Ever talked to someone and see their eyes glaze over as they nod mindlessly to whatever you say? Here’s how to be interesting and avoid being the bore.
No one tells you to be the most interesting person in the world. Let’s not put that type of pressure on yourself. Learning how to be interesting doesn’t mean you should be louder or crazier. You don’t have to be that in order to have people drawn to you.
But for many people, when they hear they’re boring or uninteresting they tend to over do it—not in a good way. You don’t have to do handstands in the middle of the room or wear ridiculously themed ties in order to get attention. That’s not the point. [Read: The 20 life-hacks you need to grow your confidence]
How to be interesting
So, then what are you supposed to do? Well, you know me, I’m here to help you out. Naturally, I’m pretty charming. However, when I was younger, I tried to be the loudest and most opinionated person in the room. Thinking people would see me as interesting.
Rather, they saw me as annoying… In hindsight, I see why, even I’m annoyed when I think about it. But through time, I learned I don’t have to be the loudest person in the room to have people gravitate towards me. Here’s the right way to be more interesting.
#1 Live an interesting life. Now, we all have obligations such as work or school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend your free time doing things that you find interesting. Try new things or do things that actually fulfill you.
If you worry about only being able to talk about Keeping Up With the Kardashians, stop watching that show and try a series out instead. If you don’t want to be generic—don’t do generic things. [Read: 13 ways to set aside fear and live your life]
#2 It has to be interesting to you. The things that you do should be interesting to you. That’s right, you must find it interesting if you want other people to think what you do interesting. If not, when you talk about it, they won’t feel the excitement and passion. That’s what keeps people listening.
#3 It’s not all about the words. Many people think that to be interesting, you need to speak interestingly. Which isn’t wrong, but you’ve probably encountered someone who’s quiet, yet, you’re intrigued by them. What is it? What most people see is body language and voice tone. Play around with gesticulations, tones, and don’t be afraid to show your energy. [Read: How to master the art of small talk]
#4 Skip the small talk. Okay, small talk is necessary for the first couple minutes. If you don’t grow the conversation then it’s going to end quite quickly. Sure, if you want to know how to be interesting, you can talk about the weather, but it’s not interesting beyond a point. It should be your last resort.
If you must pull out that card then just end the conversation. Instead, during small talk, focus on certain words used, words that you can elaborate on, creating an actual conversation.
#5 Talk about them. People love talking about themselves. You should see me. Seriously, it’s all I ever talk about. Me, me, me, me. But it’s true, if you don’t know what to talk about, talk about them. Ironically, they end up finding you interesting even though you haven’t said a word for the past hour. [Read: 35 brilliant conversation questions for when you’re tongue-tied]
#6 Be genuine. If you don’t want to talk to someone, unless you must, then don’t. If you want to be interesting, genuinely care about the person you talk to. If you don’t care then pretend that you do. Most of the time, people love to talk about themselves. So, if you don’t find them interesting, they’re not going to find you interesting.
#7 Have a couple stories. I suggest you have three, it’s a safe number. When you watch a comedian, they have their stories down to an art. They rehearsed them over and over again, making sure they perfected their delivery. Now, you don’t have to do this or you can. It’s up to you. People love hearing stories. So, have a couple stories ready to go if needed. [Read: 9 sure ways to be more charismatic]
#8 Know how to tell a story. Storytelling is a skill. You may have an amazing story, but if you don’t know how to tell it, you easily lose your audience. Knowing how to tell a story is serious business. You should purposely lay it out in an interesting manner. Try to figure out when a story is too short or too long, what facial expressions work, and make sure the story has a beginning, middle, and end. [Read: How to master the art of storytelling and be more interesting]
#9 Be yourself. At the end of the day, none of this works if you’re not yourself. The weird things you say or do is what makes you an interesting person. If you mask them, you become boring and like everyone else. Show off what makes you different from the rest.
#10 Be a good listener. Interesting people are those that listen and listen well. Remember when I said people love to talk about themselves? Well, they do, only that many us of are shitty listeners. For humans, when we talk about ourselves in a positive manner, it triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener]
#11 Be passionate about something. I don’t care if you like collecting butterflies. The point is, you have a passion, something the drives you forward in life. Though they may not share the same passion, they find it admirable and interesting that you have something that makes you happy, since many people don’t.