their field
How to become a more interesting person
Things you see all the time lose their novelty and with it your interest. Research suggests you need a regular infusion of new things to live a long and healthy life. Without it, you begin to feel like you aren’t progressing and you also stop building valuable memories. The tips below will help you make better quality friends, explore new avenues, and build a life your former self would envy.
Be obsessively curious about other people
One sure way to remain a boring person is to lack curiosity. A healthy curiosity of other people of different cultures and backgrounds compels you to ask better questions. You also treat each person like they have something valuable to contribute.
And here’s the thing, they do. You don’t have to be a professional conversationalist or win a blue ribbon for your social skills. Human beings are pack animals that all need to feel a sense of belonging to the tribe. In fact, you’re probably seeking to be more interesting not only to have a more exciting life but also to find your own sense of belonging.
If that’s you, you’re in luck. Here’s how to hack the matrix.
Skip the mindless small talk and ask questions that get people out of rehearsed answer mode. Questions like:
- What are you most excited about?
- Any personal projects you’re passionate about right now?
- How do you know the host? (if you’re at an event)
- What was your dream job growing up?
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of _listening _and _responding _in a relevant way. When you’re a good listener and show interest in other people, not only do you learn more about life, you also become more interesting to them.
Asking better questions combined with active listening will help even shy introverts captivate a group of people.
Fall down curiosity rabbit holes
Becoming a more interesting person is about broadening your perspective.
And broadening your life experiences does just that. The vast majority of people move through life reacting to the things that happen around them. If they learn new skills, it’s because their job or school required it. They come home, watch the same shows, play the same video games, talk to the same people…you get what I mean.
But the fact that you’re here says that you’ve woken up. Or you’re in the process of it. Good. Do that. It’s a painful process but life gets better when you start being proactive in your own endeavors.
Fall down the rabbit hole of your curiosity.
Like starting a new hobby for instance—hobbies that require you to leave the house and actually talk to other people. I wrote an article about how to be more attractive that goes into more depth on the topic. Check it out.
Protip: when you learn new things share them with other people where relevant. When you share things, be it gifts or information, you’re also viewed as more attractive.
What’s important is to find something that drives you. Fascinating people have things they are passionate about. Their passion leads their curiosity into new exciting discoveries.
For example, I’m passionate about helping young men learn to manage their emotions, approach life with more stoicism, and learn to think for themselves. I learned it the hard way battling alcoholism and overcoming growing up in the hood so you can learn it the easy way.
Adopt a path of continuous self-improvement
While all animals eat, sleep, poop, and reproduce, self-development is unique to human beings. We’re the only animals that can be aware that something is hurting us and actively change that behavior.
Self-improvement looks like:
- Consistently evaluating your goals
- Learning new things and actually putting them to good use
- Using logic to determine why you made mistakes and how to improve
Reading and listening to good podcasts is a great way to get started on your self-development journey. Reading non-fiction can help you learn from other people’s mistakes. Reading fiction will help you connect ideas in ways you never previously considered.
People who read fiction are more empathetic towards others which is a requirement for great relationships and building lasting connections. Learning more also makes having great conversations easier.
Podcasts can do the same while also helping you discover different perspectives. Seeing the world through the various eyes of others is how you stop caring what a single person thinks of you.
Take your brain off auto-pilot and think for yourself
To the unacquainted, social media leads you to believe that everyone else has it all figured out. Their party is better than your party.
Don’t believe it. Anything worth having takes work. Success is not an accident or overnight success.
You’ve got to have patience. Be willing to be wrong. Learn from your mistakes and move forward again and again. Cognisant, critical thought is a requirement for the journey.
You might belly-ache at some point, “Why don’t they teach this stuff in high school?”
Well, that’s not what it’s for.
Formal schooling teaches you the basics of how to function in a working society. It attempts to make you employable and help avoid things that will cause your immediate death.
The rest is up to you.
Thinking for yourself is out of most people’s comfort zones.
But you won’t be interesting to anyone simply parroting others’ thoughts and ideas. Risk saying how you feel. Be situation appropriate but be true to yourself. Try these tips:
- Keep a journal of your thoughts
- Question your biases and why you feel what you feel
- Consider the other perspectives
Embrace your weird
Most people have awkward quirks. Embrace it knowing you’re not alone. Embracing your weirdness shows you have a sense of humor. This turns that weirdness into something that’s endearing rather than something to be embarrassed about.
I like to tell the occasional crack joke, for example.
The late, great sports reporter Craig Sager was an exceptional broadcaster but what he was most known for was his wild suits. They were bright blue, purple, or green with polka dot shirts to match.
And he loved the striped, brightly colored ties that sent hoards of corporate types running away with their noses to the sky. But Craig Sager could care less. He put his weirdness on full display and was embraced for it.
Now, not everyone can pull off a fluorescent-colored suit, but you get what I mean. Lean into the things you like and make them work for you.
Dump your friends
Sometimes you can’t expand who you are simply because you are stifled by the people you spend most of your time with. There are no new or better stories to be had because your group never does anything new. And more often than you’d think, that group of homies doesn’t want to see you doing better than them.
Pay attention to your energy when you’re with your friends. If you constantly feel on-edge, afraid of sharing your real thoughts, or simply bored with life, it may be time for a new group.
As sweet black grandmamas like to say, “you go ‘round with 4 fools, you’ll end up being the 5th.”
In short, an interesting life will stem from your active interest in life and your pursuit of interesting topics.
To captivate the room or simply the person you’re talking to, try these tips:
- Get to know other people
- Try new things and follow your curiosity
- Always be improving
- Take your brain off auto-pilot and do some thinking for yourself
- Be weird
- Audit your friend group