This is a brief guide on how to be interesting. I already know you’re interesting people. You’re unique and have something special to offer the world. I am writing this article because an interesting life is an exciting life. I’m sure you agree you’d like to live an exciting life.
Why is this important? This quality gives you leverage in social settings and in business—when you’re creating relationships or negotiating deals.
There’s a fine line between appearing unique or mysterious, and strange or deceitful. These are what con artists do. Your position should be fun, playful and authentic.
When I think of interesting people, I think of artists. Artists typically have an air of mystery to them which attracts from others. People want to figure them out.
During interviews, Andy Warhol would never answer questions directly about his artwork—his responses would be vague. This level of obscurity would make his interviewer (and the masses) interpret his answer. This generated more buzz around his artwork, and subsequently increased its value. Pablo Picasso always changed his style to keep the public on their toes. He was unpredictable. When the public thought they figured Picasso out, he’d push out new creations that were outside his normal style.
When you maintain a level of ambiguity, you appear interesting to others. It makes people want to know you and be around you. People enjoy figuring things out. When you’re upfront with people, it gives you away. They know what you’re all about and have less of a reason to engage with you.
Here are some simple and hard to pull off qualities on how to be interesting. It’s hard to pull off because it requires you getting outside your comfort zone.
Challenge the Status Quo
Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. Humphrey Bogart. Galileo.
They think outside the box, question everything, and don’t follow the masses.
Bandwagoners aren’t necessarily boring, but someone knows how to be interesting (and exciting) marches to their own beat.
Break the normal pattern. Look at characters like Kanye West and Donald Trump. Trump couldn’t be any more vague (understatement) with his answers, and you have no idea what West is going to do next. This generates massive buzz around them. You have no idea what their next moves are, and this has people hooked.
Become a Renaissance Man
Play an instrument. Travel. Ski. Paint. Learn Tae Kwon Do. Become a student of life and continuously learn. Never be satisfied with your level of knowledge. Pursue several interests and learn just enough to be dangerous.
Just don’t be that annoying guy that claims to know everything. No one likes “that guy.”
Since childhood, Abraham Lincoln captivated his audience with his master storytelling. When word spread that Lincoln was at the local pub, people flocked there in hopes of catching one of his stories. This is a very underrated skill and no one teaches it. People don’t like facts. They like stories.
Television shows, film and religion. These mediums tell great stories.
Coddle Your Audience
Make it about them. Nurture them. Explore their passions and interests. Listen to learn, not to speak—and break out of your small talk shell.
As a rule of thumb, be interested in order to be interesting.
This is a rare quality for people tend to hold back so they can get ahead.
Be a person of abundance. Give everything away. Bring people together. Befriend everyone. Learn something useful then share it with your colleagues to make them better. It is undeniably more gratifying to help others than it is to help yourself.
Embrace Your Weirdness
We all have quirks. It is part of our being. Interesting people unleash their inner weirdness.
There is no such thing as normal. Normal is defined by those that are on the bandwagon, and are afraid to be themselves.
Unless you own multiple cats. . .Then we should talk.
Choose the Route that Makes a Better Story
You’ll no doubt be able to connect with people if you can begin a story with, “When I was kitesurfing in Bali. . . ”
There’s always a safe route and the road less traveled. The road less traveled is high-risk/high-reward. It’s obviously the harder route but it’s the story that creates the likes of the high-profile people you hear about.
Aim for Discomfort
You stretch yourself when you participate in a wide array of experiences. This is where growth occurs. This is where you evolve from good to great.
Interesting creates excitement. Interesting is who people want to be around. You might feel “weird,” or like a loner.
This is what it feels like to be a leader.
Stay interesting my friends!