How to Be Interesting
This morning I logged on to do my monthly check of our website analytics. As I settled in with my coffee to peruse our latest numbers, search hits and demographics I stumbled upon an interesting little finding.
While scrolling through our top search terms (what people search to get to the Science of People website) I found this phrase was at the top of the list:
“How to be Interesting”
This intrigued me. Why? Because it is not a word I often hear people use. I hear people say:
I want to be more memorable
I want to me more charismatic
I want to be more impressive
I want to be more powerful
I want to be more attractive
I want to be more successful
But, I almost never hear ‘I want to be more interesting’—at least not in person. Interesting it seems is a secret wish, just reserved for search engines. Well, worry no more!
Here’s the good news:
You are interesting.
We just have to activate it. First, you are having a crisis of interestingness. Yes. A full blown crisis:
A Crisis of Interesting happens when you begin to doubt yourself, your likeability and what people think of you.
Here’s the problem:
Your fear of being uninteresting, makes you uninteresting.
If you are worried you are not interesting, your fear prevents you from trying interesting things, talking about interesting topics and engaging with interesting people. It’s like this:
Basically, your fear is cockblocking you from being interesting. Unfortunately your fear makes you:
But guess what? You are in direct control of how interesting you are. Interestingness and laziness are inversely proportional. In other words:
The Lazy Law
The lazier you are, the less interesting you will be.
The less lazy you are, the more interesting you will be.
Here’s what it’s like talking to an uninteresting person:
Uninteresting people are lazy.
- They don’t do interesting things.
- They don’t think interesting thoughts.
- They expect you to do all the talking.
- They want to be entertained by the people around them.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! All you have to do is:
FIGHT THE LAZY!
Here’s how you can fight the lazy and bring on the interesting.
How to Be More Interesting:
Step #1: Stop Doing Stupid Uninteresting Things
Oh wow, you watch Netflix? How interesting! Do you watch it on your iPad or computer? NO! This is not interesting. If you come home every day after work and watch the same shows everyone else is watching and do the lowest common denominator of activities, then you have no chance of being interesting. Here’s what lazy people do:
- They watch TV every day
- They eat at the same restaurants over and over again
- They go to the same vacation spot every year
- They read the books that were assigned in high school
- They spend hours checking their social media feeds
- They talk about the weather
- They expect other people to do all the talking
Don’t stick with the default settings. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Don’t watch what everyone else is watching.
If you want to be interesting you have to do interesting things.
Here’s how you can level up your life and dial down your laziness:
- Go to a restaurant you have walked or driven by a million times but never tried
- Create a bucket list and pledge to do one activity every month.
- Go to the movie theater and go to a movie that you would never normally choose
- Sign up for a workout class that you have never done before
- Start a learning bucket list and learn one new skill
- Say yes to one new thing each day
- Start a Quest to accomplish a big goal
Step #2: Stop Asking About Stupid Uninteresting Things
Being interesting is about doing interesting things, but the flip side is being interested in other people’s interesting things. Lazy people bring out the uninteresting side in other people. They:
- Ask boring questions like ‘what do you do?’
- Ask ‘how are you?’ and don’t really mean it
- Talk about the weather
- Ask what TV shows people are watching
Why? What’s the point of asking boring questions? You don’t learn anything and you make the person you are with even less interesting to you. Here’s how you can level up your life and dial down your laziness:
- Ask someone about the weirdest thing they have ever eaten.
- Ask someone what’s on their bucket list and if you can help them accomplish any of it.
- Ask someone about the movie that most changed their life.
- Ask someone about a new skill they are learning.
- Ask someone about their personal passion project.
- Ask someone what their New Year’s Resolutions were and if they accomplished them.
Step #3: Consume Interesting Things
We consume all day long. We consume food and drink, we consume media, we consume information.
What you consume makes up who you are.
Lazy people are uninteresting because they consume uninteresting things:
- They read news from the default browser home page
- They get updates from friends from their social feeds instead of talking to them.
- They eat fake food from vending machines or freezers.
- They consume media and don’t question the source.
- They read from sources that already confirm their beliefs.
- They only watch blockbuster movies.
- They only read bestsellers.
Yes, it’s easier to stick with the default. It’s easier to eat what’s given to you. It’s easier to read and watch what everyone else is doing.
But who said easy was fun? It certainly isn’t interesting.
- Go to the library (yes, really) and ask the librarian for book recommendations.
- Ask your role model for a movie that changed his or her life and go watch it.
- Read a news source that is known for being the opposite of your political views and see what you learn.
- Find a new favorite news columnist.
- Read books that stimulate fascinating conversations.
Step #4: Ask People About the Interesting Things They Are Consuming
It’s hard to network, make memorable conversation and build connection. But you can do it! You just have to fight the laziness. One of the easiest ways to stimulate interesting conversation is to ask people about:
- What they think
- How they think
- What intrigues them
- What they are learning
- How they learn
Decide to become an interesting detective.
Decide that you are going to uncover every interesting tidbit about every person you meet.
If you expect people to be interesting, they often rise to your expectations.
Step #5: Hang Out with Interesting People
The final step to being interesting is to find interesting people to hang out with. Typically, interesting people hang out together—and now that’s you! Interesting people encourage the people around them to do interesting things, to talk about interesting topics and engage with interesting ideas. Let’s quickly take stock:
Who is the most interesting person you know?
Who is the funniest person you know?
Who is the most well-read person you know?
Who is the most well-traveled person you know?
Who is the strangest person you know?
Thought of someone for each prompt? Good! Now go hang out with them. They are your interesting tribe.
Even doing one of the things in this blog post will help you be more interesting.
Being interesting is about living a life that’s worth talking about.
Bottom Line: If you want to be interesting, put some work into it! Remember, laziness is the enemy of interesting.
You are interesting! Now go get it!
Did you like this article? Then you might LOVE our latest book:
Captivate: Use Science to Succeed with People
My teaching method can be summed up in three bullets:
- Heavily Science Based
- Entertainment + Education = Edutainment (I love to make up words)
- Tactical and Actionable
This book is full of social tips you will love–all using science!