Since I’ve arrived at my school in Morocco, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a wide range of people. Because it is an American school, the faculty is primarily composed of Americans, but there are still a lot of countries represented through many of the teachers and students.
This means there are a lot of differing viewpoints and personalities to interact with. But it seems as if one of the things bringing us closer together is that we are all genuinely interesting people. You can be more interesting too. Many of the ways you can bring out that side of yourself are actually pretty simple. With just a few changes, you can become a more interesting person than you know.
Those ways are:
1. Read widely outside your comfort zone
I can’t even begin to count how often I’ve started interesting conversations with other people about the topic of a book they or I am reading. Sometimes they are the perfect conversation starters. At the bare minimum, you could ask their opinion on what you’re reading and work your way from there.
For the most part, it’s good to read things outside your comfort zone. The more new ideas and information you’re exposed to, the more things you have to talk to other people about. If you’re reading about some new idea or something that’s blown your mind away, chances are it will be fascinating to another person in some way.
2. Do and say things no one else is doing or saying
Blending into the crowd has never been an effective strategy for being an interesting person. So it’s simple: stand out by being willing to do or say things no one else is willing to do or say. Take a stand on an issue that is important to you even if it’s unpopular. Do something others are afraid to try.
There is always a tendency to pull towards the middle ground and be like everyone else. But doing that means there’s nothing about you people will remember. The ones who say and do things others can’t are the ones who are the most interesting.
3. Become an amazing storyteller
Here’s a story for you: I was in a communication class several months ago and the day’s lesson was about storytelling. The class separated into groups and each one had to pick a person to share a story with the rest of the class. I was selected by my group.
So I got up in front of the entire class and told everyone about how I saved two strippers from a small gang of street thugs. The whole class was captivated and asked me questions for ten minutes after I ended the story. It was great reminder of the power behind storytelling. A good story, when told right, can really be fascinating to hear.
4. Discover your best qualities and bring them out
Have you ever met someone who had a characteristic about them that you just like? These people have a quality about them that draws you in to them and makes you want to get to know them better. For instance, I’ve met so many people who were so genuinely kind and warm that you instantly liked them and wanted to get to know them more.
Your best quality could be something different. Maybe you’re funny, outgoing or personable. Whatever it is, it needs to be something genuine. It might take some self-reflection to find that great quality inside you, but once you find it, you’ll find others will instantly take a shine to you.
5. Learn to be witty
What’s one thing that Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and Groucho Marx all have in common? It’s their famous razor sharp wit. It’s one (among other things) of the most interesting things about these people.
People like to be around others who are funny. So take a note from these famous wits and develop your sly sense of humor. I’d take lessons from the masters above and study what they do and say. That can help you develop a fast mind and quick tongue of your own.
6. Let others in on your passions
Passions are exciting. Just spend some time listening to someone tell you about something that excites them, what makes them get out of bed in the morning and gives them life. It can be very intriguing.
What’s amazing is that even if you don’t share that passion, it can still be interesting. I once ran into someone who is extremely passionate about bird watching. He described it in such a way that let his passion out. Even though it isn’t a hobby for me, I could have listened to him talk for hours about it.
7. Always be learning new skills
Some skills are naturally interesting to other people. I’m impressed when someone can do a unique and over-the-top magic trick. I once knew an amateur magician who could do some impressive things at a moment’s notice. My dad practices woodcarving and makes some very impressive carvings.
These skills can be simple too. I taught myself a few tricks to show little kids when I want to get their attention. One of them involves bending my thumb backwards until it touches my wrist. It sounds painful, but anyone can do it with enough practice. It impresses the hell out kids though.
You’re More Interesting Than You Realize
It doesn’t take much to become a more interesting person. You don’t need a fancy car or money; many of these things are actually quite simple. But that’s often the way it goes. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most interesting.
What interesting things have you tried? Any of the ones from this list?
photo credit: Thomas Hawk