If your objective is to be become a more interesting person tricks and techniques and will only get you so far. At some point you actually need to make the choice to become a more interesting person. I’ll be the 1st to admit that being an interesting person is just about as subjective and generalized description you can make about a person. It’s like saying that someone is smart, we’ll there’s a lot of different forms of intelligence, remember Einstein didn’t even know how many feet where in a mile. In this article I’m going to quantify the concept of being an interesting person into five distinct aspects; knowledge acquisition, societal outliers, raconteurism, communication style, work and the entrepreneurial spirit.
If you can focus a little bit of time and effort on just one of these aspects it will noticeably increase how interesting you are perceived to be and the attention that people show you. If you can make a real commitment to personal development and excellence in all five you will experience spectacular benefits in your personal and professional life and will be perceived as the quintessential charismatic person.
In this article I will refer to the nebulous, perceived quality of being interesting as a person’s interest quotient. This article will quantify why a person like say Richard Branson (The eccentric founder of the Virgin conglomerate of companies) has a very high interest quotient and why your average high school teacher or civil servant has a lower interest quotient.
You can drastically increase how interesting people perceive you to be by increasing your knowledge about interesting subjects. I would say this is probably the most efficient method for increasing your interest quotient, all the other ways of being interesting involve a lot of effort and personal development. Increasing your knowledge involves an investment of just a few short hours a week. So what type of subjects will make you a more interesting person?
- I would say first and foremost subjects that you are passionate about and naturally interested in.
- A close second is subjects that are specialized and not general knowledge. This goes to the universal supply and demand principal. Almost any American man is an expert on the subject of football. As a result when no one would regard a conversation about football as being particularly unique or outstanding. Whereas if I can carry out an extensive conversation of the subject of underwater cave diving I will be regarded as very interesting person.
- Here’s a couple of subjects that people in general find interesting: history, business, economics, psychology, marketing, technology, the internet, dating or sex.
I am a big fan passive information consumption, which can be done while driving, working out, running errands or taking care of household tasks, or even while working depending on the type of work you do. Here are my top 3 information consumption methods:
- Listening to audio books. I recommend non-fiction for the most part. I use a service called Audible that sends me new audio books every month for a very reasonable fee.
- Listening to podcasts. You can download thousands of Podcasts for free on almost any subject you can imagine in Apple’s Itunes Store.
- Watching documentary films. If you are like most people you spend a number of hours every week in front of the TV anyways so why not spend this time being ‘infotained’ by watching documentary films? I discovered that the audio tracks of documentary usually contain the vast majority of the information. So a lot of times I will watch documentaries while working on my computer. You can watch +1500 different documentary films for free on the website TopDocumentaryFilms.com or gets an $8 a month membership with Netflix that has a large selection as well.
Work & The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Consistently the most interesting people are those that are in an interesting line of work. The heart surgeon who volunteers in 3rd world countries is always going to be more interesting the guy who manages a grocery store. However there is one profession that almost always is more interesting than any other and that is the entrepreneur. Those who recognize, create and capitalize on opportunity while working for themselves will always be fascinating. Now the risks of starting one’s own business are not for everyone. There’s some ways that you can adopt the entrepreneurial spirit whether you are on the path towards being an entrepreneur or are firmly committed to a 9-5 job.
- Start something unique. The core tenant of entrepreneurship is starting something that’s unique, doing something in a different way than it’s been done before.
- Doing something crazy. Pick that one crazy thing you always wanted to do but never did because people told you it wasn’t a good idea or you didn’t have it all planned out. Do that thing. Don’t wait for the right circumstances to align, just start doing it now.
- Personal branding. The most interesting entrepreneurs are the rockstars of their particular fields. They built up a personal brand around themselves.
- Fail forward. Failure is an inevitable part of all our lives, entrepreneurs actually believe that failure is in fact an integral part of the success process.
A raconteur is a person who is skilled in the art of storytelling. From the cradle to the grave we all love a good story yet for some reason in our society once we reach adulthood the majority of conversations are occupied with small talk, work and verbal auto fellatio (Google it!). You can drastically increase your interest quotient by having some excellent stories to share. What kinds of elements does an interesting story contain?
- Money and business
- Adventure or danger
- Ego and personality
- Disaster or failure
- Alcohol and social situations
If you have interesting stories of your own that’s the best but if you don’t you can borrow the stories of others.
The other weekend I met a guy who was very interesting. He didn’t have a particularly interesting job, stories or knowledge that he shared while we were hanging out. What he did have was a distinctive British ascent and a very unique watch. Do you remember the last time you met a ‘small person’? I bet they seemed more interesting to you. These two examples are both have qualities that make them social outliers. In a lot of ways they are very average people except for a glaringly obvious characteristic that makes them stand out. So think of that one unique quality you have and figure out a way to let everyone you meet know about it.
Communication style has a lot to do with how interesting people perceive you to be. This is the fake it till you make it part of being more interesting. Mastering the art/science of communication is an excellent subject to study, especially now that you’ve read this article and are going to be a knowledge acquisition junkie!
- Your tonality.
- Speaking pace.
- Your listening ability.
- How you are mirroring your partners.
- The way your present yourself.
For more information about communication style please check out my article 14 Methods and Mindset Tricks to Make You an Interesting Conversationalist.